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MMQB - November 23, 2009

1. We had a great picnic at the Hord’s place this Saturday. How good it is to just hang out with people and have time to talk (and shoot potato guns!) Big thanks to Daniel and Jenny for their hospitality and generosity!

2. Last night I watched a movie about one of my heroes, Dietrich Bonhoeffer. He was a German pastor and theologian who stood against Hitler and the Third Reich. He chose the dangers of returning to Germany over safety in America where he was teaching in a seminary. This led to his imprisonment and eventual hanging by the Gestapo less than a month before the end of the war at the age of thirty-nine. I highly recommend his book The Cost of Discipleship.

3. It is very encouraging to be part of a church where there are so many babies. We’ve dedicated a baby every Sunday this month. What a joy to see so many young families raising their children for Jesus.

4. I am going to miss Nehemiah when we finish up this series in a few weeks. Not that I can’t visit him again, but I know we won’t hang out as much as we have been these past few months when we are done with the series. His passion for God and people and all-consuming commitment to the mission has been very instructive and inspiring to me.

5. This may shock you but I have never watched even one episode of Cheers, Friends, or Seinfeld. Just never got into them. But, I admit that I have played along and given the token smiling affirming nod in conversation when people say, “Have you seen that Seinfeld episode where he says…?”

6. On that note, my favorite shows as a kid were Bonanza and The White Shadow. Was The White Shadow on in Georgia? The Italian kid “Salami” was my favorite character. Welcome Back Kotter deserves an honorable mention.

7. We have much to be thankful for as we celebrate Thanksgiving this Thursday. Maybe we should consider writing a few random notes of thanks to people that have encouraged and touched our lives this past year.

8. On that note, holidays are tough times for deployed military folks and their families. In particular, remember the young soldiers who’ve been through CrossPointe this past year and are overseas—Quinn MacArthur (Iraq), Nick Privette (Afghanistan), and Bob Landeg (Iraq). Bob’s permanent station is Ft. Benning and his wife Amy is part of the Tribe. There are probably a few other names that are escaping me now as well.

9. Every Sunday I met new folks and see new faces. I am reminded again of how important it is to be clear about the Gospel. I never want to fall into the trap of assuming the Gospel or assuming that people know Jesus.

10. There’s something about the holiday season that can wear us down. Seems like the schedule is tighter, the stress level is ramped up. So many tugs in so many directions that war against our ability to focus on Jesus. How inconvenient of Jesus to expect us to worship Him during this commercialized season we’ve created to celebrate His birth. Help us, Lord, to see and savor Jesus this December.

Grace and peace