Daydreamers

Earlier today, I was listening to the song “Professional Daydreamer” by Over The Rhine. That actual phrase does not occur in the song, but I like it. I even remarked on Twitter today that, once in a while, I get to be a professional daydreamer myself.

I have the privilege (and honor) of using some of my creative talents as part of my job; working for the church allows me to dream a little bit and get the creativity flowing. I probably don’t cash in on that privilege  often enough, as I get bogged down in the to-do lists and the everyday grind of “the job.” However, I’m surrounded by a staff who help me remember the values of creativity and excellence; in particular, our Worship Arts staff (Trey, Monica, Kris, and I) encourage each other to be creative. I’m grateful for them for that.

This evening, I read some scripture that reminded me of God’s desire for us to use our gifts to fulfill His dreams for us. The verses are from Joel chapter 2, and to me they’re some of the most inspirational and intriguing verses in the Old Testament:

“I will pour out my Spirit on all people…your old men will dream dreams, your young men will see visions.” (Joel 2:28, NIV)

God has a dream and a vision for you, and He desperately longs for you to use the gifts and talents He has given you to fulfill that vision. Don’t allow circumstances, or stress, or self-doubt, or anything to get in the way of accomplishing His dream for you.

Regardless of what you do for a living, and no matter how you view your talents, allow yourself time to dream; allow God to reveal His vision to you, and pray that He will give you the strength to make it a reality.

Shine!

I can’t say enough about how amazing Sunday was. People showed up, people gave, people engaged, and God was honored. Our band was amazing (in heart and skill), Scott delivered one of his best messages ever, and the “cardboard testimonies” were a special touch to a great morning.

I feel like we’ve achieved a certain momentum thanks to the prayers and support that went into Sunday’s services. I know we’ll always be “a church in transition,” to use the phrasing I’ve been using…isn’t there always a certain amount of transition?…but I believe that Sunday was the true start of an amazing new era for Eastridge.

Father, may we always shine for You and honor You. May nothing get in the way of our love for You, and may nothing block the light that we are to shine. TO YOU BE THE GLORY!

Shine! (coming August 3)

Summer’s almost over…not the season of summer, but the attitude and the slow, easy, laid-back vibe of summer. Kids go back to school in two days, 863 starts back up next week, and we’re gearing up for a new ministry year.

It’s an exciting time right now for the staff. Amy and Stephanie were decorating the new and improved Adventureland hallway this afternoon, the Student Ministry staff are re-branding and renaming practically everything they do, Gary is working on new plans for our adult ministries, and new Bible studies kick off in the next few weeks.

But the thing we’re most excited about is a very special Sunday coming up this week. We’re calling it “Shine!” Scott will lay out the vision for the church; we know what it is…”Love God, Love People, Serve Others”…but Scott is going to lay down some challenges and goals for the next year; they will tie into the vision that is already established at Eastridge, but we’re hoping and praying that people see this vision in a renewed and refreshed light. We also have a unique element in the service that will make the day one that our people will never forget.

I’m praying along with the rest of the staff and many others througout our congregation for Sunday. Scott sent an email to our staff and volunteers that said it best:

Pray that people will come. Pray that hearts will be open to hearing from God.
Pray that each individual will hear from God about his/her role. Pray that the
church will embrace its role in the world we live in.

I’m excited about Sunday. I really feel a certain momentum, that people are receptive to and expectant about what God is doing at Eastridge, and I am confident that God will continue to do amazing work within this community.