Wednesday, July 30, 2008

The Third and Final Taylor

I took Tam in for her ultra sound Monday.  We're proud to announce we're having a boy.  Everything appears healthy.  For those who are keeping track, this will be our third boy to be brought into the world. I've been reminded that the sex of the child is determined by the Father. What can I say . . . I make boys.
Speaking of three boys, we unloaded truck #4 into storage last week.  John, a pastor from southern  Florida, his wife and three sons are here to help take Connections to the next level. It is SO great having an experienced pastor on this journey with us. As I've blogged before, I have so much to learn! 
Also, we had 22 at our launch team meeting last week! God is blessing our efforts.  Our teams is constantly inviting people to group.  I probably average at least one invite a week. This Friday we're having a cook out. I'm excited to make new connections! :)

Saturday, July 19, 2008

The Mayor

I met with our Mayor on Friday to find out what we as a church can do to help out Meridian. The Mayor's office has already started a huge campaign for the "faith based community" to partner with them to make a positive difference in our area, but they're having a hard time getting churches involved. The mayor was very appreciative (and slightly surprised) that we contacted them instead of the other way around. I think in the future it will be very very easy to do things with and for the city.
We had Bible study number 5 last night and our biggest attendance yet, 19.  I'm always hoping for more, but the graph is moving in the right direction. We finished up our study on the sermon on the mount.  I challenged us to pray for something big that only God can do. I'm excited to hear about what he does.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008


I had a great discussion with a new friend of mine yesterday at the local Chinese buffet. I laid out the Roman Road and shared about Jesus' ultimate sacrifice for the forgiveness of our sins. It shouldn't surprise me that God shows up in those situations, but it still does.  It was like He was enjoying the greasy spring rolls right there beside us. 

After I finished, my friend said, "No one's ever really laid it out like that for me." On the way back from lunch I asked him if there was anything keeping him from starting a new life with Jesus and we decided there wasn't. 

They say church plants have more conversions than established churches, at least in percentage.  While that's great now, eventually we'll be the established church.  Lord, help us to always value the lost! We will never be an inward focused church.  There are far too many people out there that have never had it laid out for them!

Monday, July 14, 2008

Serving Meridian

One of the great temptations of a church planter is to use his/her city to bless the church. You take their people, resources, facilities etc, and use them to build a church. We really want Connections to be the opposite. I tell our launch team often that we are here to be a blessing to the area, not simply the other way around.

Today I met with Meridian's Chief of police to ask him his thoughts about the city. It was extremely generous of him to share his time with me. Before I even started asking questions, he was gushing about how great Meridian is (and I completely agree). The school systems, the crime rate, the small town feel (and small town traffic) are all things that initially drew us in this direction.

He said one of the greatest needs in the city is finding events for youth during the winter. Summer holds so many activities, but winter can get long and hold fewer engaging opportunities. Also, like most other cities, Meridian has a number of underprivileged families that need help and, probably, some financial mentoring.

This is our second interview within the circle of Meridian leaders and we're learning a great deal. Once we're finished, we hope to have a clear vision of how Connections can best serve the great area. If you're reading this in Meridian and you have ideas about how to help out, we'd love your feedback.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Fourth O' July

Our launch team celebrated our independence at  our neighbors' house.  We had 36 men, women and children!  We probably had enough food for another 36.  We also shot off some fireworks and an airbag.  That's right, an airbag.  Darla's Brother, Paul, restores cars and had one that wasn't going to be used.  He attached a lengthy wire to it and after a countdown from 5 touched it to a 9 volt and POW! It shot up in the air 6 feet.  I can't imagine that thing hitting your face!  It is made to cushion the blow, not make it worse. 

Launch team meeting is back in action this Friday night.  If you're in the Meridian area please come and join us!!!

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Truck #2 and counting...

We unloaded truck #2 this last weekend. It doesn't seem like it's been several weeks since the Redes arrived, but here we are and our second family, the Wights, have arrived safely. We are stoked to have them in the mix

This last Friday we had our biggest attendance yet at a Bible study. Including the kids there were 15 people! It amazes me how God is already moving in such amazing ways. This coming Friday we're having a 4th of July party at our neighbors' house and plan to have a ton of people show up to party with us. It's great having such cool neighbors :)

This weekend we heard a pastor speak on "now moments" - doing what we are called to do in the time and place to which God calls us. It's awesome to know we are a part of God's call to this place in this time. We must continue to listen and hear His purpose to connect people to Himself and one another. We have to stay in his momentum...

And another moving van arrives in 2 more weeks. . .