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Object - NotepadI've been unplugged the last few days. Instead, I've been hanging with the family & working furiously on home projects. But I've got several thoughts I wanted to post as we close out 2009.

  • Op Christmas Child Update — Not only did our church double our number of gifts from last year, the US collection was at an all time high too, going from 4.88 Million to 5.16 Million. Awesome!  (And way to go, DeDe Schamberger, our champion for this ministry at Grace.)
  • Op Christmas Child Story — Pam Rousch sent in this story of how God was using our Children's Ministry & Operation Christmas Child to change a family's life: "I want to pass along a story of how K/1st graders are
    making a difference.  Maddie…decided instead of birthday gifts for
    herself to ask for items to put in a shoebox for Operation Christmas
    child.  She is thinking of others before herself and is trying to spread
    the idea of missions and giving to all her friends.  Way to go
    Maddie!  One person can make a difference and spread the Word of Jesus
    Christ."
  • Video Ministry Studs — Our video team has improved the video quality of our services, and integrated images from our projector-slides with the live feed.  Way cool.  You can check it here or here.
  • Christmas Eve Story
    One member of our weekend service tech team sent me this story about Christmas Eve: "Personally felt like we had a couple of instances where
    we (the worship team) had to fight to bring this one together. Love when that happens because it generally
    means we're being effective at reaching people. Thanks for the comments about lives being changed. Lets me know it's worth the effort!
     Thanks for the opportunity to serve in a minor way."
  • Christmas Eve Thanks — People sent these notes of thanks:
    • From the Macoubrie family"We
      weren't able to make the Christmas Eve service this year. At the last
      minute we thought of the Live Video Cast.  Although it wasn't quite the
      same as being there in person, it was still a wonderful experience to
      listen to the sermon and watch the candle lighting. Thank you for all
      your hard work and Merry Christmas."
    • From Miriam Maina"Loved the service pastor Tim. I just
      viewed it online.The candle light moment is awesome, and the reflection of the
      light that Jesus brought forth. I love Christmas Eve coz it's also my
      birthday!"
    • From Isabelle Schafner (re: Dec 13th Service)"Just
      wanted to thank you and the Grace team for having such incredible technology at
      Grace. I was sick last Sunday and was very disappointed that I wouldn't hear
      your sermon. Then I remembered about the live feed video.  It took me a couple of minutes to figure it
      out (I am over 40, you know :).  Anyway,
      I was able to follow the whole service and sang out loud at my kitchen
      table–though I do sound a lot better when Ben is drowning me out! :)"
  • New Year's Quote — I got this quote from Jim Shrader and I thought about how people are reflecting on 2009 & looking forward to 2010: "I thought I'd send you the Ziglar quote…'Failure is an event, not a
    person.'
    He uses it in context of goal
    setting with an example of a pilot flying from one place to another.  A
    pilot doesn't land and start the journey over if they get blown off course,
    they make subtle changes in their flightpath so they reach their destination. 
    Failure isn't a reason to give up or start over, it's just a crosswind keeping
    you from your destination.  Correct, overcome, and realize it's an event."
  • Christmas Videos — Here are links to the video we used for Christmas Eve, and a funny video Granger Church used.

Have a Happy New Year!