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let's give 'em something to talk about

(no, i was never a bonnie raitt fan.)

last weekend was an historic time in the life of prosper and its original church, the united methodist church. friday night i loaded james and miles up and we went to prosper eagles vs. celina bobcats, our neighbors a few miles to the north. prosper last beat celina 24 years ago. however, celina had already lost two games this season, and i predicted prosper would win. at halftime the score was eagles 20-0. normally we stay for the bands and leave at the start of the third quarter, but there was no way we were going to miss this finish. final score: 33-7. their 7 came with a minute left in the game. of course miles saw none of this-- he was out at the beginning of the fourth quarter. james went nuts as the students stormed the field.

the next day was our church's annual fall festival, Lord's acre. it's a day filled with carnival games, food, face painting, silent and live auctions, hayrides, etc. monies raised benefit local and international missions. despite the economy, it was the most successful Lord's acre ever. much of that has to do with the work of volunteers, some a few contributions, others worked for months. but it was a team effort.

our church has become baptism central since mid-august. i have baptized a child or adult for 10 consecutive sundays-- gotta be a record-- before an off day this weekend-- know any adults ready to make a commitment for Christ? then in november i have another three baptisms scheduled. so in a span of fifteen weeks, we've had roughly 20 baptisms. our total baptisms last year: five. this year we have baptized five adults, plus twenty or so kids.

i bring these things up for a couple of reasons: 1. to give God glory and thanks for the things he is doing in this wonderful church. 2. to say that when churches are fulfilling their mission, it creates positive things. when people believe in what you are doing, they respond, whether that is giving, serving, or just talking about their church. everyone is concerned about finances as the economy continues to decline, and rightfully so. but as leaders we need to face these times with hope and confidence, remembering that fear is the opposite of faith. at least at our church, we are expanding, rather than cutting back, on ministry. and it has gone well. take a moment to read this article, which i found very inspiring: about bear creek umc in houston.

getting excited about a football victory is great-- it was an historic night. but how often do we get excited about church? what great things are going on in your church right now? how are you feeling about your worship community? when was the last time you shared your excitement with a friend or neighbor who is searching for a church home? isn't now a good time to start?

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