Wednesday, February 15, 2006

A busy life...

Sunday was a great day. My wife and I started the the day by attending a worship service at Eagle Brook Church. Pastor Bob Merritt preached a very good sermon on laughing, joy, and how that relates to our Christian walk. The message was greatly influenced by a sermon Ed Young gave a few weeks back to his congregation Fellowship Church in the Dallas, Texas area. One thing I appreciate about Bob Merritt's sermon prep is that he spends time listening to other good communicators. He doesn't think that he knows it all, and is continually learning from other people how to communicate the gospel more effectively. The sermon had some great video clips interspersed with the message. The worship was outstanding, with fantastic integration of multimedia during the worship segments. If you want to see how a church successfully utilizes multiple screens (3), lighting to set and change moods or match tempo with songs, then check out what the team at Eagle Brook is doing. Bob did mention the article in the Pioneer Press I referenced a few posts ago, and took the chance to clarify why it is that Eagle Brook Church exists and why they do (some) things the way they do. The message concluded in a way I wasn't really expecting, but in a way that is always appropriate. Bob closed and spoke about having Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior, and invited people who need prayer, or who need to know more about taking that next step of faith to come up to the stage area following the service (where EBC has a team of volunteers waiting). I appreciate that they are not so caught up in the fantastic growth they are experiencing that they miss out on opportunities to help people to step over the line and make a committment to Christ. Bob was clear that we are all sinners in need of a Savior, and I hope it hit home with some people who needed to hear that.

Later Sunday afternoon, my wife and I hit the road. We took Pastor Bob Merritt's advice and decided to have a day of fun. We started by going to downtown St. Paul, and visiting CANDYLAND. 435 WABASHA ST N ST PAUL MN 55102 1124 (651)292-1191. We got a nice sample of chocholates, and a small bag full of the best almonds I have ever had (fresh roasted, candy coated and dusted with cinnamon)! From there we drove down to Hastings, MN and went for a hike along the Vermillion River. It was very cold, and we concluded our trip just as the sun was setting on the horizon. We thawed out by going to Las Margaritas Mexican Restaurant 2100 Vermillion St. Hastings, MN 55033-3653 (651) 480-0048. My wife had eaten here previously, but this was my first experience. I intially didn't think I was hungry (because of the sweets earlier in the afternoon) but after watching (SMELLING!!!) a nearly continuous stream of fajitas come out of the kitchen my stomach rumbled. I had some excellent tamales (the masa could've been better), some of the best I have ever had. The service was a bit slow, but they were quite busy. Banana had a platter with 3 or 4 things buried under a mound of lettuce, sour cream and cheese. She really enjoyed her meal as well. It was a great day with my favorite person, my wife.

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