*It was one of the most difficult weeks I’ve experienced in a long time. Let’s just say the devil was fighting and all Hell broke loose on many fronts. I’ve learned this is typical just before God moves in a big way. So, I wasn’t all that surprised with the things we had planned for the weekend and then the fact that I’m leaving for a mission’s trip in one week. God pulled me through – He always does – it’s just learning to lean on Him that isn’t always easy.
*Saturday night was a blast! I love seeing the kids all dressed up – we had a lot of new people – and it was great to just hang out with so much of the church family. At one point (while standing out in a field next to an old barn – waiting to scare the beepers out of people) I looked up and noticed the stars in the sky – I worshiped Jesus right on the spot!
*Sunday morning was a huge day – one big service instead of two. Our goal was to pull everyone together for a time of Celebration and Vision Casting – which included a plan to hire InJoy Ministries for a Capital Stewardship Program. The service has to go down as one of the longest I’ve been a part of – almost two hours! But, it was amazing. We had a ton of new faces – the “Changed Lives” video was great – the prayer time – and everything else just seemed to flow – there was a new level of excitement in our people. The response forms gathered at the end of the service were overwhelmingly positive in following the leadership’s recommendation of entering into a campaign with InJoy. God is going to stretch us even more – I can’t wait to see how He is going to move!
*Our ladies bible study presented Cassie Lane with over $2,000 for her adoption from Ethiopia. All the money was made on a Fried Pie fundraiser!
*We had a special guest with us on Sunday morning as well – Donnie McDonald, one of our missionaries to Japan was here – he was able to share and lead us in prayer during the service – it was great to hear about his ministry and to spend time with him.
*We had 14 in our small group last night and we focused on making a difference in our community through loving others. The group decided to collect as many coats as possible over the next week to two weeks and give them out through a few of the schools. Let us know if you want to help or if you know someone who needs a coat.
*I’m looking forward to the Africa trip – but dreading leaving my family – the thought of being away from them for over a week and not having the ability to communicate is killing me. My wife and daughters are so amazing - I'm blessed!
*I’m not sure how to say this – but I see God doing mighty things in our lives and through First Church – it’s only the beginning – my heartbreaks for those who can’t see it or refuse to see it. Following Jesus requires giving up our way for His way – I still struggle with that as well. We must keep our focus on Him – it’s all about changed lives for Jesus!