Of course, one of the most powerful parts of Sunday was the testimony of Emily Crow. I saw several people crying after I read it. One lady told me she wanted to let out a 'whoop' but didn't want to embarrass her husband! I emailed Emily yesterday to tell her that since she's now "gone public" with her testimony, she's likely to face the spiritual backlash that always comes our way when we take big steps toward God. I told her that if she faces what seems like a more than usual amount of discouragement or temptation this week not to worry because that's normal. You know how she responded? She told me "Lets get ready to rumble! To read Emily's thoughts on Sunday and how she dealt with the spiritual backlash, check out this link.
Here are some other thoughts from yesterday
- It was cold at 7:30 this morning when I met Jeremy Pride to hook up the trailer. The wind made it painfully cold. Mike Palmer didn't have any gloves on as he was unloading the carts, which had to hurt.
- When I was at Gardner Nazarene, helping Jeremy back up the trailer, I ran over to a pile of bricks to get a brick to knock loose the big stone we set underneath the trailer and I slipped and fell right on my knee. It hurts like crazy today, can't hardly bend it. It's the same place where I severely bruised it 3 years ago, I had about 2 months of rehab. But it doesn't hurt as bad as that incident.
- Mike Palmer and Caleb Wood represent the type of Mid America Nazarene University students that have been a part of TFC; dependable and willing to serve and lead.
- I overheard Jeremy Pride invite a family to his small group. That's the way to be a small group leader!
- It's good to have my wife singing with the band. Not only does she help fill out the vocal sound, she's also good to look at! Much better looking that Nate (no offense, Nate).
- Joe and Vanessa Kumor are workhorses. They are always filling in at the kid's area. Although I wish there was a way that didn't have to happen as often.
- The sense of worship that we felt while singing after hearing Emily's testimony demonstrates the power of testimonies. I love being able to sing after I preach, so I don't have to worry about saving my voice. I was almost completely hoarse when trying to give the blessing.
- Last summer we took 5 minutes during every worship gathering to pray for people who did not know Jesus. We wrote their names on cards and placed them in a box that sat on the altar. Yesterday, Irene Delong told me that one of the guys she'd been praying for all summer went to church last Sunday for the first time in his life. Wow, what a strange coincidence.
- We had 3 new families from Gardner join us yesterday, which was great. I try to track how people come to TFC. One family came because of the flyer we send to new residents, one came because they know the Brush's and got our Love and Logic flyer 3 months ago and another family (and this is so strange) came because they found our church on this list on Relevant Magazine. I have no idea how we got on that list, but I'm glad to see our church on a list with Relevant, that's a good magazine. Maybe I'll buy a subscription now.
- I had a new Christian tell me they knew where to find yesterday's passage from Matthew because he's been doing his SOAP. That's awesome!
- Of the 3 new families that came yesterday, 2 of them were at our house last night eating pizza and watching football with some other TFC families. That was a great thing. Only took a couple of hours to connect new families with regular families. It was also funny that of all the people for my 2 year old niece to choose to spill a cup of pop on, it had to be our children's pastor. Andy thought it was funny, too.
- Speaking of my niece, it's an AMAZING thing to see my sister-in-law connecting with Trinity Family. It's really about too amazing for words. This is a huge answer to years of prayer. It's also humbling to have family a part of your church. I could possibly put on a show for people and try to seem like I'm better than I really am. It might be possible to fool some people, but you can't fool family. They know whether or not you're real. I hope my sister-in-law sees that mine and Erin's walk with Jesus is real.
- Finally, there was a family visiting from Newton, KS. They were in town for a wedding but wanted to come to TFC because the guy was my dad's 4th grade Sunday School teacher WAY back in the day. Small world, huh?