APRIL 2011

Chatter
You know you are getting old when the local news anchor and your gyne-

a letter from

cologist look potentially younger than you. Or at least your age. That’s when you start wondering, should I have become a news anchor or gynecologist?

The big 3-0 is really not that significant by some standards. I just read about the oldest human lifespan, that of Jeanne Calment of France (1875–1997), a woman who died at age 122 years, 164 days. She met Vincent Van Gogh when she was 12 (pre-ear-ectomy, presumably), saw pretty much the entire 20th century, and knew a time before anyone had heard of television, Adolph Hitler or jeggings. Now that is a lifespan. I mean, 100 is pretty impressive, but 120? 122? What a showoff. Nevertheless, I feel old. I watch 60 Minutes. I’m rather severe when it comes to apostrophes. I wear aprons. And house shoes. I go to bed early, or at least I would if Gordon didn’t make me watch Glee on DVR in that passive-aggressive way of his. (Fine, fine, it’s the other way around.) And if being a fan of classic Broadway makes me a relic, then I don’t wanna leave the museum. Sometimes Christians feel the compulsion to be “relevant,” as if anybody born before 1951 won’t have anything particularly original to say about Jesus. I find this problematic, being an 89-year-old trapped in a 30-year-old body. But I think the problem isn’t in the dated-ness of the message — certainly not! — or even in the dated ways in which we talk about the message (WWJD, y’all), but in the dated way we think about marketing the message: that we have to market the message.

You might find that a little funny coming from me. Chatter is anything but an austere Quaker rag, despite the occasional mention of potlucks. I’m not saying it’s not important to be thoughtful of time, place, and word choice. I’m not saying church logos don’t matter or jargon doesn’t affect perception. I’m saying that if we thoughtfully express truth without putting too much stock in originality or “relevance,” then we’ll all be better off. We don’t have to try too hard. If we did, God would have led all Christians, by the power of the Holy Spirit, to obtain at least an associate’s degree in graphic design and copy writing so as to give him an edge in his divine work of soul rescue and resuscitation. And I’m fairly confident the Apostle Peter was Photoshop-illiterate. C.S. Lewis alludes to this principle when it comes to other creative expression: “Even in literature and art, no man who bothers about originality will ever be original: whereas if you simply try to tell the truth, you will, nine times out of ten, become original without ever having noticed it.” So without too much more ado, let me just simply say, without all the fancy riggamarole, and with all the joy uncomplicated brevity can bring: Christ is risen! He is risen, indeed! Happy Easter, y’all!

Set-up Chipper the Chatter Peep wakes up one April morning and notices he has been encased in a strange sort of shrink-wrap tent. “Hey buddy,” he chirps, elbowing Chitter, the Other Chatter Peep to whom he is fused on the right, “Have you been on QVC again? Shopping SkyMall? What sort of Snuggie® IS this?”

What happens next? You decide…
Chipper and Chitter are boxed up and put on a truck to Walla Walla, Washington, where they encounter Felina, a disgruntled tabby cat who patrols the Wal-Mart stockroom. She eats her emotions and has homicidal tendencies towards processed foods. Turn to page 10.

A

Welcome to April Chatter. In case you’ve forgotten it from your childhood, the Choose Your Own Adventure concept lets the reader decide how the plotlines and characters unfold in a story. Ever wish you could make Chatter say what you want it to say? Here’s your chance. Start by reading the set-up, then decide the fate of Chipper the Chatter Peep.

“Why, haven’t you heard?” chirps Chitter. “This month we set out to find our fortune. Fulfill our destiny. Get our marshmallow on. Commercial Glad Wrap is how we roll.” “But hosting at Macaroni Grill validates me on so many levels. I’ve mastered conversational Sicilian.” Suddenly a violent lurch turns Chipper and his band of Chatter Peeps on their heads, yellow mellow pressed against callous cellophane. “What now?” cries Chipper. “What now?”

OR Chipper and Chitter are boxed up and put on a truck, but their box falls off in a violent lurch caused by delinquent on-ramp maneuvering. They spill out onto the shoulder of southbound 121 where they tumble, end over end, into the bluebonnet meadow which is overrun with herds of toddlers, all dressed in Easter frocks and being photographed for grandparents living on the Eastern seaboard. Turn to page 10.

B

Editor Julie Rhodes Art Direction, Design & Goodness Josh Wiese, Dennis Cheatham Photography David Farris (Sunday Community Meal) Evan Chavez (Harry’s War) Trey Hill (Ryan the Conqueror) The Big Cheese Bill Buchanan

Visit Chatter online at chattermag.com. Contact Chatter at chatter@irvingbible.org.
Chatter is a publication of Irving Bible Church | 2435 Kinwest Pkwy, Irving, TX 75063 (972) 560-4600 | irvingbible.org

Sunday Community Meal
Each Sunday, IBCers gather at 6 p.m. after the last worship service for a great meal and time with friends. (See page 22 for the April menu.)

Harry’s War

very year, shortly before Lent, IBC starts collecting stories. The objective is specific: to find personal stories that share a moment in one’s life when the truth that He (Christ) is Alive crystallized in their heart. Around Irving Bible Church, these tales are abundant. On any typical day at the church you will likely bump into dozens of men and women who can clearly articulate an instant in their life where Christ absolutely revealed himself as the Risen Savior. And quite often, that moment of revelation altered the direction of their lives. I never tire of hearing of these deeply intimate and miraculous divine encounters. The same Jesus that meets people today confronted Saul the persecutor, answered the questions of Thomas the skeptic, and spoke to Zacchaeus the seeker. As I sit in the MO, sipping on coffee, I see the man I am interviewing for this article. Though he has been a church member for years, I have never had a conversation with this tall, silver-haired man with gentle eyes and a business-ready handshake. Harry Wagner is a fixture at the church and sure proof that you cannot always judge a book by its cover. As he settles into place and begins to share his story, it only takes me seconds to realize that the Old Testament character Harry most resembles is Job. As you read this account you might be tempted to say, “There is no way this could happen to one man.” But Harry’s story is shockingly true, which makes the smile on his face an unremitting testament to the words, “I stand here today because He is alive!” Harry Wagner’s inconceivable tale begins in 1980. Simply put, his life was ideal. He had a happy marriage, two children and a good job. That life turned a corner during a February blizzard. As his wife was giving birth to their third child, Harry heard three unexpected words that changed everything. As the doctor delivered their baby, he suddenly froze. His face went ashen as he said, “Oh my God.” Harry only had seconds to look down at the blue unmoving baby before he was rushed out of the room. His brain could not register what he had witnessed. As he paced the waiting room, Harry’s stomach churned. What was wrong with his child that caused such a frightening reaction from the doctor? Why was his baby blue? Was the baby a boy or a girl? Was his newborn even alive? For several agonizing hours Harry waited to find out what was happening. The exhausted doctor met Harry. He barely had words to explain what was wrong. Their baby girl, Winter, was born with one of the rarest medical conditions known: persistent cloaca. Though anomalies like this happen in 1 per 20,000 female births, Winter’s was the most extreme case. She was born without genitalia or an anus. The internal plumbing was in tact but there was no place for waste to go. Winter emerged from her mother’s womb with poisonous toxins polluting her tiny body. Had she not been born premature she would have surely died in the womb. There was little comfort in the doctor’s assessment. With a few surgeries, Winter might live one year. But the complications of her medical condition guaranteed an infant death. Her parents were crushed, but they would do whatever
Chatter | 4

E

was necessary to keep Winter alive as long as possible. They each took half-day shifts the entire hospital stay. They still had two kids to take care of at home. There was no family, no friends, and no church to support them. After a few months, Winter was finally released from the hospital to go home and die. At birth, Winter weighed five-and-a-half pounds. By the time she left the hospital she was down to three-and-three-quarter pounds. Too frightened to hold the fragile baby, Harry carried her on a pillow. Winter was so tiny that they dressed her in doll clothes. Miraculously, she managed to hang on. For the next four years, Winter was hospitalized for multiple surgeries. The medical procedures were only designed to keep her alive a few more months. No one but her parents believed Winter had a future. Every day they hoped for a miracle. And after every surgery, the parents were relieved to have a few more months with their little girl. Although Winter was beating the odds for survival, Harry’s marriage to his wife Joy was not. By 1984, the constant pressure of a child on the edge of death left their marriage broken. Harry’s loneliness post-divorce led him to look for comfort in church. For weeks he visited local congregations. During that time, he met with two ministers to help him answer the question that tormented him: why would God allow his innocent baby to be born with such an unbearable condition? The first minister told Harry that it was the will of God. Finding no satisfaction in the first answer, Harry visited the second preacher. His answer was no better: Winter was born the way she was because God was punishing Harry’s sins. That day Harry declared war on the Almighty. He had no doubt God existed. And if the God who created mankind allowed such evil to befall innocent children, then that God was more demon than benevolent creator. For the next thirteen years, Harry often woke up at night screaming, “COME AFTER ME GOD! LEAVE MY LITTLE GIRL ALONE!” He would never forgive God. By 1987, Winter was a beautiful seven-year-old girl. If you did not see the scars on her abdomen, you would never know anything was wrong. But she survived month to month. Father and mother grew used to multiple ER runs throughout the year because of her frail anatomy. Winter’s regular doctor contacted Dr. Alberto Peña, a surgeon known for developing experimental reconstructive surgeries. Dr. Peña agreed to see Winter. After eleven hours of surgery, Dr. Peña greeted Harry with a smile. “Mr. Wagner, I think your daughter will live.” For the first time in seven years, Harry cried. His little girl now had a chance. Winter had a future. By 1993, Winter had had twenty major surgeries, having spent as much of her life in the hospital as at home. Her medical expenses were well over two million dollars. None of that mattered to Harry. His little girl, now a young lady, was alive. But Harry’s anger toward God did not abate.

Just as Winter’s world stabilized, Harry’s deteriorated. Trigeminal neuralgia (TN) is one of the most painful conditions known to medical science. The nerve disorder causes stabbing pain in parts of the face. Imagine slashing your face with a razor and then dousing the open wounds with alcohol. That does not even begin to capture the pain of TN. And the pain lasts for days at a time. Harry was diagnosed with the disorder, after which his doctor said, “You poor bastard.” A new nightmare had begun. As far as Harry was concerned, God’s cruelty knew no bounds. Later that year, as if things could not get any worse, Harry was in a life-threatening car accident. When paramedics arrived, Harry had no vital signs, but they managed to bring him back. He woke up from his coma three days later. The next six months of recovery drained Harry of all his strength. But as he emptied himself emotionally, he found his hate was also exhausted. Could it be possible that he was mistaken about God’s character? Laying in his bed, Harry whispered a prayer to the God he had battled for ten years. “I give up, God. I want to know who you are. How do I get all this pain in my heart to stop?” I wish I could write that Harry’s world turned around immediately. But he would walk this prayer out methodically over the next few years. By now, Harry lived in Dallas. He began to attend a local church, finding solace in the church’s divorce recovery group. He also met Amy there, whom he married a year later. Harry admits he became a nominal Christian with ease. His anger toward God had been fading away, like poison draining slowly from a wound, but he still did not know God as a God of love. In 1999, Amy started to attend IBC. But by now, Harry was set like cement in his traditional church. (He refused to visit any church where the preacher did not wear a robe.) But Amy’s persistence paid off and Harry agreed to attend IBC once. He sat through that first service, intrigued by Pastor Andy’s message. The friendliness of the congregation and their zeal in worship touched Harry’s heart, and that morning he decided to stay at IBC with his wife. Prompt involvement in the men’s group led Harry to begin reading the Bible. For the first time in his life, Harry became part of a church community. IBC was his extended family. But his physical challenges were far from over. Harry’s TN attacks hit several times a year. While at a routine exam, an MRI came back showing an aneurism in Harry’s brain that could burst at any moment. The doctor told Harry it was important to put his affairs in order: there was a fair chance he would not survive.

Harry met with two IBC elders for intercession. He had never asked for prayer before. The two men laid hands on Harry’s head, praying that God might heal Harry of the aneurism. They ended with “in Jesus’ name.” Harry felt no difference, but he had turned his physical ailment over to Jesus. God was no longer the bringer of death and destruction. Harry knew the Gospels declared that it was the thief who came to kill, steal and destroy; but Christ came to give life and to give it abundantly. He was at peace in God’s hands. The next day, Harry went in for a more detailed CAT Scan, prepared for the worst. Several hours later the doctor contacted him, perplexed. The doctor had been sure, by all the tests, that Harry had an aneurism. But the CAT Scan found only a fatty tissue tumor, benign and easily removed. Harry smiled to himself. As far as he was concerned, his aneurism had turned into a harmless tumor the moment the elders laid hands on him. Jesus was alive! By 2002, Winter was living a fairly normal life. But another complication caused her body to flood with poisonous waste. Harry rushed to the men’s group. One of the men, Chris, took Harry’s hand and passionately prayed for Winter. Harry noticed a tear on Chris’ face; in that tear, Harry saw the face of Christ. Soon after, Winter miraculously recovered. Jesus was alive! In 2005, Harry had back-to-back TN attacks. The pain was disabling in its intensity. He attended an elders’ meeting for prayer. Harry has not had another attack since that night. Jesus was alive! I asked Harry about the pinnacle moment of his faith journey: when exactly did he know Jesus was alive? After all the miracles, I felt silly asking the question, but Harry’s answer surprised me. “In 2006, Andy baptized me. As I came up out of the water, I finally understood the Risen Savior. I understood Jesus’ sacrifice. Forgiveness was God’s gift to me; to anyone who accepts Christ. With God’s forgiveness, I finally forgave myself for my bitterness and my blindness. Now He is with me all the time.” Harry’s war with God is over. Harry Wagner lives because Jesus is alive. For Lent, Shawn Small is giving up lint, lentils and lending. He’s lackadaisical.

Chatter | 5

IBC Partner Spotlight

Mercy Street
Since 2006, IBC has been partnering with Mercy Street to support their efforts in changing the face of West Dallas. Many IBCers from all walks of life mentor young students and volunteer in many other ways at Mercy Street for the purpose of changing young lives and giving hope to a pocket of poverty in our own city. Here is how Mercy Street got its start.

A mother from the suburbs and two brothers from the inner city form a special bond
Darius and Deandre Jones call her MaMelissa and Stepmom and Lady M.

“With all that commotion ... I felt I wasn’t going to make it,” Deandre, 19, says softly in the Hills’ cozy living room, while Melissa is starting dinner in the kitchen. “She is a great mom. I feel I’m on the right road now. Here I can focus on school. I’m going to meet my goals. I believe in myself now. I know I can do it.” “And I’m out of trouble,” says Darius, 16. “It seems natural to me.” The journey of Melissa Hill from an upscale suburban life to a struggling area of West Dallas with a multiracial family is not one that she expected. It’s also one she doesn’t regret. “I look at different directions our lives could have gone that would have been easier,” Melissa says, sitting by Trey at their kitchen table. “We were in Lake Highlands, where I knew all the neighbors and my kids could play outside. We could have volunteered here and there a little bit. “Here so many things are not comfortable. And yet here I’ve found my greatest joy. You find there’s so much more to life than the little life you had in mind… In pouring out your life, you benefit.”
The Journey

Melissa Hill was hesitant when her husband, Trey, said he wanted to move to West Dallas to start a ministry. She knows now it was the right decision. The family has since welcomed Deandre Jones, 19, and his brother, Darius Jones, 16, into the home, joining Tee, 10, Sadie, 6, Olivia, 9, and Graham, 8. With the consent of their biological parents, the brothers moved to the Hills’ home in West Dallas. They left behind a crowded apartment where seven people, including their older brother’s two kids, had squeezed into one bedroom. The arrangement with the Hills was supposed to last two weeks. Two and half years later, they’re still there and thriving.

Six years ago, Trey, now 41, felt called to full-time ministry. He worked for Park

Chatter | 6

Of the original 42 Mercy Street students, 70% are ontrack to graduate this year — double the graduation rate from Pinkston High School.

Cities Presbyterian Church while attending seminary. The church’s primary urban outreach was in West Dallas; it seemed a natural fit for him to branch out and found the ministry that he named Mercy Street. Its goal is to match at-risk kids with mentors and turn them into leaders. Melissa, who was pregnant with their fourth child at the time, was frightened at first. “This is not what I thought my life would look like,” she says. “I just didn’t know what to expect. I was scared that none of my friends would come and see me.” One of those friends, Carey Gidden, 37, who had lived down the street and raised her kids alongside Melissa’s in Lake Highlands, recalls her shock when Melissa first broke the news of the family’s coming move at a Bible study group. “She said at the end of our conversation, ‘One more thing, Trey wants to move to West Dallas for inner-city ministry.’ She let the silence hang, and we went, ‘What?’ And then she said, ‘But don’t say anything to Trey ... maybe he’ll forget.’” He didn’t forget, and they did move to a house just a block from the ministry’s facility. That’s when some of the mentored kids became a presence in their home.
Blended Family

Melissa wears two heart-shaped pendants around her neck, each one with the letter L on it. They were a gift from Graham, who bought them for 50 cents at a garage sale. The meaning? “Double L for double love,” he says. Before heading to his room to suit up for his basketball game, Darius says: “I try to show I love her in every way, because what she does means a lot to me. She goes past the limit.” On his bookshelf, Deandre has three copies (one was Melissa’s, one was a gift, one is his brother’s) of The Blind Side, Michael Lewis’ 2006 book about Michael Oher, the black teen adopted by a white family, who went on to become an NFL athlete. “I loved the movie,” says Deandre, who saw it with his extended Hill family as soon as it came out. “It kind of related to our own situation.” Meanwhile, the sofa in the playroom has been made up for another young man who may be staying for a few days. No one knows how long he will stay, but everyone seems willing to wait to do what’s needed. For more on Melissa Hill, visit her blog at hoodmamamel.blogspot.com.
The Dallas Morning News, January 5, 2011, by Nancy Churrin. Edited for length for use in Chatter. Used by permission.

Darius entered Mercy Street’s first class when he was in fifth grade. That, he says, is why it seemed natural to him to turn to the Hills and bring his brother along when he needed a place to stay. The arrangement is informal. The boys remain in contact with their family; a photo hangs on the wall of the neat bedroom they share in the Hills’ home. They express love for their mother, whom they visit at least monthly. They are reluctant to discuss many details about her. They talk enthusiastically about what being with the Hills has meant to them. Darius thrives on having younger siblings among the Hill children as well. “They look up to me,” he says. “I’m the baby in my other family. But I feel like the leader.” Melissa doesn’t take credit for their success. “They were great kids when they came to us.” She adds that her children have learned compassion from the experience, although the kids focus on other benefits. Eight-year-old Graham says he was “sort of surprised we were having two more brothers, but it was exciting.” Tee, 10, adds matter-of-factly, “It’s nice to have new brothers because they let us play their game system.”
Their Lives Now

About Mercy Street
Mercy Street exists to “be used by God to spark Christ-honoring community restoration by engaging in mutually transforming relationships with the future leaders of West Dallas.” The three areas of focus are: œ Community transformation œ Committed relationships œ Catalytic leadership development

Ways to Get Involved
Mentoring (ongoing) Start a 9-year relationship with a 4th grade student or start with a middle or high school student who needs to be re-matched. Coaching (seasonal) Coaching sports is an active and meaningful way to be a role model for children. œ Approx. 2-4 nights per week in season œ Baseball (spring) or Soccer (fall) Live (weekly event) A weekly event connecting our 4th–12th grade mentoring, sports and pathways programs in one centralized place. Purpose: to unify crosscultural relationships in Christ. Come ready to engage students or work behind the scenes. Contact Jen Mayes at mercystreet@irvingbible.org mercystreetdallas.org

On a recent afternoon, Melissa is busy. She cooks up a batch of chicken breasts, mushrooms and artichokes to simmer on the stove, makes some headway in the mountains of laundry, and checks her shuttling schedule between school and activities. Olivia, 9, plays tetherball outside with Darius. Sadie, 6, stays close to her mother. Children from the neighborhood walk in and out. Some are friends of the Hills, some are visitors, one may be staying for various lengths of time in the home. “I don’t mind the chaos,” Melissa says. “It’s managed chaos,” Trey notes. “Like a Jackson Pollock painting.” Amid the chaos, the affection is clear.

The national average for mentor match length is only nine months.

In 1956, Time magazine dubbed artist Jackson Pollock “Jack the Dripper” as a result of his unique painting style.

Chatter | 7

RYAN THE CONQUEROR

IBC’s newest staffer on small groups, cool acronyms, and Western civilization.
link in a chain of blessings that God has lavished on IBC. It has to be a God thing.” As you might expect, Sanders said he was reluctant to launch into such a culture revolution. For the past four years, he has owned a boutique ad agency called REACH. Before that, he worked at two municipal communications departments, a Dallas ad agency, and the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. Beyond college summers, he has never worked in full-time ministry. “I was really enjoying what I was doing,” he said. “When Jennifer [Lefforge] asked me if I would interview for this job, I didn’t want to tell her no right away, but I didn’t take it very seriously.” But God had other plans. Ryan’s wife, Christine, revealed that she had been praying for just such an opportunity. Friends and counselors told him it sounded like a “no-brainer,” and contracts and cash flow started lining up with impeccable timing for a relatively graceful end-of-year exit. He started at IBC January 3. Since then, he has done a lot of learning and listening. And he has identified almost 200 people in do-it-yourself small groups throughout IBC. “I’m humbled by this opportunity because I feel like this could be an enormous step for our church,” he said. “We’re going to take our time and do this well.” If Sanders’ approach sounds a bit dramatic, consider his goals. More than getting IBCers into small groups, he says he wants to get IBCers into deeply committed community. “I think the metric for success that everyone assumes is a head count — some percentage of weekly worship attenders who are also in a small group. I want to blow that up,” he said. “I think we’ll get a head count as a by-product of knowing our flock, but I don’t just want rosters. I want healthy community. I don’t just want 200 small groups. I want 200 healthy small groups.” And what’s a healthy small group? You can read it across the top of the white board in Sanders’ office — “Growing deep relationships that advance the kingdom of God in dark places.” He has a list of three virtues that promote that kind of relationship: Authenticity: No masks. These are the people who need to know your fears and failures and love you through them. Interdependence: Not codependence, but a healthy dose of relying on one another and being reliable. Mission: It wouldn’t be IBC if it wasn’t about getting outside the walls. Conveniently, those virtues create a clever acronym: AIM. “Yeah, that’s pretty much all I’ve done with my first month on the job — come up with AIM,” Sanders joked. Beyond the acronym, Sanders and his creative team have started producing small group discussion guides related to the Sunday sermon each week (temporarily parked at www.ibcsmallgroups.org). Sanders said this will be the model for new groups as they begin to form. “We’re not going to tell anyone they can’t do a study of Philippians if they want to,” Sanders said. “But if they do, they’re on their own. This is the curriculum we’re

Ryan Sanders isn’t out to change the world; just the Western Hemisphere. In order to do his job well, IBC’s newest staffer says he’ll have to defeat an entire culture. Sanders is leading a new initiative to get more IBCers into small groups, but to hear him tell it, he’s out to conquer western civilization. “If we’re going to grow deep community at IBC, it’s going to be countercultural,” Sanders said. “Because we are not very good at community. And by ‘we’ I don’t mean IBCers or Gen Xers. I mean westerners for the last half century. We’ve got to relearn church.” Long an IBCer (11 years in one Bible Community) and communicator (16 years in journalism, marketing, advertising and PR), Sanders sees big problems with his new campaign. “We’re a church of commuters in a society of isolation,” he said. “The logistics of our cars, our neighborhoods, our schools, our workplaces, and our calendars conspire against deep community. And more importantly, our enemy does. There are few things that Satan wants to see less in our churches than iron sharpening iron.” And the problems don’t stop there. Sanders has a long list. He likes to point out his inexperience in ministry, the personal and psychological barriers to authenticity, even the dearth of resources to support a churchwide small groups movement. “It may sound negative, but I’m just counting the cost. I want IBC to be absolutely clear on what they got into when they hired me for this,” Sanders said. “This won’t be easy, and if it succeeds, it won’t be because I’m smart. It’ll be because God does it. It’ll be one more

What IBC Small Groups Are Not:

IBC small groups are a place to grow deep relationships that advance the kingdom of God in dark places. They are tiny families that make up the much larger IBC extended family. But among American evangelicals, the term “small groups” can carry a lot of baggage. Here are a few things that “small groups” may bring to mind, but probably won’t be part of the deal at IBC.
At IBC, small groups are not:
going to provide. We have phenomenal teachers at IBC. To me, it makes sense for our body to come together and tuck into the feasts they serve up every Sunday.” And Sanders has plans to provide other support for small groups — leader training, special events, online forums — all still in planning stages. There are a lot of details to work out. A list of those also clutter that white board in his office — how to form groups, how much to ask of leaders, and “what are we gonna call these groups for cryin’ out loud?” But Sanders says his goal isn’t to build the perfect small group solution or grow the size of the ministry. “There are IBCers who are experiencing deep relationships that advance the kingdom now — through Children’s Ministry, First Watch, We, Fellowship Riders, whatever. The last thing I want them to do is to blow that up and start a different small group,” he said. “Again, it’s about growing deep relationships that advance the kingdom of God in dark places.” And those dark places are why Sanders sees a glimmer of hope against all the cultural barriers to community. “We all have dark places in our hearts or our relationships — places where we need God’s kingdom to invade,” he said. “And we know instinctively that we need our brothers and sisters to launch the invasion. I believe the need for community is intense and universal.” Maybe changing the world isn’t such a long shot after all.

On the other hand, IBC small groups are:
• Families. • Places to trust people and be trusted. • Places to care for others and be cared for. • Places to grow. • Places to ask questions. • Some friends who will kick you in the butt when your butt needs kicking. • A chosen people. A royal priesthood. • Mission teams. • Places to practice patience, kindness and longsuffering. • Places where your friends will share your joys. • Places for you to share your friends’ sorrows. • Places where God is honored. • The deep longing of our hearts. • About faithfulness. • Worth the hassle. • Kind of a big deal.

• Seminary classes where you’re expected to have all the answers and rapped on the knuckles when you don’t. • Popularity contests where the kids who aren’t good at kickball get left out. We got over that in fifth grade. • Dating services. • Church growth factories where you’ll be forced to divorce your best friends just when they become your best friends. • Spirituality parades where you’ll feel pressure to fast for three days because the Smiths fasted for two. • Large groups. It sounds obvious, but a small group is small — no more than 12 people — so no one slips through the cracks. • Another hoop to jump through, hurdle to clear, homework assignment to turn in. • A place to get all your problems fixed. • A place to pretend like you don’t have problems. • A bunch of people who need you to fix their problems. • All about you. • Boring. • Mandated. • Weird. • Perfect. • Even close to perfect. • Trying to look like they’re perfect.

Chatter | 9

A (from page 2)
The box is cool and dark. Chitter wakes from a fitful sleep, his mind reeling with questions left from his dream: is this an airplane? A train? Automobile? He pecks Chipper’s cheek, and by peck we mean a sharp jab. “Chipper! Do you hear that? I’m sensing danger!” “Danger, Chitter, really?” And lo, a faint scratching. Subtle at first; could have been a cricket tuning his legs to perfect pitch. And then: light! Bursting forth from on high! Then appears the fat furry face of Felina, furious with feigned ferocity. “Put ‘em up! Put ‘em up!” she fusses. Chipper and Chitter, as if telepathically connected via sugar receptors in their fructose brains, launch an offensive. Which mostly involves jumping up and down so their package smacks Felina’s fuzzy face. Unfettered, she forges forward and fractures the friends’ fort.

Felina

What happens next? You decide…

A1
OR

Ally, The Also Alliterative Alley Cat, intervenes. “Avast thee, Felina!” She brandishes an ax and Chipper and Chitter shake with terror. Since when were cats so medieval? Will they be Felina’s food? Ally’s allies? Turn to page 19.

A2

Chipper, in a moment of moral clarity, offers himself to Felina, asking that she would only leave his other Peeps alone so they could have a long shelf life in relative peace among the aisles of Wal-Mart. Turn to page 19.

B (From page 2)

Toddler Herd

What happens next? You decide…

Chipper and Chitter awaken to find themselves squished inside the palm of a truculent three-year-old named Lively Bonaker. Lively’s dress is in fact stuffed with an assortment of misfit candy. There is Mike, the Milky Way from a pawn shop south of I-30, Gus, the bitter Good & Plenty package (6 oz) thrown away from Halloween because, well, he was a Good & Penty; and Cad, the Cadbury egg who owns every cream-filled crime boss in southwest Target stores (aisles 2 and 4). Chipper and Chitter shiver with trepidation as Lively drops them into her pocket. Gus approaches Chitter first. Chitter’s teeth Chatter. Er, they chatter. “What? You chicken or something?” scoffs Gus. “As a matter of fact I am. Baby chicken, that is. Made from questionably edible pyrophosphates.” Gus chuckles sardonically. “So unspoiled. So fresh.” “Actually, I was best before 3/14/11.” Then Cad pipes up, flashing his foil underbelly. “Youse Peeps are all the same. Stealing thunder from the real candy.” He glances around the dark cotton enclosure. “What say we teach these yellow-bellied airheads a lesson?”

B1
OR

Cad and Gus advance to pummel Chipper and Chitter into subserviency. Just before the first blow, Mike the Milky Way intervenes with some serious nougat throwdown. Turn to page 19.

B2

Remembering a recent rerun of Walker, Texas Ranger, Chipper instantly grows an auburn beard that strikes such fear into the hearts of the violent candy that they melt in their wrappings. That’s when Lively decides she needs a snack. A Peep snack. Turn to page 19.

My name is Kokeh S. Kotee II. I am a Liberian pastor and Executive Director for Lead/Liberia, Inc., a non-denominational, non-profit ministry whose stated mission is “to systematically train gifted but untrained servant leaders, and to develop healthy churches in every community, beginning in Liberia, and extending to other Englishspeaking countries in West Africa.” Presently, our work is focused on leading a mission church that is planting indigenous churches in rural communities, while we work across denominations to build healthy leaders. We have committed our lives to this until the church is healthy and strong. We wish to invest our time, energy and resources to ensure that the church becomes self-sustaining, self-propagating and self-supporting.

IBC International Partner

Kokeh S. Kotee, Liberia
In 1997, IBCer Steve Roese met Kokeh S. Kotee, a refugee pastor in Danane, Ivory Coast. Over the course of three short days, the men bonded and Roese began encouraging Kokeh to attend Dallas Theological Seminary. After two years of prayer and preparation, Kokeh moved to the U.S. to attend DTS with the support of IBC. He became involved in the IBC Bridges Ministry (International Initiatives) until his graduation and return to Liberia in 2001. Prior to Kokeh’s departure, IBC committed to pray for his ministry and family. Kokeh’s letter (inset) describes his current work developing churches and church leadership in West Africa. Take a moment to pray for our brother Kokeh S. Kotee and his ongoing mission in Liberia.

Prior to the [Liberian civil war], I accepted Christ through a national missionary who had come home to serve the Lord, having left his career as a mine-processing engineer. I often visited their mission station to play basketball. He invited me to join their Bible study group, which was going through the Book of John. By the time we started studying chapter 3, I realized my need for a personal relationship with Christ. I surrendered to Christ that evening and life was never the same. Though I had become a Christian, I didn’t feel the call of God into the pastorate. But as an athlete, I wanted to know God deeply and share my faith with others. Eventually that desire led to the decision to enter Bible College — this was also the result of encouragement from my newfound friends in the Faith. I attended African Bible College (now ABC University in Liberia, West Africa) on a basketball scholarship. During my time there, I met and married my wife Nancy in 1989. The civil war broke out during our honeymoon. Due to the war, it took me eight years to complete a 4-year undergraduate degree. In 1992, Nancy and I, along with our young daughter, Brenda, were forced to flee to the Ivory Coast to a refugee camp in Danane where we started attending a new church. It was in this church that my gifts of shepherding and teaching became evident, the fruit of which is now Lead/Liberia, Inc. At that time, Nancy and I were blessed with two more children. Meanwhile, we planted seeds — 10 churches — by the time we left the camp. Though we suffered hardship at home and abroad, the war years were some of the best of my life. My personal relationship with Christ was strengthened and I was brought closer to God, making my calling clear and giving me a burden to serve others. Take a Minute to Pray For: 1. A new vehicle for Kokeh’s family and ministry 2. Land for the SEED Project (Sustainable Economic and Empowerment Development) 3. A mission team to come to Liberia this year 4. That Nancy (Kokeh’s wife) will be able to travel to Kenya this year for a heart check-up and physical For more about Kokeh and LEAD, visit missionliberia.blogspot.com or contact kokehwithlead49@yahoo.com.

The First Liberian Civil War lasted from 1989–1996; the second began in 1999 and ended in October 2003.

The freed American slaves who colonized Liberia named its capital city Monrovia after James Monroe, the fifth president of the United States who was a prominent supporter of the colonization.

Chatter | 11

These are the words of Will, age 7, as he described his time at the IBC Easter Eggsperience last year. A celebration complete with a colossal egg hunt, bounce houses, petting zoo, face painting and more, the Easter Eggsperience is designed for families both inside and outside IBC to enjoy each other while having a blast celebrating Jesus’ resurrection. In fact, it’s one of the largest community outreach events IBC puts on each year, with thousands of new faces entering the building for the first time. Think about a few new faces YOU could invite – family, friends, neighbors. This is the perfect opportunity!

One of the highlights of the Eggsperience is the Easter Path, where families can walk through stations of the last moments of Jesus’ life and into the empty tomb. Families have described this as a powerful and hands-on way to help bring the story of Easter to life for their children—and even for themselves. We invite you to the Easter Eggsperience this year at IBC, and hope you’ll take time to bring along your neighbors and friends to what could be a life-changing—and most certainly fun-filled—event at IBC. Here’s what a few Easter Eggsperience and Easter Path attenders have had to say about past year’s events: “Today’s event was exceptional. I can only imagine the work...but we don’t have to imagine the impact.” – Steve “On Saturday we brought some friends with us to the Easter Eggsperience. It was their first time at IBC, and I was a little worried it would be too overwhelming. They have Caitlin (a 16-month-old daughter), Craig doesn’t go to church, and Susan is Catholic. At the end [Susan] was just blown away. She had never experienced anything like the path. She said she knew the story and had heard it a million times, but to actually experience it really brought new meaning to it. Susan and Craig may never attend church together, but to have an opportunity to share something so meaningful with them was a true gift. I know that they will be back now, and feel very blessed to attend a church that encourages those to come here under any circumstance.”
– Jennifer, mom of three

“What a great combination of fun and inspiration!” – Bret, dad of two “My neighbor and her daughter went with us to the Easter event today. The girls had a ball! GREAT JOB! Just wanted to say that this afternoon, the Holy Spirit prompted me to invite this family to church tomorrow. I am certain that because of a positive experience today (and getting somewhat familiar with the IBC surroundings), this opened the door for a church visit.”
– Sherry, mom of one

The Easter Eggsperience

Saturday, April 23, 9 a.m. – 12 p.m. at IBC | Cost: Free Please bring 12 candy-filled eggs if you’d like to participate in the egg hunt.

The Easter Path

Thursday: following the Worship Service – 10 p.m. Friday: All Day Saturday: 9 a.m. – 12 p.m. Cost: Free

Chatter | 12

Food for thought: Why did the egg cross the road? To prove he wasn’t chicken.

SIXTH GRADE STUDENTS ONLY
Easter Week Schedule
Thursday, April 21 — Maundy Thursday
Service at 7 p.m. KidZone available for newborns through pre-K by online reservation at least 48 hours in advance. E-mail kidzone@irvingbible.org with questions.

We have a number of things planned this summer to ease 5th grade students’ transition to The Merge (middle school). Take a look at the list of opportunites below.
Staff/Parent Meet & Greet Tuesday, May 10 | Thursday, May 12 | Tuesday, May 17 Special Events May 22 5th grade graduation celebration May 28 5th grade pool party June 8 Main Event (12 p.m.) July 7 Six Flags (5:30 p.m.) August 11 Rangers Game (5:30 p.m.) 6th Graders attend The Merge for the first time June 26, 6:45 p.m. in the Commons

Friday, April 22 —Good Friday
Service at 7 p.m. KidZone available for newborns through pre-K by online reservation at least 48 hours in advance. E-mail kidzone@irvingbible.org with questions.

Saturday, April 23 — Holy Saturday
Worship Center open for prayer 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. The movie The Passion of the Christ to be shown on Saturday at 5 p.m in the Worship Center. No childcare available.

Sundays, 6:45 p.m. in the Training Room May 29, June 5, June 12, June 19

Saturday, April 23 — Easter Eggsperience
9 a.m. – 12 p.m. Come join in the remembrance and celebration with egg hunts and tons of fun activities like a petting zoo, face painting, bounce houses, and carnival games. If you’d like, bring a picnic lunch, blankets and lawn chairs as well as a dozen candy-filled eggs for each child. This event is free and we encourage you to invite friends and family!

Sunday, April 24 — Easter Sunday
Worship services at 9 and 10:45 a.m., and 5 p.m. Regular Children’s Ministry for newborns through 5th grade available at all three services. No Adult Bible Communities IBC Student Ministry will not meet

Sunday, April 24 — Baptism
We will be holding baptisms following the 10:45 a.m. and 5 p.m. services in the Town Square.

A casual dinner for anyone college-age to connect with an IBC Preacher. Ask questions about the sermon, bring up topics of discussion, or just listen to a pastor’s perspective on theology, culture, IBC beliefs, or being collegeaged. Or anything Justin Bieber. (It’s up to you.) When: Preacher: Where: Cost: April 10, 6:45 p.m. (after the 5 p.m. service at IBC) Barry Jones Student Ministry Area Free. No registration necessary.
Modern pizza originated in Italy as the Neapolitan pie with tomato. In 1889, cheese was added.

Chatter always empties the lent trap before starting the dryer.

Chatter’s suggestion for a 6th grade science fair project: Is it possible to burn a candle at both ends?

Chatter | 13

THIS MONTH
Bible Communities
Communities on Sunday
There’s always something new going on in Bible communities! Here’s a taste of what’s going on this month: The Tree 9 a.m. — West D A community of newly married couples or those with young families in their 20s or 30s. (We love to meet, study deep, and go out to eat!) Crossroads 10:45 a.m. — Alcove A community of mid 20s to mid 30s with young families, and those thinking about beginning families. Thrive 10:45 a.m. — West D Series in progress: “Celebration of Discipline.” Based on Richard Foster’s classic book on spiritual disciplines, this study will challenge us to a life of transformation. Join us on Easter Sunday as we attend the 9 a.m. service together. Stay tuned for details about our annual Missions Dinner in May. Renew 10:45 a.m. — Training Center Confused about the Old Testament? Join our continuing series: “The Old Testament: Expanding Your View of God and His Promises.” Girlfriends 10:45 a.m. — Commons Annex If you are a woman of any age or situation in life and are solo on Sunday, join us at Girlfriends as we study Scripture and pray for one another. Legacy Builders 6:45 p.m. — Zone Jr. 7 Join us as we begin an in-depth study of the book of 1 Samuel. For more information or to find out more about all our Bible communities, visit biblecommunities. irvingbible.org or call Jen at (972) 560-4655. Zone 6:30 — Tuesdays, 6:15– 8:30 p.m. — The Zone Zone 6:30 is a great way for your elementary age child (K-5th) to grow deeper in his or her spiritual walk. Cost: $25 per child to cover the cost of the study book and activities. Register online at zone630. irvingbible.org. Estudio Biblico de Mujeres — Martes 9:30 a 11:30 a.m. o 6:30 a 8:30 p.m. Acompañanos a estudiar y meditar en la palabra de Dios junto a otras mujeres. Women’s Bible Study Tuesdays 9:30 – 11:30 a.m. or 6:30 – 8:30 p.m. Join us as we study God’s word with other women. Potluck Lunch and Fellowship — Sunday, April 17 Immediately following the second morning service in the Commons Annex adjoining the Haven. Bring a dish to share if you can. For information contact bgroezinger@verizon.net.

Community Care
Hope for the Hurting
Recovery at IBC Thursdays, 6–8:30 p.m. West Wing Youth Lounge Do you deal with perfectionism, pride, overeating, inappropriate anger or control? Join us for a light meal at 6 p.m. for just $4. Shelter from the Storm Tuesday/Wednesday evenings A 16-week confidential small group study for women who have experienced the trauma of sexual abuse. We will experience what it means to find hope and healing. For more information, contact Michelle Robinson at shelterfromthestormibc@ gmail.org. Grace for the Wounded Weekly Groups, 6:30 p.m. A confidential weekly small group program for survivors of all forms of abuse. We discuss what the Bible says about abuse and how surviving abuse has impacted us. All are welcome. Women’s group, contact Bernadette (Bernie): (678) 860–4575. Men’s group, contact Paul: (214) 226–8234.

Single-Parent Family
Community and Resources
Girl Stuff — Saturday, April 2, 9 a.m.–Noon — Alcove “Spring Bling Fling” Breakfast included. Register online under Single Parent Ministry/Girl Stuff. Family Cookout Sunday, April 10, 12:30 p.m. Andy Brown Park in Coppell Egg Hunt and Picnic April 24, 12:15 p.m. At Mustang Park across from IBC For information contact Marsha at mtribbett@irvingbible.org.

IBCMen

Ministry to Men
First Watch — Fridays at 6:22 a.m., Tuesdays at 6:30 p.m. Current Series: Marketplace Matters: how God is using your job to shape your character. First Watch breaks for the summer April 15. First Watch Xtra Wednesdays, 6:30 a.m. in the Training Center. First Watch Xtra breaks for the summer April 19. IBC Men’s Canoe Trip See ad page 17. For more information, visit men.irvingbible.org.

Student Ministries
Sundays — 6:45–8 p.m. 6-8th grade meets in The Commons. 9-12th grade meets in the High School Room.

Middle/High School and College

Local Partners

Reaching the Community
Intro to Mercy Street — April 10, 12:45 p.m. in West C. For anyone interested in learning more about how to get involved in Mercy Street. Contact Jen at mercystreet@irvingbible.org or sign up at the kiosk in Town Square on April 3.

Wednesdays — 5:30–8 p.m. 6-12th grade. Join us each Wednesday to experience the “W.” Bring $3 for a delicious meal and stay for fun, games and friendships. Contact mconnor@irvingbible.org. College Ministry — Tuesdays, 7:30 p.m. — The Alcove Join the IBC College Ministry in the Alcove (below the Mosaic Café at IBC). For more information, contact camillekholland@gmail.com.

Español

Bilingual Ministry
Traducción del Servicio los Domingos Traducción simultánea en el Servicio de las 5 p.m. Escuchénlo en la red: www.irvingbible.org. Se necesitan traductores. Sunday Service Translation Simultaneous translation available during the 5 p.m. service. Spanish Translations online at www.irvingbible.org. Translators needed. ESL: (Ingles Como Segundo Idioma) — Cada miércoles desde 6:30 – 8:30 p.m. — AZ14 & 15 ¿Quiere aprender inglés? ¿Quiere mejorar su inglés? ¡Ven a las clases de inglés (ESL)! Practica en las cuatro destrezas: lectura, escritura, oral y auditiva. Para más información, contacte a Lauren Menge: esl@irvingbible.org.

Seasoned Saints
For Folks Ages 55+ Dinner and a Play Thursday, April 7 6:30 p.m.: Dinner at Joe’s Coffee (near the intersection of Irving Blvd and O’Connor) 8 p.m.: ICT Mainstage (Dupree Theatre) presents The Little Foxes. For reservations, call the ICT Mainstage Box Office at (972) 252-2787. Dinner and a Concert Monday, April 11 6 p.m.: Dinner at Boston Market (on MacArthur at Walnut Hill) 7:30 p.m: Entertainment Center at Carpenter Hall presents Jason Coleman, pianist, in The Legacy of Floyd Cramer.

We

Children

Ministry To Women
Spring Women’s Bible Study Tuesdays, 9:30–11:30 a.m. or 6:30–8:30 p.m. “Get it Together: a Study of First Corinthians.” For more info or to register, visit irvingbible.org and click on the women’s ministry tab. MOPS — Thursday, April 21, 7–8:30 p.m. — The Commons For mothers of preschoolers. For registration or more information, contact Jodie Niznik at jniznik@irivngbible.org.

Infants Through 5th Grade
Respite Care Every fourth Saturday For families that have children with special needs. Contact Diana at dblessing@irvingbible.org. MyZone — Wednesdays, 6:30–8:30 p.m. – The Zone Team-building activities, life-application conversations and highimpact fun! Grades K–5.

Chatter | 14

Young Adults
20s and Early 30s
The Gathering First 3 Thursdays in April 7 p.m. at The Mosaic Café A place for young adults to relax, enjoy great music, food, conversation and encouragement.

Miscellaneous

A Little Bit of Everything
Baby Dedications Mother’s Day, May 8 It is always special during a worship service when parents dedicate their children to God and commit to raise them in a godly home while the IBC community promises to support their efforts. Registration dates: April 10-20. Visit registration.irvingbible.org. There are a limited number of dedications during each service, so if you have a preference of service times, please register early. Photos of children being dedicated should be sent to Donna O’Reilly at doreilly@irvingbible.org and received by April 30. Hard copies are also acceptable. New Parent Orientation — May 1, 9 a.m. — High School Room For parents wishing to dedicate their babies. The orientation is not mandatory but strongly encouraged. We will explore what it means to dedicate your child and answer questions about parenting issues and our children’s ministry at IBC.

NICHE (North Irving Christian Home Educators) — Thursday, April 21, 6:30 – 8:30 p.m. — Commons Annex Don’t Judge a Book By Its Cover: veteran homeschooler TJ Harding will speak on choosing the right curriculum for each child. This is also our annual Curriculum Sale and Swap meeting: sell or trade those gently used treasures that are cluttering up your bookshelves. Contact texasniche06@gmail.com. IBC Crop Night — April 1, 5–10 p.m. — Training Center Join us for scrapbooking fun! If you are new to scrapbooking let us know and we will be happy to help get you started. Don’t hesitate to join us if you are a card maker, paper crafter, or digital scrapper. For more info, please contact Nikki Heinemann at nikkiscraps@ verizon.net. IBC Saturday Crop — April 2, 9 a.m. – 8 p.m. — Training Center It’s a FREE all-day crop event! The room will be set up with four large round tables so everyone should have plenty of space to scrap, crop, trim, stamp, organize, or work on whatever project seems appealing. For more info, please contact Nikki Heinemann at nikkiscraps@verizon.net.

Stitches of Faith Tuesdays, 6:30–8:30 p.m. Mosaic Café We are continuing our project for our soldiers. Contact Wendy Vera at (214) 533-2781 or e-mail msbabydragon@yahoo.com. Budget Coaching Do you ever run out of money before you run out of month? We’ve all been there. Sign up for a personal budget coach at mmcoach.org and learn practical stewardship skills. All sessions are confidential. Hearing Assistance Hearing Assistance is available during all three worship services. You can stop by the Journey Lounge for instructions. New Arrivals Kyle and Jessica Denney and their son Harrison “Hank” Edward, born February 6, 7 lbs 5 oz, 20 ½ inches JC and Sarah Crawford and their daughter Caroline Alison, born February 22, 7 lbs, 21 inches

2435 Kinwest

Wednesday Nights at IBC
IBC Career Transition Ministry Wednesdays, 6:30–8 p.m. Want to find a job in 2011? Join the Career Ministry at IBC and you will: ƒ Learn how to make a rock-solid resume ƒ Learn the importance of networking ƒ Use the Internet and LinkedIn to find jobs and network ƒ Search to find jobs before others do ƒ Build your confidence and ace the interview Alert: If your company is hiring or you know of other companies with open positions, contact Lisa at 2435jobtransitions@irvingbible.org. For more information, contact Anna Martinez at amartinez@irvingbible.org. FREE Citizenship Class Wednesdays, 6:30–8 p.m. For those at least 18 years old who have been issued a Permanent Resident Card. The class runs approximately twelve weeks. We’ll guide you through the N-400 paperwork and prepare you for the main components of the new citizenship test. Contact citizenship@ irvingbible.org to register. ESL: English as a Second Language — Wednesdays, 6:30–8:30 p.m. — AZ14 & 15 Do you want to learn English? Do you want to improve your English? Come to ESL classes! Practice all four skills: speaking, listening, reading and writing. For more info, contact Lauren Menge at esl@ irvingbible.org. Visit 2435kinwest.org for a list of other activities and ways to get involved.

Kutchi Celebration Meal
On Friday, February 26, history was made as the New Testament Bible was released to the Kutchi people of India. Over the past 10 years, IBC has invested time and financial resources to help provide the Word of God in the Kutchi native tongue — a language that before had no written alphabet at all. On May 1, the IBC family will celebrate the faithfulness of God with a celebratory meal, along with testimonies of the specific ways in which God brought the Kutchi New Testament into being. Items from the Bajalia Trading Company will also available for purchase, benefiting artisans in people groups like the Kutch.
Details: The celebration will be on Sunday, May 1 at 12:30 p.m.

following the 10:45 a.m. service, in West C and D.

Please RSVP so we can accurately prepare for lunch: dprevilon@irvingbible.org.

Chatter | 15

Mothering preschool children is tough. Need Support? That’s why we are here.
Only two meetings left for the year! Join us for spiritual encouragment and the opportunity to connect with other moms and mentor moms who have “been there and done that.” For more info or to register e-mail mops@irvingbible. org. Space is limited. April 21 and May 19, 7–8:30 p.m. in The Commons.

A Night Just For Kids!
Who: Grades K - 5 What: Crazy games, zany team-building activities, important life lessons. When: Wednesday nights, 6:30 – 8:15 p.m. Where: The Zone, Irving Bible Church

For more info contact children@irvingbible.org or call (972) 560-4600 x535.

Coming June 27–30, 2011 | Grades K–5th | Keep your eyes open for more details.

Single-Parent Ministry presents:

Kids’ Night Out

Teaching to Transform Lives
Whether you’re a veteran teacher or someone with a teaching gift that you want to develop, this workshop-format learning experience will help you: • Design training to maximize participation and retention • Move the focus of your teaching to the learner and open the door for class participants to teach one another • Create an exciting and energetic environment that helps participants practically integrate what they learn • Effectively facilitate learning that builds community Saturday, April 9 from 8 a.m.-2 p.m. in West C.

To register, contact Sherri Sharp at ssharp@irvingbible.org or (972) 560-4614.

SuNDAY SCHEDuLE
First Worship Service: 9 a.m.
Children’s Classes (all ages) Nexus (40+ singles), The Alcove The Tree (newly and nearly weds), West D Synergy (30s and 40s couples), Middle School Room

HOW DO I GIVE
My Time, Talents & Skills
Special Needs Support Group Coordinator Organize and plan monthly support groups for families with special needs (1st Wednesday of each month). Contact Diana for details at dblessing@ irvingbible.org. The Scoop on Jobs The 2435 Job Transition workshop at IBC is looking for information on job opportunities. If your company is hiring or you know of other companies hiring, please pass along the information to Lisa at 2435jobtransition@irvingbible.org. Children’s Ministry Small Group Leader Do you have a heart for building relationships with children? Children’s Ministry is currently accepting applications for Sunday small group leaders. This is a weekly commitment ministry opportunity. For more info, contact Gary Lindsay at glindsay@irvingbible. org or visit servekids.irvingbible.org. Visitor Follow-Up Team (The Rex Greenstreet Ministry) We are looking for volunteers one Monday evening a month to call, write, and e-mail people who have recently visited IBC. Training and coaching will be provided. For more info, contact visitor@irvingbible. org or call Suzanne Walker at (972) 402-8563.

Medical Professionals Needed If you are an MD, DO, PA, or NP, the 2435 Kinwest Clinic needs you Wednesday nights at IBC. For more info contact John Parks at jparks@2435clinic.org.

My Resources
Send a Single-Parent Family to Camp Sponsor a family or make a donation for a single-parent family to attend Horn Creek Camp in June 2011. Contact Jennifer at jerlenbusch@irvingbible.org. Care Packages for Armed Forces Help send care packages to those IBCers deployed in our armed forces. If you are interested in joining this team, or if you are a friend or family member of a deployed service man or woman and would like to add them to our list, please contact A. Gayland Leddy at (817) 320-3990 or eachief@sbcglobal.net. Cars for Missionary Families Do you have an extra car to loan a missionary family on furlough? Contact the International Initiatives Department (dprevilon@irvingbible.org or amartinez@ irvingbible.org). Online Giving Option If you would find it more convenient to donate to the ministries of Irving Bible Church online, please visit give.irvingbible.org.

Second Worship Service: 10:45 a.m.
Children’s Classes (all ages) Crossroads (mid 20s to mid 30s couples), The Alcove On Track (single parents), West C Journey (all welcome), Middle School Room Girlfriends (solo on Sundays), Commons Annex Renew (multi-generational), Training Center Thrive (30s and 40s singles), West D

Third Worship Service: 5 p.m.
Children’s Classes (all ages)

Community Dinner: 6 p.m. Community Events: 6:45 p.m.
The Point (20s singles), The Alcove Central Park (20s singles & couples), Conference Room Legacy Builders (all welcome), Zone Jr. 7 Middle School, The Commons High School, Student Ministries Area

Also, check out the Needs Board in the Town Square to find out how you can help meet the needs of others at IBC.

Sunday Community Meals
Join us in the Town Square for our community meal on Sundays at 6 p.m. Meals are $3 per person or $10 max./family. 4/3 4/10 4/17 4/24 Pizza, breadsticks, salad Fajita Madness Hamburgers and brauts NO MEAL (Easter)

JOURNEY

God invites us to a journey. A journey that leads to him and connects us to others. Individually, our journeys are unique, but we share common needs. The need to deepen our souls. The need for relationship. The need for mission and purpose. At IBC, we are all about helping each other on our journeys. We invite you to explore irvingbible.org for all kinds of ways you can navigate your journey.

DEEPEN tHE SOUl

If you’d like to serve on a Sunday night meal team, contact Pat O’Reilly at (214) 289-6176 or sundaynightmeal@irvingbible.org.

Faith isn’t just a one-time discovery but also a lifetime of moving toward God. Our souls are made to grow, not just in knowledge but in connection with God. No matter where you are in your spiritual journey you can go deeper.

FIND RElAtIONSHIP

Wednesday Midweek Meals
Each Wednesday night from 5–6:20 p.m., IBC prepares dinner for anyone wanting a good, hot meal. PB&J sandwiches are also available. Cost is $3/meal or $10 max./ family. Just come by The Commons, and grab a plate!

Since creation, God has said it is not good for man to be alone. We are designed to work together, play together, live together. It is essential that we are in relationship with others on the journey.

JOIN tHE MISSION

4/6

Honey Baked Ham, mixed vegetables, scalloped potatoes, rolls, dessert Hosted by Pat Downey’s Team

To be full, a life must be engaged in the story of God restoring his creation and connecting people to himself. We have a responsibility to each other globally and locally in making a difference.

4/13 Mexican Meal w/ tacos, enchiladas, refried beans, chips and salsa, home-baked cookies Hosted by Barbara Witte’s Team 4/20 Pulled Pork Sandwiches, baked beans, coleslaw, potato wedges, dessert Hosted by Bob Downey’s Team 4/27 Salisbury steak, baked potatoes, green beans, dessert Hosted by Lavern Howell’s Team
Changes to the menu may be made depending on food cost and availability. If you’d like to serve on a Wednesday night meal team, please e-mail bdowney@irvingbible.org.

Journey Lounge

Whether you’re searching for answers, are a new believer, or have been a follower of Christ for many years, we’re all on this journey together…a journey to deepen our soul, to be in relationship and to serve with mission and purpose. Sometimes it’s hard to navigate that path because we share common needs, but each person’s journey is unique. So, we’ve created the Journey Lounge where you can find help on your own personal journey. The Journey Lounge is open before, during and after all three worship services on Sunday. It’s located in the Town Square across from the fountain — just look for the cool sofas, comfy chairs and smiling faces. We’re all meant to grow, to be in relationship and to join the mission. The Journey Lounge is a place to start.

Chatter | 18

A1 Alliterative Alley Cat
(from page 10)
With amazing agility, Ally attacks Felina. They fall to the warehouse floor in a blur of fur and claws, the sound of which reminds Chipper of a Ke$ha remix. Felina momentarily gains the upper hand, fighting fundamentally in fine form. And then Ally redoubles her efforts, having just abdicated the ax in the altercation. Just before Ally’s final blow, Felina gasps for air; she is now fighting a full-on fur ball, the foe of her own fabrication. Chipper is suddenly seized with compassion. Ally is laughing uproariously at Felina’s difficulty; the Peeps decide to intervene. With a heave-ho, Chipper and Chitter tumble their package directly on top of Felina’s chest, dislodging the fur ball. Chipper, Chitter, Ally and Felina now travel the Wal-Mart circuit 369 days a year, facilitating reconciliation conferences for affection-starved cats and seasonal candy goods.

Ally the Also

A2 (from page 10)

Chipper’s Martyrdom

B1 (from page 10)

Nougat Throwdown

B2 (from page 10)

Walker, Texas Chipper

“NO!” shouts Chitter. “You can’t leave me alone in this cold, cruel world!” Chipper slaps Chitter with the white glove he carries for such occasions. “I must, Chipper. The Candy Code demands it.” At this, Felina’s ears perk up, ever one for policy enforcement. She lifts Chipper’s chin with a single cold claw. “Tell me of this Code.” “No!” protests Chitter. “Don’t throw your pearls before feline!” But Chipper, sensing an opportunity to bide his time, launches in: “Well, Lina — I can call you Lina? — it’s like this. Candies don’t just sit around listlessly while their brethren are consumed by half-witted children or obliterated by vindictive animals. We are innately self-sacrificing. You’ve seen those smarmy M&Ms? A disgrace, all of them. So casual in their attitude, so blasé. Real candies — not paid actors — are the FIRST in line to be eaten, if only it might save a few friends to live to fight another day and possibly escape to the dark forgotten recesses of the pantry or even back into the toe of a Christmas stocking where they might pursue their passions undisturbed. And we have passions, let me tell you. Oh, do we have passions. Like writing fiction, playing hopscotch, or faux-finishing the interior of a powder room. Ever seen a novel written by a piece of candy? A faux-finished accent wall? Exactly. We’re a weary, untapped species. So all this to say, those who CAN sacrifice themselves for the greater good, SHOULD. At least, that’s —“ And he was gone. Snatched up into the mouth of Felina, who wasn’t so much hungry as she was bored. Proving her Jenny Craig counselor right yet again.

With the swift agility Milky Ways are famous for (and which they almost can’t help but exploit to score points with pretty little Hershey Kisses), Mike leaps to Chipper and Chitter’s defense. Cad backs away instantly, proving he’s just an old softy on the inside. But Gus, hardened by years of ridicule, throws himself into Mike. While it is difficult to describe the maneuvering between a candy bar and a box of individual candies, suffice it to say the fight scene from The Matrix 3 pales in comparison. As Chipper and Chitter watch helplessly, Mike manages to rip Gus’ box top off. “My eyes!” he yells. “My EYES! Oh the humanity!” And he spills out into the bottom of Lively’s pocket. His pieces lay quiet-like, quivering in defeat. Mike picks up a purple Gus piece. “This,” he says, tossing it up and down like a baseball, “was a long time in coming.” “You’re…welcome?” offers Chipper. “You’re not half bad,” says Mike, putting an arm around Chipper, “Well, you ARE pretty bad. I don’t know anybody who likes eating Peeps.” “Well,” sighs Chipper, “we’re better at faux-finishing walls, actually. And some of us are pretty decent writers.”

Shaking in their collective sugary shoes, the Peeps re-gather their senses after the mass-melting of Cad, Mike and Gus. “Now what?” asks Chipper, who really hates getting dirt or soil — much less candy carcass — on his velvety pristine yellowness. Just then the grimy hand of Lively reaches down to retrieve a Peep. Chitter rolls his eyes. “Here we go again.” She jerks her hand out, shrieking, gooey chocolate and licorice clinging grotesquely to her fingers. “What is it, Honey?” The muffled voice of Lively’s mother. “I told you to be careful in your Easter dress!” Just then Chipper has an idea. “Quick, Chitter! Roll around in the chocolate!” They duck and shake in the mess like two birds in a birdbath. Lively’s mother again: “Oh HONEY, what DO you have in your pocket?” She reaches in, pulling a sticky Chipper and Chitter out into the sunlight. Horrified — for now her own cleanliness is at stake — Lively’s mother flings the Peeps into oblivion, where they land on a warm grassy embankment. To this day, no one has heard from Chipper or Chitter. Some believe they joined Regis Philbin at his retirement estate, but Chatter believes they do freelance writing for cool church publications in Irving, TX.

Nila Odom at Dunluce Castle, County Antrim, Northern Ireland, with Chatter, daughter Mandy and grandchildren Emma, Zoe and Ruby.

Chatter…you CAN take it with you. Send us your Chatter photos on location, and you may see yourself in an upcoming issue. E-mail us at chatter@irvingbible.org.

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