Just a word of warning ... lots of thoughts running through my head right now. Could be a long post.
- One of our local high schools won it's first ever Sectional Champioship this past Friday night. The Fairfield Falcons made history and what an incredible game it was! I won't go in to all of the X's and O's, but just want to share a quick story about the game. We have a lot of kids who come to axis on the football team. The starting quarterback is also one of our student leaders. The previous starting quaterback also comes to axis, but he tore his ACL mid-season ... which really stunk b/c it is his senior year. (Side Note: Justin's attitude through that injury was just absolutely amazing! I really learned a lot from him watching him face it). Anyway, there was under 2 minutes to go and the game was tied. Our quaterback (Chase) threw a pass that was intercepted and the defender ran it in for a touchdown. The extra point was missed, but this put the other team (Bremen) up by 6 with 1:11 to go in the game. Bremen's kickoff went in to the end zone, which put the ball on the 20 ... which meant Fairfield had 1:11 to drive 80 yards for a tie or go-ahead score. Chase (our quaterback and student leader) talked to me about this and said when they got in to the huddle, the starting fullback (Micah ... a great leader on the team and who also comes to axis) said, "Chase we believe in you. You can do this." Fairfield goes 80 yards in just a little over a minute and with 5 seconds left to play in the game, Chase threw a 13 yard pass to Tanner (who also comes to axis) for a touchdown. Derek (another axis kid) kicked the extra point and Fairfield wins the game by 1 for their first ever sectional championship. Anyway, I share all of that for a few reasons:
1) I just thought it was so cool to hear how the entire team never gave up even when things looked really bad. Seriously, they never ONCE hung their heads.
2) It was just awesome to hear how other players on the team surrounded Chase and showed belief in him even after one of the lowest points of the game ... an interception for a touchdown.
3) I love the fact that it was axis kids who were doing all of the encouraging! That just pumps me up!
4) I'm just so happy for the entire team. Several of the coaches go to Grace, the head coach doesn't go to Grace, but is an awesome Christian guy who has invested over 20 years of his life in teenagers. I don't know the exact percentage, but I wouldn't be surprised if 40% of the team were axis kids. What a great win!
- Carol and I had a date this past Saturday night and it was so much fun to be out with her. I've been detecting a pattern for our dates ... Panera Bread. After dinner we actually did Christmas shopping which means this is officially the earliest I've ever been Christmas shopping. I never knew how much fun it would be to shop for our kids, but what a blast! And, thanks to the Dave Ramsey envelope system, there was no stress in the shopping. We've been saving all year for this and it was just a lot of fun to go at it! After our shopping we headed to Starbucks and we both enjoyed a non-fat, no whip, Peppermint Mocha. The peppermint mocha means that, for us, the Christmas season is hear ... yikes! And, it's only November 9th. But, the rule is we don't start listening to Christmas music until after Thanksgiving when we put up our tre. Although, Carol often tries to sneak some Christmas songs in on the ipod. :)
- I had the opportunity to speak at Grace yesterda and wrap up our series 5 Lies of Satan, with "It's Just a Little Sin." It should be up on our website soon, so if you're interested, you can check it out at www.gracecommunity-church.com. The basic idea was that God is not OK with ANYTHING that comes between us an Him. We looked at Luke 18:9 - 14 and I shared how since the sin of Adam and Eve we've experienced this fear of being exposed for who/what we really are and to help us feel just a little better about ourselves, we'll often compare sins or put sins on different levels just to make us think we're not that bad. I talked about how our pride often makes us believe that we can make life work on our own and that anything we turn to to make life work on our own is really idolatry ... no matter how big or how small it may be. I studied this stuff for a week and there were times when I was in my office literally weeping because of the things I've let get in the way of my relationship with God and the things I often had let take the place of God in my life. At the end of the service we had a time to just ask God to reveal things to us and then to repent of them. It was a very special time and it just seemed like people were getting some stuff right with God.
- At our services yesterday we sang 2 hymns that were "modernized" just a bit. I remember singing and reflecting on the words and just lifting my hands up worshipping God. The words to those songs were just so powerful. I must have sang those two hymns 1000 times in the church I grew up in, but never remember worshipping to them the way I did yesterday. That, unfortunately, was so very wrong on my part. Sure, it may be a bit harder to worship to an organ than an electric guitar, but I can look back and regreat not really understanding worship at that time. I'm thankful that I'm making up for some lost time now.
- Had two reminders over the weekend that people are "watching" Carol and I and how we live. Thankfully, it was positive stuff, but things were brought up that people saw in us that I never would have realized or understood. It was incredibly humbling, but also a powerful reminder that we have a heavy responsibility in the lives of people. God, please help us to live up to it!
- Side not on the services yesterday ... while I was talking in the second service, there was this incredibly loud beeping sound that just kept going off. About every 30 seconds you could hear it and it was so loud that EVERYONE in the Main was able to hear it. After this went on for a few minutes I just finally addressed it and was like "Is it just me or does anyone else hear the beeping sound." I tried to just do some "here and now" stuff and talk about the distraction that it was and how Satan often does that in our lives. He tries to distract us from God's path and keep us from focusing on him. Then I think I said something like "I wish it would stop because it's a little annoying." Come to find out, it was a lady's oxygen tank signaling that the battery was low. She's one of the sweetest ladies in the church! If I'da known it at the time, I would have just been like "You just let that thing beep as much as you want!"
- Steelers/Broncos tonight for MNF. Can't wait!
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