friday, march 19

It’s a beautiful Friday morning in south Florida and we are getting ready for a day off.

Some personal stuff:
Letha’s birthday is tomorrow so we are planning some celebration time. Going to enjoy a couple of Cardinals baseball Spring Training games and eat steak for dinner tonight. I am trying to get her to plan a shopping trip – we’ll see. She is so low maintenance!

Letha’s dad, Dave, is visiting with us for a couple of weeks. He is a joy to have around but I feel for him. His wife Mary passed away last January and he is not rebounding so well. I can’t say that I blame him. We are just embracing the time that we have together while he is here.

We are missing Jessica a lot since it’s been Christmas since we have seen her. These are the stretches that make it tough. We have scheduled a trip in April to go see her – I can’t wait.

Some ministry stuff:
I am getting ready for more missions activity. We are working on two projects: one for Peru and one for Guatemala, both to benefit needy children. On a total of 3 trips this Spring/Summer, we will take needed supplies to orphans, deliver finances to help build a Children’s Ministry Center and lead a large team of families from Maranatha on their first short-term missions experience. This missions activity is close to my heart and is one of the greatest expressions of my calling. It also helps keep me relatively sane.

Maranatha is gearing up for Easter. We are hoping for some momentum to pick up and carry us through the season. We are having a difficult time getting people to come to worship events on a consistent basis. It just seems that so many things compete for the attention of our people. Maybe we will see a surge of commitment in the next few weeks. If we don’t, it won’t be because we are not trying. In fact, we are pushing hard to see this happen.

One thing I am really enjoying right now is a small group that we have put together. We are meeting with several young couples on Wednesdays. They are a great group and are really jumping in to some important spiritual growth concepts. It is exciting to see how bright they are and how they are growing in our brief time together.

Some vision stuff:
I am meeting regularly with a Vision Team for Maranatha. These guys, along with our staff, are putting together some very important ideas for ministry effectiveness. I think the church will see the results of their work in a bunch of areas. I get inspired by meeting with them.

When God speaks to me, especially in areas of changes that He wants me to make, it usually feels like agitation to my spirit. He makes me uncomfortable enough to want to change. I have been agitated in several areas for some time now. We are now dialoging our way through some adjustments that God is bringing about. By nature, I am not much of a risk taker, but God is certainly making it clear that some risks are going to be necessary if we are to see His plans fulfilled. We are praying and planning now but soon will launch into the vision casting stage of the process. I am cautiously anticipating a positive reaction from the people of Maranatha. By this time next year, if all goes well, we could be a different church.

Just 3 bullet points for you to go with:
Do something today that matters; that will outlast you – that’s what God asks of us.
Put God first. If He is not first on your list, He isn’t on your list. God doesn’t settle for second place.
Find someone to serve. Give something away that you aren’t using. Surprise someone with kindness.

Peace!

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