- I love my church! We had such a FUN day at Grace Community yesterday. If you live in Indiana, by this time of the year, the cold, the snow, the lack of sun, the wind ... it just often wears on you. So, we tried to combat the winter blues by having a Winter Beach Bash at Grace. We encouraged people to wear shorts and flip flops or anything else that could be "beachy." There were people walking around in Hawaiin shirts, life jackets, sun glasses, beach towels ... thankfully no speedos. :) We started the service with the band playing Wipe Out. We also had beach balls flying all over the place. We then had a bunch of really fun games for couples that all revolved around the beach or summer ... things like a game similiar to Musical Chairs except we used beach balls, a hot dog eating contest and an Orange Cruch drinking contest, gathering up summer supplies and setting them all up. We narrowed the competitions down to 1 couple and the husband put on a wet suit and dove ... yes dove in to our baptistry for silver dollar coins. Hilarious! The couple was also able to walk out with a cooler full of summer foods ... steak, drinks, etc. The atmosphere was electric! Everything was really upbeat and really accomplished what we were trying to do ... just uplift people at this time of year. Jim's message was really powerful just on remember who we are as followers of God and the worship time at the end of the service was incredibly powerful too! I'll say it again ... I love my church!
- I'm gearing up for our big outreach night this Wednesday at axis. We've been encouraging our kids to invite their friends to come and we're going to do our best to introduce them to Jesus. If you think of it, please pray for us this Wednesday at axis.
- Last week was a very busy week of ministry for me ... inside and outside the office. Gotta admit, it's Monday and I'm pretty drained at the moment physically and emotionally. But, last week was also just an incredible reminder of what it means to know and believe truth. The enemy feeds us lies all the time. It's not enough to just simply try not to think about the lies. We have to replace the lies with the truth of God's word. Jesus said, "The truth will set you free." I was just reminded last week of how following God is not about being captive to a bunch of "rules" and "do's and don'ts." When you listen to Satan, you're a captive. When you listen to the truth of God's word, you're free!
- Played on the worship team in The Link again yesterday. Loved it!
- Carol and I are huge fans of blueberries! We picked a lot of fresh blueberries this past summer and froze them. We figured it out and, to date, we've gone through 95 pounds of blueberries! We're down to our last 10 pounds in the freezer. That's a lot of blueberries!
- In Jim's message yesterday he shared of 2 times when someone spoke encouragement in to him and basically told him "you have what it takes." In our small group last night, one of the questions was "Share a time when someone told you that you have what it takes." (OK, technically not a question, but you get the point.) I was reminded of a time in high school when a counselor I had at a youth conference wrote a letter to me after the youth conference and basically said "Rich, you have been given much. And, remember, Jesus told us that to whom much is given, much is required. Live up to what you've been given." I was in 11th grade and I believe that was the first time someone really ever told me that I had been "given much." I didn't look at myself that way, but when someone told me that THEY believed in me, it had an incredible impact on my life ... so much so that I still remember it 21 years later. As I look back, I believe that is one of the things that has drawn me to youth ministry ... letting teenagers know that I believe in them and MORE IMPORTANTLY God believes in them.
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