Lead a Summertime Bible Study at SNAP Fitness, Knoxville, TN
"From the beginning of the year through the end of April, I was focused
intently on my studies at Johnson Bible College. About a month before
the semester ended and once again after I had handed in my final exam,
the Holy Spirit directed me to speak with the owner of the local
SNAP Fitness about holding a Bible study there. I gave praise to God
when I learned that the owner, Teena Fesperman, was already in the
process of renovating a back room and that she had been inquiring with
another local minister about using the space for some purpose in
ministry. On behalf of Spirit and Truth Ministries, I asked Teena to
let us use the space on Thursdays. She agreed, and I committed to
lead the Bible study during the summer as part of my ongoing volunteer
work for the nonprofit organization. Weekly meetings were held from
Thursday, May 20 until Thursday, August 26.
The name I gave to the group was 'Casting Off Weights'.
This choice was influenced by the Bible passage in
Hebrews, chapter 12, verses 1 and 2.
This choice was also influenced by my feeling that the group would
provide accountability to the members for sticking to their
individual health and fitness plans. The start of the Bible study
was announced in two local newspapers, on a printed flyer (shown below),
and through facebook.
I created a Bible reading plan so all of the
members would read the same passages through the week and discuss them
during the group meetings. Over the course of the previous two
years, I read the entire New International Version translation of
the Bible except for the book of Psalms. I wanted to finish this
reading, so I chose Psalms as the focus of the study for the summer
The facebook badge below is a link to the Casting Off Weights
group page on the Facebook site (if the group were to become active
again, the badge will show upcoming events). The first picture shows
the front of SNAP Fitness where we held the Bible study. After that
is the flyer made to advertise the Bible study.
Next, you can see a copy of the calednar pages that attendees received
every week showing the Bible scriptures to read for the following week
with space provided for taking notes and keeping a log of diet and
exercise progress. After this, you can see a snapshot of the Facebook
page as it appeared on the first week of the study as well as after the
last meeting. The last five pictures below were taken at the final
"Every year, Sheila's family descends on north central Kentucky for
family reunion, and the tradition usually includes attending service
at Horsley Chapel United Methodist Church. On Sunday, June 13, I had
the opportunity to sing two songs. I sang 'I Will Rise' with Sheila
and 'The Lighthouse' with my mother, Ruby Lea."
Singing at Rocky Branch Independent Holiness Church of God, Walland, TN
"Almost one year to the day since our previous visit, Sheila and
I volunteered for Spirit and Truth Ministries once again to go to the
Rocky Branch Independent Holiness Church of God in Walland, Tennessee and
participate in their second Friday night singing service on July 9, 2010.
We were joined by my mother, Ruby Lea, and her father, Bill, to represent
the Spirit and Truth Singers, and also by friends. Follow this link to see
a complete set of
pictures of the event.
While I stood in front the congregation with Sheila and my mother, I gave
two testimonies that you can watch by clicking on the links below. The
first is a testimony about my salvation. The second testimony turned out
to be significant for the work that God would shortly be assigning to me.
For years, my mother and I sang a song called 'Peace in the Valley'
(not the popular one that most everybody knows, but a different and
almost unknown song), and I would give this same testimony, more or less,
every time we would sing it about how each person has the
unique ability to reach a certain group of people for Christ.
I didn't realize until later that, while I was saying the words, I
never really thought about applying them to myself to understand
my own calling from God.
Preaching, Singing, and Prayer at Wayside Full Gospel Church, Cocoa, FL
"Ruby Lea, Sheila, and I traveled to Florida and spent the first week
of October together. We ministered for two services at Wayside Full
Gospel Church. We sang songs together, and I preached and prayed for
members of the congregation.
These pictures were taken on Sunday, October 3. The service began
with an elder brother taking the floor and addressing the pastor and
his wife, rejecting the prayers they had prayed for him and returning a
bottle of anointing oil they had given to him. The mood was somber
after he left the building,
because the devil had tried from the beginning to undermine the service,
but the Holy Spirit turned it all around during the congregational
singing as people began to come to the altar. I came forward to pray
for the people, taking authority over sicknesses and oppressions of
the devil in the name of Jesus. I used the bottle of oil that had
been returned by the elder brother to anoint those in the congregation
who received it joyfully, and so God poured out what seemed to be an
extra special blessing. I ended the service with a short sermon and
by singing our special songs.
These pictures were taken on Thursday, October 7. There was a small
crowd for this mid-week service, but the Lord was present. After
a few special songs were sung, I preached the evening sermon."
Completed My Program of Study at Johnson Bible College
"In early December, I handed in my final paper for the last course
I needed to complete the graduate certificate program at Johnson Bible
College. Since 2007, I had spent many long nights after work to read,
study, and write out my responses for the examinations. For this final
course, I spent a lot of time doing research online and at the library.
My original certificate (left) arrived by mail after the New Year in
January. Not long after, the college changed its name to
Johnson University, and they reissued my certificate with the new
Worked in the Nursery at Pathways, Sevierville, TN
"With my college studies behind me, I had a little extra time on my
hands and decided to give some of it to Pathways Church where we had been
attending since 2008.
One of the office workers had been after me to volunteer one weekend
a month like Sheila had already been doing for a while, and I said
Yes and asked to be Sheila's helper in the 2-year-old classroom.
Sheila and I did this work together for about a year.
Cooperative Planning with Chepas Mexican Restaurant, Seymour, TN
"In the early winter season, I was eating at Chepas Mexican
Restaurant in Seymour with a friend. We were discussing church planting
as we ate our lunch together. The restaurant manager, Juan Severiano,
overheard part of our conversation and introduced himself. He said that
his restaurant did not open until lunch time on Sundays, and he offered
to us the use of the building at no cost if we decided to start holding
church meetings (Wow!, I thought). I met with Juan a couple of times
over the next week and I learned that the restaurant was struggling
financially. I talked about this situation with a few others including
my mother, Ruby Lea. She and my father-in-law, Bill Adcox, would
occasionally dress up as Santa and Mrs. Claus, and they offered
to play the part. We devised a plan that would both generate interest
in a new church and possibly generate some new customers for the
restaurant. The plan was to have the Clauses make appearances over
several days, and anyone could bring their child for a photo, but
patrons of the restaurant would be able to move the front of the
line when they arrived. We started to execute this plan, and the
restaurant was passing out the VIP cards in the early part of December
to people who came into the restaurant and ate a meal there.
Unfortunately, the year-end review of the restaurant's financial
situation was more dire than Juan had previously estimated, and the
restaurant had to close before the dates when the Clauses were supposed
to make an appearance."