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Saturday, December 27, 2008

Another Rainy Day

If you're tired of hearing me rattle on about the rain, then feel free to skip this blog. For the rest of it is.

Today I sat in Memaw's living room and watched a big storm roll in. There's something unique about the sound of the wind whipping through the tall pine trees. The sky darkened and the rain pounded the ground outside the open windows. I love the smell of rain just as it begins to fall and especially love the smell of wet pine trees.

As I sat and watched the storm, I began to think of how often I have used rain as an analogy for God's presence this year. Then I thought about how varied rain is. There's drizzly rain that mostly just gives you frizzy hair. There's the slow, steady rain that nourishes the grass and really replenishes the moisture. There's the cold, hard, driving rain that drives you indoors to seek a warm fire. There's the quick summer storms that invoke a touch of fear and a lot of awe with their lightening shows.

The longer I thought about all the different types of rain, the more I was amazed at our Creator. He just never does things exactly the same way twice in nature. It made me wonder a little bit about how He moves among His people. It seems that there is a lot of variety there as well. I have certain expectations about how God is going to move in Anna. Maybe instead I should just hang out and see what God can do and marvel at all the different ways that He rains out His presence on His people.

Looking forward to a superb day at The Crossroads tomorrow. Can't wait to get caught up with everybody and to finalize mission trip plans. It's cool to be really excited to come back home after Christmas and to be filled with anticipation about what God's got in store for the new year.

Monday, December 22, 2008

I think I'm scared of all the wrong things

The other night I had the strangest dreams about natural disasters. They were that crystal clear kind where you wake up, and it takes you a minute to realize that the dreams were not real. In a nutshell - in one dream I was driving down the highway in a severe storm that suddenly formed several funnel clouds. I evacuated the car with Grace and Abby and took off running across a field, trying to reach a ditch that might offer some protection. In my dream, my heart was racing, the adrenaline was pumping, and the fear was overwhelming. The scene of the dream suddenly changed, and I was in my classroom and could see a huge grassfire blazing across the field coming toward the school and could not find a way to evacuate all of my students. Again...horrible fear consumed me.

After I woke up, my heart was still beating hard, and I began to think through my scary list. Tornadoes, fire, spiders, snakes, really tight spaces, getting my face wet.....The list became rather long. As the list grew, I began to pray against the fear and seemed to hear God saying that I am afraid of all the wrong stuff. Huh? Sometimes God is really confusing.

But here's the most cases, the stuff that I'm afraid of isn't even deadly. Then I realized that in my long list of scary stuff, it never even occurred to me to list Satan. I began to wonder why it is that I am more afraid of spiders than Satan. God seemed to be showing me that I might need to pay less attention to my scary list and more attention to the reality of spiritual warfare. I think I should worry less about getting my face wet in the shower and more about making sure I am well equipped and very prepared to meet the enemy.

Strange how God can use the weirdest stuff...

So tonight's the last blog for awhile. I expect to be without internet until I get back home next Saturday. I hope you all have a merry Christmas. Filled with rest, relaxation, good food, family, and friends. Safe travels to you all. Be thinking about your New Year's resolutions. I have some ready. We'll see how they compare.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Monday Morning Update

What a day at The Crossroads! It was 19 degrees when we climbed into the suburban this morning. I was pleasantly surprised by how well we were able to heat the cheer gym. It was cool, but not miserably so except while we had the doors open unloading and loading stuff off the truck.

I was so stoked to have our bass player in town for Christmas break. I miss having a bass, but more than that, I've missed my friend. We felt complete today as a band. The worship set was pretty awesome. No big surprise there....I've come to expect excellence.

Shawn's sermon was incredible. He managed to bring out some new stuff about the Christmas story that I had never seen before. I'm pretty sure he will be posting his sermon on so you can check it out for yourself. He will get to preach one more time before his enforced silence for three weeks due to the cyst on his vocal chords.

This afternoon we had "White Christmas" at the park in Anna. We brought in 330 bags of "snow" - snow cone ice, really. Each bag weighed 35 pounds. Do the math - we moved over 11,000 pounds of ice! We served hot cocoa and cookies, gave away an mp3 player, and the band played. It was awesome. We had over 80 people show up - in spite of the miserably cold conditions. My fingers hurt so bad trying to play keys in the cold. However, I was wearing gloves that I had cut the fingertips out of. The guitar guys were in serious pain because they couldn't wear gloves and play. But even with bitterly cold conditions.....I can't think of any other way I'd rather spend my day than getting to play music with an awesome band. Love hanging out with them!

After we cleaned up and packed up, we went to IHOP for supper with some of the launch team. As we were leaving Shawn said, "We are so very lucky to have such amazing friends." I just couldn't agree more. Several of my friends from Anna stopped by today to hang out at the Christmas thing, and then all the people from church and from the launch team.....days are just better when you get to share them with friends!

We are excited about going to Mexico next week for a mission trip. Please pray for our safe passage back and forth across the border and that God would begin to prepare hearts to meet Him. How cool - The Crossroads' first mission trip!