Sunday, December 23, 2007

Merry Christmas Adam!

Yes, you read those words correctly! December 24th is Christmas Eve, so years ago, my brother and I decided that December 23rd should be Christmas Adam...

...because, of course, Adam came before Eve...

Hope it was a good one for you!

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

It's snowing in Yosemite.

I have just one word: woo-hoo!

Saturday, December 08, 2007

They're fixing the sign.

Last month I noticed a funny error in a sign at our neighborhood Save Mart grocery store. Well, I was back in the store last night and noticed that they're finally addressed the mistake. Cool.

Yosemite snow.

Friday, December 07, 2007

We finally got some real weather.

It rained here yesterday -- around 2 inches of rain in 24 hours, here in Sacramento. That's really, really good news for us because we're behind our average rainfall for this time of the year. Just as importantly, the mountains got snow. The first pic is from a cam at Tioga Pass in Yosemite National Park. Elevation up there is something around 9,000 feet, I believe. The second pic is from Chico yesterday, while we were loading up the donations for the homeless.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Ready to help the homeless.

Today we picked up a huge donation of military items that we'll be able to use with our street ministry to the homeless. We got boxes of coats, ponchos, boots, sleeping bags -- stuff that will be an awesome blessing to homeless folks in our communities. God is awesome!

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Recovering from our robbery.

It's been a wild couple of days around the church since our break-in overnight Monday. Tuesday and today both have been filled with meetings, unexpected tasks, extra help from volunteers, additional safety measures for our buildings, and just all kinds of other "fun."

Two interesting "positives" in the midst of this. One, we had to buy some replacement monitor speakers for the platform, so we bought better ones than what we'd been using. Our stolen set really wasn't a pair of monitors; it was a pair of good speakers that were being used as monitors. Unfortunately, that sometimes created additional sound directed from the platform toward the congregation. We now have real monitors in place, which will help people on the platform AND out in the crowd.

Second, tomorrow we appear to have an opportunity to collect a large donation of clothes, coats, boots and blankets for the homeless. This will be a HUGE blessing to our street ministry, and the donation couldn't arrive at a better time: Real fall-winter weather is beginning to hit, and the homeless in our communities need more than a one-time serving of food. We're praying that this donation will be a blessing to hundreds and hundreds of people in the area.

So, even in the midst of junk, God is good!

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Burglars hit our church.

Today has been a looooong day. As I pulled out of my driveway for my 8:30AM meeting with my senior pastor, I got a call from the office staff: Our church got robbed last night. I quickly changed course and headed to the church to see what got taken and what we needed to do next.

The staff already had called the sheriff's department but the deputies hadn't arrived yet. I walked through and saw where the burglars hit us: sound equipment, some drums, some speakers, some food in the kitchen and -- craziest of all -- some clothes that had been donated for the homeless!

So today has been about phone calls and meetings and missing property reports and more meetings and alarm company visits and video surveillance equipment and a CSI visit and still more meetings.

In the midst of this, several points of "good news" emerged:
1. They didn't vandalize the building or the grounds; they just took stuff
2. No one was here when it happened, so no one's safety was at risk
3. If they choose to return, we'll be ready with some new safeguards (I feel like we should have watched "Home Alone" as a staff for extra ideas)

It's past 7PM and I'm still at the office because my regular Tuesday agenda was completely thrown out the window. Oh well. God's good, even in the midst of junk like this!

Monday, December 03, 2007

Weekend wrapup.

Lots happened this weekend. Here are some highlights.

Actually, it might just be one dog with an irresponsible owner. But while raking leaves Friday, I encountered several spots where dogs mistook my front yard for a bathroom. Maybe an electric fence would help...

Hit up a local concert Friday night to support a friend from another church. It was a screamo concert, and I forgot to bring along some earplugs, just in case. His band did well, and it was fun catching up with friends at the concert. But I'm still not sure if screamo is really gonna last, or if it's just a musical/culture phase like grunge...

Last I checked, I'm no longer the youth pastor at my church. But several students thought it would be funny to call the former youth pastor early Saturday morning. As in, 4:50AM early. Funny? Maybe. But the cell was the only alarm I had set for that morning, and when I moved the phone into silent mode, I set myself up for a bad morning: missed our men's breakfast at 8, our homeless outreach at 9, several calls and text messages from other staff members wondering where I was...

We held our first new family luncheon in many months, and it was a fun, healthy, good event. It's a great time to talk with people, introduce them to some of the leaders in the congregation, and start the process of getting them connected. Great time...

Our youth ministry and one of our outreach teams helped a combined worship/prayer event on Sunday night and did an awesome job. This was the second attempt, and we had a stronger turnout, better organization and overall a more effective night. A highlight was a water baptism at the end of the evening for a teen guy whose dad has been coming to our church for a couple of months. The son hadn't been attending but wanted to get baptized, so our youth pastor got to do his first water baptism!