Wow. We have had quite a week in the Pacific Northwest! All week we’ve had boiling weather all the way up to 107 degrees. We’ve survived on popsicles and swimming pools at our house!
Today we had a few of Delaney’s friends over to jump in the pool. They all had the best time and were as cute as can be. As we were leaving the girls all said, “Bye Pastor Mark!” One little girl, Ashleigh, piped up and said, “Bye Magic Mark!” She said she didn’t know the word for pastor, so she came up with her own…pretty fitting in my mind!
I then asked her what my name was…she looked up at me with her sweet little eyes and said, “Caffeine.” I’m not sure where she got that, but I have a sneaking suspicion that her parents have said a few things about me at home! 🙂
So, to all of you who are hot as can be…good news – the church has air conditioning! See you Sunday!
Here’s my weekly highlights from Sunday:
Awwww….I held a baby in the nursery during first service who reminded me SO much of my daughter, Kennedy. She was a sweetheart!
We had a new check in and out process for our kids at church today. It went really well and there was much more manageable control at the counter. Next week will be even smoother, since now most people will know what they are doing. This is the area of church planting that has caused great headache…how do you provide a secure environment and yet escort guest parents back and forth so that they feel comfortable with where their kids are? Without spending a ton of cash for a fancy system that scans the chip in their forehead?…just kidding. We keep tweeking the system, so we hope to have it mastered at some point.
Delaney learned about the plagues of Pharaoh in class today. Her favorite plague was the frogs. What a cool story! Thanks to Mike and Alecia for taking both classes today so that Kim could have a week off.
We need more greeters on our leadership schedule. It’s by far the area with the least number of volunteers. I find that very strange. You’d think it would be our kids ministry that needed the volunteers…like always, we are a backwards church.
Pastor Jeff preached on Nehemiah. I LOVE that story! Apparently he did a good job, but I didn’t get to hear him today. I’ll catch it on www.coffeechurch.com.
We got a call from our security company at 1:30 AM. Mark got to go down to the church with a police officer to make sure we weren’t being robbed…now there’s a fun thing to do in the middle of the night. Thankfully it was a false alarm, but they still have to check every nook and cranny in the building to make sure no one is hiding in there. I’m really grateful for police officers! Thanks for coming quickly and doing a thorough job!
I love statistics. It was one of my favorite classes in college. Here’s my stat of the day: our attendance a year ago this week was 49. Two years ago it was 40. Three years ago, it was 0, but that’s because we didn’t exist…This is usually one of our least attended weekends of the year. Curious as to yesterdays attendance? It was 132. That’s a lot of new friends in a year. I’m so thankful for each one of you!
It’s going to be a hot week! See you Sunday in our nice, air conditioned church!
Yesterday was my blog-birthday. It’s been a year since I started writing down my thoughts for the world to read. And after a year of consistently following my own life, I consider it one of my most valuable possessions. I believe that Mark and I are in the midst of building something really important that is called a church, but is really much larger than that, and to be able to chronicle these thoughts has been a really incredible experience.
This is a season of our lives where God seems closer than He has ever been. We are more dependent on His direction, His provision, and His mercy than in the previous decade of ministry. We walk daily in the reality that if GOD blesses our endeavors, they will succeed, but if we build this house in our own strength, it will fail. And not to mention that we have no back up plan. We went in with an all or nothing mentality.
This has also been a season of ministry where we are learning so much! Every sermon molds and shapes us. Our team challenges us to be better. Our people keep us on our knees – not out of frustration, but out of a love that includes feeling the pain of bitter circumstances and the joy of success. We are more dependent on God and people than we have ever been.
And then there’s the faith element. Wow. Words cannot put into reality what living in faith will do to you. It’s awesome! It keeps you from being petty and ugly about the details. It keeps you from mediocrity. It keeps you alive.
I find myself blogging in my brain all day long. It forces me to take notice of the lessons that I am learning in everyday things. I also look back over the last year and am able to track the amazing work that God has done. Sometimes it seems that God isn’t really doing anything in our lives, but now, via my computer and an internet connection, I have proof that He has been working overtime to do the impossible.
Thanks to all of you who take a minute or two to read every once in a while. I hope that my journey makes your journey a little brighter.
Here’s an email I just received…
A week or so ago, a friend put a shout out on FB to see if anyone had an infant carseat available for a single mom who was going to deliver soon and didn’t have a carseat to bring the baby home from the hospital. I saw it and couldn’t believe it. We had just switched my son to his toddler seat that week! Even if we decide to have another baby, this carseat we had would expire before then. I knew I needed to find somewhere for it to go. This woman was having a boy. So, we were able to bless her with a carseat, clothes, lotion….all things we already had.
We don’t have the means right now to go out and purchase things….that’s why it was such a blessing for us to be able to bless someone else even when we are tight. I loved it. We talked to the kids about it and explained how God had given us an opportunity to bless someone else, even during a difficult financial time in our own lives. Thank you, Lord. It was awesome.
A woman in our church donated some canned food. A small group brought some more canned food. Another woman donated a Safeway gift card. Another man donated more canned food, some fresh food, and $50 to offset some of the grocery budget.
What did that create? The perfect situation to pour out a blessing. That same man loaded all of that blessing into his car, drove over to a single mom’s house from our church, and rang the doorbell. Simple and yet profound at the same time.
Here’s the email that the church got a little while later:
Just wanted to say thank you SO much!!! My son was just saying last night how everyone at our church is so nice. Then…you gave us the biggest blessing today!!! Just when I feel like “where is God in all of this?” – HE shows me exactly where He is! Always watching over us, always! Our God is incredibly amazing – even in our darkest hours. My whole family thanks you for your continued blessings and prayers!
The lesson in this blessing: You may not have “enough” to bless someone by yourself. However, when a group of people comes together, it became a huge deal for one family. That’s the magic of a church family.
If you’d like to donate some food, bring it to church on Sunday. A few families doing “a little bit” can buy a couple of weeks of groceries for someone who really needs it. We’ll keep doing “drops” as long as we have food/gift cards/cash to do it.