Whew! It's been a pretty crazy week which was definately a prelude to what's looking to be a pretty crazy month for me in October. Not much time for blogging. Gotta be honest, I'm already feeling a bit overwhelmed, so it will be cool to see how God brings things together. I like to run to help cope with the busyness of this time of year, but once again, my right knee has started to hurt and I've decided to just STOP running for 4 weeks. Hopefully this will be a good time for me to focus a bit more on weight lifting or simply walking in order to try to keep in shape. My workouts have been quite erratic the past month so I'm already feeling a bit out of shape. Anyway, I digress!
There will probably be quite a bit of info in this post, so if you make it through the whole thing, you deserve some type of reward. Maybe we can work something out. :)
- Carol has changed one of her work days from Thursday to Friday which means we now have our "family" day back. We took advantage of it yesterday by going to a park for lunch. Tried about a hundred times to get Mercy to look at me for the picture, but she was having nothing to do with it. We had a great time at River Bend park in Middlebury. Ezra LOVED throwing rocks in to the little river they have and also playing wiffle ball with me. It was so much fun to be there with them all yesterday. I just love my family!
Before we left for home, we made a stop at the Rise & Roll Bakery. That bakery has some of the best donuts in the world! Above is a pic of Ezra enjoying his. The ladies at the table next to us got a huge kick out of watching EZ eat his donut. I think more ended up on him than in his mouth!
- It's been a amazing week of ministry for us as a church. The above picture is our church kitchen FILLED with homemade chocolate chip cookies. I believe the final count was 13,780. As a church we wanted to just say "thanks" to our local schools, so we had volunteers from our church bake cookies, and then on Wednesday and Thursday we delivered a dozen cookies to EVERY worker at our Goshen schools and our Fairfield schools. It was an incredible way to say "thank you" to some people that make a real difference in the lives of teenagers. As a church, our mission is to be Jesus to people and being Jesus can sometimes be as simple as passing out cookies. Tonight, there are home football games for both Goshen and Fairfield and we'll be passing out "pom poms" to those coming to the games ... again, just a simple touch to let people know that our church cares and MORE IMPORTANTLY Jesus cares. We just want to be able to point people to Him.
This past Wednesday was See You at the Pole. I was specifically asked by some of our kids to be at the Goshen High School this year. Normally I make my rounds to Fairfield, Goshen, and then the middle school. But, this year I just stayed at Goshen. Goshen is a school of around 3000 students and above is a small group of kids who really want to make a difference at their school. It was so moving to hear their prayers asking God to use them, asking God to be with their teachers, asking God to save their friends. As I look at that picture, I know God's heart was moved by the prayers of those teenagers! This Tuesday, one of the girls in the picture above is starting a Bible study at the school. Just AWESOME!
Here is the "wrap up" from Wednesday night axis:
Topic: How to Be Your Best
Student Involvement: We had kids giving announcements, reading Scripture, greeting, taking pictures, working in the tech cage, on the worship team, and working in our cafe.
Fun Stuff: Impossible Shot and a couple of pretty cool videos.
Bible Verses: James 1:2 - 3, 1 Peter 5:8, Luke 18:27, Philippians 4:13
Worship Set: One Way, Kingdom, Sing Sing Sing
Attendance: 177 with 9 visitors
The "Big" Idea: Stay Positive
Review: Before the lesson I had asked kids to text in some ways that they had been their best over the past month. It was cool to get some of the responses. They ranged from someone being in the band at school and really trying to stay positive at shows and helping their bandmates stay positive to one person saying that they have struggled with cutting, but haven't cut for the past 9 weeks. Some really cool responses.
We wrapped up our How to Be Your Best series by focusing on the idea that, to be your best, you have to stay positive. Don't feed the negative thoughts, but feed the positive thoughts. We started with a clip from Dumb and Dumber where Loyd asks Mary is there is a chance between the two of them and she says "No." Basically a "1 in a million" odds. And he says, "So, you're telling me there's a chance." Pretty funny clip and a fairly good way to illustrate not letting things get you down when they don't go your way. We talked about how the enemy wants control of our minds and when things are difficult he wants to get us to focus on the negative instead of on God. God uses the difficult times to make us more like Him and uses them as a chance for us to really turn our attention and focus on Him. To be our best, we can't just face our challenges, but embrace them as a way to become more like Jesus Christ. Overall, a pretty good night at axis and I just TOTALLY LOVED this series.
One quick story ... at the end of the night, I had two kids come up to me and talk to me about some struggles that one of them had been going through. Before axis, they had been at one of the students' parents house and were just talking through things for over an hour ... just the idea that the one struggling needed to stay positive through all of this stuff. Anyway, they get to axis and find out what we are talking about and the kid is like "Wow! God is really trying to tell me something." Anyway, long story short, that student was led to Jesus that night by his friend! Woo Hoo!