Sunday, January 25, 2009

Sunday morning at the BRDC

This will be a quick post but I want to share what's going on right now. I'm sitting at my desk at the Baton Rouge Dream Center at 11am on Sunday morning. Outside my door our refreshment table holds hot coffee, juice and an assortment of pastries and snacks. There were probably 20 people in line when I walked, women and children who have just gotten off the vans we sent out to bring them to church. For some, this will be the only food they eat today.
Through my window I see a man who is unshaven, unkempt and most likely spent the night on the street. In front of him is a woman that I would guess struggles with mental illness; some days she loses the battle. These are people of every age, shape and ability who got up this morning and made a decision to get on the bus and come to church. They put God first today.
I am humbled by the fact that God lets us serve His people. He has given us a front row seat for the miracles He is about to do in His people. They will get their coffee and then go to their classes. They will sit for an hour while volunteers teach them what it means to be Christians. Then they will move to the sanctuary and listen to someone preach the gospel. Some will get saved (in Jesus' name) and some will sleep. Either way, I believe that God is pleased by their effort.
I pray that He will be pleased with our effort too. All glory to God.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Popeye's and PVC

Oooy! It has been a crazy weekend and now I just need a nap. We had our official launch of the Baton Rouge Dream Center on Sunday. I know, we've been open for a long time already, but this was the official kick-off. (In order to make anything official in Louisiana there has to be a football metaphor.)
Art Moore (retired NFLer) came and preached an amazing word and his talented wife Gail brought the house down with her music. The crowd loved it! We had just over 300 people come to service and stay for lunch...nothing like a little Popeye's fried chicken to round out your weekend (or your waist).
I had a lot of things on my to do list but this morning I thought I would cut the grass. Not a up the mower, push it around the yard, run over the clean-out pipe, watch it explode into a thousand pieces. Wait a minute...that's not right. I stood there looking at the gaping hole that should be covered by PVC...nope, looking straight down into the sewer pipe. Bummer.
On my second trip to Home Depot I was trying to figure out how many times I've mowed the grass without breaking that pipe. It's gotta be over 50. Maybe I should have stayed in bed.
You ever have a day like that? One minute you're pushing through, not thinking much about anything, and then you're looking into the business end of a sewer pipe. I wonder if that's what it was like in Gethsemane. One minute Jesus is hanging with His boys, the next minute His crew has pulled the chute and Peter's saying he's never met the guy. Talk about a rough day. I know that a busted PVC pipe can't be compared to the agony and sacrifice of the Garden, but that's how quick your day day can change. That's how quick my day went from carefree to frustrating.
I was sitting in my car at Home Depot (the second time) and I was really struggling with being mad at myself for running over the thing. Then I had a thought (straight from the Holy Ghost) that maybe it didn't have to ruin my whole day. I felt like God told me just to roll with it...fix the thing, but don't let it take control. I felt like He told me to enjoy the day, no matter what happened. That was really cool for me. I try really hard to operate in high grace with other people, but I don't have a lot of grace for my own mistakes. Thank God He has enough grace for all my screw-ups. The grass got cut, the pipe got fixed and I still have time for a nap. My God is so good. All glory to Him!

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Monday, January 12, 2009

Pressed, shaken, overflowing

I don't even know where to start. This weekend I had the incredible privilege of hanging out with our Healing Place School of Ministry interns at their Spring Retreat. I am continually amazed at their sacrifice and dedication to the things of God. Friday night Pastor Mark Stermer preached a message that made me want to get saved again and then Saturday night Pastor Timmy Straight brought the fire full force. And between those great teachings were breakout sessions taught by some of the best communicators at Healing Place. Just incredible!
And as if that wasn't enough, Sunday morning Pastor Dino preached down at the Winbourne Dream Center. Another amazing word. How cool is that that I get to be a part of HPC. Truly awesome.
Are you ready for the finale? Today I got a new car. Not brand new, but definitely nicer than the one I've been rolling in. Don't get me wrong, I love my '94 burgundy Corolla, but there's something about leather seats and a sunroof that just let's you know God is giving you the bump-up. He is so good to me. All glory to God!!!


Thursday, January 08, 2009

Back in Baton Rouge

I am now safely back home after another voyage to the frozen Tundra (aka Canada). Had a great time, spent some time with family and made it back before that critical shift between 'quality family time' and 'quantity family time'.
Hope the holidays found you well. I'm glad to be back and am hoping to blog more frequently than I had been. I'm shooting for 2 posts a week...feel free to hold me to that with pointed comments and friendly reminders.
I had a little free time on my way home so I wrote a little something to share the moment. Be blessed!

Jan 5/09
I spent the day at the airport. Not a section of the day and not at several airports. 7 1/2 hours at a small airport in upstate New York. I'm writing this blog entry on the plane. And by that I mean physically writing, with a pen and paper. Who does this anymore?
It was my decision to leave my laptop at home, as was it my decision to spend the day at the airport. I'm on my way home from a family vacation. My family didn't vacation, I just went home to see them. Then I drove my nephew back to school with my mom. She offered to wait with me at the airport but, in my opinion, the only thing worse than spending 7 1/2 hours alone at the airport is spending it with someone else. That's not a slam against my Mom...she's great. She would have stayed the entire day and not given it another thought. I'm big on second thoughts; and third and fourth, etc. I can think my way out of just about anything. I sometimes tell people that my mind is like a dark alley, I should never go there alone.
There's solid entertainment at the airport. I'm a big fan of people watching so the first couple of hours went pretty quickly. You have to be careful though, as people-watching can resemble stalking if you do it for too long. I watch people and try to guess what their lives are like. The 2 guys working the car rental booth were great. They both needed to shave their heads, as they may be the only two people who don't recognize that they're bald. I like shaved heads, whether by necessity or statement. I don't like it as much if the shaved head is covered by a spiderweb tattoo, as that changes the statement significantly, but I appreciate the honesty and courage it takes to shave your head. It tells the world that you aren't defined by your hairline. I'm not really sure what the comb-over tells the world, but it can't be encouraging.
Back to the guys at the booth. I watched them check out ever female that passed their section and then share their thoughts about her. Then I watched them be totally professional when a client approached. All of their customers were male, so I don't know if testosterone or professionalism would have won out in a duel. It made me kind of glad that I wasn't renting a car.
A couple of random thoughts:
I saw a sign painted on the tarmac that said "Yield to air crafts". You think?
I saw a sign posted on a street corner that said "Yield to the blind". A nice gesture I guess, but how do they know they have the right of way? Is there another sign somewhere, maybe in Braille, that tells them that?
I fear the decline of society is pending. We have to tell people not to walk in front of airplanes and not to run over blind people.
Thank God for signage!