Cru15 Staff Conference and The Maze

In July we had a good time leaving the Arizona heat behind and going to our bi-annual gathering in Ft. Collins, Colorado. We had seven days of great speakers both from within Cru and from without. You can go to cru15.cru.org/archive to watch almost all of the speakers’ presentations.
While we were there we went white-water rafting. That was a blast.

Greenwoods rafting July 2015 Continue reading

Vacation Bible School 2015

Sheila was the Director again this year and I helped out with the tech.  We had 400 kids attending this year – seven of which made decisions for Christ and many others wanted to talk more with someone about their relationship with God.

 

Superbowl Breakfast 2015

Sheila and Craig while setting up for breakfast

Sheila and Craig while setting up for breakfast

January 31 was a very early morning for Sheila and I, since we needed to be 45 minutes away from home at the JW Marriott in Phoenix at 5am. We were there to help set up for the NFL sanctioned breakfast which is hosted by Athletes In Action, one of Cru’s ministries. We thought it would be a novel experience to be around sports figures we didn’t recognize or know about, at an event about which sports fans would envy us. Another motivating factor was the opportunity to help with an event that has the potential to help change people’s lives for eternity – and to get free breakfast. We helped distribute programs and follow-up materials to the tables and then manned the doors to take tickets and keep out would-be crashers.

Rows of Tables

You have probably already heard that Peyton Manning was awarded the Bart Starr Award at the breakfast this year. The other speakers included Tony Dungy, Bart Starr, Jr., Drew Brees, Benjamin Watson, Steve Largent, Brent Jones, and Troy Vincent. Benjamin Watson of the New Orleans Saints has a gift for speaking/preaching, and he gave an excellent gospel message. In fact, 39 people indicated decisions that morning, 76 wanted more information about a personal relationship with God, and 56 indicated interest in being in a small group Bible study.

audience

Here are a few of the comments afterwards:

“What an outstanding job you and the whole team did with this program.  It was my first experience with the Super Bowl Breakfast, and I was blown away! I thought the gospel presentation by Benjamin Watson was one of the best I had ever heard – is he a pastor?  If not, he should be – and I’m not easily impressed.  I’ve been a believer in Jesus for 40 years and heard thousands of gospel presentations – his testimony was truly inspirational.”

“I accepted Jesus when I was in High School but have needed something to pull me back to Him. I now fully understand why I was randomly offered this opportunity to come today.”

Andre Kole’s Squeeze Box video

I just uploaded a new video to YouTube. This is of Andre and Tim performing Andre’s Squeeze Box Illusion.

This was one of the first real popular illusions that Andre created. It was done by Siegfried and Roy, and has long been a mainstay in David Copperfield’s shows.

You may have seen after I originally uploaded it in 2010, but I just improved the sound mix and re-uploaded it.

2014 Brief Review

Our year-end newsletter is here, and following are some additional photos to supplement that letter.

Sheila’s trip to Guatemala in early November.

 

And here is Craig somewhere in these photos.

Supernatural Pursuits

Evidence for our fascination with the supernatural can be found in the media which a large part of the population seems to be drawn to. I read through the TV Guide listings for the 7:00 to 10:00 time slots last week and found 12 shows which deal with paranormal powers or involve spirits or otherworldly entities. An examination of the movies released this year revealed 13 which would be classified likewise.

Here are the findings:

TV 7pm-10pm Movies released in 2014
  • Supernatural
  • Haven
  • Ghost Hunters
  • Charmed
  • The Unexplained Files
  • Dr Who
  • My Haunted House
  • Ghost Adventures
  • Scariest Spirits
  • The Haunted Hathaways
  • Sleepy Hollow
  • Ghost Stalkers
  • Annebella
  • Dracula Untold
  • Left Behind
  • The Hobbit: Battle of Five Armies
  • Exodus: Gods and Kings
  • Maleficent
  • Life After Beth
  • Into the Woods – not yet released
  • Deliver Us From Evil
  • Ouija
  • Noah 

It is this interest in these themes which we are hoping to tap into with the Supernatural Project Documentary movie we are working on.

Boxes of Balls

 

3-Ball boxes-reduced

A pallet of foam balls used in the large Three Ball Gospel Illustrations. Time to drill holes through them all and organize them into groups of 3 different colors so they are ready to ship out with stands, crosses and bars.

Pallet of large foam balls used with a gospel illustrationPallet of large foam balls used with a gospel illustration

3-Ball sets-reduced

Forty-four sets of foam balls for the small version of the Three Ball Gospel Illustration.

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That’s true. Our ministry here with Andre Kole is, and always has been, about changed lives – lives changed as a result of understanding God’s love and forgiveness. Numbers can not express the importance and depth of that understanding, nor the ripple effect of the life of someone who embraces this truth.

But, while numbers can’t necessarily communicate the quality of one’s relationship with God, they can express Continue reading