Friday, July 6, 2012

Happy Birthday to our dear pastor and fearless leader! We love you… from the staff of NSBC

Happy Birthday Brother Van. Thank you for all you do for North Side and its members. I thank God every day for having  such an awesome and Godly pastor as you and the opportunity you gave me to be a part of North Side Christian Preschool’s ministry.  It has been a true blessing to me!  You are always in my prayers. Have a wonderful day and know how much you are loved.  Debbie Ciferni

As a man still learning what it means to lead a congregation, I can say that I feel truly blessed to have you as my pastor.  I have learned so much from you already.  It feels like we’ve been life-long friends, even though it’s only been ten years.  Thank you for giving your life to make the lives of others better.  I know it takes a toll on you, but the Lord has gifted you in such a special way.  Thank you for the example you set for those who serve alongside you.  We are blessed to have you as our pastor, teacher and friend.  Have a wonderful birthday, and enjoy all the blessings you richly deserve. -Keith Warren

Happy Birthday Brother Van!  I hope you have a great birthday.  I am so thankful to have you for a pastor and it is a pleasure to work for you.  I have learned so much from you and I have grown personally and spiritually under your leadership.  You are a special person to our family and we love you!  Lara Cook

Bro. Van,
Growing up in this church I never would have dreamed that one day I would be on staff, but there’s no place I’d rather be.  Thank you for allowing me to minister to all “my kids” each week.  You fully support all I do, trusting in my ability without being overbearing or micromanaging.  I’m sure the reason you don’t bug me in my office is because it’s so far away from yours, but I appreciate it all the same.  Thank you for treating me with the same respect as all “the guys”.  I love being on staff in this church and I think our leader has a lot to do with this being such a great place.  Happy Birthday and I wish you many more to come.
Tamra Gutierrez

For Bro. Van:
I have been so blessed to serve at North Side with the BEST Pastor I have ever known! In most of my ministry, I have been much younger than my Pastor. It has been a real pleasure to work with a “man-of-God” near my age.
We are both “old as dirt” and remember too much of “the way it used to be”.
Bro. Van exhibits the true pastoral gifts and uses them in a most genuine way! We are the best of friends and we minister in the best place either of us has ever ministered.
God is so good. Thank you Bro. Van for the years of ministry, fun, friendship and great visionary leadership.
Gary Wood (Bobo….sometimes he calls me that)
I am so thankful for all the years that you encouraged and challenged me in my ministry even when I wasn't even on your staff. It has been a privilege to serve, create, and dream big with you over these past fours years and I look forward to working out your new visions and ideas (and lets be honest, shooting some down too) together for many years to come. Have a wonderful birthday, and hopefully a weekend off! - Jeff Carr
Brother Van,
Thanks so much for your service and dedication to NSBC. I hope you have a wonderful birthday!
Dee Ann Barnes

Happy Birthday Van! Thanks for being such a great leader to all of us! – Caleb Lain

Happy 65th Birthday!  Sorry that we all managed to turn your hair white!  Totally amazing that we’ve been working together for almost 14 years!    Many blessings, Barbara Bass

Happy Birthday! Thanks for all the ways you serve and care for us! Linka Wallace

Pastor Van,
I am so humbled when I think about the people with whom God has called me to serve – men and women who are devoted to no agenda but a Kingdom agenda. This is in no small part a reflection of God’s call on your life and the leadership gift He has given you. You are a marvelous mentor and a tremendous teacher. And even though you may not see yourself in this light, you are also an effective encourager. But most of all you are my pastor and I love you dearly. Thank you for the way you love all of the families of North Side. Thank you for the servant’s heart you model for us all. My prayer for you is that God would bless you and keep you and strengthen you so you can serve here for as long as it pleases Him, because I know that you would love nothing better. Moreover, I for one can’t imagine serving under any better pastor.
Happy birthday Pastor.
Yours in Christ, John Dennie

Happy 65th Birthday Van!!!  Thank you for all of your years of service to NSBC, Staff and to Parker County.  Luv U ~ Sissy Pogue

Bro. Van, you are such a blessing to me because God has used you as a wonderful illustration of how He can restore a broken vessel to be used for HIS GLORY.
On Sunday mornings, God uses this vessel to speak hope into my desperate heart.  Your messages are true to the scripture, but they also are so in tune with what people need in our world today.  Thank you for having the courage to let God use you and for giving your congregation the tools needed to minister in this world.
Teresa Smith

Happy Birthday to the only person who can make me laugh while making fun of my forehead!
Love you, Brother Van! – Rebekah Gibson

Happy Birthday, ol' man!  You've have walked beside, listened, and taught me for years now, and for that I am grateful.  Staying true to your conviction, you have encouraged our church to keep the faith and serve the Kingdom, which is more valuable than most things in this world.  Here's to another year and, Lord willing, many more!
Lance Gibson

You waited 65 years to get on Medicare and two weeks before you are eligible they shut it down!  Happy Birthday!  Thanks for all you do, Butch and Pat Carr

I have served under several pastors and some were good preachers and others good pastors.  You are the only one I’ve worked with that is both.  In addition to being my pastor and preacher you are my friend.  I love and appreciate you.
Brian McKay

Happy Birthday Van!  A good friend of mine used to say that he had just turned “Plenty-Nine” whenever his birthday rolled around.  It really is kind of crazy how the years blow by, isn’t it?  Having just turned 47 feels really strange, when in a lot of ways, I still feel like the kid who preached my first sermon at 18.  I know you most likely relate on similar levels. 
Growing up in the ministry, my life story tends to break up into chapters of the four years Dad preached at this church, followed by the three years he preached at that one, then the five years he was at this church…you get the idea.  My Weatherford story is broken up into chapters too.  There were the 8 years that I pastored those three churches here in the area, and then a transition into life at North Side.  Now here I am about to start my tenth year on staff.  Amazing.  Boom…the years have blown by. 
But it hasn’t simply been about ten years of me serving on staff.  It’s been about relationships.  You are so right when you say “Life IS relationships.”  I have been blessed to have you as my pastor for these nearly ten years…and my friend.  I look forward to the next ten…and the ten after that.  And should life permit us to share the same hall of the retirement home someday, many, many years from now… I look forward to wheeling my wheel chair up next to yours and uttering the words:  “Who am I…and why am I here??” 
Until then, keep swimming, keep telling the stories, and keep casting the vision!  I love you brother,
Kerry Patton

A Birthday blessing for Van:  Van! I want thank you for your leadership as a Pastor and as a friend. I've learned in many ways how to better do some things and in others ways, how not to do some things. Thank you for the examples of each. You truly possess a wisdom and discernment about life and living that come from The Father and from having walked down some pathways that I'm glad that I have not had to trod. Through those experiences God has taught you much as He has brought you through each one. Thank you for your faithfulness in creatively communicating those experiences in a contemporary manor that intersects my life and so many others today to helps to be over comers too.
In addition to your Leadership, and your communication skills, I'm-grateful for your demonstration in forgiving someone who has wounded you deeply . You have shown me that when you've been knocked down, you don't have to stay down. That " I should let patience have her perfect work " and that, "love never fails. " In exampling these and other attributes, you've encouraged me to expend my life in ministry, in Kingdoms Work at NSBC.
Second Timothy 2:2 , gives us the attributes of a leader which I believe you possess, exemplify and you encourage me to do the same, " the things you have heard me say in the presence of so many witnesses entrust to reliable men who will also be qualified to teach others." ( NIV) I also pray for you, Paul's prayer for some in the Colossians Church 1: 9---11. Happy Birthday Van
Donnie O’Fallon

A Declaration Changes Everything

Declaring the end from the beginning, And from ancient times things which have not been done, saying, 'My purpose will be established, and I will accomplish all My good pleasure'; Isaiah 46:10)

A Declaration changes everything.  It takes a feeling, belief, or idea and moves it from internal to external.  It gives power to thought and feelings.  Declaration is a social act.  It creates unity in a group with common beliefs or values.  Have you ever considered how much power there was and still is in our nation’s Declaration of Independence?  At the time, it had a tremendously galvanizing effect on the colonists, creating a spirit of unity, strength and common cause.

God is a declarative God. Before He even starts something He declares how it will be.  He declares the end before the beginning.  The wording of the Declaration of Independence was approved by the Continental Congress on July 2, 1776. On July 4, 1776, the delegates voted to accept the Declaration and declare America’s independence from Great Britain.

The 1300 words of the Declaration would shake the world. Accompanied by the ringing of the Liberty Bell, the Declaration was publically read for the first time four days later, July 8, 1776, outside Independence Hall in Philadelphia.  This was a stunning, transformational moment in history.
King George III, the most powerful monarch in the world at that time, was being told that the thirteen American colonies were separating from the British Empire. The British king’s right to rule was supposedly granted by the divine. The colonists understood that unalienable (not to be given away, or taken away) rights were endowed to them by the Creator: Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.  Government is established to secure these rights, obtaining their powers from the consent of those who are governed.

John Adams had personally urged Thomas Jefferson to write the Declaration of Independence.  He was a member of the Continental Congress and one of the fifty-six signers of the Declaration.  After serving as Vice-President with President George Washington, he would become the young nation’s second President.  On July 1, 1776, John Adams spoke to the delegates from the thirteen colonies at the Continental Congress:

“Before God, I believe the hour has come. My judgment approves this measure, and my whole heart is in it. All that I have, and all that I am, and all that I hope in this life, I am now ready here to stake upon it … Independence now and independence forever.”

Pray for the nation. “I have so many things to pray for. Do I have to pray for the nation too?” The cost of an un-prayed-for nation is too much to pay.  Those who birthed the nation knew that the God who led the path to freedom would be required to maintain it.  May we turn regularly to prayer for our nation and its leaders.

Scripture to Claim:
Obey your leaders and submit to them, for they keep watch over your souls as those who will give an account. Let them do this with joy and not with grief, for this would be unprofitable for you. Hebrews 13:17

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