As we continue to settle in at home and to find our routines I find myself increasingly grateful to be back home in KS and to be living here in the Kansas City area.
Last Saturday Heather’s grandma and grandpa came to see us for lunch. Heather’s mom and step-dad as well as some of his family joined us and we all had a nice meal together.
Tuesday evening I preached here at Resurrection and my mom was able to swing up after work to be in worhsip. We then grabbed a nice dinner together and had great conversation. My friends Matt and Kendra were also able to be in worship, for which I was grateful.
Last night we had dinner with some new friends who have recently moved back to KS from the Chicago area. It was great to be in their home and to share good food and good fellowship.
In addition to being closer to our families, enjoying our new home, and connecting with wonderful people, apparently Forbes thinks we’re living in a good place as well. Check out #3 on the list.
I was in the chapel yesterday afternoon, getting things set for worship, and ran into a guy who had attended Resurrection in the past and had just stopped by for a visit. As we chatted he learned that Heather and I were expecting our first in November and he offered me his three best pieces of advice for being a dad.
- Never ask any questions
- Always Drive
- Make sure there is enough money in the checking account to cover all of the checks written, even the ones you didn’t know about.
I’m not quite sure where he was going with all of these, but he spoke with a great sense of conviction and it made me think, what other advice should I be hearing? So, I’m asking for it – any parenting advice you want to throw my way, go ahead and hang it on this thread…
We had a great party on Friday night with lots of great friends from various stages of our lives. One I’ve known since preschool. Another I had just met on Monday. Heather goes into a little more detail and gives a virtual tour of the new house if you’re interested.
I wrote earlier in the weekend about Becca Stevens of Thistle Farms and her time at Resurrection. The video of her sermon from Sunday night is now up online, I highly recommend giving it a listen.
This last Sunday morning I helped lead worship and lead the congregation in prayer. Below is the pastoral prayer that I used:
God of all creation, we are grateful for your love that has called us here. It has been remarkably hot these last days and weeks, sometimes almost stifling so. Our bodies are weary and we can see the effects of the heat in so much of your creation. Yet in the midst of it all, we know that you are at work. We know that the heat and the sun are an integral part of bringing food to our tables and nourishment to our bodies – and we are grateful. And we are especially grateful for the rains that fell last night bringing refreshing and renewal to our world. We are grateful too for all of the ways in which your love and your spirit provide nourishment for our souls. And so we take a moment now, to lift up our prayers and give you thanks for all of those ways in which you have provided nourishment to our bodies and souls…
<pray in silence>
We are grateful God, for all of the lessons that we can learn from your creation. We are grateful for your love that surrounds us, no matter what – from the rising to the setting of the sun. We are grateful for opportunities to serve you by sharing the gifts you have given to us. We are grateful for your beauty that surrounds us in all of your creation, even in those places where it sometimes seems hidden.
For your love and for all of the gifts you’ve given us, we are thankful. And though we have at times failed to live as the people you would have us be, we trust that your love endures. And as a sign of that trust, and as a sign of our commitment to follow your way, we lift our voices now and pray as Jesus taught his disciples to pray…
Before this last weekend I wasn’t at all familiar with Ken Medema. I was incredibly blessed to spend time in worship with him throughout the course of the weekend and to attend a concert that he held at Resurrection on Sunday evening.
Ken was born blind, but has an incredible musical gift – he composes and improvises beautiful and moving songs on the spot. In worship this weekend he wrote songs and sang them immediately following baptisms and the sermon. The songs after the baptisms were personalized with the name of the infant being baptized as well as themes from the service. They were incredibly moving and I really can’t even begin to imagine how he does it.
Heather had some conversation with Ken after worship on Saturday night and as she relayed his story to me I was especially struck by a particular part of it. When he was a young boy Ken had a piano teacher who recognized his gifts early on. This teacher taught him to improvise in a variety of styles, helped him learn how to read music in braille, and encouraged him to cultivate his gift through practice and by stretching himself.
There is no doubt that Ken was born with incredible gifts, but I am also confident that this teacher’s encouragement is in large part responsible for his success today. Again, I think it is of the utmost importance that we continue to offer support and encouragement to all who we encounter. It is possible that doing so will help people become who God has created them to be as well as cultivate leaders in the faith for coming generations.