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Here are a number of updates for everyone as we kick off this Monday morning.

  • Last Wed – Peter Loth — I thought Wednesday night was A-MAZE-ING. Peter's story is stunning in and of itself. Hearing it is like taking a series of punches right to the gut. And to see God work in people's lives, and hear the stories of those that prayed with our deacons or Peter, was both humbling & a joy. You can watch it "On Demand" at livestream.com/gracevideo.
  • Last Weekend – Vaca Update — I took a couple days off & away with the family at the end of last week. My "quality time" wife absolutely eats these times up. 🙂 We played Monopoly (Jacob won the marathon game), played tennis twice, watched the first half of the Ben Stein documentary "Expelled". I took my wife away for a VERY nice dinner date & hotel stay away (Courtesy of some very generous gift certificates which ROCKED, thank you! And Grandma Pat who kindly kept the kids, thank you!). It was awesome.
  • Yesterday – College Church — Occasionally, I take a break from my Sunday speaker role. I believe to my CORE that "If you don't take breaks in your schedule, your schedule will break you!" (Heard that from Ed Young, Jr.) On those days, I try to slip into one of the other churches in our community for an anonymous visit. Yesterday I visited College Church of the Nazarene. A few thoughts:
    • I drive up to the 9:30a service and look at the people walking in. I suspect I'm underdressed.
    • I walk by the door holders and greeters. They seem friendly. Seems like a good mix of older believers and college student from MNU.edu. (Is this a college requirement, I wonder?)
    • I enter the worship center. Holy Smokes! This box is an EXACT CLONE of kcbt.org's worship center, down to almost every detail, except for the deep, rich red color everywhere. Having serious flashbacks.
    • The worship was contemporary & sincere. The pastor was very…"pastorly". The message was on giving. Found myself reflecting on some excellent personal questions like, "Has my giving become mechanical, more a work of the calculator, than a work of the heart?"
    • Service ended with a humongous choir of children to seniors. Powerful scene. Great church in the community.
  • Yesterday – BabuSpeak — Yesterday Pastor Ben taught week #4 of series through the book of James called "How Faith Works."  This week's topic was "How Faith Works in Diversity" from James 2:1-13. Just had the chance to hear it. Thought he did a great job!
  • Tomorrow – Funeral — For those of you who have been praying for John Beech's health, he had to be taken off life support & passed away on Saturday. This is Shirley Beech's husband, Daneen Kelsey's dad, & his 2 granddaughters "Pa". I'll be conducting his "Celebration of Life" at 10a tomorrow in the Worship Center.
  • Wednesday – Beliefs Class — In two days, I kick off a 3-week series called the Grace Beliefs Class. This is a brand new class in 2010.  It's like an Introduction to Theology. If you haven't taken it yet, join me from 6:45-8:00p Wed.
  • Next Sunday — Back in the Saddle — I'll be back in the saddle next Sunday teaching the most important/debated passage in James, James 2:14-26. It's the section which says "faith without works is dead!" It's the passage that has twisted theologians into pretzels for centuries. Our topic will be "How Faith Works in Life". Don't miss it!

Here's the video Ben showed yesterday (with a hat tip to Frank Fears for the idea).