Monday, October 10, 2011

Back after the Break

I am eager to write after a self-imposed FB and blog fast this past week.

Last Friday morning, after eating breakfast out, my wife said, "Look, I'm going to tell you about this because I need your help. We have a party for your birthday tonight." It's hard to celebrate a peaceful birthday here, believe me, and although watching the Phillies (lose) would have been fun, having around 55 people in our (small) house was exponentially funner. What made things even more interested is that it rained that night, so the 20 chairs we had placed outside weren't even used. Oh well. We bought, at Sam's suggestions, 20 kilos (a kilo is 2.2 lbs.) of arrachera and 5 kilos of sausage, but ended up with probably 8 kilos of meat left over. No problem. We finished it off at an after-church meal at the Valtierra's yesterday. Nothing like arrachera on the grill!

A big thank you for all the birthday wishes. Not really sure if I should continue to celebrate birthdays, but it's always great to hear from and party with many friends.

On a more serious note...the last two weeks have been, without a doubt, some of the most difficult, challenging ministry days we've had in a while. The small plot of land that we are attempting to acquire has met with some significant opposition, largely because of one neighbor who has seemingly taken it upon herself to block and oppose us in every possible way. It is a neighbor who we have reached out to and helped in several different occasions in the past, but who nevertheless seems bent on frustrating our plans. Oh, and she has an alter to the Holy Death on her porch, so I guess we shouldn't be surprised. One dynamic that has become abundantly clear over the past two weeks is the reality of spiritual warfare and the need to always keep the attitude and mind of Christ during this process. Nevertheless, the church has already grown in unity and maturity during this process, and we understand that God has his purposes in everything. At this point it looks like we may have to take down the fence, but again, this could change. Everything is very fluid still. If humility is something that God would like to teach us as a congregation, well, then so be it. Please continue to pray for this process.

Other news...Neil Cole is speaking at Moody's missions conference this next week! I've read a lot of what Cole has written about the organic nature of the church, and love his perspective. It will be great to hear him in person!

Last Wednesday Allan had 38 kids for basketball at the community center. Our daughter Cathy started violin lessons this past Saturday.

I'm on my third Timothy Keller book (Kindle downloads are tooooo easy), this one entitled The Reason for God. Great stuff.

Today I finish up a workshop on the advantages of the community center approach, for MBI, Wed. and Thurs. Looking forward to seeing Micah and Robert there. Sam is doing a workshop on art, which should be spectacular.

Sam just finished a banner for Corban University, and we printed out another banner for a church in Salem, Oregon. Price to print out on vinyl a 15 ft. x 3 foot banner...about $42. I put the banner as the blog header.

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