This Sunday we kicked off our Guitar Hero summer tournament! For the first two minutes, it looked like our first contest was going to be a nail-biter, but Caleb Wood eventually ran away and hid from Mike Palmer. Now, Mike says he can beat Caleb on Hard (he says it's different) than Easy, but we'll never know the truth of that, will we Mike? I'd better find time to practice, because I take on Lindsay Mothersbaugh this Sunday and she's already been talking smack to me.
Sunday was a pretty interesting day for me, we had a group of about 30 (!) people from my home church in Burlington, IA. They were down here for a wedding of a kid from Burlington, he was married at that really cool farm on Hwy 56 between Gardner and Edgerton. I'm sure the guy getting married felt just as loved by his hometown friends as I did 8 years ago when a big group from Burlington (made up of a lot of the same people) drove down here for my wedding. It's really a great feeling to have so many people from home visit TFC. Many of those people were the first ones to encourage me when I first felt God's calling to preach and they've also encouraged me through every step of ministry. I'm sure that many of them gave in the offering for Love Wins that Burlington First took about a month ago. One guy that was there yesterday, Jay Clover, used to call out encouragement to me while I was preaching (as he did yesterday morning) and then give me pointers on how I could improve. Really good feeling to have them all there.
My sister, brother-in-law and niece were here over the weekend, too. We went up to the Legends and Dave and Busters on Saturday afternoon. I don't know why I'd never been there before, that's an incredible place. Last night, we played my brother-in-law's favorite card game, Rook. Rachel and I took two straight perfect hands and were two tricks away from making it a third. I also got to enjoy watching my niece dance to music.
I'm told I preached "100 mph" again yesterday. I've really got to figure out a way to slow down. Maybe I just need to accept that I can't cram in as much content as I'd like. I was very confessional in my preaching yesterday. There are so many more things that God spoke to me about over the week that didn't make it into my message but are written in my journal. My sister-in-law gave me a hug right afterwards and said, "that might be my favorite I've heard you preach." If anyone would know the truth of some of the things I confessed about myself, it would be family. And some of the same stuff I confessed to in my message, Erin and I confessed to my sister and brother-in-law as well. We always have the most to confess to those that are closest to us.
I don't make it a habit to spill my guts when preaching but sometimes I've just gotta be honest about the ways in which Sunday's passage has torn me up over the week. If you want to hear or read the message, click here.