Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Sunday Recap

Part I
So I was out of town on Sunday because I was in North Carolina officiating the wedding of some good friends. I am finding more and more that I miss my church family when I am gone for a weekend. I was gone but still was able to preach via a video that we recorded earlier in the week.

Sprang did an incredible amount of work to make the video visually appealing. I think the teaching was around 19 minutes long and he put somewhere in the neigborhood of 14-15 hours worth of editing to get the final version. This didn't include the hours we spent filming everything. Mucho thanks to my good buddy and incredible worship arts pastor, Sprang. We are blessed to have him in our lives personally and our church is blessed that he shares his many talents with us on a weekly basis.

Part II
I went to Pine Ridge Church in Burlington on Sunday. They are a new church and around the same age as Catalyst. God has blessed them and they have grown tremendously in the last three years.

I wanted to see what they are up to and to see if they are doing anything drastically different than we are at Catalyst. I enjoyed the service. The worship was solid and Tadd Grandstaff, the pastor, did a great job with the message.

It was very much like being at Catalyst to be honest with you. It is great to see other churches rocking the music and preaching scripture in a relevant way.

PART III (The highlight of my day)
Last August I was in NC to marry a different couple, Jeremy and Shireen Warren. They had been a part of our small group for a couple of years and by all practical measurements, the should not have fit in. They were very young, just a couple of years out of high school and Heather and I were the closest to them in age at around 30. Everyone else was late 30s or early 40s. But Jeremy and Shireen were there nearly every week.

Enough of the history. I knew they attended Pine Ridge, but had also seen a Facebook post that they would be at a wedding on the coast on the 15th. Imagine my surprise when they came walking around the corner with name tags on as they are a part of the welcome team at PRC. Shireen started crying and nearly made me cry as well. It was so good to see them and to see them SERVING in a local church.

After the service we got to talk for a few minutes and they shared how much they love their church. Jeremy told me that they had always missed being in a small group and when Pine Ridge started the groups he and Shireen signed up the first week. Not only are they serving, they are plugged in relationally as well. They had no idea how exciting this was for me to hear.

Jeremy is a great softball player and plays in a lot of tournaments. They told me that once they got married they decided that Jeremy would no longer play in tourneys that were Sat & Sun. I made the comment, "That is incredible, it really cost you something didn't it."

They didn't miss a beat as Shireen said, "Cost us something? Giving up Sunday softball is nothing compared to the friends we have in this church. We love it here, we love being here!"

It may sound a bit dramatic, but I was fighting back tears. God is gripping the heart of this young couple. They are committed to growing and serving in a local church and they are doing this in their early 20s.

The crazy thing, neither Jeremy or Shireen were an active part of our youth ministry in NC. They came on Sunday but that was about it. I am thankful to God for His work in their lives and for Pine Ridge Church providing a place for them to grow.

I doubt he will ever see the post but thank-you Tadd Grandstaff for what you are doing in NC. You keep pushing the limits of what church can do and be and accomplish. Thanks for presenting the scriptures in a bold and relevant manner. Thanks for caring about folks that are far from Christ. Thanks for taking care of Jeremy and Shireen. We are cheering you on from Rowlett, TX.

Part IV
We headed over to the home of two of our greatest friends and fans. I say fans because while I was still a youth pastor, Cindy began telling me that she could sense God was calling and equipping me for something other than youth ministry. She has always been one of our greatest encourager's and cheerleaders. We all need people like this in our life and we are lucky enough to call Cindy and Freddy friends. It is great to see what God is doing in their lives, to see the growth in Freddy, just incredible.

These two love our kids like their own. Keegan never really knew them because he was only 12 weeks old when we moved to TX, but he feels right at home with them. We are so thankful to have folks all over the country that love us and our kids like family.

This is a long entry, but it was a long, full and rich day. Thanks to all who made it a great one!

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