Tuesday, September 22, 2009

SNL: Night One

Well, about 48 hours ago, we had our first Sunday Night Live. It went really well overall. We had 55 people that came out for the evening.

Big Group time ( K-6th grade and their parents ) went well and that is one segment that I was a little worried about. But, the video songs seemed to work, the interaction with the crowd was good and the bible story and video brought home the lesson.

They even were "tuned" in as I was speaking about the three pillars that we are basing the ministry on. The three pillars are wisdom, friendship, and faith.

After big group time, the kids have an option of church notes or bible connection. Each one of them was successful even though there was a glitch in the teaching rotation for the bible connection. An early hiccup (small problem) may occur with church notes though. I am meeting with Daphne on Thursday morning to go over this issue. The hiccup is the number of students and the age range. Thus, we may need to see about "adding" a group - multiplying it to two groups.

I did have an issue or two that were brought up by council last night in regards to the ministry and how it was launched. I am taking some deep breaths on the issue and trying not to focus on it and trying to build upon the positives and working on week two.

This week, I am writing personalized letters th those families who came to SS last year but did not come to SNL. I do not want to lose these families and I want them there (need them there) to help make SNL a success. But, we have to keep moving forward and reaching out to those in our community.

If you want to see some pic from opening night, take a look here.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Adam & Eve Humor

I am sure that you have always wondered how men walking without shirts became acceptable; well, here you go.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Gearing Up for Sunday Night Lve

In 5 days, Sunday Night Live begins. I am looking forward to it but I am also very nervous about the night. The nervousness comes because I am not sure what to expect.

For those of you who do not know, we are "moving" Sunday School from our Sunday morning schedule at Zion. They have been doing SS on Sunday morning for as long as anyone at the church can remember (probably over 100+ years, at least). We are moving it to Sunday night. Thus, Sunday Night Live is born.

So, September 20th begins a new era in the ministry of Zion. I do not have everything in place and it is not exactly what I want but it is a HUGHE step in the direction that I believe that we need to go and the direction that God wants us to go as we reach out to those that surround us.

There have been a few individuals that have questioned my sanity about moving or "cancelling" Sunday School. But for me, we had to try something new and different.

Right or wrong there were few individuals that shared interest that they might come out in the evening but there is no way that they were coming out at 10 am on a Sunday morning and some of it was because their parents would not get them there - they were sleeping.

I also think that by making the shift, it will make changing programming and implementing new ministries easier for us as a church and it will also free us up on Sunday mornings.

If you want to see a little bit about the ministry, you can check out SNL, here.

The list of things that I need to do before Sunday is extensive. However, at the same time, I am the least worried about "perfection", "smooth transitions", "all in place" and all that jazz. The reason ( I hope ) is that even though we are emphasing many aspects that we believe will help children, students and parents .... it all boils down to relationships and trying to create a place that we all can be ourselves and more often then not -- that is messy - not perfect and polished.

Friday, September 04, 2009

Isaiah is 12

It is unbelievable.

My wife shares her thoughts on him:

My Hero

Isaiah turns 12 today! I cannnot believe he's only one year from becoming a teenager. I'm not possibly old enough to have an 12-year-old child... am I?

At 4:57 am this morning, it was/will be officially 12 years since the birth of our little 2 lb 3 oz, 13 1/4 inch long, 28 weeker, wonder baby. His birth marked the end of what felt like the world's longest but also shortest pregnancy. I'd been on bed-rest for 10 weeks by the time he was born. I had thrown up at least three times everyday practically from conception. I had been in excrutiating pain the same amount of time. I had been told by doctors that I was just having normal pregnancy pains and to get used to it. I had lost 30 lbs from his conception to his birth. I was so sick. I didn't know exactly how sick until two days after his birth when I woke-up with a 106 degree temp and couldn't move from the incredible pain. I ended up in emergency surgery at 11:00 that night fighting for my life. This was when my Crohn's disease was diagnosed.

While I was fighting for my life, so was my little guy. After a day or two, his weight had dropped to a frightening 1 lb 12 oz. When he was born, he just looked like a really small, but healthy baby. After losing a several ounces, he looked like a sick baby. Although at the time, I didn't think so. I just saw the precious baby that I had wanted since I was a five year old putting a pillow under my shirt pretending I was pregnant.

I spent many moments in tears wondering what would happen during that time. If you've ever given birth and had a "normal" delivery and baby, you know the emotions and hormones that run thru you. Multiply that feeling by 1000 and you have an idea of what giving birth to a sick baby does to ones emotions. Then add in the stress of being sick for six months straight, surgery, and medical bills, and you've got one emotional train wreck as a mama.

After I was finally released from the hospital to go home, two weeks after my arrival, I went to the hospital to see him as often as I could. Most weeks that meant 7 out of 7 days. On occasion my mother and the nurses made me stay home to rest. On those days I called several times to check on him.

There was a point sometime during his first month of life that they sent us home one evening and told us to discuss the option of turning off the machines that were keeping him alive. This was right after they had told us that he had a severe interventricular brain hemorhage and hydrocephulus. Basically his little brain was supposedly so damaged that he probably would never do most of the things we take for granted. It didn't look good for our little guy. We decided that we would allow him to be whoever he was supposed to be though. We did and look at who he has turned into today.

He's the most amazing 12 year old I've ever had the pleasure to be around. He's a hard worker, which comes naturally when you have to teach yourself,at 15 months old, to get around somehow because your brain isn't letting you crawl, so you decide that scooting on your butt is a good option. He destroyed the butts of many cute little outfits by scooting around like that. He used his hands and the sides of his ankles to push around. It was a sight to behold. I remember when one of the people at the development center shot down my thrill about his scooting around and told me that he had to crawl or he wasn't developing properly. I never stepped foot in their office again. We found another person who would rejoice and celebrate what he could do, not discourage us for what he wasn't able to do.

By the time he began walking at the age of two, I had been taught the most valuable lesson in my life... don't take anything that your children do for granted. Parents of typical children just assume their child will do everything when they are supposed to. We knew he probably never would. He never has. He does everything when he's ready and not a second sooner. I've learned to rejoice in everything. I've learned that slower doesn't mean dumber as many people think. It means that he thinks differently, and wow does he.

He's an amazing kid that has overcome alot in his first 12 years of life. He's had to work harder in his 12 years than most of us will in 50. I find myself wanting to protect him from all the crap that the world will surely bring his way in the years to come. Right now he lives in what I call "Isaiah land". This protects him from the other kids who might tease or make fun because they can't always understand what he says because of his speech delay. Part of me hopes that he always lives in "Isaiah Land", but I know that one day he'll leave there and see the world for what it really is. I dread that moment because that'll be the day when I wanna step in and fix it all for him and I know I won't be able to. He has to learn to live in the world as Isaiah Michael Greathouse.

So, Big Guy, on this 12th birthday of yours... a day we weren't sure we'd celebrate 12years ago... Happy Birthday to my favorite 12 year old! I love you soooooooooooo much! You are my hero!

My wife shares it so well that I was not even going to attempt it.

Isaiah is an unbelievable kid and as each day goes by, the more and more that I am amazed at him. His determination, heart and effort is unmatched.

I love you buddy !