it's no secret that I love Christmas - the snow, the stories, the kids eyes, the lights, the parties, the songs, the RED SPORT COATS :-), and the chance to share Jesus to a group that thinks about Jesus only this time of the year. I keep believing (and praying) that this year, this service, this sermon will be the one that God uses to draw them home.
Some stuff that made this weekend a most wonderful time of the year for me:
I got to baptize a family of five yesterday after second hour - it's so special when an entire family takes the faith plunge! Also baptized a sincere young Jr. High boy - love it when young men (with father filled with joy in the background) take this bold stand for Jesus!
I'm gonna say it - "I loved the sermon yesterday!" That's rare for me. I just loved the idea of "let's go back to Bethlehem" (return from Moab - from Ruth 1). Had a young lady who came up to me yesterday and has a DUI court case coming up tomorrow, but she's turning to God at this time and has a great young faith and sincere desire to let Jesus take over her life.
Also had a great trip down memory lane after our Christmas concert last night (both nights were sold out - though we had some no shows, the concert was great - God has blessed us with such talent - not to mention awesome staff in this area: Matt Ludwig, Scott Sarver, Karen Norris, Dan Fulkerson, Jake Stubbs and Matt Holderby...simply awesome!). First I ran into Sue Whitsett (not sure on the spelling) who was one of the people who started Eastview Christian Church in 1955! Her sisters (Donna and Linda Faull) still attend. Anyway, she just simply said, I can't believe what God has done with Eastview. She was very complimentary of the program.
Then I ran into Bob Phillips wife in the atrium. Bob was the second full time pastor at Eastview from 1962-1975. He led us from the building on Emerson Street to Towanda Ave. She said Bob loved the concert and was proud of us. Finally, I ran into Gary and Janet York. For those new to Eastview, Gary was the Sr. Pastor from 1975 to 2007. He hired me as youth pastor and led the church through the move from Towanda Ave. to our current location. He complimented the music and said good job. You can't imagine what these God encounters did for my soul. It reminds me that we are building on a firm foundation of people and sacrifices that God used in the past. May I be found as faithful as these great servants.
Then of course, it is that time of year for our annual staff Christmas party...but that's for another blog. And it's snowing...it's all good!