What a day! I got to meet so many people today who found their way to NHC while on vacation. Some were tentative: "Do I need to wear my earplugs?". (When someone asks me that my usual answer is "Probably!".) Others brought a great spirit in with them, ready to worship, like our new friend Kurt Beach. His joy at simply being alive is contagious.
(Monday morning this article about Kurt was front page in the Hampton Roads sectin of The Virginian-Pilot.)
Mike and his First Impressions team were as usual, on top of their game today. It's important to us that not only does everyone who steps out of a car in our parking lot get more than one sincere welcome, but that we are prepared to have them as our guests. Great job.
Even with one of our coffee pots out of order, the Hospitality team had the java flowing this morning. And I even sampled a sweet potato ham biscuit.
I slipped in on Kidmo at the end of the second gathering and saw about 5 groups of kids seated on the floor around their leaders going over what they had learned this morning. The room was full of elementary students and teens and adults who love them. And your new Kid Zone shirts are the bomb.
The band was dead on today, not that they aren't every Sunday. But each song connected us with the Lord and with the message today. Great guitar work today, too, although I'm wishing for a little more volume from the bass...(I want to feel it).
The message from Exodus 16 was intended to cause us to evaluate our obedience. Partial obedience is disobedience. And when we complain to our leaders we're really complaining to God.
After the second gathering we headed to the beach where Steve (and a lot of help from Chris and others) baptized I guess a dozen new disciples. It was so great. The water was beautiful and the joy of going public with their faith spread to all of us watching, even, I think to those there for the beach today (and there were a lot).
Our Contagious Youth started meeting tonight at the beach, which they'll do through September. It's a perfect day out there. I think I'll go join them!