Saturday, March 24, 2007

O de Casa

That's Portuguese for "Anyone home?" I used that phrase a lot last week while in Santos Dumont. It's pronounced "Oh Chee Caza." It actually became a joke between us, the "Americans," and the awesome people of our church in Santos Dumont. Every time we saw each other, that became the greeting.

Yes I did say "our church" in Santos Dumont. That's not a mistake. We are a part of that church as they are ours. It is truly amazing (and that's the best word I have come up with so far) to see the vision and ministry of Rock Creek happening here in LIttle Rock but even more amazing to see it happening half a world away in a town called Santos Dumont in Brazil. The week we spent there was beyond words. We saw so many things happen that it would take way more room than this blog spot has to offer in order to adequately express it. So let me just give you a few highlights.

How does distributing 30,000 loaves of bread in four days sound? All to show God's love in a practical way (By the way, they taught me to say "to show God's love" in Portuguese).

How does well over 1,500 people showing up for a Saturday night event sound? Especially since the church only runs about 220 in their weekend services.

How does seeing an entire town of over 40,000 people get excited about something that has never been done before, especially not by a church sound?

Are you getting the picture? And now I get the awesome privilege of teaching in our services this weekend to cap off an incredible trip. I will reference the trip in my message this weekend. Simply because it will give a great perspective to us as Americans and as followers of Christ. I hope that we will all learn what it means to serve more and be a servant at home and not just in other places because after all, isn't home where the heart is?

I left a piece of my heart in Santos Dumont. I can't wait to go back there and se how it has grown. But in the mean time, I must serve where I am. And it starts with my family.

Friday, March 2, 2007

back in the saddle

The trip to California was awesome! The conference was fantastic and Disney was beyond words. Since I am still sorting through and processing the info from the conference, I will start with the family stuff.

I could not be more proud of my family. While I attending the conference, they went about doing things on their own. My wife was awesome. She successfully navigated LA traffic (no thanks to Map Quest) and made some incredible memories with the kids. She makes this family what it is. It couldn't be done without her.

My oldest son was true to his character and was the ultimate servant. He helped my wife with all the traffic stuff and was a great big brother. He packed and unpacked the rental car, got the baggage ready for the planes and planned out our course in the theme parks. I commended him for dong things he didn't want to do just to help make our family time the best it could be. He and I were able to have some good time together especially at the Oakley headquarters and at Laguna Beach.

The little monkeys, well what can I say. They soaked up Disney till they were about to burst. They were filled with excitement yet did not allow it to cause them to be selfish. My little Princess was in Heaven at American Girl Place and at the Princess Faire at Disney. The Monkey Fish (if you know him, you know what I mean) met every challenge that the rides at Universal and Disney threw at him. I really don't think he is afraid of anything and has yet to meet a roller coaster he won't ride, even if it does "go upside down." By the way, the Princess rode the upside down roller coaster, too, and loved it.

Bottom line, God provided my family with a trip that we will always remember. Even when our flight was cancelled on the way home from Cincinnati, they handled it with grace. They all reminded me of an essential truth: treasure your family because it's the only one you will ever have. Invest in it because it is God's gift to you.

Protect it, honor it, cherish it and it will bring you more joy than all the world has to offer. You may even get to visit the "happiest place on Earth" together and make good memories.