Yesterday our church had it's annual Freedom Jam. The place was packed with people, lots of tailgating, great music, and great activities for the kids. It has become a huge summer activity for our church and community. A little before nine, we went across the street to the LA Fitness parking lot, which is a little higher in elevation than our church property, to watch the fireworks. It was amazing watching the "dancing eyes" of our grandchildren as they watched the fireworks explode. It was a magical moment to see that surprise in their eyes. It was like seeing a first-time experience through their eyes.
Today is becoming a day of rest. Patti and I are both on our laptops in front of the TV, but tomorrow will bring us back to reality when the normal week returns. I work at the church and Patti has a few things to do as well.
Patti has a big birthday coming up on Friday. It is the big "Six O". She seems much younger than her chronological age. We are going out to dinner on Thursday night with our dear friends of 32 years--Leroy and Sharon Krolczyk. Gosh, Patti would have been 28 then, that's younger than our own children!
I have learned something on our recent journey to Hawaii. Steve Corn, our son-in-law, has me thinking about "risk-taking" this morning. When we did the Zip Line I realized that it was not so hard to jump off of a box 85 feet in the air. If you can't jump, you never zip line. What is important is the journey on the zip line and the landing. The landing is what concerned me the most. Could I land in that small area and stop enough so the "catcher" could do his job? The answer was "Yes", but I was not sure. That was the risk for me.
More than a decade ago, Steve was the Youth Pastor where I served as Senior Pastor. Steve wanted to start a new ministry to the street kids of that city. Many were skateboarders, but most had never been inside a church or influenced by its ministry. Steve has a dream and it was risky. Imagine 200 unchurched teenagers in your church building. Not a big deal?? You've not been where I've been! This was an atmosphere where even picture hanging was controlled by a committee. Two hundred unchurched kids and this kind of control probably did not go together.
A significant number of those teenagers came to Christ. It all started with Steve's dream, but the journey was what was important. The ministry could have come to a sudden halt at several different times during those formative years, but Steve held true in the midst of pressure and assault. Today, many of those young adults are professional church workers like pastors, worship leaders, graphic artists, teachers, missionaries and the like. I know Steve is proud of them. Some adults did not understand, but Steve did. It was all about the journey and "landing on the other side".
Thank you Steve for allowing me to watch and work with a true risk-taker!