Friday, February 24, 2017

TFS Episode Seven: Oscars 2017 - Our Favorite Family Films of 2016

In this special episode Michael, Nathan, and Maria talk about some of their favorite family movies from 2016 to prepare for the Oscars on Sunday night! 

Also some extra special goodies coming up this week! A new Critter Minute, Craig and Greg, and some music from NathanRyan!

Thursday, February 23, 2017

How to play "Stack Jack"

Stack Jack,'s like Jenga but not. Arguably more fun! Michael and family take us to their game table as they enjoy a few rounds of Stack Jack. Will Michael ever reign victorious? Probably not.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Sermon Series: Love's Greatest Hits - "You Give Love A Bad Name"

“You give Love a bad name”

· Charles Barkley made a TV commercial, famous quote: “I am not a role model” meaning don’t look at me, I’ll mess up, look at real heroes – teachers, firemen, police, astronauts
· Like it or not, Charles was a role model.
· The same way, whether we like it or not, if we call ourselves followers of God then we’re in a way role models.
· By being a Christian, we subject ourselves to be analyzed and over analyzed by every nonbeliever (and believer) on the planet.
· Everything we do, say, wear, etc is under constant scrutiny
· And because we live under such a powerful microscope, our faults are noticed, and we often live down to our reputation.
· We really give love a bad name.
· This is why I could not think of any better song choice than that for this week’s message. But long before Bon Jovi made it a #1 song way back in 1986, and man had already made that phrase famous: Jonah
· The story of Jonah is one of the 2 or 3 most famous bible stories ever. People all over the world who have never picked up a bible or walked through the doors of a church know of this story. But it’s probably one of the least preached.
· Review the story of Jonah

Four Principles we can learn that may help prevent us from
“Giving love a bad name”.

1) We can run away from God but we can’t outrun God
· I shared a story of a time when my sister ran away (note: she only got has far as the end of our street)
· She was never out of mom’s reach and we’re never out of God’s reach.

2) Rebellion doesn’t just lead to personal pain but pain to others that are connected to us.
· Jonah’s rebellion not only affected him but also the crew. The crew lost a tremendous amount of money because they had to hurl their cargo overboard. Now their lives are in danger. Why? All because Jonah was running from God.
· Whether you realize it or not, you put other people in spiritual danger when you rebel from God.

 · You bring your junk into other people’s lives when you are running from God.
· I have enough junk of my own to be carrying around. I don’t really need anyone else’s.
· Tony Evans quote: “If you are going to be a fool, be a fool by yourself, don’t go messing up everyone else’s situation because of your foolishness.
· Rebellion leads to pain, not only to yourself but to others.

3) What you wanted and what you were pursuing are never worth more than what you gave up.
· You gave up a close and intimate relationship with God.
· You gave up harmony and peace in your life. You have distanced yourself from God.
· Now there will be a moment of clarity when you look at what you have finally achieved and realize that it is just a worthless idol.
· You traded a worthless idol for the experience of having that intimate relationship with a loving Father.
· In your despair, pain, grief, where do you turn to? Do you cry out to that false idol for help? I don’t think so.
· Like Jonah, who is running away, we think we have everything under control, but we don’t.
· We all learn the hard way, it's not until we are broken, and busted that it all becomes clear to us.
· There's this moment of awe. Clarity. What am I doing? What are my core values? I have only one life to live, and I need to make it count for something.

4) God came to Jonah a second time
· Thankfully, we serve the God of second chances. Just like Jonah, many have received a second chance to do what God called them to do.
* Adam sinned in the garden and God covered him.
* Moses murdered a man and God called him.
* Elijah quit and complained then God re-commissioned him.
* Peter denied the Lord and then God used him at Pentecost.
* John Mark deserted the mission team at Pamphylia yet God moved upon him to write the second Gospel.
· God is the God of the second chance.
· Philip Yancey wrote a book called What's So Amazing About Grace? In a chapter called "The Lovesick Father," he retells this story...

A young girl grows up on a soybean farm outside Decatur, Illinois.

Her parents do not much care for the music she listens to or the clothes she wears or her nose ring. She does not much care for their values or their church. They have another argument. She locks herself in her room. When her dad knocks on the door, she screams, "I hate you!" She decides to run away. She decides to run away to the most rebellious, permissive, non-family value state in the Union. Want to guess which one that is? California.
She decides to run to the most rebellious, permissive, non-family value city in that state. Want to guess which one? San Francisco.

When she gets there, she is much lonelier than she had anticipated, but she soon meets a man who drives the nicest car she has ever seen. He gives her a ride. He buys her lunch. He shows her the city. He gives her some pills that make her feel better than she has ever felt, and she wanted to feel good really bad.
She realizes how much life and fun her parents have been robbing her of. This good life goes on for a month, two months, a year. The man with the big car (she calls him "Boss") teaches her a few things about what men like. It's a side of life that she never knew in Decatur, Illinois. The parties and the penthouses and the gifts and the glamour are like being in another world for her.

After a year, the first signs of illness appear. It amazes her how quickly the boss turns mean. Before she knows it, he turns her out on the street. No money; no clothes; no car; no parties. She is alone. She uses what she knows on the streets to get whatever money she can, but she looks gaunt and thin. The men she is with now are no longer wealthy and generous, and sometimes they're dangerous and cruel. All her money goes to support her habit. She eats whatever she can find. She sleeps on a metal grate or a park bench.
One night as she lies awake listening for footsteps, all of a sudden everything around her looks different. She no longer feels like a woman of the world. She is a little girl, lost, cold, and frightened. Her pockets are empty. Her clothes are rags. Her stomach is hungry. She needs a fix. Her eyes are filled with tears. Then her mind flashes on a single image, her home in Decatur, Illinois, when summer comes, and the fields are so green you can hardly take all that life in. "Oh God, why did I leave? My dog at home eats better than I do now."

She is sobbing, and she knows that more than ever she has wanted anything in her life, she wants to go home.

Three straight calls. Three straight connections with the answering machine. Twice she hangs up without leaving a message.

The third time she says, "Dad, mom, it's me. I was wondering about coming home. I'm going to be on a bus. It will pass through sometime around midnight on Tuesday. If you're not there, I'll just keep on going to New York. Just wanted you to know." The whole time on the bus, she can't turn off the questions.

She wonders if they even got the message. She wishes she'd given them more warning. She wonders if they've given her up for dead. She keeps thinking about what she is going to say to her father. She keeps rehearsing this little speech in her mind. "Dad, I'm sorry. I'm so sorry. I know it was my fault, not yours. Can you forgive me?" She hasn't apologized for anything for years.

The bus pulls into the station, and the driver says, "Fifteen minutes, folks. That's all the time we have." Fifteen minutes to decide her life. She looks in her little compact mirror, tries to brush her hair and get the lipstick marks off her teeth. She sees the needle marks in her arms and wonders if her parents will notice if they're there. She walks into that bus terminal at one o'clock in the morning in Decatur, Illinois.

She has imagined a thousand different scenes in her mind, but not one of them prepared her for what she sees because there inside those concrete walls around those plastic chairs, in that bus terminal in Decatur, Illinois, stands a group of 40 people, brothers and sisters and aunts and uncles and cousins and grandparents and one dog. They're all wearing goofy party hats and blowing kazoos and cheering for her as if she were a hero coming home from a war. There is a giant hand-painted sign saying, "Welcome home" taped all the way across the back wall. Standing in front of that crowd with a tear-stained face and a trembling smile is the father whom she told she hated the last time she saw him.

She can't bring herself to look him in the face as she starts her little speech.

"Dad, I'm so sorry. It's my fault." He puts his hands on her face, and he raises her eyes up to him. He begins to laugh and cry so hard his whole body shakes. "I know," he says. What he used to say to her when she would cry when she was a tiny little baby, "I know, I know, I know. No need for another word. You'll miss the party. We have to have a party."

Friday, February 17, 2017

That Family Show Episode Six

It's the month of love! Michael and Nathan share a Valentine's meal and talk about all the awesomeness that is to come this week! Sand tents, Critter Minute, Stack Jack and much more!

Thursday, February 16, 2017

That Family Show Shorts: Roaches and Bad 80's Movies

Michael and Nathan discuss a harrowing tale of a woman and a roach.

Michael and Nathan discuss the intricacies of Flight of the Navigator, Money Pit and The 'Burbs!

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

"Love is Action" by Beth Gianopulos

“Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one's life for one's friends.” John 15:13 (NIV)
February is the month of love. As we all prepare for Valentine’s Day, our minds often jump to our current ideas of romantic love. In movies, love is often portrayed as passionate and overwhelming emotion.
Couples in love tend to make grand romantic gestures to convey the depth of their emotion. In books, love tends to be about intense feelings. Couples often poetically speak about the deep love they feel. In fairy tales, a handsome prince usually steps in to save the beautiful princess with true love’s kiss.
However, reality is often much different. In real life, passion fades. In the day to day chaos of working, raising a family, and living life, we are often lucky to have time to murmur the words, “I love you.”
One of the best examples of Christ-like love I ever witnessed was between my grandfather and grandmother. My grandmother was a fiercely independent woman. When she had a stroke and was completely paralyzed on one side of her body, she required constant care and supervision. My grandfather worked tirelessly to feed her, bathe her, and comfort her.
He worked 24 hours a day, seven days a week, with almost no time to rest. Because my grandmother had lost her independence, she was often sad. Yet my grandfather continued to care for her and love her, even though he knew that she had little that she could give in return.
Three years after my grandmother’s stroke, we noticed that my grandfather seemed to be wasting away. When he was so sick that he could barely stand, we insisted that he go to the doctor. We learned that he had stomach cancer. My grandfather had suffered horrible sickness and intense, constant pain for nearly a year.
He suffered in silence because he knew that he was sick, and he knew once he received a diagnosis, he would no longer be able to care for my grandmother. Three days after he was diagnosed with cancer, he died.
My grandfather and grandmother rarely, if ever, spoke the words, “I love you.” I never witnessed a hug or a kiss between them. However, my grandfather sacrificed his health, wellbeing, and comfort to serve and care for my grandmother even though he knew that she would never be able to repay him. My grandfather’s love for my grandmother was more than a feeling. He loved her with all of his being, and he ultimately laid down his life for her.
In John 15:13, true love is defined. “Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.”
As you think about love, remember that love is much more than a feeling. Love is action. In John 13:34 (NIV), Jesus commands us to “Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.”
Jesus is not instructing us to simply feel love as an emotion, but instead Jesus uses love as a verb – we are to love one another with our actions.
Jesus, Thank You for loving us with a selfless love that is beyond understanding. Show me how to love as You have loved me. Help me love with more than my feelings, and show me how to love with my actions. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
For more encouragement, visit Beth at PWLawyerMom.
© 2017 by Beth Mabe Gianopulos. All rights reserved.
Is God speaking to you through today's devotion? We'd love for you to share how this message has encouraged you to continue pursuing the God of hope. Scroll to the bottom of this page and leave a reply.

This devotion was originally featured on Encouragement Cafe and Crosswalk.

Monday, February 13, 2017

Love's Greatest Hits (week two) "Can't Buy Me Love"

· Intro: Repticon - Male gecko shows tail
· We all try to buy love (first date, dating, engagement)
· Not just money but with time, deeds
· We believe love is something to be earned or that love is a transaction.
· Ex. Beth and I during dating, engagement, and early years of marriage. I loved her by the book. Meaning I was trying my best to follow all the rules.
· Until one day I realized if our marriage was going to last, then I couldn’t love her strictly by rules anymore. Our marriage couldn’t be built me trying to earn her love.
· This whole idea of love and acceptance being something that can be earned or bought is not a modern day struggle.

Mark 10:17-22
As he went out into the street, a man came running up, greeted him with great reverence, and asked, “Good Teacher, what must I do to get eternal life?” Jesus said, “Why are you calling me good? No one is good, only God. You know the commandments: Don’t murder, don’t commit adultery, don’t steal, don’t lie, don’t cheat, honor your father and mother.” He said, “Teacher, I have—from my youth—kept them all!” Jesus looked him hard in the eye—and loved him! He said, “There’s one thing left: Go sell whatever you own and give it to the poor. All your wealth will then be heavenly wealth. And come follow me.” The man’s face clouded over. This was the last thing he expected to hear, and he walked off with a heavy heart. He was holding on tight to a lot of things, and not about to let go.

· On paper, this guy has it all. Great wealth & young.
· The rich young ruler was a good man, knew the law, and strived to obey it.
· At his core, this guy meant well, he longed for God’s love and acceptance but he was going about it all wrong.
· He had turned his relationship with Jesus into a transaction.
· If I do enough then God will love me. He will accept me.
· The ruler went away saddened and grieving was because he knew by Jesus request that he only could never do enough.
· He had done so much already and fell short.
· There was still more he had to do. One more thing.
· Do you recognize how exhausting that can be.
· Ex. Always doing everything for someone just have to have them tell you it’s not enough. More is needed.
· Just like the young ruler, we may be willing to do anything for God, but for all of us there is one thing we won’t do.
· There is always something that is too much, too far out of our comfort zone, too sacrificial for us.
· We all lack one thing
· The thing we lack is the thing that separates us from God.
· This “one thing: is the same for everyone - fully trusting and surrendering our relationship to God
· We all, like the rich young ruler, need to stop trying and start being.

(v. 23-27) Looking at his disciples, Jesus said, “Do you have any idea how difficult it is for people who ‘have it all’ to enter God’s kingdom?” The disciples couldn’t believe what they were hearing, but Jesus kept on: “You can’t imagine how difficult. I’d say it’s easier for a camel to go through a needle’s eye than for the rich to get into God’s kingdom.” That set the disciples back on their heels. “Then who has any chance at all?” they asked. Jesus was blunt: “No chance at all if you think you can pull it off by yourself. Every chance in the world if you let God do it.”

· The day our marriage really became a healthy marriage was the day I decided to begin loving Beth, not because I had to, as if I thought I had to earn her love, but because I wanted to. Much like the ruler in the story I felt that if I did “enough” then Beth would love me.
· But just like in marriage, our relationship with God is not based on doing “enough”.
· So what is the one thing that keeps you from fully surrendering to God. From letting go and being?
· May God show you the one thing you lack, and help us to understand that nothing else we do will ever compensate for it.

Sunday, February 12, 2017

The Adventures of Craig and Greg: Barbara

Craig and Greg decide to write down their feelings for their valentines. Little do they know...

Saturday, February 11, 2017

That Family Show: Whit's Frozen Custard

Michael and Nathan take you out into their community and visit their local Kernersville Whit's! They learn all there is to know about the most delicious frozen treat out there....custard! HUGE thanks to Whit's of Kernersville and all the customers that came in that day! 

Check out Whit's and all their fantastic creations below!

Friday, February 10, 2017

My Movie Review: LEGO Batman

THIS is the Batman movie we have been waiting for. One of the highlights to come out of “The Lego Movie” two years ago was the birth of the best Batman (Will Arnett) since Michael Keaton. The family and I caught the first showing we could as soon as school let out and it was everything we could have hoped for in the movie. Comedy, Action, Romance, Adventure, Explosions, Nostalgic throwbacks to previous incarnations of the caped crusader, and just enough adult references that definitely went over kid’s heads to make it enjoyable for everyone.
The story follows the same formula as most other superhero flicks, which is kind of the point: A moody Batman, living in lonely isolation in his Batcave, must overcome skepticism by the new Commissioner Gordon (Rosario Dawson) to help save Gotham City from an assortment of villains, led by the Joker (Zach Galifianakis). There is so much going on in terms of quick, witty dialogue and fast paced special effects, you almost get the feeling that a lot of the funniest stuff is flying by too quickly.
There’s a very positive message that the film does a fantastic job of bringing home - “You can’t be a hero,” Batman learns, “if you only care about yourself.” While there was a bit of bathroom humor, over-all the movie emphasizes friendship, family, courage, sacrifice, being honest about fear, and admitting we need others. There's even a positive message for foster parents who've chosen to love and care for orphaned children.
Ultimately, if you enjoyed “The Lego Movie”, then you will love “Lego Batman”. I had my doubts that they could follow-up such a huge commercial and critical success as the first film, but the folks involved have another Lego hit on the hands. And when it’s all said and done, maybe even bigger than the first.
I give this film 4 out of 5 stars.

That Family Show (episode five)

Another fantastic Family Friday is upon us!! Michael and Nathan reminisce about a childhood movie classic, talk about some fun family games AND prep you for their visit to their local custard shop...Whit's!!

Tuesday, February 07, 2017

Sermon Series: Love's Greatest Hits (I want to know what love is)

Love’s Greatest Hits
“I want to know what love is”

· It’s February and we’re told by advertisers everywhere that love is in the air.
· Big red hearts and cupids all over are
· Told everyone must have someone to love on the 14th or else….
· If you're human then you know the desire to love and the need to be loved doesn’t begin and end on Valentine's day.
· All of us, no matter of age, sex, religious beliefs, background, education - everyone has deep seeded desire to be loved.
· Ex. We are born with the need for love - Hard scientific evidence shows that love, attention, and affection in the first years of life have a direct and measurable impact on a child's physical, mental, and emotional growth.
· Love and touch actually cause your child's brain to grow
· That continues through elementary, middle, and high school
· Everywhere we turn are books about love, movies about love, advertisements about love, and music about love.
· Face it, we eat, sleep, drink, and breathe love.
· Over the next few weeks we going to dig way deep into what the bible says about love.  And we’re going to use our desire for love and our enjoyment of music as our launching pad each week.
· 128 #1 song with love in the title.
· Guess First? Benny Goodman & Helen Forrest Taking a chance on love 1943
· Why so many love songs?
· Nothing is more complex and essential then relationships and connecting with each other. And nothing is desired more then to love and be loved.
· Could it be that love defines our life?
· I can’t think of a better song to kick off our newest sermon series then foreigner’s #1 hit song from 1984 that simply states, “I want know what love is”.

What resonates so deeply within us about this song and the reason it was a #1 hit was it asked the two biggest questions we could have about love:
· What is it and what does it look like?
· So what is love? Everyone seems to have very different definitions of it. In one conversation we say we love pizza, our kids, and God.
· With our use of the word love so much, shouldn’t we have a concrete starting block.
· That’s why for our foundation of love we’re going to turn to what God defined loved as. So what does the Bible say love is?
· 1 John 4:7-8
· In 3 words the bible tells us what love is: God is Love
· God’s character is Love. We desire and need love because we were made in His image.
· We desire the things that make God God
· But John goes a step further and makes it clear that if you don’t know God, meaning if you aren’t born of God, or  follow Him, then it’s impossible for you really know love
· This makes a lot of sense if you step back and look at it.
· We as humans have this incredible desire for love and to be loved. Without that relationship with God in place, what do we turn to fill that desire? Relationships, sex, stuff, jobs, popularity, fortune, acceptance
· When our desire for love is quenched by God, all those other things become a lot less satisfying
· John goes on to describe not just what love is but where it comes from.
· 1 John 4:9-10
· Basically you can’t out love God. He loved us so much he was willing to demonstrate this by giving us Jesus as the perfect sacrifice for our sins so we could continue our love relationship with Him for all eternity
 · John then not only tells us what love is and where it comes from but then tells us how it should look
· 1 John 4:11-12
· This is where it gets tricky. What one person calls an act of love another might call annoying
· Paul lays out 15 key examples of love and each is based on the way God has demonstrated His love to us
· 1 Cor. 13
· Love is…
· Patient, kind, does not envy, does not boast, is not proud, is not self seeking, does not dishonor, is not easily angered, keeps no record of wrongs, does not delight in evil but rejoices in the truth, it always protects, trust, hopes, perseveres, never fails
· Each of those examples of love were lived out in the life of Christ.
· So how are you doing w/love?
· Ex. Mike is…(patient, kind, etc)
· Phil 1:9 (Message Bible)
· Not just love much, but love well. Just as Jesus did
· John knew this so when he states that we should love one another since God loved us he’s simply saying live your life of love following the examples Jesus set.
· That leave no room for individual interpretation. Kind is kind, hope is hope, trust is trust, envy is envy. It’s all universal.
· But reaching this kind of love is impossible apart from God
· You want to know what love is? It’s God.
You want Him to show you? He did in the life of Jesus.