Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Celebrating O'Fallon's New Sports Complex

The O'Fallon Township High School (OTHS) Sports Complex opened last Friday night and the Marshall family was there in full fashion.

Matthew is a lineman on the OTHS football team, and although he couldn't play on Friday night because he needs a couple of more practices he was on the sidelines. That's him as number 63.

Bethany was also there cheering her heart out with the kids that joined her OTHS cheerleading team at Cheer camp. That's her cheering in the center with her arms up.

Then, at half-time Matthew became the first student in years to both be on the football team and play in the marching band. He dwarfs the other band members as he plays his Mellophone below.

All in all, even though the football team lost 24-3 to a very good Cahokia team it was a lot of fun. The stadium is fantastic and the entertainment was great.

Friday, June 06, 2008

Bad Weather in the Lou

Since we arrived back home after a vacation in Chicago last week the "hot switch" has been flipped on with the local weather. This spring in St Louis has been cool and the wettest on record. This week the weather jumped from the 70s to the 90s with thunderstorms and tornadoes most every afternoon. Today looks to be the worst of the week. Today is about 95 degrees an tornadoes already on the ground and it is only 2pm. I hope they don't do any destruction today.

Friday, May 30, 2008

Family Vacation Post #2

The weather was horrible today, so we drove out to Wheaton College and explored the school. What a great looking college. Wheaton is where Billy Graham went to college, our Pastor Doug Munton went there, and one of the men I respected most in life, the late Dr Larry Ward of Food For the Hungry who I worked for in the late 1970s. I can see why they all liked it so much. I'd like for Matthew and Bethany to attend Wheaton if we can swing it. Then we took a much lighter detour and headed off to Ikea to look at furniture. You can't go in there without spending a paycheck or two. They have some great stuff. Sorry, but no Cubs game for us today. The thunderstorms were too off and on. Lots of tornadoes in central Illinois today. It was a good day to stay indoors. We will be heading home tomorrow morning.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

A Much Needed Family Vacation

We are on a much needed family vacation to Chicago this week. So far we have visited the Field Museum, the Museum of Science and Industry (a really incredible museum and an awesome coal mining in Illinois exhibit), eaten at Giordano's (possibly the best pizza on the planet), spent lots of time walking and taking the train around Chicago (Union Station is wonderful) and tooling around Naperville where we are staying. Tomorrow we might take in a Cubs game if the weather stays nice. I also want to show Wheaton College to my son Matthew. I will post some pictures when I get home this weekend. It has been a long Blogging hiatus, but I am back.

Friday, November 09, 2007

We Have A Winner!!!

We had 11 great entries in The Gate's Logo Contest, but Lindsey Freeman won when she submitted the logo below. Great job Lindsey and thanks to all who contributed their entries. We have some very creative people among our Gate family.

Matthew Marshall submitted a wonderful entry, posted below. It is a little elaborate to be used as a logo, but it is perfect to be included as a picture on our webpage, so you might see it pop up now and agaiin

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Game Night at The Gate: Nov 16

We started a new ministry two months ago where we invite the local Jr High and High School students to our collegiate ministry (The Gate) to play video games one Friday night per month. It has turned out to be a great success. We had more than 50 students show up for our September and October Game Nights. Our next Game Night is November 16, from 7-11 at The Gate. The cost is $5 plus a can of food for our food pantry so that we can hand out holiday gift baskets to the needy in Lebanon.

Last Game night we even had a 16 player multi-player Halo 3 contest going. It is amazing how much attention 16 guys can pay to a television screen when Halo is on.

Anyhow, we will continue the Game Nights as long as we have students who will come. Parents also seem to like it because they know they can leave their kids and not worry that inappropriate things will happen. They can have a much needed break away from their kids on a Friday night, enjoy a dinner out, and know their kids are having the time of their lives. We look forward to the gamers coming every month.

Monday, November 05, 2007

I Am Still a Nebraska Fan

Here's a link to Jordon Cooper's "At Least I'm Not A Nebraska Fan" post that I commented on earlier today. Link. I thought the tone was very uninformed. My comment back to the blog was:

I am a Nebraska fan, and although I am not happy with what happened last weekend I'll have to say that at least they have beaten Kansas 36 of the last 38 times they have played. Most college football fans seem shocked about what is going on at Nebraska this year, which speaks volumes to the quality and consistency of the program over the last 20 years. I would imagine that Callihan is gone at the end of the year, and as much as I hate what has happened to the defense, at least he brought a balanced offense. As far as the Cornhuskers nickname, I agree it sucks, but it was an upgrade. They swapped "Bugeaters" for "Cornhuskers". At least when you are talking about the Cornhuskers everyone knows who you are referring to. If you refer to the Tigers are you referring to Missouri, Auburn, LSU, or the Detroit Tigers? The name sets them apart and defines both the team and their fans.

I hate what has happened this year at Nebraska, but it happens occasionally to every team. It has happened to Oklahoma and Penn State. I actually took a pounding from one of my former co-workers about the Kansas game last weekend. My co-worker happens to be a Colorado Buffaloes fan, so I sent hiim back a quick E-mail reminding him that Colorado lost 55-10 to Missouri this weekend, and that he has no room to talk. What I enjoyed about his pounding me though is that Colorado fans have come to expect getting spanked on the field and a 55-10 loss is no big deal, while us Nebraska fans aren't accustomed to losing, so this year is a shock to us.

Steve Peterson's firing is the first step in the right direction. I thought Peterson missed his opportunity when he let Bo Pelini go and hired Bill Callahan as the coach. I defended the choice of Callahan, but he didn't do it as the Oakland Raiders coach and he has panned out to be a dud as the Nebraska coach. Lets get rid of Callihan at the end of the year and go back to a program that is not flash in the pan, but a solid, quality, tough program. I hear the top candidates for the job are Pelini again and Turner Gill. I'm for either one. Pelini is the mastermind behind the nations top college football defense and Gill is a favorite of Tom Osborne and Nebraska fans in general. I'll bet Gill gets the nod. Either way we need to turn this program around. As Steve Peterson said and I still believe, "I refuse to let the program gravitate into mediocrity," and "We won't surrender the Big 12 to Oklahoma and Texas."

Sunday, October 28, 2007

A New Mission For The Gate

We've had a lot of changes going on at The Gate over the last couple of months. The Gate is a collegiate ministry we run in Lebanon, Illinois where we minister to McKendree University students. We have been running The Gate for 5 years. We shared our building with a church plant that moved, so we again have sole control of our schedule and our facility. When the church plant left we began talks with our parent church FBC O'Fallon, Illinois. After a lot of prayer and searching we have decided that God is calling us to open The Gate up as a multi-site campus for FBC O'Fallon. We are planning on hosting our first service on January 13. It will be a videotaped sermon with live music and a campus Pastor. I am pretty excited, as I have felt the Lord calling me to plant a church for a while now, but my spritual gifting lies more in administrative, teaching, helps, and encouragement, not so much preaching. I can preach, don't get me wrong, but it isn't my strongest gift. Anyhow, it will let me leverage the gifted preaching of our Pastor at FBC O'Fallon and concentrate on my stronger gifts. It will be a challenge, so please keep myself, my family, and The Gate in your prayers.

Friday, September 07, 2007

Welcome Back Service at The Gate: Sept 6

We had 20 people at our "Welcome Back" service last night. I am always inspired when we hear all the great things the Lord has done in people's lives over the summer. We met some incredible students and it was wonderful to have Amy helping us out. I believe the Lord will do some unbelievable things this year.

I spoke shortly about the vision we have for The Gate this year. The test I used is one I read this summer from the story of Esther after God allowed her to beome queen and affect the lives of all the Jews. It came from Esther 4:13-14 where the Bible says:

13 Mordecai told [the messenger] to reply to Esther, "Don't think that you will escape the fate of all the Jews because you are in the king's palace. 14 If you keep silent at this time, liberation and deliverance will come to the Jewish people from another place, but you and your father's house will be destroyed. Who knows, perhaps you have come to the kingdom for such a time as this."

I believe we are poised for the Lord to use us to reach out to McKendree University and Lebanon, Illinois in an exciting way. We have been silent for too long. I believe God has brought us to a place in our lives where we, "have come to the kingdom for such a time as this." This is our time to step out and boldly proclaim the gospel to those we can affect. It is going to be a challenging, but great year at The Gate this year.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

First Day of the 2007-2008 School Year at McKendree

We set up a table at McKendree today and Marilyn, Amy, and George handed out "Welcome Back" goodie bags. In about 3 hours we had handed out 450 of the bags. McKendree only has about 2400 students, so we figure we hit a good percentage of the students today and had a chance to have a conversation with quite a few of them.

We have had a lot of things going on over the summer that will help make The Gate even better. We painted two rooms upstairs that will serve as The Gate's library. We have received donations of several boxes of books, two couches, a ping pong table, a foosball table, an air hockey table and some end tables. We are planning to start a video game ministry to the local youth, and we have a desire to start a food pantry. Things are busy, but we feel the Lord's hand in everything we do.

God bless each of you as we start off with a new year.