Saturday, May 22, 2010

Adventure Stories

Everybody loves an adventure, don’t they? But some of us don’t share those experiences with others. We take pictures, but leave them in our digital cameras. We may write a postcard and send it back home, but put it in the trash after it has been read. We may put a few words on Facebook to let everyone know we are now back after an adventure. So, why tell anyone about what we did while rafting in Colorado? Or skiing in Vermont? Or surfing in Hawaii? (that last one sounds rather appealing, doesn’t it?)

Well, one reason we tell stories is to help people capture in their minds where we’ve been and what we are doing in our lives. Another reason is to make them wish they were there too. A third reason is to get them excited and maybe inspire them to want to go to a destination or accomplish something they think is impossible. Any of these is a good reason to tell about your latest adventure. It doesn’t have to be long; it doesn’t have to be international in nature. It just has to be your story. Out of your story will flow passion, energy, a draw for others.

If you are looking for some real inspiration, go to our website and click on Adventure stories. Why go there when there are other places like Facebook, Ebay and iTickets calling your name? For the simple reason, you will be inspired! Inspired by an adventure story you say? Absolutely!! I am so jazzed after I read the latest adventure story, I want to go out on another adventure myself.

I challenge you to go there sometime this week. Poke around and see what God is up to through your brothers and sisters here at Open Door. And then, here’s the challenge…leave a story from your own life adventure. It doesn’t have to be about Serve Elyria…just make it personal and from your own life. God is up to so many things here in this body of believers. I’ll be checking that link myself this week…so…let’s read about your adventure story, shall we?

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Serve Elyria

Wow, what a day today was! It was one of those days where I was so proud to be the Pastor of Church of the Open Door. Over 500 volunteers demonstrated the love of God to the people of Elyria at Serve Elyria completing over 360 projects throughout the city. 260 of those were gardens using the organic and super creative gardensoxx from Filtrexx (check them out here). Our Pastor of Life Groups, Dan Samms, led the project this year and he and his team did a great job organizing and leading. He reported that in addition to the gardensoxx projects, we completed over 100 other projects throughout the city! Is that incredible or what?

My goal was to serve at the most projects and encourage the most people throughout the city. So as Pastor Jamie, my wife Andrea, and I traveled from site to site and encouraged, we helped out and loaded and unloaded gardensoxx, worked on landscaping projects, raked leaves, helped insulate and rebrick the foundation of a mobile home, cleaned up trash, and heard one person after another talk about what a great day it was.

One lady who I’ll call Judy, because that’s what her name is, cried when we helped her with some yard work and fixed her roof and said, “I can’t do any of these things anymore and I didn’t have anyone who could help me. I can’t believe what you all are doing today. Thank you so much.” (more tears.) I told her we just wanted to show her the love of God in tangible ways. She said, “well you did. Thank you.” (more tears.) Then I found out that one of the couples in our church who was up on her roof also left her a check to help out with expenses!

Another guy, I’ll call Ryan, because that’s what his name is, has only been coming to our church for about a month. He was out serving today and said to me: “this is what we’ve been looking for, a church that serves.” What a statement.

You know what? I think God is looking for a church like that and so are people in the community. Let’s continue to be that church!