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Monday, July 19, 2010


The smell of hot rubber and sweaty men assailed my senses as I pulled the door open to the sound of a tinkling bell. The oversized tractor tires were piled higher than my head. I felt like I had entered a scene from "Deliverance." I maneuvered my way through the maze to the back counter. The owner was negotiating a deal for large tractor tires. His accent was deep country redneck. "Well, William, I reckon I could knock 10 more dollers off them thare tires if youse is a gonna mount'em your own self."

I wound up in the dirty tire shop today after a stranger left a note on my car that there was a nail in my tire. When I came out of MacDonalds after lunch, there was the note. The town was small enough that the local wal-mart didn't have a tire department, but it was also a small enough town that the cashier hooked me up with a tire shop.

I had my doubts as I entered the smelly shop, but Sam, the owner, took good care of me. They emptied a bay and pulled my car right in. I guess they don't see a lot of Dallas women in the remote country shop, because all the mechanics took a long smoking break while I was sitting in the shop. They stared at me through the plate glass window like I was a foreign animal on display at the zoo. Not in an interested, attracted way - just like I was an odd novelty.

About an hour later, and $8 poorer, I left the shop and found my way back to the turnpike. After many more hours of driving, and laying hands on my little car, I finally arrived in Kansas City. Unfortunately my car is not excited about traveling through the mountains. It coughed and spluttered its way over each one.

I am registered, settled into an overstuffed chair amongst a crowd of bloggers. I am ready for an amazing night of worship with Phil Wickham. It should be incredible.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Monday Morning Update 7.18.10

It was a crazy morning at the Kemp house. We had an open house scheduled from 1-3, which meant the house had to be pristine before we could leave for church. The twist on this is that Shawn and Grace rolled in from Mexico last night with their luggage and dirty clothes. We hid all that stuff in the garage this morning.

By the time we left for church, my temper had gotten the better of me. Somehow since yesterday, we had a huge stain in the carpet in the entry that I couldn't get up, no matter what I tried. The kids disappeared into the bathroom and outside to avoid the cleaning, which made me frustrated. I completely lost my cool on James, and I will say that I could not describe my attitude as worshipful by the time I was in the car and headed to church.

The great thing about set up in the church plant is that it gives me some buffer time before worship. By the time we actually began services, I had cooled off. It was good to have our Mexico mission team back with us. I am looking forward to hearing them share soon.

Shawn preached about the seven essentials for a successful marriage. This was a great sermon, looking at how to apply 1 Cor. 13 in our marriages. Whenever I look at 1 Cor. 13 and try to measure my love for Shawn against that standard, I always find areas that need improvement. While I am strong in perseverance and commitment, I struggle with being patient and unselfish.

My favorite part of the service was the closing prayer at the end. Shawn, on impulse, asked me to join him to pray over our people and their marriages. I love to have the opportunity to intercede for these people that I love. I was honored that Shawn allowed me to join him. For many years I supported Shawn's ministry both publicly and behind the scenes, but at The Crossroads it seems to be more of a team effort.

We enjoyed lunch with a few families after church, having the opportunity to visit a little with our friends. I love how the families at The Crossroads love to spend time together. I am excited about the future of the church plant. I can't wait to see what God is going to do next. I am never fully prepared for the depth and the might of his power.

This next week I will be at the National Worship Leader Conference in Kansas City. I am crashing at my cousin's house and commuting about an hour to the conference. While I am stoked about this opportunity, I am also very nervous about traveling alone and spending the week alone at the conference. It is most definitely outside of my comfort zone. I am hoping to improve my skills on the keyboard, but I am also hoping to hear God speak as I dedicate a week to worship without distractions. I am thankful to have a borrowed laptop to write while I am gone, since ours no longer holds battery power. You can read those updates on my worship blog. I would appreciate prayers for safe travel, and for direction about what's next musically for me.