VBS Geek of the Week

Wow! I know it’s Friday and we’ve decided to mix things up on you a bit here. Keith is really busy trying to get some fabulous products ready for VBS 2013 and move offices. In an effort to chill him out (I mean help him out) a little, I am doing a Friday edition of VBS Geek of the Week.

This week’s Geek of the Week was discovered at our Nashville Previews in January. Angelia Stewart works as a 3rd and 4th grade Team Member for the Tennessee River Baptist Association. So without further adieu, lets find out what makes Angelia a VBS Geek of the Week.

What roles have you filled involving VBS?

I have served as a Director of VBS from Ocean Osydessy until last year when my family moved to a new church. I am now serving as the Music Leader in our current church.

What do you think is the most encouraging aspect of VBS?

The most encouraging thing about doing VBS year after year is seeing the faces of boys & girls as they discover Who Christ is & that He  loves them more than anything . . . no matter what their circumstances. The joy on their faces when they accept Christ as their Savior and experience the freedom that only He can give makes all the effort worth it!

What is your favorite VBS theme to date?

It is hard to pick one theme, but Saddle Ridge Ranch & Amazon Outfitters were probably my favorites.

What is your Geekiest VBS Moment?

For Rickshaw Rally, my husband made a rickshaw that we used to promote VBS. During VBS & after VBS I put it out in front of my house as landscaping. He had worked too hard to just toss it. Our neighbors would all laugh as they came to visit & say, “You might be a VBS junkie if you keep your decor as landscaping. And YOU MIGHT BE A VBS GEEK IF … every item you see you think about how it can be used with the VBS theme.”

Behind the Scenes: VBS Preview

The following is a guest post from one of our event coordinators, Andy Dukes.  Andy got to spend some time working behind the scenes at this year’s VBS preview events!

I love events! I love the energy that events create and the excitement that events build in people who attend them. It is part of the reason I do what I do for a living. One of those events I am humbled to work on is LifeWay’s Vacation Bible School Preview Events. I am blessed to work with LifeWay’s VBS Ministry Specialist, Jerry Wooley, in pulling off these great conferences that showcase the year’s VBS theme from LifeWay. It is amazing the work that goes into pulling off a 2-day event. In fact, it takes approximately 11 months of preparation! In some ways, our team begins to dream and plan for future events before the current event is even over. We do it because it’s a part of a larger effort to make every event better than the one before.

But all of that work doesn’t just go into a single 2-day event. Our season of VBS events begins the first week of January and run through the middle of February. This past year, we had 8 total VBS events spanning 6 weeks and 4 states. In total, almost 5000 people attended a VBS event across the country. In that context, it begins to make sense how much time and energy is put into VBS Previews!

At each location, our team shows up a couple of days in advance to ultimately transform our location into a world of VBS! Teaching faculty decorate their rooms in VBS decor, we set up a bookstore, an event store, our auditorium, and our famous VBS expo where conferees can go hands-on and experience all that VBS has to offer. And we do this week after week as thousands of people come to preview what VBS will feel like, sound like, taste like, and look like!

As an Event Coordinator, it is some of the most fun work I do. Not only do we have a great team, but we know our purpose is more than just provide a fun event for people. For so many, these events are a jumping off point as they remain faithful and obedient to what the Lord has called them to do and that is make the message of Jesus Christ clear to kids in their community through VBS. It excites me that the event does not end when people leave the Preview. Instead, it is just the beginning and God takes what they learn in 2 days and transforms it into a life-changing experience for kids and adults everywhere. And that is why I do what I do.

AWA Accessories

Hey guys! VBS Previews are great for many reasons—the biggest one is the people. Besides getting to see old friends and making new ones, I’m always impressed by the “amazing” enthusiasm preview folks have for VBS! It’s great to hear stories about last summer’s VBS, and talk about your plans for the coming year. It’s difficult to put into words exactly how that “fires me up”!

Check out a couple of my new friends who take their enthusiasm beyond what they say to what they wear!

Andrew created a flight helmet (sorry no photo) and this “amazing” jacket!

Andrew painted the AWA logo on the back of his leather jacket! Awesome!

Here’s Paula Royal wearing some of her “amazing” creations…

Paula's cool black vest with embroidered AWA logo

Here's the front!

Paula's embroidered jacket! Note the embroidered pant leg!

Here's the back of the other pant leg—with scripture reference—a conversation starter "fer shur"!

Do any of you have VBS accessory photos you’d like to send? I know a couple of you do: Becky Mitchell—send us a photo of your awesome knit pilot’s cap! …and Christy Law—send us some shots of your VBS ear rings. (Christy makes ear rings out of some of our promo items every year! Deb Muller too!)

Again, send in those photos!

Grace and peace,


Sneak Peek Week – Previews 2013

Can you believe it! VBS 2013 Previews begin ten months from this weekend and it’s time to get in line for tickets!

We will be giving you the 411 concerning locations, schedules, ticket pricing, etc. on June 4, but for those of you who like to make plans early here is what you need to know.

Ridgecrest Preview – January 11-12 (Ridgecrest Conference Center)
Fort Worth Preview – January 18-19 (Travis Avenue Baptist Church)
Nashville Preview 1 – January 31-February 1 (LifeWay Christian Resources)
Nashville Preview 2 – February 1-2 (LifeWay Christian Resources)
Orlando Preview – February 15-16 (First Baptist Church Kissimmee)

We are still working on details, but we just might be making an announcement about a first-ever one-day Preview scheduled for January 26. This is truly sneak peek information since most of our event team is seeing this information for the first time themselves.

Registration opens June 4 so get the dates of your favorite location on the calendar, invite a friend or two, and be ready to join the fun!

Winners of the VBS Scarves

Thanks to everyone who left a comment to win a pair of those fabulous VBS scarves. I used Radom.org to generate the three winning numbers.

Drumroll please. . .

The winners are  Konnie Smith, Carla Thompson, and Penny Mourer. Ladies if you would be so kind as to e-mail your mailing addresses to carol.tomlinson@lifeway.com, I will get those scarves packed up and in the mail ASAP.


Pilot Monologue

So many people have asked for a copy of the pilot monologue that was presented during Worship Rally at the VBS Preview events that we decided to post it here on our blog. The monologue gives a brief overview of the Bible content for each day of Amazing Wonders Aviation. Feel free to use it during your associational or church VBS training or in promotion of VBS in your own church!

Interesting fact: The “flight log entries” were taken from actual entries in a real pilot’s flight log from the 1960s.

[[Costume: aviator goggles, cap, scarf, and bomber jacket. Pilot enters, carrying flight log.]]

Ever since I was a little girl I knew I wanted to be a pilot. My granddaddy was a pilot, so I guess it’s just in my blood. I can remember listening to him tell stories of the incredible places he’d been and thinking, “one day I’m gonna see those things for myself.” I have all of his old flight logs and I love flipping through them and reading the little notes he wrote next to each trip. Sometimes the notes are just the name of a person he ferried from one place to another. Sometimes they detail damage to the plane or repairs that were needed. But sometimes the notes seem to capture the moment of what he was experiencing from the cockpit.

Take this one… September 9th, 1932… “Rainbow & rain over Grand Canyon. Awesome sight. Awesome Creator.” Then later “Extreme turbulence & blowing dust to see Cedar Breaks & Bryce Canyons. Safely through by His hand.” Those few simple words are a reminder to me of an amazing God who has awesome power over nature. [[Day 1]] When the Israelites were preparing to enter the promised land, one thing stood between where they were and where they wanted to be… a wildly rushing river at flood stage. But the God of all creation stopped the water from flowing and the people crossed safely on dry ground. Amazing!

Let’s look at another one. April 22, 1934… “Heavy fog & limited visibility. Sudden hail storm & extensive damage to No. 2 engine forces emergency landing. God protected.” You can check and recheck every piece of equipment and weather conditions and sometimes circumstances are just out of your control. [[Day 2]] But I know there is a God who has power over circumstances! Daniel found himself in a situation out of his control. He landed himself in a lion’s den by praying to God instead of the king. But God closed the mouths of the lions and protected Daniel. Amazing!

But you know, the most amazing thing to me is that God has power over sin and over death. [[Day 3]] Remember that rainbow my grandfather saw over the Grand Canyon? Well it is a reminder of a promise God once made. But you know, God made an even more important promise to mankind. He promised to send a Savior. It was His own Son, Jesus. Can’t you just imagine the looks on Simeon and Anna’s faces when they saw Baby Jesus in the temple that day? They recognized Jesus as the fulfillment of God’s promise! Now that’s amazing!

But the story didn’t end there. [[Day 4]] Jesus grew from a baby, to a boy, to a man. He lived a life without sin and yet was willing to pay the penalty for your sin and mine by dying on a cross. Then God, who has power over death, raised Jesus from the dead! Jesus died and rose again to be the Savior of the world. Nothing is more amazing than that!

[[Thumbs through log]] I’m glad my grandfather was a pilot. He instilled in me a love of adventure and a love of flying. But I’m especially glad that he was a man of great faith. [[Day 5]] He truly believed that God had power over his life and his circumstances. He met a lot of interesting people as a pilot, and he never shied away from telling them about our amazing God. In Acts 5, the apostles were being persecuted for performing miraculous healings and other signs and wonders. The high priest and the Sadducees arrested them and threw them in jail. But during the night an angel broke them out of prison and told them to go into the temple courts and tell people about their new life in Christ. Even when they were told to be quiet, they continued to boldly tell others about Jesus. God gave them power to be witnesses in difficult circumstances.

No matter what turbulence you encounter in life, remember the words of Psalm 147:5: “The Lord is great, vast in power; His understanding is infinite.”

Foto Friday…Preview/Expo fun photos

Well the Preview/EXPO season has ended for us on the VBS team and it’s time to get back  to working on VBS 2013. It has been SO fun meeting and talking with everyone! This last VBS Preview (at FBC Kissimmee) was especially fun for me because my daughter, Sadie, gave me one of her stuff animals (a stuff kangaroo named, Kanga) to take with me. So, I decided to take photos of Kanga on this trip and text them to her.

She THOROUGHLY enjoyed the photos! While I was down at Kissimmee, I was able to go to Downtown Disney, which was especially fun for her because my wife and I are taking her next month (Sadie’s 1st time)!

Kanga and Sadie

So, here’s Kanga’s adventures!

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