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Our First Easter as Grace Hills Church

Easter Egg HuntWas awesome. On Saturday, we hosted a community Easter egg hunt at Grace Hill Elementary School. About 75 volunteers, a third of which were teens, came and hid 5,000 eggs and served a hot grilled lunch to about 350 people. The school was gracious enough to allow us to invite all 500 of their students which allowed us to have some great conversations with people in the community. (Watch the highlight video.)

On Sunday, we broke our previous attendance record (176, set on our launch Sunday) with 215! With a full band and a full theater, our first Easter service as a new church family was moving. And the highlight? Two young people gave their lives to Jesus and will be baptized soon.

We loved the weekend – it was exhilarating – but our hearts ache for the lost. We’re begging God to open doors for us to connect with people who are far from God in northwest Arkansas, to empower us to make disciples who bring others to Jesus, and to keep the mission and the vision as non-negotiable priorities at all times.

How was your Easter weekend? If you were at Grace Hills, tell me what you thought. And if you were somewhere else, tell me how it went. Go!

Sunday in Retrospect

There’s something about having a new baby in the house that makes sleep all the more precious. I had considered not preaching, but am glad I proceeded, and God gave just enough rest. Here were some highlights…

  • Waking up to my awesome family.
  • Preaching about how God prepares our hearts for greatness, even in times of loneliness. I love the life of David!
  • A relaxing Sunday afternoon, watching baby Samuel’s various facial expressions.
  • Ordaining Justin Williams, our Youth Pastor, to ministry. I love ordinations and am extremely proud of Justin. It’s a time when God’s word is glorified. Danny Kirk peppered him with some rather deep theological questions and Justin was as thoroughly prepared as any candidate I’ve seen. There are few feelings like the one I get when I watch 16 godly men lay hands on a young man to set him aside for a lifetime of service.
  • Zaxby’s chicken…
  • Sleep… here and there. I admire my wife a little more each day for her sheer stamina!

Sunday in Retrospect

Bethel's Sunrise Service

Bethel's Sunrise Service View

Easter Sunday is always a highlight. Some of my favorite moments were…

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Sunday in Retrospect

Sweet Eggs from a Sweet Wife

Sundays are special. My week begins on Monday, as yours does, but my week as a Pastor culminates not in punching the clock on Friday afternoon but when I finally walk in my door on Sunday night. Yes, there are some breaks built in there, but Sundays are pretty important and intense days in many respects.

Today was a good one. Here’s why…

  • My sweet, sweet wife bought me a box of Cadbury cream eggs. She bought them on Saturday, but I finished them off on Sunday!
  • I preached a message that burned on my heart about Jesus’ Finest Hour. I loved preaching it.
  • We tried out new software for presentations, EasyWorship to be exact, and after a few kinks it worked like a charm. We’re throwing some surprises in the mix soon. I like technology… a lot!
  • A little boy named Garrett was baptized by his Dad, one of our Deacons, Jason. It was a sweet moment for everybody – especially for Garrett… and Jesus!
  • Our mission team to Haiti reported on their trip. It was heart-breaking and gut-wrenching to see the conditions of that land. We were reminded that our brothers and sisters in Christ are there trying to minister to their shaken community.
  • I stood in line at Walmart… I deserve hell, so standing in line at Walmart isn’t so bad.
  • Samuel is kicking his Momma so hard it hurts, which actually brings me great joy. I’m sorting out the motives on that… ;)

How was your day of worship?

The Emotional Up’s And Down’s of Easter Weekend

nothere2This week has been great. No complaints, so don’t think my talking about emotional up’s and down’s has much to do at all with outward circumstances. Rather, Easter weekend brings it’s emotional roller coaster in the form of our identifying with Jesus.

We travel with Him through the shadows of persecution, the intimacy of the upper room and His final days in the home of His friends at Bethany, and then into the Garden of Gethsemane where Satan and his minions began to chuckle at the sheer intensity of His suffering. We see Him sweating drops of blood over the thought of His coming assumption of our sin and His separation from the Father on the cross, a separation He had not experience for all of eternity. We see Him stripped and spat upon, beaten and bloodied, nailed to a cross and mocked until His last breath.

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