Monday, September 14, 2009

Monday's Thoughts: Church, U2, Kids

- It's been quite the weekend and I'm definately feeling it a bit this morning. I'm reminded that I'm not quite as young as I used to be and getting to bed at 2:30am takes quite the toll on my body! But, I still consider myself "in my prime." :)

- Great day at Grace yesterday. Incredible worship time! I don't do this often, but during our worship, I took the liberty to look around just a bit and I just LOVED seeing people engaged in worship ... arms lifted, voices raised ... really cool to see people crying out to God.

- Jim did a GREAT job yesterday. Really challenged and encouraged by his sermon. He focused on several points, but what I took away was the idea of being the one who will stand in the gap for others (i.e. my family, my kids in axis). Jim shared examples from the Bible where God "relented" because of one man's prayers or actions. I just want to be known as someone who causes God to "relent" because of my prayers, passions, or actions.

- Went to go see U2 in Chicago last night with some good friends. A good friend of mine showed incredible generosity and gave me a ticket. So, we made the trek to Soldier Field and watched the North American kickoff for U2's 360 tour. Above gives just a picture of how many people were actually there ... easily 80,000 and probably more! The place was PACKED!

- The above picture is just a shot of their stage ... which was mind blowing! The lighting, video, and effects they used just engaged all of the senses and made for one great show. I left with that feeling, though ... it was a great show. U2 are just amazing performers and musicians and totally just tour it up. It was great to hear their new stuff along with some of their classic stuff. But, Jeremy, one of our worship pastors at Grace had a really cool comment afterwards. He said it's interested to see how we are ALL programmed to worship. The people at the concert were doing all of the things that we would do during our worship time at Grace on a Sunday morning (minus the beer drinking and pot smoking :) haha ... but to me, although I was greatly entertained and enjoyed the show, the music ultimately felt empty to me because I wasn't able to direct the music to my God. All music can elicit the same set of emotions that we "feel" during a worship time, but where we direct those emotions and feelings is what is important. To we turn them to a band or the music or do we direct them to God? Ten years ago, I wouldn't have even wrote this because I would have been so caught up in the "show." I'm glad that God has brought me to this place now, though ... if any of that makes sense.

- Had some really good family time on Friday. We went out to Best Buy to purchase some stuff for our youth ministry and while there Ezra got to play the new Beatles Rockband. He LOVED it! He got a 28% efficiency ... not bad for just trying to hit stuff.

- We also got to put Mercy in some Steeler gear for the big opening game this past Thursday. She the cutest Steeler baby I've ever seen!
- Had some good connections today: One with the director of 5 Star ... a local middle school ministry that has an incredible impact in the schools. The other with a local youth pastor. Tonight, we'll be trying to get people from Grace connected in to small groups at our Group Link event.

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