We are back from the Hoosier state. The wedding went well. Liam is a rockstar amongst the family. I spent my evenings tending to the lil’ guy and reading a novel on vampires.

Best complaints/statements heard recently at the church:

  • Pastor Mark has coffee in the Sanctuary! (Complaint was emailed in.)
  • The bulletin (program) is so sterile you could operate off it!
  • No one over 55 uses the internet. (Lament on why we focus so much on the web for promotion and as a resource for attenders and visitors.)
  • None of the seniors like the color yellow.
  • If our new community group (sunday school) has to switch rooms I’m leaving the church! (Another threat was that individuals would stop giving if their room assignment changed.)

You sometimes come across even more idiotic statements than that and it can make me wonder why I do what it is I do. It can seem like you are just putting pacifiers in mouths instead of getting help to those truly in need. Every once in awhile you are reminded of why it is you do what you do and are encouraged to keep going. I think of the recent short-term missions trips to Koutiala, Mali and Waveland, MS and the great things that occurred.

Last night we had our second annual Baptism on the Green service. After last year, where we had 225+ people baptized, there was concern that this year’s event might be low in numbers. Last year it was almost the fad to be a part of, spiking the numbers. Many who were baptized had been Christians for a long time but had never been baptized. This time around, though, we had around 175 people baptized. I think it is more impressive than last year. The people represent newcomers to the faith with great stories of how they came to know God. You deal with spiritual immaturity consistently and are entertained by thoughts to throw in the towel, but then come across someone with a new, unbridled faith that puts a smile on your face and touches your soul.

Beyond the stats of the baptism service it is great to see people coming to know Christ and furthering their walk with God. Baptism isn’t an end to them, thankfully. (I still can wince, sometimes, at the joy over baptism stats. This is from my brief time at Westside Church. I worked there as an intern and was baptized there. That was a long time ago and I’m sure it’s not like that anymore.)

One last thing…

At the wedding reception, a video was played that featured people’s takes on “for sheezy my neezy”. Two guys from the wedding party were interviewing guests about what that meant. My response was played and of course edited to make me look out of touch. They had me saying, “Is that Mennonite slang?” A joke I made, because I didn’t want to be on camera saying what it meant, but I came off looking out-of-touch. (Even if the camera was off, it’s not a term I want to say flippantly.) Jana turned to me after my part was over and said she was surprised I didn’t know what that meant. She didn’t know what the saying was, but was just surprised I had no idea. I then told her what the saying did mean and why I didn’t say answer. Her response? “Thank you for not answering on video.” No problem. She then started telling other people what I had done and why.

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