This morning, Todd (my hubby!) gave a powerful message on the power of hope. Frankie Jones, an artist in our church, painted while we sang and Todd spoke. Frankie's painting will be hung in our new campus this summer. Todd ended his message with the story of an amazing believer,William Willberforce and his life-long pursuit of ending slavery in England (check out the movie "Amazing Grace" if you don't know this story). One of his mentors was a former slave trader, John Newton, who was the writer of the song, "Amazing Grace." It took all of William's life for him to see the end of slavery in England. Through this story, Todd was encouraging us that hope deferred is still hope when it is placed in God and His Word and His plan for our life. We ended Todd's message with "Amazing Grace/My Chains are Gone" and the powerful ballad "Only Hope" by Switchfoot. I was so overcome with the combination of all these moments in our service that my hands were shaking as I played the last song! I needed this encouragement to place my hope in God and not lose heart when circumstances are not as I think they should be. What a powerful worship experience! Here are some pics...
Sydney has been on her Spring Break this week from preschool and I have just been so amazed at how much her creativity and imagination have expanded. I have enjoyed watching her watercolor, play ponies, ride her bike, and "read" a book to herself. During my short time that I lived in Manhattan, one of the greatest blessing to me was the opportunity that I had to learn from Mako Fujimura through IAM. Mako talked a lot about the importance of giving our children the opportunity to explore, create, and imagine and I have tried to create environments for Sydney to do just that. Here's an excerpt from an essay from Mako about this...
- from "Being a Child of the Creative Age" - March 3, 2007 - Makoto Fujimura
"A child uses all of her senses to discover the world. She picks up and finds fascination with a dandelion, feels the bumpy bark of a tree, tastes the baseball, smells the fallen leaf. If you asked a room full of kindergarteners “Raise your hand if you are an artist!” Almost every child would raise his hand. But if you ask a room full of adults, almost every adult would not....And if you are an artist, you know you are seen as out of the main stream, as avant -garde, but you also have been treated like a misfit or patronized like a child. You struggle to find meaning and significance in that gap between the two seemingly irreconcilable worlds. “Grow up and do something useful for society!” The world seems to place in opposition pitting the Innocence against the reality of the Experience. We are caught between being able to have that curiosity, inquisitiveness and emboldened sense of discovery of a child and the reality of the “adult world”, a reality that forces us to realize that we all indeed live in fear, in a ground zero of some kind or another. In our conversation to create a world that ought to be, we must start at that zero point of devastation...."
JOIN US for Watercooler Wednesday
Hands down...Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier. It is a novel filled with fabulous narrative which begins,"Last night, I dreamt I went to Manderly again." It is a story of deception, love, betrayal, and redemption. The unamed narrator recounts her life living at Manderly as the 2nd wife of Maxim de Winter. It is in her 1st days as his new bride that she discovers there is more to the death of the 1st Mrs. De Winter than she was told. It is a MUST read that you will not be able to out down. There are several movie versions but my favorite is the Academy Award winning 1940 Hitchcock version. This is one of those stories that I know how it ends, but I am still enraptured in reading how it unfolds everytime.
It's 8:30pm, and we are just hanging at home after a HUGE weekend. We had 225 today at LCC-HHI and 3 people accepted Christ today in our service. 1 of our 3 people came to the Easter Egg Hunt yesterday, came to church today because of the event, and trusted Christ today in the service. Our Bluffton campus saw about 50 people accept Christ for the 1st time in their 5 services (about 1700 people total attendance). There was such a sense of excitement today and people really engaged in our worship time. One person told me that they just wanted us to keep singing! I didn't have a drummer so I programmed the 1st songs and we did everything else live (2 guitars, cello, 3 singers). Yes, I played acoustic on all the songs except 1! It was such a worshipful Easter Service. We had some visitors from Spain who were here and said they had never been to such a "happy" church! They were on the front row dancing! Our song list is at the bottom. Enjoy the pics!
"Happy Day" (Tim Hughes)
"Alleluia (More than Worthy)" (Sheri Carr)
"Mighty to Save"
"Jesus Paid it All"
"Our God Reigns"
"How Great is our God"
"How Great Thou Art"
New update on total...15,000 eggs now moved from my garage to our 2 vehicles for distribution tomorrow at 10 AM. Children will be tied to van roof in their car seats (of course! ) as we make our way to the BIGGEST ISLAND HUNT EVER! My garage smells like the movie shoot of Willie Wonka's Chocolate Factory mixed with garage smells...very nice.
Part 2 of the LowCountry's Largest Easter Egg Hunt is on the Island this Saturday(Part 1 was in Bluffton last week at our core campus). We are promising 20,000 eggs...I didn't realize that till I saw the banner on the back of our float last week. Anyway, about 6000 are in my garage right now. Add easter egg staging area to another purpose your garage can serve when you are church planting...
Yesterday, our family and about 7 other people walked and rode our LowCountry Commununity Church float in the St. Patty's Day Parade here on the Island. This is THE biggest event for the Island attracting about 18,000 people from all over the Southeast. That is alot of people on our 50 square mile Island! We were getting the word out about our Easter Egg Hunt at HHI High School this Saturday. We had the 1st one at our Bluffton Campus on Saturday and had over 2000 people. This is the 1st one for the Island, so we have NO idea how many we will have. We have about 20,000 eggs so we feel prepared! Anyway, I was running and giving out candy for the 1st half of the parade and then I got on the bull horn to make the announcement as we finished the rest of the parade route. It was actually quite awesome because I had people that knew me yelling at me from the road ."Hey, stop talking and sing something" - that was my favorite comment of the day! Anyway, here are some pics - we had a blast!
I was so pumped to run into my worship leader friend, Will Goodwin, at the Unleash Conference. Will was one of the people in my life that showed me some stuff on acoustic years back and it was SO awesome to tell him that I am now leading a song or 2 every week on acoustic. My friend, Jack, and his family are living overseas now and he is on the journey with me on learning acoustic, so I found the short video of my 1st time leading and here it is...the cool thing is I really see improvement from a month ago (plus, I am using a cut capo and a real capo now - life is good!).
Check out some pics on the left from the cruise Todd and I took a couple of weeks ago out of Miami to Cozumel and Grand Cayman. We love cruising! Special thanks to JB for setting up a great vacation for us. We highly recommend Norweigan if you want to try a cruise. You have the option to eat wherever and whenever you want at night and that is BIG deal if you don't know it! It was so relaxing and we got to do some cool stuff like drive our own jeep around both ports of call, snorkeling in caves, and yes, go to 2 great beaches. It was a MUCH needed vacation...enjoy the pics and your envy!
I'm sitting in Tent 3 at the Unleash Conference in Anderson, SC at NewSpring Church...we are talking about blogging(as I blog...). Tony Morgan from NewSpring gave us some great insight on blogging and communication and my favorite thing he said was that we should be thought leaders when we blog. I really try to put stuff out there that give my readers something to think about. It may not be hugely profound what I say, but hopeful it may be something that gets you to think. He also encouraged us to make sure we have platforms that are 2 way conversations in our churches. I loved that! I want to explore that more for LCC-HHI and how to engage our campus more in the conversation we put out there. More to come...