Monday, August 31, 2009

Monday Monday Monday

- Sunday was a very cool day at church. We had over 40 people get baptized and EACH one was a celebration! The energy was a high as I had ever felt it at Grace Community. God's presence was just incredibly strong and people were just celebrating with each other as over 40 believers took that step of obedience and got baptized. The picture above is Pastor Jon baptizing his daughter Elli. Dad's were baptizing their kids. Moms were baptizing their kids. Friends were baptizing their friends. Grandad's were baptizing their grandsons. And, the pastors got in on some of the action too. What a great day and, honestly, we could have just stopped church after the baptisms, and I would have left feeling incredibly blessed and encouraged!

- Real busy yesterday. After our 2 services, we had something called Getting to Know Grace ... just an opportunity for people new to the church to get to know the pastors a bit, to learn about the history of the church, to hear about the vision for the church, and to ask any questions that they may have. It was really a great time. After that, I came home and, after a little time connecting with Carol, I had to start preparing for small group. Had small group at 5 and got home around 8pm. Finally got Ezra and Mercy in bed by 8:30pm. Anyway, Carol and I sat down in our living room ... she got on the computer and I laid down on the couch. Within minutes I fell asleep and, seriously, I think I had the BEST hour of sleep I've ever had in my entire life! Carol woke me up as she was going to bed and I remember telling her, "I don't think sleep has ever been this good!" I got up, went to bed, and just slept like a baby! There's nothing like good sleep!

- I picked up Carol, Ezra, and Mercy at the airport Saturday afternoon. They were in CT visiting family all last week. It was SO good to see them! In the infamous words of Kelly Clarkson ... "My life would suck without you!" When they are away I realize, once again, how much I love them.

- Carol starts back to work tomorrow. I'm so impressed with her and all that she does. Being a stay at home mom is not easy. Being a stay at home mom who works 2 days a week ... even more difficult! Her job requires a lot from her emotionally, physically, and spiritually, yet she comes home after a long day of counseling and gives her best to me and our kids. She's pretty amazing.

- Starting a new series at axis Wednesday called "How to Be Your Best." I'm basing all of the info off of a few books I've read: Training Camp by Jon Gordon, Do Hard Things by Alex & Brett Harris, and Who You Are When No One's Looking by Bill Hybels. I'm really looking forward to this and will really be praying that God uses this in our youth ministry. I'm praying that our kids will step up and rise above much of the mediocrity that surrounds them and pursue excellence.

- The cross country team won their meet on Saturday. What a good group of girls. I really enjoy working with them. Kirt H., the head coach, does an awesome job and is really helping me learn some of the strategies of coaching cross country. It's been a really good experience so far.

- Watched the movie "Religulous" by Bill Maher last week. Bill Maher is BLATANTLY anti-Christian/anti-religion and so his "mockumentary" was basically to point out the EVILS of religion and that, in his words, mankind can never move forward as long as religion is in the picture. Most of the movie was spent mocking people of different faiths for what they believe. While he did spend time making fun of Mormons and Muslims, Christianity received the blunt of his assault. Honestly, there were some funny things in the movie. Most of the "Christians" he interviewed were the Christians that give Christianity a "bad" name, if you know what I mean ... the very judgmental, accept it because that's simply the way it is, I'll answer with every Christian cliche in the book type of people. It really opened my eyes to how some view Christianity and challenged me to do my best to break that stereotype. It also helped me understand, once again, that what we believe REALLY doesn't make sense. It reminded me of a song by Nichole Nordeman: Fool for You, and pretty much describes what I was thinking after I watched the movie.

There are times when faith and common sense do not align,when hardcore evidence of you is hard to find,and I am silenced in the face of argumenative debate,it's a long hill it's a lonley climb. Maybe it's true.

CHORUS:Cause they want proof,They want proof of all these mysteries I claim,Cause only fools would want to chant a dead man's name.I would be a fool for you all because you asked me to.A simpleton who's seeming naive,I do believe You came and made Yourself a fool for me.
I admit that in my darkest hours I've asked what if,What if we created some kind of man made faith like this,Out of good intention or emotional invention,and after life is through there will be no You.

Cause they want proof of all these miracles I claim,Cause only fools believe that men can walk on waves.Maybe it's true. I would be a fool for you all because you asked me to. A simpleton who's seemingly naive, I do believe YOu came and made urself a fool for me.

Unaware of popularity,and unconcerned with dignity,You made me free.That's proof enough for me.I would be a fool for You,Only if You asked me to,A simpletonwho's only think of,The cause of love.I will speak Jesus name,and if that makes me crazy,they can call me crazed,I'm happy to be seemingly naive,I do believe You came and made Yourself a fool for me

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