September 6

College football season is underway. Most of the time at the beginning of the season there aren’t many exciting games. The big schools play the small schools, and while there are sometimes a few upsets, mostly the big schools dominate. This season one of the universities that has not had much success recently in football has been the center of conversation. That institution is the University of Colorado. During the offseason Colorado hired a new coach, Deion Sanders. Sanders was an outstanding athlete both in college and in the NFL, as a professional football player and in the MLB, as a professional baseball player. He was fast, flamboyant and effective as a player. He was also known for not being afraid to speak his mind and sing his own praises. Nothing has changed in the time Deion has moved from the field to the sidelines. He is effective and exuberant as a coach as well!

In Colorado’s first game they faced off with Texas Christian University’s squad. Colorado was an underdog in the game as they had only three starters returning from last year’s team and over 50 brand new players transferring into the program. Yet, they were still able to pull off this amazing win against a team that played for the national championship last season! It was a fun game to watch, and it was even more fun to listen to Coach Sanders talk about the victory. At halftime he was proclaiming one of his players as a lock for the Heisman Trophy (college football’s award for the best player) and after the game he had much more to say in the postgame press conference. I’m looking forward to watching the Buffs and listening to their coach all season long. 

In sports it is fun to hear people be bombastic and make predictions. We love it at baseball games when coaches argue with umpires, we like it when players make predictions and we enjoy hearing athletes be brash, but more important than how loud they speak is how well they play. That is true in all areas of life isn’t it? We live in a world where clicks and likes are celebrated and the easiest way to accumulate clicks and likes is to say something loud and provocative, and while those folks garner a lot of attention, do they get much respect?

I know in my life I want to lead by example. It was my goal as a parent for my kids not to just have to “do as I say,” because they couldn’t “do as I do.” As a follower of Jesus, that is my same goal. I want people to be able to imitate me as I imitate Jesus. In his short letter to the Thessalonians, Paul commended the church because their faith was known due to their actions - they didn’t need to say anything. What can you do this week so that others will know the love of Jesus without you saying anything?

Because of Him,


And you became imitators of us and of the Lord, for you received the word in much affliction, which the joy of the Holy Spirit, so that you became an example to all the believers in Macedonia and in Achaia. For not only has the word of the Lord sounded forth from you in Macedonia an Achaia, but your faith in God has gone forth everywhere, so that we need not say anything.

                                                                                                                                                                         - 1 Thessalonians 1:6-8

August 2

I grew up attending church. Sunday mornings, Sunday evening youth group, VBS, camp, CIY, church was a big part of my childhood. As a teenager I remember sitting in worship services and thinking about… lunch! As that last worship song was being belted out, it not only provided an opportunity for folks to “come forward” in the worship service but for my attention to turn to the pizza restaurant across the street. When I was younger and participating in VBS I recall snack time including a cookie and kool-aid. Pot-luck dinners were a part of our church culture growing up and I remember the team atmosphere that was associated with everyone moving chairs in the worship center and tearing down and setting up tables from classrooms to the sanctuary to transform that room into the dining hall for the afternoon. I remember folks waiting in line and counting those in front of them hoping that one of Judy Lehew’s cinnamon rolls would be left when they made it through the dessert line. I’m not sure what it means that so many of my memories of church are associated with food…

Maybe that is how Jesus intended it. When you think about it, so much of Jesus’ ministry took place around the table. When Jesus called Matthew to become one of His disciples, Matthew threw a dinner party. When Jesus passed through Jericho, a wee little man named Zacchaeus climbed into a sycamore tree to get a glimpse of Jesus. Not only did he get a chance to see and meet Jesus, but he had Jesus and many of Zacchaeus’ friends over that night for supper! One of Jesus’ most famous miracle (that appears in all four Gospels) involves Jesus feeding over 5000 people with a young man’s sack lunch. As He prepared to go to the cross, Jesus celebrated the passover meal with His closest friends and left His church with the tradition of communion. In the Gospels nothing says relationship, friendship and discipleship more than a shared meal.

Our goal at Wallula is to transform and equip believers at all stages of relationship with Jesus. One of our most versatile and useful tools to accomplish this goal are our small groups. Wallula’s fall small group season will kick-off the week of August 20th and we want EVERYONE to be a part of a group. These groups study God’s word together, pray together, eat and play together! This Sunday, August 6th, you’ll have the chance to check out all the small group opportunities for you and your family. Our Taste of Small Groups will happen on Sunday morning. Before and after services you can meet small group leaders, ask them questions, discover the topics/scriptures that will be studied and sign up to participate in a group all while enjoying some treats provided at each small group station. Please make plans to be present this Sunday as we continue in our study of Hebrews chapter ten and get a Taste of Small Groups here at Wallula!

Because of Him,


Taking the five loaves and the two fish and looking up to heaven, he gave thanks and broke them. Then he gave them to the disciples to distribute to the people. They all ate and were satisfied, and the disciples picked up twelve basketfuls of broken pieces that were left over.