Read With Me

I love to read. But, I read kind of wierd. I am usually reading several books at once. Over vacation my wife, brother and sister-in-law spent a couple hours talking about Rob Bell’s new book Velvet Elvis. It was two hours of stimulating conversation. While talking it occured to me that there are probably a lot of people who would love to talk about what it is they are reading.

So, I want to give you a chance to do that.

I’m reading six books right now. Some of them are changing me. Some are making me mad. Some are making me think about things that I’ve not spent enough time thinking about it. Here’s what I’m going to do. Each time I begin the process of reading a book, I’m going to put that book title, and sometimes a picture of that book in this blog. I will respond to the book by editing my posts as I get around to it. You can respond with your thoughts about the book by putting a comment in the post about that book. Other readers to this blog will respond back to your comments. This could be fun!

“Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a workman who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth.”

2 Timothy 2:15


Cyndi, the kids and I just got back from a fabulous vacation last night. How fun it was to have ten days together as a family.

The highlights . . .

  • Seeing family. I had a chance to spend time with all but one of my siblings and my mom and dad. It’s always great to see the people that you love when you live so far away. We spend two nights with mom and dad, and a week at Maranatha Bible and Missionary Conference in Muskegon, Michigan with my brother Mark and his family.
  • Time together. Life is busy, and our family never seems to have enough time together. It was great to unwind, play dozens of games of miniature golf, swim, lie on the beach, body surf, eat meals together, and worship together.
  • Worshipping at Mars Hill Bible Church in Grandville, Michigan and First Baptist Church in Geneva, Illinois. It’s great to be part of the body of Christ.
  • Talking. We spent hours talking about everything from wave runners to theology.
  • Reading. I love to read, and was able to spend time reading four books. See my next entry for more on that.
  • Holding Hands. I spend time holding each of my children’s hands this week. I’d hold their hands as we walked on the beach, on the sidewalks, in church, on a trail . . . it was awesome! I wonder how many more years I’ll be able to do that. I also got to hold my wife’s hand as we walked the beach, the conference grounds, as we drove across Minnesota, Wisconsin, Illinois and Michigan. I love that woman.
  • Go Carts. Craig’s Cruisers in Muskegon, Michigan. All I can say is “Thank You.”
  • Birthdays. Happy Birthday Britney and Melissa.
  • Sleep. We all slept in. Zachary slept ’til 11:15 on day! That’s a new record.
  • Sunsets. There is nothing in the world like a Lake Michigan Sunset. Wow!
  • Blimp Over Sears Tower. I love the Chicago Skyline, and this year we were treated to the treat of the Good Year Blimp hovering over the skyline as we drove through the city.
  • God’s Suprises – For the second year in a row, our room was upgraded at no cost. We stayed in one of the most beautiful rooms I’ve ever been in.
  • Exodus. Read it. It’s in the Bible.

“Give thanks to the Lord of lords: His love endures forever. To him who alone does great wonders, His love endures forever. Who by his understanding made the heavens, His love endures forever. Who spread out the earth upon the waters, His love endures forever.”

Psalm 136:3-6

Changed Forever Update

A few posts back I wrote about how God worked through our summer movie teaching series to change the lives of some students forever. After teaching our lesson on The Fantastic Four, four students invited Jesus Christ to become Lord of their lives. It was their changed forever moment.

Kevin Franske, Wooddale’s Senior High Program Assistant, told me before our series began that Ralph Winter, the Executive Producer of The Fantastic Four was a believer. Ralph had spoken to Bethel University students in the spring about God and Hollywood. Kevin has corresponded on and off with Ralph ever since.

Last week I felt impressed to let Ralph know about how God had used the trailer for his movie as a teaching tool to lead some to Christ. Here is Ralph’s response:

What incredible news. I am truly moved by this. What an amazing God we serve that He chooses to use whatever we have in hand for His purposes. I am humbled to be a part of His process with those students. Thank so much for your support in prayer.

Let’s keep Ralph Winter, and other believers in Hollywood in our prayers. Ralph has an opportunity to impact millions of people through his movies. He is currently filming X-Men 3, and has been the producer in every one of the X-Men Movies, Star Trek III, IV, V, VI, Mighty Joe Young, Inspector Gadget, Planet of the Apes, and many more.

“Grace to all who love our Lord Jesus Christ with an undying love.”

Ephesians 6:24

Weekend Memories

It’s been a couple of weeks since my last post. Life has been crazy. Last week I spoke five different times. Each occasion was unique, and it was fun to watch God work. We leave for vacation this Thursday, and I can’t wait! We’ll be driving to Chicago on Thursday night, and then to to Michigan on Saturday morning.

This past weekend was a special one for the Schulenburgs. We drove a couple of hours north of the Twin Cities to the cabin of some of our dear friends. It was there that I saw a new side to our four-year-old son, Zachary. Our friends own a couple of wave runners and a boat. Zachary has shown himself to be quite the young daredevil. He loves speed. I put him in front of me on the waverunner, and after an initial 30 seconds or so of trepidation, Zachary said, “Daddy, go faster!” I went faster and faster until the waverunner could go no faster. That wasn’t good enough for him. He still wanted to go faster. He giggled the entire time.

The next day, while watching his Breanna and Chris tube, he insisted on going on the tube. He loved it.

We had a great time at our friend’s cabin. Jeremy caught nine fish on Saturday morning, using only a string and a stick — two rock bass and seven sunnies.

When we arrived back home Saturday night we had a chance to catch up with some of our best friends from our days in the Quad Cities. Mary Walas, a young woman that Cyndi started discipling when she was in seventh grade spent the night with us. She is now in college, and it was ironic to think that Cyndi started discipling Mary at the same age that Breanna is now. I pray that Breanna will have that type of relationship with a mentor in her life. It was awesome catching up with Mary about a place and people that we love very much.

I preached at Wooddale’s new daughter church, City Church on Sunday morning. It is always fun to see the joy and ownership that those involved in a church plant have. What a great morning.

Cyndi’s parents arrived for a quick overnight stay yesterday afternoon. We had a great time hanging out, catching up, and eating out. We ate dinner at Ray’s Azteca Mexican restaurant in Chanhassen. I’d heard about this restaurant from another Wooddale pastor. Wow, was it good! They had a mariachi band and it felt like we were at a Mexican celebration. We had a blast. Last night we played the Schulenburg’s favorite game — Sold! You’ll have to ask me about it sometime.

Weekends like that are tough to top. It was so nice. Kind of makes me long for the days when I’m spending eternity in my Father’s house . . .

“In my Father’s house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.”

John 14:2-3