Little About Me” by Pastor Ryan Campbell
I want to tell you about growing up and the time that God proved to me that he is real. Others may still hear or read the events of this story and think it’s just coincidence. To me, it is what began my journey of faith that has brought my wife, Denise and me to Grangeville, Idaho.
When I was just learning to read (maybe age 4 or 5) I managed to get my hands on some sort of Christian comic book. In the back of the book were pages of little one or two inch ads selling this or that. One of those little squares contained the sinner’s prayer. If you’ve never said the prayer, it goes a little something like this: “Jesus, please forgive me of my sins. I accept you as my personal Savior. I give you my life and I thank you for your love and grace. Amen.” I remember reading that and believing that God heard my prayer.
My family didn’t attend church. When I was quite young, I remember going to a little Nazarene church in the town that I grew up in, which was called Farmland, Indiana. When we walked into the church, I was immediately herded away from my parents, down into the basement into a Sunday school class. It was pretty frightening. So my experience with church up to that point wasn’t great.
When both of my parents had to work, I would stay with our neighbors, Doris and Wayne Bousman. They were such a sweet old couple and I came to love them like grandparents. They would often sit quietly reading their bibles together while I would play and I remember they would pray before every meal. They were very active at the local United Methodist Church in Farmland.
When I was in the 6th grade, I began playing the trumpet and found that I had a gift for music. My school was Monroe Central and we were the Golden Bears! That summer I began marching with the band and I met one of the best friends I have ever had: Ryan Oren. We were fast friends. He remains one of my best friends. I spent lots of time with him and his family. Because I became like family, his mother, Carolyn, would insist that I join them for church on Sunday mornings. I quickly fell in love with their church (Farmland Friends) and became active in the youth group, going on mission trips to Canada and Jamaica. I still call Carolyn “Mom 2”.
After high school, I got a job with the phone company, GTE (now Verizon) and moved from my small town to Indianapolis. It was a bad time for me. It was a difficult time. I fell away from my faith and did whatever I wanted. So between 1997 and 2005 I lived very selfishly and I was extremely unhappy.
Mid 2005, I receive a call from another friend, Shane, that I hadn’t heard from in over 8 years. His marriage was failing and he needed a friend. When we met up, we picked up right where we left off and he invited me to his church. It was called House of Jesus. It was a tiny church with a tiny congregation in the middle of a tiny field. But I felt my faith being fanned back into life.
When I heard that my father needed some help with a small business he began, I felt like this was my call back to the small community where I had grown up. It was a donut shop he named “Punkin’s Pastries.” So I learned how to manage the business, make donuts, etc. In the beginning, I was also still working in Indianapolis for an insurance company.
So my friend Shane and I always loved singing together and while I was living in Indianapolis I had taught myself how to play the guitar. We found a group of folks who wanted to do a concert of worship music. One night as we were leaving practice, a fellow named James heard the music I was playing in my car. It was from a CD and James asked if I would make him a copy. I agreed and I wrote a little note to myself that read, “Make CD 4 James.” I folded it up and put it in my pocket.
When I got home, I was standing at my kitchen table, emptying my pockets when the Holy Spirit touched me so powerfully! When I regained my senses, I don’t know how long I had been standing there but when I looked down, I saw in my hand that note but it was folded so what I saw was “4 James.” I immediately opened my bible and read the 4th chapter of the book of James. I thanked God for the experience, thinking that it was over…but it was not.
The next day, I was on my 1.5 hour trip back to Indy to get to work at the insurance company. I was listening to a contemporary Christian radio station when out of the blue the Holy Spirit touches me again. The song that was playing was by Casting Crowns. It is called “Who Am I?” This is one of the songs that was on the CD that I made for James the night before. The CD was in my player, so I began listening to the song over and over, so I could learn the lyrics to sing it. When I was a few minutes away from work, I realized that there was one line in the song that I wasn’t able to understand. I just couldn’t hear what it was saying. Finally I realized that the line was, “a vapor in the wind.” I wondered why it sounded so familiar and quickly realized that it was in the 4th chapter of James that I had read the night before! James 4:14 specifically. The NKJ version reads: whereas you do not know what will happen tomorrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away.” …A vapor in the wind…I was so excited and I couldn’t contain it! I told all of my friends at work what had happened. I thanked God for such an amazing thing, thinking that it was over…but it was not.
That Sunday, I was at House of Jesus with my friend Shane and I was telling them this story. When I had finished, I sat down thinking, once again that it was over, when a little lady in the 2nd pew stood up and made her way over to me. She had a paper folded in half that she handed to me. She said, “This is the Sunday School lesson I wrote on Wednesday and I feel like God wants me to give it to you.”
When I opened the folded paper, it was titled “Choices.” And just below the title was scripture from the book of James, chapter 4 vv. 13-15: Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to such and such a city, spend a year there, buy and sell, and make a profit”; whereas you do not know what will happen tomorrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away. Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we shall live and do this or that.” But now you boast in your arrogance. All such boasting is evil.
From that moment on, I knew that I must do what I can do to glorify God NOW. I may not have tomorrow to do it. I follow God from day to day, asking him to direct my path. In living this way, He led me to the United Methodist Church. He led me to my wife, Denise (which is a wonderful story that began in the 3rd grade.) Now, he has lead me to Grangeville United Methodist Church in Grangeville, Idaho where I plan to continue following his lead and working to encourage others to have faith in God, to accept Jesus and ask forgiveness for their sins. Then to “do all the good you can, in all the ways you can, to all the souls you can, in every place you can, at all the times you can, with all the zeal you can, as long as ever you can,” as John Wesley put it. Do these things now because what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away… a vapor in the wind.
Who would be willing to serve our church as Benevolence Chair: Ann Tipton has resigned from benevolence chair as they are now attending another church. Please let Pastor Ryan or Jerry Zumalt know if you would like to do this or know of anyone willing to take over that committee. She had been sending out emails and snail mail cards to people on our prayer request lists and others who needed some encouragement. Thanks.
“Cristo Vive International” is an annual camp for ones with disabilities & their families help at ALACCA camp and will be on August 6-12, this year. Cristo Vive Idaho began its ministry in 2008, and has hosted many summer camps in the beautiful hills of Harpster, ID. http://www.cristovive.net/idaho/ On Sunday, July 16, Carol Schmidt will share about their needs and ask for prayers. Please consider supporting them.
Camas Prairie Food Bank: For this month need are great need of hamburger helpers, rice-a-roni, and other easy meal helps. Also canned fruit is always helpful. Any donations of fresh fruits and vegetables are always welcome and appreciated. Thanks so much! As always anything is appreciated.
Carlene and all the volunteers. Camas Prairie Food Bank, Inc., P.O. Box 686, Grangeville, Id. 83530, Location: 411 E. North St. Website is: http://www.camasprairiefoodbank.org/
United Methodist Women (UMW): Our next meeting will be on Wednesday, September 6, 10:00 am, at the church. All are invited to join us.
Annual Strawberry Shortcake Booth: First, I want to say a BIG thank you to Barbara Cleary as my co-chair. We were both busy but I so appreciate your help and encouragement. And a BIG thank you to all the church family in helping make this happen. It amazed me how everything fell into place! Of course we do need to thank this community to supports our booth each year for 29 in a row now. Last but for sure not least, I thank our Lord, our Rock, our Strength, and our forever faithful God!
This year, we picked the 3rd as the Art in the Park was a 2-day event, so we were missed on the 4th I am told by several. It was a hard decision to make. We had long hours that day and did our best. Our Lord will bless and guide us as we decide how these funds are used. Rose Mangini, UMW President
The Sharing Circle. These monthly gathering will resume in the fall.
Camp Scholarships available for Twinlow: UMW is always willing to help with financing for anyone interested in going to camp. Let Rose Mangini, (983-0489), know if you have someone that needs our assistance in making this happen.
NOTE: We still have some Mincemeat –in freezer (meatless too). It is FREE!
The Purpose of UMW: The organized unit of United Methodist Women shall be a community of women whose PURPOSE is to know God and to experience freedom as whole persons through Jesus Christ; to develop a creative, supportive fellowship; and to expand concepts of mission through participation in the global ministries of the United Methodist Church.
MEMORIAL FLOWER TUBS: Our flower tubs were delivered on Thursday, May 25, and below is the listing of the ones they are in memory of or in honor of. Thanks to Jane Carlson for planning these for us again this year. Jane had been watering them every day when it has been hot. UMW paid for the cost of improving the watering system so hopefully they will continue to help make our church look nice.
Here is a list of what they represent: In memory of our parents, Adele & Raymond Holman, Elouise Warden Peters, Justin Peters, by Carol & Don Warden & Family; In memory of Patricia Buckendorf and Daughter-in-law, Son Hanson, by Clyde & Marietta Hanson; In Honor of All Care Givers, by David & Emily Poncin; In celebration of our 48 years together, by Joanie & Bernie Golz; In Memory of Ron & Jewel Hunter, Bob Fisher, John Muhlstein, Cliff Eidemiller, by Craig & Jane Spencer; In loving memory of my parents, Beth & Richard Leonard, by Jane Carlson; In Memory of my brother, Fred Essen, By Barbara Essen; In Honor of our 11 children, By Barbara Cleary & Sue Crea; In Memory of Rachel Cox, by Sharon & Jerry Cox; In Honor of orphans at Jamaa Letu Orphanages, by Rose Mangini.
UMCOM: Now we are in need of small appliances such as toasters, microwaves, crock pots, coffee makers. Also cook pots and small utensils are all ways needed. Thanks to all who have donated items! We are blessed to have the opportunity to work through the Human Needs Council to help individuals/families in need of household items. Thanks from Emily Poncin, Jane Carlson, Lenora Gregg, Cathy Vanella, and Linda Johns!
The Snippet Corner: Cont. of John Wesley’s Sermon 48: In order to supply this defect in some degree, I shall Endeavour to show. First, what it is for a man to deny himself, and what to take up his cross; and secondly, that if a man be not fully Christ’s disciple. It is always to the want of this.
- 1. I shall, first, endeavor to show, what it is for a man to “deny himself, and take up his cross daily.”
This is a point which is of all others, most necessary to be considered and thoroughly understood, even on this account, that is it, of all others, most opposed by numerous and powerful enemies. All our nature must certainly rise up against this, even in its own defense; the world, consequently, the men who take nature, not grace, for their guide, abhor the very sound of it. And the great enemy of our souls, well knowing its importance, cannot but move every stone against it. Dave Hammond- The History Hound (History Haven)
The Military BibleStick: This summer, express your appreciation for our service members by providing them a Military BibleStick. This small digital audio player is designed specically for the safety of deployed Troops. Each one includes the complete Audio New Testament along with 65 minutes of selected Psalms. You can help us get God’s Word, the most valuable tactical gear available, to those who continue to protect our freedoms.
For more information, check out their website: https://militarybiblestick.com/about/