A Burnt Motorcycle and a string of blessings

Joy, contentment, faith, and trust. These words come to mind when we think of the mindset Christians are called to. Many times we struggle to see them in our lives.

Tonight i got tested on these things. I was riding my motorcycle home after filling the gas tank. Going up a hill it lost all power. I reached down to spin the petcock over to reserve. As i reached down i felt more heat than was normal. So i looked and flames where shooting out from under the seat. I quickly pulled over and laid the bike down along the side of the road. Near by was an old carpet. Thinking I would be slick i grabbed the carpet and tossed it over the motorcycle. Within 15 seconds the smoke stopped and i thought it was over. I lifted the carpet and the flames exploded out again. At this point it was clear I was no longer going to have a motorcycle.

I was at a crossroad. How am i going to respond? Will I let my frustration get the best of me or will i trust that even in this God had a plan?

I decided to try to look for the best. Almost right then one of my co-workers appear. His name is Harry. He had a fire extinguisher he grabbed from his home and tried to spray down the bike. Turns out I just happened to stop right across the street from his house. As we talked he said “They are going to want to tow the bike. If you want to save the money we can drag it into my drive with my tractor and once it cools down you can come back for it.”

I had another coworker offer to come pick it up and take it back to the shop and my boss is taking going scrap run tomorrow so that will get included in the trip.

So far we have one hard situation but 3 quick blessings from God. But they do not stop there. Stef and I had a busy night planned. When i called her to come get me she was cooking dinner. By the time we left Harry’s we realized there was no time to eat. We had to meet people at the church by 5:45. We where running just about on time when the first meeting called to push back their time (another blessing from God). As we walk into the building there was a meeting that dinner was served at. They had finished eating and offered Stef and I their leftovers (another blessing from God). As we where eating we met with someone and had a really good conversation. Then right as that wrapped up the next set of people walked in. They where way quicker then i expected. By 8:pm we had 3 different meetings, eat dinner, and came home.

BLESSINGS.

I could have gone thought the night upset about what happened but instead am amazed by how many details God worked out.

“How Little Can We Do This For?” A Low Budget Overflow Room

Two Monday morning ago in the church staff meeting we were talking about how to fit everyone into the church this upcoming Easter. God has been moving and the church has been growing. We are getting close to max capacity on a regular Sunday. I am guessing that on Easter we can expect about 40% attendance increase if not more. We have come to the conclusion that we needed to be ready with an overflow room. As I was thinking about how to get this done I realized that we could do it almost for free with things lying around the church. So I set out to test my theory.

After some testing I realized it could work and reported my findings last week in the staff meeting. To my surprise I was informed that we needed it operational for the upcoming Sunday (which at this point is today). I knew there were major limitations with this setup but listened anyway and got right to work.

 

Note: The next few lines will bore most people but may interest any dorks like me.

I set up an old video camera (we bought 3 years go for $125) on a cheap tripod that was donated. I used the RCA output on the video camera and ran just the video (yellow) into an old VCR. I went from our soundboard into the audio (red and white) plugs on the back of the VCR. With the VCR tuned to “aux” I could use the coax (RG6/Standard cable wire) out on the VCR to send our video feed to whatever room I chose.

We chose our fellowship hall but felt that even the church’s largest TV was too small for an overflow room. After some research we purchased a Vivitek
D512-3D Digital Projector
from B&H. I have to add a side note: B&H delivered the projector for free within 26 hours of ordering it.

To connect the projector to the video feed I had to convert back to RCA or find a way to get to VGA. I decided RCA was easier and went on a hunt for anther VCR. I tuned that VRC to channel 3 and had my signal. For audio we went RCA out and into an old set of computer speakers we had lying around (also donated).

We had everything other then the projector lying around the church so our total expense was $300 (the projector was on sale).

My tech savvy friends are now freaking out about how horrible quality this is…

 

Note: I think the boring stuff is over.

We now have a large video feed and okay audio into an overflow room but there are many issues and limitations we are going to have to figure out.

  1. We have no easy way to show lyrics to worship songs
  2. Unless we zoom the video camera into the sanctuary’s projector there are no good ways to send over the videos we show during the service.
  3. We need to figure out how to make people feel welcome and wanted sticking them back into a side room.
  4. We need to get ushers in that room.

As this Sunday approached we found a way to fit everyone into the sanctuary. We had record setting attendance by the grace of God and got to celebrate the baptism of 3 different people. But I turned everything on for the overflow room. It all worked fine and a few people decided to participate in the service using this room. Our kitchen crew seemed happy to be able to look into the next room and see what they were missing.

As I set things up like this I have a struggle in my head. I believe everything we do represents God. If our church is setting up cheep equipment we could be saying “God is cheap”. On the flip side I also think we need to be good stewards. If I went with better equipment I would blow the technology budget for the year.

The question “how little can we do this for?” is one I love and I hate. I love the challenge but I hate the sacrifice of quality that it often brings.

Daniel Fast One Day After—What was hard about it…and what I eat a lot of

So I found a few things hard about the Daniel fast.

  1. Grocery shopping! You would think that trying to go without additives and preservatives and sugar would be easier than it really is. Stef and I spent so much time looking up and down isles trying to find brands that did not load their food up with a bunch of garbage. It’s was amazing. We discovered a brand of tomato sauce that was just tomatoes and nothing else. Stef got all excited and then saw another item from the same brand that had garlic added. She put it in the cart thinking all was well. WRONG. Just adding garlic meant that 30 other random chemicals I will not even try to spell or say had to be added also. Continue reading

Daniel Fast Day 10—Refining Rules and Planning ahead

So today is the last day of me doing the Daniel Fast. I have to say last night was the hardest part of the fast yet. Stef wanted something filling so she made tacos for dinner for herself. I eat salad. After dinner she got into the fridge and pulled out dessert for herself. Now I am not a big dessert fan but one thing I love is chocolate chip cookie dough. Stef last Sunday baked chocolate chip cookie dough brownies for our small group bible study and there are leftovers.

Continue reading

Daniel Fast Day 7—What

I am on day 7 of the Daniel fast and keep getting the same question over and over again. What is the Daniel fast? To be honest when I posted Daniel Fast Day 3—Why I really didn’t expect anyone to read it. I figured I was fine to write about fasting on here because it’s not like it will be seen. Unfortunately I forgot that my blog auto posts to Facebook. I want to say again before anything else that I am not doing this fast for attention. In person I have told very few people that it was even something I was considering or doing. It was this Blog that messed me up. Continue reading

Daniel Fast Day 2–Why

So yesterday Stef and I started the Daniel Fast. I wanted to write a little about the experience this far so that I have a record. I will also allow other people a glimpse into what we are doing and why we are doing it. Before I say much more I need to make sure that no one reads this post as a way for me to brag about something spiritual I am doing. I am not blogging about the fast to show off. I want to allow people to know what I experienced during the fast to point them back to God and what He is doing in my life. Continue reading