Saturday, November 29, 2008

Can You Say "Refreshing?"

We had a wonderful time this past week on our cruise to Cozumel! The weather was great and the ports of call were a real experience too. The ship was excellent -- the special service will really spoil a person. I haven't really been able to assess the damage in terms of weight gain yet, but I'm sure I'll be able to tell in a few days. It's time to diet -- bread and water through the remainder of the holidays (Thanksgiving holidays). I did the Parasail thing -- 400 feet in the air -- exhilirating to say the least but the water was absolutely beautiful from that view; dark blues fading into lighter and finally to an indescribable aqua blue. What fun! Cindy Wilhite sailed with me, while Trina and Josh held the earth down. Anyway, we're glad to be home.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Thanksgiving Fest "Thank You's"

A huge "Thank You" is in order to the Christ Church family. The Thanksgiving Fest couldn't have been more successful and everyone who participated -- whether in helping unload the refrigerated truck or packaging the meals for the families or giving so generously in order to provide such a wonderful Thanksgiving meal for the 150 families who came. $28 bucks seems a small price to pay to touch someone so wonderfully with the gospel. For every $28 you provided enough for a family of 6 -- a 4 to 6 lb. ham, 2 lbs. cornbread dressing, 2 lbs. green bean casserole, a pumpkin or pecan pie, 16 oz. cranberry sauce and a bread loaf. There were a lot of happy people leaving Christ Church Wednesday night -- but of all who were so blessed, we were more! To see those people respond to the invitation -- made it worth it all. 16 responded with about half of them making a first time commitment to Christ! Thank You, Lord. All of you who were so open and loving -- you really made an impact. I can't tell you of the reports I've received about people saying how welcome they felt and how much love they received. Thank you, thank you, thank you! I'm so thankful to be your pastor!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Friends In High Places

Friends are wonderful, aren't they! I mean, it's difficult for me to imagine life without friends -- friends who love me, who pray for me, who listen to me and to whom I hold myself accountable. I'm thankful for those relationships God has so faithfully sprinkled into my life. And while I have friends who don't yet know Christ, I am especially thankful for those who do. Friends in high places -- friends who are seated with Christ in the heavenlies -- these are the ones with whom I have chosen to walk through life. But friendship is a reciprocal engagement. The scriptures teach that in order to have friends, we must extend friendship to others. Have you reached out to a potential friend lately or are you just kind of waiting for someone to reach out to you? Choose to be a friend today -- someone is waiting, maybe even longing for a mutually fulfilling friendship with someone just like you!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Sometimes Small Is Better

Sunday after second service, I had the privilege of baptizing a young teen-aged girl. It was all sort of impromptu and so I asked the few remaining worshippers who were still lingering in the lobby to join us in this baptismal celebration. There were probably only 20 people there to witness this young lady's step of obedience in baptism, but it was a really sweet moment and the presence of the Lord was incredible.

This morning was another one of those mornings when God just sort of makes Himself known. I attend an early morning men's group and today -- while there were only 6 of us present, God opened an opportunity for real ministry. It's amazing how people will let their guard down in a smaller setting. We often want the Sunday Celebration to be the place where all "Real Ministry" takes place. That's not always where it happens! This morning, a couple of the men in our group really let their guard down and were open about some of the things they are struggling with. One guy, only been saved for about 4 months, was at the point of tears concerning his personal struggles. His final comment -- "I get really down on myself when I mess up -- but then I think about how far I've come, and it really helps. I'm not where I want to be -- but I'm not even close to where I used to be." That's what I'm talkin' about! Thank God for His infinite mercy -- for the gift of repentance and for His wonderful, ongoing, life-changing work in all of our lives. Sometimes small is better -- sometimes, I like it like that!