We all had a great time in Tulelake! Everyone was busy praising God and having fun that there weren't a lot of pictures taken, but if you have any you'd like to share from this event we would be happy to publish them here!
Here are just a few from the weekend; click the thumbnails to see a larger image:
An Open Letter to anyone considering organizing, or who would like to help with, an America, Bless God celebration in their town.
If Don & I were there... this is what we do for America, Bless God. The results are great & very rewarding. However... it takes a lot of commitment. You pray, think on it, or contact anyone you think would be interested in putting something like this together, and pray some more.
We have always done the first one, and then left the town or churches to put another one together if they wish. Some have continued with America, Bless God Days, other towns have chosen to call them 'the family day' & so on.
In Las Vegas, NV we called it the "Hot Diggity Dog day in the Park!" due to the amount of homeless people on the street and so on.
OK here goes <smile>
We contact all the churches in the area & let them know what we want to do in their town. Sometimes we will offer a brunch at a local restaurant ... or??? Most like the idea...they just don't want to put it together. They usually feel no one would get behind them. Don & I do not care about that part. It is a little thing the Lord led us to do some time ago. That is that. And as you know, if God is in it, and continues to be the head... things work.
Depending on the town & what they have available... we contact the Mayor or city official, the Fire Department (who may bring their truck for the kids as well as have it there in case of an emergency) American Legion, or Boy & Girl Scouts of America to 'post the colors' (it is a patriotic day also after all <smile>). Perhaps the Knights of Columbus is more tender to something like this in your town... Or the Veterans Association of some kind. (VFW or?)
Boy & Girl Scouts are there (or even Cub Scouts; we had them one year in Kansas. They were a smash!!!!!) to receive the collection (I will explain on that as we go).
Some towns will have a few of their band members play their instrument. One town had the entire High & Middle School Band play patriotic music... (This was the biggest thing going on for miles!! <smile>)
Most towns or nearby towns have a place of business that will donate or allow you to use at a minimal price, their inflatable toys for the kids. We contact them for the event. It is a good business opportunity for them as well. (Also Porta Potty Businesses.)
Like I said, we have found some (back to the toys) usually through churches or etc. to be quite accommodating.
See if there is Child Evangelism in your area. They are great for Bible stories, crafts, or face painting for the kids attending. Maybe even your church does something like this.
We give every church, regardless of denomination, an opportunity for a booth. That would be a table display where they (family or church) will offer such things as bake sales or crafts etc, advertisement (address only no preaching LOL) for their church fund.
See if someone makes banners, flags, shofars or the like for churches.
We ASK if they (all vendors & churches) would please donate 10% of their sales. The rest is for their church, business or family...
One year we had a church youth group sell water as their fund raiser for their youth! And they did great! Only sold bottled water for $0.50 a bottle and they made a killing in that hot sun!!
Neat idea how everyone gets involved. And in the long run they are blessed as well as the event!
Another place a family made tamales. Sold for $1.00. You just use your imagination & use ....whatever (big or small) the town has to offer.
In Tulelake, California, they have the "Trinity Quilters" (ladies who make lap quilts for hospitals, the local missions, & etc) Not in reference to the Lord (even though it is made up of several churches in this basin) but because it consists of ... three towns!
We build this around Southern Gospel Music. Yes, if a group or Choir of one of the local churches sing contemporary that's fine. You just need to have Southern Gospel Music as your theme singers. SGM fans will travel along way for this. And then also, they tend to be more family oriented. (These are "in generals" ... not to suggest the other is not.)
We have had the black churches get behind this a few times... and trust me...if you don't already know, they are not too southern in anything let alone their music!! <smile> But they were such a blessing.
We try to get groups who are from within your state. When we did this in Kansas we used more groups from Kansas. When we were in Indiana, we used more from Indiana. And so forth.
You can go on line and find most of your entertainment. We always chose the ones who were willing to travel for free. All they would require is a table to display their CDs & wares. Then when it is over, after the expenses of the event, we split the money & give to them for their gas expense. We do NOT offer them any money to come. (It’s a Character Notification to us.)
Don & I always ask for a resume & a CD to hear from them. I follow up with a phone call to them, before I tell them they have the "job" (for lack of a better phrase). This way I can get a sense of their spirit before we have them come to the event.
You would be amazed how many Christians do not understand faith & service to our Lord & fellow man.
We have one lady come to almost every event. Her name is Bev Mcann. Bev was one of the singers who came to the first event in Las Vegas, Nevada. Very humbly I might add. She was 'only' an Evangelist back then, with an ability to love people with the love of the Lord, & could sing also. (Don & I and a few others nicknamed her BUBBLES!!!) She traveled from Arizona, and just loved on the people with such a love. The next time we did something like this in Kansas... she came... because she knew what it was all about. In every state she has come to, it has beenat her own expense.
Bev writes her own music (mostly) & over the years has become fairly popular in Nashville, Tenn. I really do not know how many CDs she has now or songs she has written. I already talked to her & she said..."I will be there unless there is a family emergency or something..." Bev put this ABG on her books when Evelyn suggested we do this in Ohio.
You will need a few people to help you with the advertisement. We make fliers & post them at stores, businesses, laundry mats, Post Offices & sometimes the schools will let you post them...& so on. Other parks??
One lady made booklets & got a few business to advertise in them & sold advertisement in the booklet. She made enough off that to take care of even the ink & paper she used to make the booklets! It was a nice keepsake for the folks. And any of the pastors who came or someone from their church, knew how to get ahold of the singers! (oh yeah, & we try an book a church for the people if they stay in town or depending ON the time of the event. Usually we make it on a Sat & get them a church for Sunday.)
I'm sure I'm leaving something out. As I said, I do this as we go along using whatever the area has to offer.
Once you read this & think of a park (or some outside facility... in Nebraska one year we did it on a farmer’s property ...HUGE YARD!!!!) we can book the park. We simply need a place to have the music.
In one park they had a band shell, another nothing! In West Virginia we used a flatbed trailer for the stage. Here in California we are going to use a goose neck & will be decorating it with red, white & blue!!
Don & I contacted a park in Brook Park almost a week ago, but have not heard back yet. It may take time; then again, as I said before, you almost have to be in their face talking to them from one person to another to get any of this done. Therein lays my dilemma.
I am going to stop for awhile... give your eyes a rest as well as my mind!!!
If you need to talk to me for any reason, my # is (if you don't already have it) 702-232-5959.