Easter Weekend Review

(Warning to reader: I haven’t blogged much these past few days, but I’m more than making up for it today!)

Work hard.  Play hard.  That’s the way to live, and that’s how it’s been this past week.

A review of events since last week’s Maundy Thursday service:

On Friday morning I got a call from Terri, the director of the Training Station Preschool, informing me that the fierce winds that’d hit the area had knocked over our sign.  So Carolyn and I went to check it out.  The two beams holding the sign had snapped right in half and the whole shebang had fallen right on top of the wooden shell that some CrossWay guys had built for pouring the concrete for the new sign.  Fortunately it didn’t seem to damage anything.

From there we went to the zoo in Salisbury.  Every time we go there we see something weird and funny.  This time it was a peacock that kept following a goose in the bison habitat.  The goose kept calmly walking in various patterns, and the peacock hung with him, staying a couple feet behind.  No matter where the goose went, the peacock followed.  When the goose stopped, the peacock stopped.  When the goose got going again, so did the peacock.  It was pretty funny to watch.  People were coming up with various theories to try to explain the peacock’s behavior.  The most plausible explanation I heard was that the goose was the peacock’s personal trainer.

It was nice to see that the zoo is making significant progress with the red wolves exhibit.  They’ve built a nice walkway with a kind of observatory building.  Hopefully the wolves will be here soon!  They’re keeping them right next to the deer, which seems a little bit odd.  It’s like the cheetahs at the National Zoo in D.C., which are right next to the zebras.  Carolyn took a great picture one time of a cheetah standing a few feet away from a zebra, hungrily staring at it.  I’ll try to find it to post on here.
On the way back from the zoo we stopped at Station 7.  Bring on the nachos!  Oh yeah!

Saturday was our Easter outreach at church.  We had an egg hunt for kids, along with games and a creative telling of the Easter story.  There was a pretty decent turnout, especially considering that our sign which was promoting the event had been blown over the day before.  I found it impossible to try to count the people, but I’m pretty sure it was somewhere between 50 and 100.  Probably somewhere in the middle, about 75.  There were nearly as many adults as children!  It was a short event, but a lot of fun.  I was very proud of the CrossWay team that pulled it off!

After the Easter egg hunt our praise band practiced.  Oh yeah, I don’t think I’ve mentioned on here that the Timmons family very generously bought a new drum set for the church last week.  When the worship team practiced on Saturday, they wanted me to try playing along on the drums.  That was fine with me, even though I was reluctant at first, because I was sure I’d be horrible and they’d excuse me from further participation until I’d practiced for a looooooooong time.  But it didn’t quite go that way.

On Easter morning I got up at 4:35 a.m., got ready, and headed to North Division Street (where Rt. 50 ends at the boardwalk) for the Ocean City Easter Sunrise Service.  The wind was blowing and it was about 25 degrees–without the wind.  It was really surprising to me that several hundred people still turned out at that time and in that kind of weather!  Only the miraculous grace of God can explain how the instrumentalists played their guitars and keyboard and sax, and how Diana from CrossWay signed the whole service.  I was afraid her bare hands would get frostbite!  She and her daughter Anna were such troopers to come out for that!

Right before I got up to preach, I was shivering badly.  I had no idea how I could preach when I was trembling–more like shaking–so much.  But it worked.  It also ensured a brief sermon!  It’s kind of funny how sometimes when I’m preaching, I can prepare a message well ahead of time but feel like God’s leading me to make changes right before I preach or even while I’m preaching.  I’d written this sermon two or three weeks ahead of time, but at 5:59 (the service started at 6:00), new ideas popped into my head for the opening and the closing.  I’ll podcast the message this week.

After the sunrise service, which to my surprise I really enjoyed, I went home to take a short nap.  When I woke up an hour later, I hadn’t yet thawed out!  But I had unfrozen by the time we got to CrossWay.

Josh, our worship leader, had talked me into playing drums during the service.  I still couldn’t believe that was happening.  I was as nervous, if not more nervous, about playing the drums at CrossWay as I was about preaching to hundreds of strangers at the sunrise service!  I just can’t believe that he and the others in the band thought my drumming was unbad enough to actually be a part of the service on Easter, of all days.  But Josh takes his ministry seriously so I decided to trust his judgment.  However, I still can’t believe I made my drumming debut on Easter Sunday, and with one day’s notice.  But hey–God can use anybody to do anything.

Actually, the music overall was great yesterday!  Josh’s wife Christi helped with the vocals and played that little shaky egg thing.  Terri’s sister played the keys and Diana was on the bass.  Terri’s daughter, Kelsy, played the flute in one of the songs and that was a great touch.  At Saturday’s practice we’d had John playing guitar, but he wasn’t there yesterday.  If he had been, we’d have had a seven-member band!  For all I know there might have even been more people doing stuff.  Not only was I off to the side where I couldn’t see, but I was also scared!

The attendance at church yesterday was by far the largest we’ve had the past year.  It was twice our average attendance!  Carolyn taught Children’s Church and planned for three times as many as she usually had–and she had as many kids as she planned for!

Something in the service that was planned last minute and really blew me away was Josh signing the Ray Boltz song “Watch the Lamb.”  It was an interpretive signing–not just sign language, but also drama.  It was excellent!  When I got up to preach after he finished, I saw tears in people’s eyes.  Very moving.

It’s been almost a year since I came to CrossWay.  In all that time we’ve never had the fire alarm go off.  Naturally that would happen on Easter Sunday during the sermon with a packed house and a bunch of first-time guests.  You’ll be able to hear it on the podcast.  As I was transitioning out of the sermon intro, the alarm started screaming.  Fortunately no one panicked or anything.  In fact, they were all kind of staring at me, almost as if they were wondering: Is that part of the message or something?  Terri got it turned off pretty quickly, and the building burned down.  Sike.  Something I learned this Easter Sunday: our fire alarm goes off by itself sometimes.  Nice.  At least Carolyn had the kids all lined up and ready to evacuate!

After church we went to Carolyn’s parents’ house.  Her whole family was there.  On the way I called my parents’ house, where all my family was gathered.  I got to talk with my little niece, Jazlyn, which was awesome!  She’s the best kid ever.  Everybody should have the privilege and joy of knowing Jazlyn.

At the Dohertys’ house we ate some delicious lasagna and the most unbelievable strawberry shortcake.  Linda makes the best cake, but she added a special touch to this one: it was a two-layer cake with frosting in the middle (normal for regular cake, but not strawberry shortcake).  And the strawberries were fresh ones that she’d grown.  If the second-best strawberry shortcake in the history of humanity registered a 5 on a scale of 1 to 10, this cake would register about 28.  It awakened senses in taste buds that I didn’t even know I had.  An amazing experience.

The cake was in honor of Michael turning 30.  Michael and Kristen (Carolyn’s sister and her husband) are turning 30 soon–Michael in April and Kristen in May.  It’s very exciting for me because they always make old man jokes about me because I’m in my thirties.  Ordinarily, over-the-hill parties are reserved for 40th birthdays.  But when Kristen’s 30th rolls around in a few weeks, I think we’ll need to throw a major over-the-hill bash and target both Michael and Kristen!

Steve and Linda are a lot of fun to hang out with, so we hung around and talked with them for awhile after Michael and Kristen left.  (Her brother Christopher, of course, was camped out at the computer, only leaving long enough to prepare various dishes buried in whipped cream.)  He leaves for college today and we didn’t even get to have lunch at La Tolteca!  Oh well, we’ll have to make up for it in the summer.

On the drive back from their house we saw an albino deer.  That was so cool!  We really wished we had Carolyn’s camera in the car.

After a busy and tiring week, and an especially exhausting weekend, I slept 9 hours and 20 minutes last night.  It was great!!!!

If you’ve read this far, thanks… but don’t you have stuff to do?

Published in: on March 24, 2008 at 11:38 am  Comments (2)  

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2 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. I didnt know you had drum skills.

  2. I don’t.

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