Monday, October 31, 2011

Couldn't be Prouder!

Grace River is not quite two years old.  We'll celebrate our 2nd birthday on December 13th.  I couldn't be prouder of the people that make up Grace River.  We've been on an amazing journey that has taken us through seven different locations already in our young life together.  I'm prompted to brag about her one more time, I guess, because the days that we are currently experiencing may be our best yet.  For two weeks in a row, we have broken the 110 mark in attendance.  There is an excitement and an expectation when we get together that creates and electric atmosphere in the room.  We have a ton of kids and great leadership to teach them each week.  The worship team is the best that I have ever had at any church.  They are passionate, prayerful, and transparent in their worship.  Our prayer team also numbers more participants than any church that I have been involved in leadership.  We are a praying people.  We have multiple ministries that are surfacing from the ground up--born of the passion of our members.  Each week, testimonies of the miraculous work of God are freely shared and applauded.  It would truly be unusual if we didn't hear about a miracle.  We're celebrating the new families that God is bringing to us each week and we're considering the new gifts that they are bringing to the mix that will help to take Grace River to the next level.  We've baptized twenty-seven people in these two years with more on the way.  I truly believe that this is the work that I was created for.  I couldn't be prouder!

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Thursday, October 27, 2011

The Civil Wars - Poison & Wine - David Letterman 10-26-11

I didn't stay up to watch them last night--can't say the last time I watched Letterman. Anyway, I really like these guys. I'm familiar with Joy Williams from CCM fame. I strangely find myself identifying with the song Poison & Wine. The best I can tell, it's because many of my relationships throughout my life have contained a mix of bitter and sweet, of poison and wine. "I don't love you and I always will"--great line!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Rich Mullins - Elijah

Elijah by Rich Mullins remains one of my favorite songs of all time. I'm teaching on Elijah today and so I was reminded of the song. I think I like it because it's sad, yet hopeful. This world is not all there is--thankfully. Elijah saw God perform some of His greatest miracles through his life and yet we find that Elijah has times of despair, depression, and even suicidal thoughts. Ironically, though Elijah would beg God to take his life--Elijah would never taste death. Rather, God sent a chariot of flames to rescue Him from this earth. Enjoy!

Friday, October 21, 2011

God Opened a Door--Literally!

Something pretty special happened to me today--it's happened once before several years ago.  Today I got a phone call about 11:30 telling me that one of my friends had locked their keys in their car and they were wondering if I could take them to Fort Collins to get a spare key.  I agreed and went to pick up my friend who happened to be at our local hardware store.  He jumped in my car and we drove to his house in Fort Collins discussing the whole way trials and difficulties.  He remembered that I had recently written on patience and was wondering if perhaps God was telling him to slow down today.  The situation got a little graver when we reached his house.  After searching for several minutes, he returned to the car telling me that he couldn't find the key--it wasn't where it was supposed to be.  This makes sense in that my friend is in the middle of a move.  However, it made his situation a little more desperate.  We talked about solutions on the way back to his car including calling to see if the police could get him in, calling his insurance company to get a locksmith, and maybe even throwing a brick through a window (this last one was not seriously  I also remembered a time several years ago when I was in a situation where someone locked their keys inside a UHaul truck.  It was one of those impossible situations where if the door was not opened--it was going to be a very long wait.  Having checked the two doors to truck multiple times, I offered a prayer and tried again.  The driver-side door opened right up!  I shared that story with him but neither of us were seriously considering the "faith" option.  Arriving back at his car, I told him that I would walk around the vehicle and prayerfully check the doors one more time for him.  He started walking into the hardware store to seek out further help.  I began with the back hatch of his van, praying, "God, my friend really needs his keys.  He doesn't need to spend money on a locksmith.  It would be really cool if you just unlocked the door for him".  The back hatch was locked and didn't open.  The next door I checked was the side sliding door on the driver's side.  It didn't open.  The driver's side door was also locked.  I moved around to the passenger side still praying my prayer--nothing--still locked.  Finally, I reached the last door and I will assure you that I had no belief that the door would open--none of the others had and I didn't expect this one to either.  I prayed my prayer--grabbed the door handle--pulled--and miraculously the door opened.  The alarm sounded--he turned around slightly shocked as to what might be happening.  I climbed in, grabbed his keys out of the ignition, silenced the alarm, and then announced that the door was open and showed him the keys in my hand.  He was  What an amazing God we serve!