Somedays you wish you could just freeze frame every moment in your mind. Remember every detail of the day. It was one of those days today. Today at my house like every other Sunday morning, when it suddenly occurred to me that I could listen to my Ipod via my wireless speakers in the bathroom while I was drying my hair and getting ready for church. I confess that I brushed my teeth with one hand on my toothbrush and the other one in the raised in the air in worship. I tend to sing off key anyway, but it was really bad with a mouthful of toothpaste. But, I had in a good 30 minutes of praying and worship before I ever left the house. That totally jazzed me and made me ready for services this morning.
Shawn preached an incredible, yet simple message about sin and the cross and how Jesus paid the price. You can check it out later this week at www.welcometothecrossroads.com under the "what's happening" tab.
The music today was unbelievable. We worshipped and it was beautiful. I just can't imagine topping today. And yet, I know that God will!!!!!
Opener: Oh Praise Him (David Crowder)
Middle set: God of This City (Chris Tomlin)
Reign in Us (Starfield)
He Reigns (Newsboys)
Closer: East to West Passion video - but sound muted and our band did live. Incredibly powerful. Very moving.
Oh, and did I mention that we had 21 visitors today? That's a lot. (understatement) Oh, and some decisions to follow Christ.
Then this afternoon we did our big Easter Egg Drop. The weather was cool, and the wind was whipping around like crazy. We had prayed for the wind to die down so we could launch a balloon to drop the Easter Eggs on the park. But God said, "no". The wind continued to pick up, so we hid 10,000 eggs by hand. It worked out perfectly. We were able to evenly divide them into 3 different areas for the different age groups.
When we arrived we had no electricity, but within minutes, generators were located and we were up and running. The band had to soundcheck on the fly....but for once all the sound was running smoothly. And sounded amazing.
There were several hundred people at this event. Our largest event ever. I am awed by how God is using us in Anna to help create community. I am so thankful for all that God has done in the past year. Here's just a very brief list of things I was thanking God about tonight.
1. God allowed us to jump off into this church planting thing....do you know how close we came to ignoring this calling? It was scary and uncertain and we didn't know how to do it. And it's turned out to be the most incredible thing we have ever done in our ministry.
2. God sent us an unbelievable team. We work alongside people of integrity. People who have been set free from big stuff, and who desperately want to share their freedom and relationship with Christ with the rest of the world. God has added to our numbers others of like-mind. The people that God is drawing into the Crossroads are hard-working, filled with a heart for God, for our community, and for the nations. It is a great and humbling experience to serve them as the pastor's wife. I feel so unworthy to lead these people.
3. God blessed us with an amazing staff. I am thankful every single day that God put Worship Dude, Robby Thompson, in our path. I still am amazed at that whole thing. Shawn's coach Sam told us to not be afraid to make the big ask on staff members....but we didn't even know where to start. We searched for months....and told everybody we were looking for somebody with a Tomlin heart for worship and an alternative, sort-of Crowder sound. I haven't thought about that in months, until today when Worship Dude was talking about being a little surprised by how well he and the band were able to handle a Crowder song. I did a little chuckle...it would seem that maybe God took that request pretty literally.
4. Sam also told us to pray for God to grant us favor in making connections with well connected people so that we could more quickly reach Anna. God has certainly blessed us in that regard with friends on city council, in the chamber of commerce, on the fire and police departments, in the schools..... and we are seeing God use those people of influence to encourage people in the community to seek God.
On the news tonight I saw Carrie Underwood accept entertainer of the year and a brief recap of her speech. I guess I don't have a shot at that award, but I do as pastor's wife want to take a second to do a thank-you speech for getting to be a part of the most amazing ministry I 've ever been in.
Let's see, how do these things usually go?
First of all, I'd like to say thanks to God....he is the creator and savior of my life. He is my heart, my soul, my desire, and my life. He is the beginning and the end of all that I am. I am thankful that He is using me for kingdom purposes. Next, I'd like to thank my family for putting up with all the long, late hours that I work in order to do ministry in addition to school (which is technically also ministry). My children were beautiful tonight. Grace was so pumped she started scribbling lyrics to a new worship song on a napkin at the restaurant and James was telling me all these outreach ideas he's been thinking about....pretty awesome, huh? And finally, thanks to all of you Crossroadies.....my friends who love me.....you make this journey amazing. You lift us up when times are tough. You surround our family with your love and encouragement. You work longer and harder than you ever did in traditional church. But You also join us in laughing longer and harder than we ever did before. You remind me of what church was meant to be....friends to discover Christ together and share Him with others.
Okay, I'm done. I'm bawling too hard to write any more. Love you all. It's an honor and a privilege.