Pastor Don Wolan

Pastor Donald Wolan
Downriver Christian Community Church
Melvindale, Michigan

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Saturday in the Park!

The reason I left you in Crete was that you might put in order what was left unfinished!
- Titus 1:5

Last Saturday, Downriver Christian Community Church held its second annual Clark Park Outreach at Clark Park in southwest Detroit. The event was a great success thanks in no small part to ALL the volunteers who contributed their time, talents, and passion! I was constantly amazed by the dedication of every team member - as well as their invited guests - to every aspect of ministry that occurred that day. From the preparation and service of the food to the puppets, skits, music, sound, testimonials, dance and children's ministry, everything was done with excellence and a spirit of service as unto the Lord Jesus Christ. I was very proud of everyone who participated and made that day a wonderful day at the park!

Clark Park Outreach 2012

There were many wonderful and funny stories to be told about the day's happenings as well as people who made professions of faith for Christ. While it is impossible to name all the participants in the outreach for their contributions, I would like to single out Guy Van for his dedication and preparation for this year's park outreach and ministry.

[Lyrics redone by Pastor Don]
Saturday in the park
You'd think it was the Fourth of July
Saturday in the park
You's think it was the Fourth of July
People talking, people laughing
A man making ice cream
Singing Spanish songs
Can you dig it (yes, I can)
And I've been waiting such a long time
For Saturday

Another day in the park
You'd think it was the Fourth of July
Another day in the park
You'd think it was the Fourth of July
People dancing, really smiling
A man playing guitar
Singing for us all
(Necesitado encuentro Senior)
Will you help him change the world
Can you dig it (yes, I can)
And I've been waiting such a long time
For today

Slow motion riders
Fly the colors of the day
A bronze man ( Ray Silva) still can
Tell stories his own way
Listen children all is not lost
All is not lost
Oh no, no

Funny days in the park
Every day's the Fourth of July
Funny days in the park
Every day's the Fourth of July
People reaching, people touching
A real celebration
Waiting for us all
If we want it, really want it
Can you dig it (yes, I can)
And I've been waiting such a long time
For the day

Early in the spring, I asked Guy to oversee the outreach because I was already involved with the Mexico Mission Trip in June and we needed to make arrangements with local city officials, park personal, and various business establishments early in the summer to secure permission, equipment, and a firm and final date. Forms needed to be filled out, phone calls made, cost assessed, volunteers organized, and planning examined and finalized all before the event could be given a clear go. Needless to say, Guy's head was spinning with everything I threw on his plate!

Instead of wilting under the pressure, he rose to the challenge and tackled each assignment with grace and determination. He brought in Wes Fritz to assist him with some of the logistics and constantly reported back to me with important updates and suggestions. Many of the plans we had discussed "miraculously" fell into place once we decided to incorporate them into the outreach schedule. Because of his diligence, foresight, and hard work, the outreach ran smoothly and efficiently and made everyone else job that much easier! There is an old saying that says when you fail to plan for success, you automatically plan for failure! Guy's detailed and well thought out planning laid a foundation for the success we were able to accomplish on Saturday! 

I could relate similar stories about almost everyone who volunteered for the Clark Park Outreach and gave their all for the overall success of the day. Your efforts are greatly appreciated!

When we attempt anything for the Lord's service, we should always remember that our work will not be easy, but that it does have eternal ramifications. We never know how something we do or say may affect someone in a life-changing way for the Kingdom, so we need to walk mindful of that possibility.

All those who volunteered Saturday for the park outreach represented their Lord with honor, class, and dignity, and I'm sure left a lasting - and hopefully eternal - impression on all our guests.

Thank you once again for your service, and may God continually bless all our efforts to reach our cities and world with the good news of the gospel of Jesus Christ!    

Stay Holy, My Friends,

Pastor Don

Friday, August 24, 2012

Blade Runners!

Now that the 2012 Summer Olympics are over and all the hoopla and glitter attending these games has faded, the Olympic athletes have returned back to their homelands amongst new found fame and possibly extravagant pay days. Their performances thrilled and inspired billions of people throughout the entire world while their personal stories of facing and overcoming tragedy to attain unbelievable success allow the rest of us to identify with these incredible athletes on a more personal level.

Most of us could never imagine the sacrifices these athletes make in order to be the best that they can be in their particular events. Gruesome training regimens, long isolated hours away from family and friends, diets consisting of food that would make a billy goat vomit, and the astronomical cost for personal trainers, dietitians, travel, and public relations personal can make even the most publicity seeking narcissist athlete consider another line of passion.

With all that being said, there was one athlete who really caught my attention because of the severe handicap he had to overcome in his preparation for the 2012 Olympics. His name is Oscar Pistorius, and he is from South Africa.

Oscar made headlines all across the world for his participation in the 400-meter sprint in the 2012 Olympics. Now that might not be earth shattering news to most of us, but the unique thing about Oscar is that he double leg amputee! When Oscar was 11, he suffered from a bone defect that required both legs to be amputated below the knees. He now walks and runs on two carbon fiber blades, which earned him the famous nickname "Blade Runner." Watch Oscar in the video below and you will come away with a greater appreciation for the disappointments, challenges, and difficulties he must have faced in life!

The reason that I bring up this highly inspiring story is as Christians, we all face many obstacles that must be overcome or circumvented in our walk with Christ. For people such as Oscar, they may suffer from some type of disease or injury that severely hampers them in the things they can and cannot do. For others, it may be emotional or spiritual damage that they must address and somehow overcome. These obstacles are never easy, but they do resound in glory for our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. The Apostle Paul told the believers in Corinthians 4:8: 
We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed.

Like the Olympian sprinter Oscar Pistorius, may we run the race that God has marked out before us with wisdom, confidence, and endurance, running in such a way as to obtain the ultimate prize. May we overcome all the obstacles we face through an undying faith in God's power and providence as we rely on the strength he provides and assurance of his great promises toward us that believe!  And as Winston Churchill famously once said, "Never, never, never, never give up!" 

Stay Holy, My friends!

Pastor Don

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

I'm Excited!

On Sunday, Pastor John encouraged the congregation to stir up their passion for Jesus during the upcoming week. He expounded on the many ways an individual can do this as well as the important reasons for it.

Mark 12:30 says:
Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.

Service to our Lord should consume our every waking moment and our thought - no matter the positions or conditions of our lives. Numerous examples of this principle are found all throughout scripture: Paul in the Philippian jail, Stephen before the Sanhedrin, the Apostles after their scourging in the book of Acts are just a few examples of the disciples of Christ exhibiting their excitement for the opportunity to serve and suffer for their Lord and King.   

In the above video, Tim Tebow stated that he was "excited" about being a New York Jet or playing with the Jets 45 times during his 33 minute press conference on March 26th of this year! Although his comments were quite redundant after a couple of minutes, I think we get the message that Tebow was "excited" to be a Jet. His press conference quickly became a YouTube classic because of his continued and countless insistence on being excited!

The opposite of excitement is boredom and complacency. The attitude of "been there and done that" creates in us all a very destructive mind set and escaping its powerful grip can be almost impossible.

Amos 6:1 says:
Woe to you who are complacent in Zion, and to you who feel secure on Mount Samaria!

When we begin to walk in boredom and complacency, our zeal for God and his service has burned out in some fashion and is in need of a vital igniting or recharge.

First Thessalonians 5:19 says:

Do not put out the Spirit's fire!

In the Old Testament, the priests were responsible for keeping the holy fire burning at the altar of sacrifice continuously! 

Leviticus 6:13 states:
Remember, the fire must be kept burning on the altar at all times. It must never go out!

To allow this fire to burn out would have been an act of negligence of the highest order and heads would literally roll over the improper oversight and administration of the holy fire. The priests were responsible for cutting the wood for the fire, carrying the wood to the temple mount altar, drying the wood for proper use, and then feeding the fire on a continual basis during their assigned duties.   

A couple of weeks ago, Roger and Beth Andrzyczak brought me a Tim Horton's coffee for my birthday. On top of the coffee, they placed a lit candle as they presented me with the "drink offering"! I thanked them profusely for their generous gift and blew the candle out. Immediately, I began talking to other people and was going to take the candle off the coffee, throw it away in the trash, and drink the coffee. It was a good thing that I did not follow that procedure because the candle relit! I thought that I hadn't blown the flame out properly, so I blew it out a second time. Once again, I became occupied with talking and laughing, not noticing the candle on my coffee relit a second time! When I noticed the relit candle, I realized that it was a trick candle and that Roger and Beth "got one over on me"! May God's mercy be upon them because mine won't!

I relate this humorous prank story because like that candle, our excitement or passion for Christ should never go out. When circumstances, pressures, or sin try to extinguish the flame of the Spirit, it is our holy responsibility to make sure the fire stays lit! Let us fan the flame of holy passion and excitement each and every moment as we strive to advance the kingdom in our lives as well as others.
Stay Holy, My Friends!

Pastor Don