Sunday, July 26, 2009

Sunday night mind purge

So this week has been interesting, stressful, exhilirating, boring, and fun all at the same time:

- On Monday I began the day with physical therapy, which, although the people there are really nice, is just not a good way to start the day - or the week for that matter. =)

- After that, I went in to the office for awhile, did some work and had a really good, deep conversation with a dear friend of mine, then went to The Bagel Shop and worked there for awhile, then went to read at Starbucks for awhile before having a quick meeting with a couple of people to do some mid-course correction on a leadership issue, and then ended the day with a nice long session at the gym. It was a super busy and somewhat stressful, but good day.

- Tuesday was a looooooong day at the office. I spent the day working on budgets, writing up some stuff, prepping for meetings, and looking through the DSC website (which we're fixing to do a major overhaul to in the near future). After working all day, I rushed over to the Northeast to have a quick dinner and then lead my GrowGroup. Funny thing about evening GrowGroups - more often than not it seems, you're really tired and kind of don't want to go, but you go anyway and you leave so blessed and so glad you went. That night was one of the most blessed times we've had all summer!

- Oh Wednesday ...the longest day of the week for me. It went from 8 am 'til 11:30 pm straight - no break. I had PT, then ran some errands for the church, then went in to the office, then had a lunch meeting, then did more work at the office, then went to the gym for awhile, then rushed home to shower up, and then had a NE campus staff meeting. We talked through so many important things and laid out some detailed plans that though I was tired from such a long day, I felt so accomplished, excited about the future, and thrilled about what God is going to use us for in the Northeast part of our city.

- After that I went to the airport to welcome back the Slovakia team. It was good to see them all, and I ended up taking Walter home so I got to hear all about their experience during the few weeks they were there. It sounded like they worked hard, had a good time, and really made an impact for God in the lives of the people there. It also sounded like there's great potential for a long-term partnership with our contacts over there.

- Thursday was a long but interesting day, which held a wonderful surprise! I started the day off by working at the office for a little while and while I was there, I received a surprise message that some missionary friends of mine, who I hadn't seen in almost 2 years, were in town for vacation and wanted me to drop by and see them at their hotel if I had time. So after working a bit and having a lunch meeting in the Northeast, I went to go visit with them for a couple of hours. It was good to see them - even though they shared some frustrations and some discouragements, all in all they seemed so much happier than the last time I had seen them.

- After that, I went to the gym, came home and finished a project I needed to have done for a meeting with Walter on Friday, and then went to the Firehouse to say hi and ended up hanging out all night with friends and some of the youth.

- So Friday, after a good meeting in the morning with Walter, I began my vacation. I had a nice, leisurely lunch, then ran a couple of errands and came home to relax for awhile. It was so stinkin hot that I ended up taking a nap and then watching TV most of the evening.

- On Saturday, I woke up and went to the gym for a good workout, then came home and cleaned out my car, showered up, went to Walmart to get some vitamins and milk, then came home and hung out for awhile. At 7:30 pm, I went to Life Church to checkout their Saturday night service, which was interesting. I liked Monty's message.

- This morning, I went to the early service at Christian Joy Center, a mostly black church here in El Paso, and just loved the jubilant spirit that my brothers and sisters there have. I ended up leaving early, right when the preaching started, because it had already been over an hour and I needed to get to Del Sol to worship with MY church family. It was so good to have Walter back with us, and it was so good just to worship with my church family. As I was walking in, someone said "aren't you on vacation?" with a "why are you here if you're on vacation?" tone and I told them that I'd still come to Del Sol even if I didn't work there! =D

- Afterwards, I went to lunch with the Pryors and had a good time just enjoying being with them, then came home and took a nap, and lounged around for awhile before I started writing this post.

- And now, the vacation continues. Pray for me if you would, that I can learn to relax and unwind during this time. It's really hard for me to disconnect and unplug my mind from work, and I'd really like to do that this week.
great, is just not the best way to start off a day - or a week for that matter! =)

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Del Sol Northeast prayer update

Here's the latest update on the Northeast campus:

- The principal and some of the office staff at Dr. Nixon ES are back on duty today, so I called this morning to see if I could setup an appointment to meet with the principal this week, but he can’t meet with me until next Tuesday afternoon. That’s kind of a bummer because that’s during my vacation time, but I’ll have to meet with him during that time because this is something that can’t wait; I need to know ASAP if we’ll be able to meet at Dr. Nixon or if I need to find another place for us to meet. I believe God’s in control and is working things out, but I just need to know what the next step is here so I can coordinate some things for the launch.

- So right now, even though the principal’s back in the office, I’m still in the waiting room (so to speak) when it comes to having a meeting location nailed down. Right now I’m going ahead in faith that we will be able to meet there and in my mind, that’s what I’m thinking about.

- I’ve spent some time this week, and am meeting with my staff tonight, to work out the specifics of what we’ll do to promote and advertise the NE campus in the next couple of months. We’re talking through mail-outs, flyers, radio spots, online advertising on Facebook and MySpace, and doing lots of outreach events to let people know about Del Sol Northeast by serving them. I’m especially excited about one of the events we’re planning to do – offering free gift wrapping at the Walmart in the Northeast on a Saturday in December. I haven’t worked that out with the store manager yet but if we can do that, I think it’ll be a great way to show God’s love in a practical way, and to promote the NE campus.

- In the midst of all this, I’ve been dealing with some health issues that have been bothering me. I’ve been having trouble sleeping lately, I’ve been having some sour stomachs, and the biggest issue is that I’ve been having tremendous pain in both knees the past week and a half. I’ve been in physical therapy and after a month of it, this morning the therapist told me things had not been going well and that I need to see my doctor again. When I last saw my doctor, he said the next step is to do MRI’s and after that, we’re looking at the possibility of surgery (which is also something the therapist mentioned might have to be the next step).

- Of course, all that’s a big distraction and discouragement and it makes working and thinking difficult - but it’s also driven me to be in a place of total surrender and totally begging God for help and strength and courage. I’ve constantly been having the attitude that if this NE campus is going to happen, He’s gonna have to be the one who makes it happen and He’s gonna be the one to get the glory for it, because there’s no way it could be me making it happen.

- As I mentioned above, my vacation time is almost here; I’ll be on vacation from this Friday, July 24th to Monday, August 3rd. I’ll be in town the first few days, but I’ll be going out to Dallas with a couple of teenage guys from the church during the latter part of my time off. We’ll leave El Paso on Thursday the 30th and come back on Monday the 3rd.

Here's how you can pray this week:

1. I’ve been asking for several weeks, but I’ll ask again: please pray specifically for favor, understanding, and openness with the principal at Dr. Nixon. It seems that the assistant principal, office manager, and office staff are all excited to have us meet there, so I pray and hope and trust God that their excitement, combined with all our prayer, will do a work in the principal so that he’ll allow us to meet there. Please keep praying about this issue.

2. Please pray for my health – for my sleep cycle, for my digestive health, and for my knees. I really don’t want to even entertain the thought of surgery, and I don’t even want to begin to think about what could be causing the sleep/digestive issues. Honestly, I feel like my body is fighting against me. Please pray for me about all this.

3. Ask God to raise up all the volunteers that we need to be a fully functioning campus, and to guide me as I approach other Kingdom-minded churches and businesses to raise the rest of the money we need to cover all of our expenses to launch this campus well.

Thanks for your prayers - I truly believe they make a big difference.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Sunday night mind purge ...

- Ahh Monday - what a busy day you were! You held a lot of message preparation, working on an ad for an upcoming message series, and doing some admin tasks at the office. You didn't hold much else aside from that, being that after work I just hung around home and worked on the plan for my upcoming vacation.

- Now Tuesday on the other hand - you were a pretty busy day, mostly spent at the office. Much of the day was spent prepping for Sunday morning, then prepping for GrowGroup that night. I really enjoyed the group that night - I left feeling super blessed and very glad I went.

- Wednesday was tough. Last weekend my knees started hurting, and by the time I had a PT appointment on Monday and again on Wednesday morning, they were hurtin' pretty bad. But I went into the office anyway, spent most of the day on the phone talking to other pastors on the phone, and getting ready for an important meeting I've got coming up soon.

- Thursday was a good day. I had a good lunch with a new friend, then a good meeting Downtown with a pastor friend of mine and received some good coaching and a swift kick in the rear that I definitely needed. After that, I walked out and saw that I had received a parking ticket because I forgot to feed the meter (idiot!), then came back to the Eastside and read for awhile at Bux. Afterwards I came home for awhile, had dinner, then went over to the Del Sol East campus to catch the end of rehearsal for Sunday, talk through a couple of details for Sunday morning, and talk with someone there about a project I'm working on. Then I went over to the Firehouse to say hi and ended up hanging out in the parking lot all night with some friends.

- Friday ...ahh, you were pretty restful. I slept in - but not as much as usual - and spent the morning relaxing, working on vacation plans, then getting some lunch and coming home to watch a redbox DVD and ice down my knees. Afterwards I took a nap, then had dinner and went over to the Pryors for a card game night. Let's just say "card game night" is a synonym for "ridiculous amounts of fun." I was there 'til about midnight, and was SO tired driving home, but it was worth it.

- So I slept in on Saturday a bit, and spent most of the day laying around resting my knees and icing them down because they were still hurting. I ran a couple of errands in the evening, went to the East campus building to get setup for Sunday morning (and locked my wallet, cell phone, and keys in the auditorium while I was at it), then came home and rested the rest of the night, getting ready for Sunday morning.

- And today was amazing. This morning I preached at our worship celebrations, for the first time, and it was great! Several people came just to see me preach, which was incredibly humbling and honoring. I think first and foremost, God was glorified, the Gospel was preached, and I believe I handled His Word in an appropriate and honorable way. Several people raised their hands, indicating that they were gonna commit their lives to Christ, and I had several people come up to me afterwards and tell me they were inspired/encouraged/uplifted. All things considered, it was definitely a great experience.

- Afterwards, I had lunch with my parents and my brother (who came in from PHX just to see me preach), then wasted some time online, took a nap, and unwound the rest of today.

- God is SO good. I'm excited for this new week to begin, especially since Walter and Teri and the rest of the Slovakia team are coming back on Wednesday.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Del Sol Northeast weekly prayer update

Here's the latest update on the Northeast campus:

- This week has been pretty busy so far! I’ve spent much of it preparing for my message this Sunday at Del Sol’s East campus, meeting with the NE staff to talk through our fall strategy, and working on some other projects for the church.

- I’ve had a lot of people ask me if things with the principal at Dr. Nixon Elementary have been resolved yet; the answer is “not yet – but I’m trusting God for it to be resolved.” The answer is “not yet” because the administration has been on summer break the past couple of weeks and won’t be back in the office until next Wednesday, the 22nd, so until then I have no way of getting in touch with the principal. Basically, I’m just stuck in neutral right now, not able to make any forward motion – but I’m going to call the school first thing next Wednesday morning and see if I can setup a meeting with the principal that week.

- So while I wait to get the location nailed down and then have Church on Wheels come down, do a site visit, and start putting together an order proposal, the next step is for us as the NE staff to create a detailed plan to promote the NE campus and work out the details of doing some community events like block parties, serving the community, etc.

- I’m also getting ready to print out a ministry plan to present to other churches and Kingdom-minded businesses in order to help us raise some more funds for our launch. When I approach these churches, I’ll need to be able to effectively present the vision in a compelling way, so that we can have those churches and businesses join us as financial partners in launching this Northeast location of Del Sol Church.

Here's how you can pray this week:

1. Pray for God to open the hearts and minds of the churches and businesses that I’ll be asking to join us as financial partners, and that He’ll provide all the resources we need to launch the Northeast campus well.

2. Please keep praying for clear communication and bridge building between the principal at Dr. Nixon Elementary and myself. Please ask God to show me how to properly communicate and cast vision to the principal there and for our relationship to be a good, healthy one that honors God.

3. Ask God to give Josh (our GrowGroups director), Nicki (our Worship Director), and I wisdom as we plan out all the details for promotion, serving the community, publicity, etc.

Thanks for your prayers - I truly believe they make a big difference.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Friday Five - What I appreciate about Walter

Today's Friday Five: five things I appreciate about my pastor and boss, Walter Mueller:

1. His openness to God. If there is one thing that can be said about God, it's that he's open to God. What God says always trumps what anyone else says, and more often than not in staff meeting, Walter will say that we've gotta be about "God's thing", not "our thing" and there's always lots of talk about being about God's Kingdom. I love that about Walter.

2. His willingness to risk. Walter definitely has a backbone. He's not afraid to risk for the Gospel, especially if it's a risk that will honor God, reach outsiders to Christianity, and grow His Kingdom.

3. His heart for the lost. I've mentioned it before in this post, but one of the things that really drives Walter is his passion for the lost, and that's something that drives him and that also drives us as other leaders at Del Sol Church. I love that Walter readily admits that we believe the church exists more for those who aren't in it than for those that are. In other words, our priority is connecting outsiders to God through Jesus Christ first of all, and discipling and growing believers second.

4. His willingness to let his staff lead. Walter is not a micro manager; he lets leaders lead, but he doesn't just let us loose to do whatever we please. He gives us authority, responsibility, and accountability. If things go good, he passes the win onto us and if things go bad, he takes the blame. He's very protective and supportive of his leaders, and I'm sure glad to be under his leadership.

5. His humility. Walter is a good leader, a brave leader, a wise leader - but he's also a humble leader. I've never seen a time where I could say he was being arrogant, but I have seen times where he was willing to apologize for something when he unintentionally said or did something that hurt or offended someone else. And he always passes the glory on to God and doesn't accept it for himself or for the church.

Those of you who are part of the Del Sol Church family - let's brag on our pastor a bit. What do you appreciate about Pastor Walter?

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Del Sol Northeast weekly update

Here's the latest update on the Northeast campus:

- I apologize that again, I’m a day late with this update. These last 2 Wednesdays have been very busy, but know that I’m not trying to make it a habit of sending this update out on Thursdays.

- God’s been up to some great things since I last updated you on the NE campus! Last week I mentioned that the best place to be is the place of surrender, just trusting God and saying that if anything’s gonna happen, He has to be the one to make it happen. In Matthew 16:18, Jesus said that HE would build HIS Church and that the gates of hell would not overcome it, so I’m encouraged to know that Jesus is in charge, not me, and anything that happens will be the result of His actions. Sure, I have a responsibility to lead appropriately and to use my gifts wisely – but in the end, Jesus didn’t say that Ariel would build Ariel’s church, but that He would build His Church, so I’m simply trusting Him to do that with the NE campus.

- That having been said, God is really working out some details and giving me wisdom and insight and very good, Godly, wise counsel about some important decisions I’ve had to make this week. For example, I had initially schedule a consultant from Church on Wheels (COW) in California to come on July 22nd to do a site visit and help us figure out the best equipment, room configuration, and setup for the NE campus, but after talking with that consultant, praying, fasting, and talking with some other trusted advisors, I decided to postpone that visit until mid-August because I realized that to go and do a site visit on a site that we don’t have nailed down is really putting the cart before the horse, as the saying goes.

- I believe that God led me in that decision, so I think it was the right decision to make, and it gives me a lot more time to get some things nailed down, though it’ll make the end of August and beginning of September pretty intense.

- Like I said, we don’t yet have the location for the NE campus nailed down yet. We’re hoping to meet at Dr. Nixon Elementary School, but as I mentioned last week, there was a miscommunication that I need to clear up with the school’s principal – but he won’t be back to work until July 22nd, so right now I’m just kind of in a holding pattern as far as that’s concerned. Like I said, it’s a good place to be, just waiting on God and trusting Him to act on behalf of His Church.

- If you remember, a couple of weeks ago I talked about the multimedia CD’s with the Bible, a Gospel presentations, and testimonies that the Baptist General Convention of Texas has provided for El Paso to give to every home in the county. I also mentioned how I’m in charge of organizing the other churches in the 79936 zip code to get those CD’s to every home in the zip code. Well I’ve got a strategy all ready to go and I’ve contacted the other churches in the 36 zip code, but haven’t heard back from them, so I’m going to have to spend some time following up with them so we can get the Gospel out to everyone in our zip code.

- I’ve spent a lot of time this past week orienting two of our new staff members to their jobs. Please pray for Josh and Nicki Sattelmeier, for myself, and for Craig and Dag (our worship pastor and GrowGroups pastor, respectively) as we all work together to orient and train up Josh and Nicki for leading ministries at the NE campus.

Here's how you can pray this week:

1. As I said, God’s working out some details, so please keep asking Him to give us wisdom, guidance, direction, and to show us the next step in some very important areas where we need His insight.

2. Pray for God, in His grace and mercy, to work in the heart and mind of the staff at Dr. Nixon Elementary School – especially the principal – so that we can meet there and partner with them to be a blessing, not a burden to the school. Also ask God to show me how to properly communicate and cast vision to the principal there.

3. Ask God to guide me as I lead Josh and Nicki (our NE campus GrowGroups & Outreach Director and Worship Director, respectively) in this time of transition, and for me to be able to coordinate the other churches in the 36 zip code so we can get these CD’s out to the people in our zip code.

Thanks for your prayers - I truly believe they make a big difference.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Some thoughts after Independence Day weekend.

I’ve been thinking a lot about the American Revolution and our fight for independence as a country lately – mostly because it was Independence Day over the weekend here in our great country. I say “mostly” because I was already thinking about it before the 4th of July, during the aftermath of the recent election in Iran, where the dictator was supposedly re-elected in a landslide election and the Iranian people just couldn’t stand for that injustice, so they’ve been protesting the farce of an election.

So because of what’s been happening in Iran and because of the 4th of July, I’ve been thinking a lot about our country, about our freedom, and about those who have sacrificed so much to give us freedom. My mind just cannot comprehend how some men from over two centuries ago would have the vision and sacrificial heart to declare independence from England and lead an amazing war which would secure freedom and liberty for themselves, for their children, and for posterity – which means you and me today.

Can you grasp that? An estimated 25,000 men paid the ultimate price for the cause of securing freedom and liberty for you and for me – people they would never even meet or know about. That’s simply mind blowing to me!

And because of that, and because of thousands and thousands more over the centuries who have been willing to pay the same price, we now live in a nation where even though things aren’t particularly great right now and even though we have leaders who some believe – myself included – are leading us towards socialism, it’s still a pretty great place to live. The United States of America is still the greatest nation on the face of the earth and is still the greatest nation in the history of history.

In light of thinking about the fight for independence and thinking about the uproar in Iran, I think it’s amazing how all things considered, every 4 years we have a fair, honest election and how on a day in January every 4 to 8 years, we see a peaceful handover of power. The outgoing President simply shakes hands with the incoming President and flies away from Washington to spend the rest of his days in his native state – there are no weapons, no bloodshed, no killing – just peace.

That’s amazing to me too!!! This year in Iran, people have died to enjoy the kind of freedom that we take for granted. We rarely even think about our freedom, let alone express gratitude for it – but I truly believe that the Iranian people would willingly sacrifice their lives for the sake of having honest elections and a peaceful, non-violent transfer of power after those elections.

So take a moment today to thank God for our freedom, to thank Him for being so gracious to us by letting us live in freedom for as long as we have in this democratic experiment we call America, and to pray for those around our world who don’t enjoy the same liberty we do – specifically for those in Iran.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Sunday night mind purge

- This week was long, tiring, draining, and challenging. I'm not whining or complaining and I'm not saying it was bad - just saying it was difficult.

- I started out with waking up early to go to the airport and see off the Spain trip as they left that morning, then had physical therapy on Monday morning, then worked at the office for awhile before heading out to The Bagel Shop in the Northeast to work and then to Starbucks afterwards to read for awhile. I rushed home, changed into my workout clothes, went to the gym, rushed back home to shower up, then rushed over to the house of some friends, the Romos, to talk about me taking their son with me on my upcoming vacation at the end of the month. It was a looooong day.

- Sometimes I wonder if my days are in sync with what God is wanting me to do with them. I do a lot, and I'm not foolish enough to try to do them on my own but I beg God to lead and guide me ...but with all I do, I wonder yet if I'm just busy or if I'm actually being fruitful. Not productive because I know I am ...but fruitful, spiritually speaking.

- On Tuesday, I was at the office most of the day - which I usually am on Tuesdays because we have staff meeting. I spent most of Tuesday thinking about and revising my sermon for July 19th because I wasn't quite comfortable with what I had written the day before. I also worked on a couple of other projects and then in the evening, headed over to the Northeast for our GrowGroup out there. The previous week, only one other person came; this week, nobody showed up. I'm gonna try to re-launch the group this week.

- After another physical therapy appointment on Wednesday, I spent most of the day working with Nicki Sattelmeier, our Worship Director for the NE campus, getting her oriented since it was her first day on staff. I worked on a few other things but the bulk of the day was spent orienting her. I made a run to the gym, then went out to Fabens to talk with the Pryors about details of taking their son with me on vacation.

- Then on Thursday, I, and some other staff members, spent some more time working with Nicki to get her oriented. I also worked on a few projects and then left the office a bit early to go make a hospital visit, then went to Starbucks to read for awhile. In the evening, I met with Nicki again and with her husband Josh to go get some office supplies for their shared desk and afterwards we went to Corner Bakery Cafe to have dinner and just relax, enjoying each other. It was quite nice.

- Friday wasn't very restful, for a day of rest. I woke up early to see off the Slovakia team at the airport and then ran some errands. Somehow I've been ending up running errands on my day off because I haven't had time to do them during the week. That's not good. That means I don't have enough margin in my life, and that's probably part of why I'm wondering about whether I'm being fruitful. I need to re-evaluate my schedule. Anyway, add family drama on top of the busy-ness and that makes for one tired, frustrated Ariel.

- Ahh Saturday. The Fourth of July. Independence Day. My 3rd favorite holiday, after Easter and Christ-mas, respectively. I got in some good time at the gym, then worked on a personal project throughout the day, and then got a migraine. Thankfully it was a minor one, and after taking a quick nap in the darkness and silence and after having several people pray for me, I felt better. I went to the patriotic service at Abundant Living Faith Center, then went out to Cohen Stadium to meet some friends for the baseball game and fireworks display afterwards. The game was pretty good, the fireworks were GREAT, and the traffic afterwards was horrendous. It took 10 minutes just to get out of the parking lot and about a half hour total to get onto the main road. All in all, it was a good Independence Day.

- Then this morning, we had our weekend worship celebrations at Del Sol Church. It was interesting because about 5 minutes before we started the first worship celebration, I was told that I'd be doing the announcements this morning. It was cool to be up there doing them, and at the second worship celebration, everyone clapped for me after I gave the announcements. It was strange and funny at the same time.

- After we finished up for the morning, I went to the Firehouse to help them load up some stuff they had gotten ready for a cookout/water day at the park down the street. While I was doing that, I got hit with a few water balloons and got pretty wet so since I was already wet, I decided to go to the park after all. I wasn't planning on it, but I'm so glad I did. I had a blast and it was great to reconnect with some of the youth who I had missed so much. A few of us ended up staying 'til about 7 pm just talking and laughing and enjoying our time together.

- And now ...I'm gonna head off to bed.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Friday Five - TV Shows

Today's Friday Five - In no particular order, five of my favorite TV shows:

1. Bones. This is a pretty cool show about forensic scientists and an FBI agent, and the witty banter and interesting situations are very entertaining. I love that there are new ones each week, and syndicated episodes on cable throughout the week.

2. House. One of the world's most popular shows, it's got some great one liners and incredibly fascinating medical conditions that House has to solve.

3. CSI Miami.
This show is great - it's almost become like a soap opera but it's still got some captivating crimes and cases and storylines, so I keep watching it.

4. The Office. Ohhhh ho ho this show is fun to the e! It's funny ...or at least that's what she said. Question! Which bear is best? Ha I love it - it's ridiculous, and ridiculously funny.

5. The Simpsons. A classic that I've been watching most of my life. Sure, the writing isn't as goode as it used to be, but I still like it and try to watch it whenever I can.

Friday Freebie!
6. Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives. This is a show on the Food Network features a cook who goes all over the country and finds obscure, locally famous restaurants - or "diners, drive-ins, and dives" as they're called - and tells us all about the joint, the owner, and most importantly, the oh-so-wonderful food. Dang show always makes me hungry though.

What are some of your favorite TV shows?

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Del Sol Northeast weekly prayer update

Here's the latest update on the Northeast campus:

- Last week I mentioned that we’re still searching for a kids' ministry director for the Northeast campus. Well you should know that towards the beginning of this year I had worked with our kids minister to create a list of people in the church who had the potential to be the NE kids ministry director, and so when I had gotten word from the person I was last talking to that they wouldn’t be able to accept the position, I had reached the end of my list. So we were basically at a point where we didn’t know what to do and all we could do was trust God to bring the right person for the job. Well needless to say, that’s the best place to be – surrendered, just trusting God. I won’t go into details right now but suffice it to say that since last week’s update, God has been up to some interesting and good things concerning the NE kids’ director.

- Also last week I mentioned that I’d been talking with the assistant principal and the office manager at Dr. Nixon Elementary School to square everything away so that we can meet there. Well, it turns out there were some mis-communications that had occurred, which cause some surprise and frustration on both ends, so I took responsibility for those mis-communications and am now working at building up our relationship with the school and its principal.

- I also finished up my sermon for a few Sundays from now – July 19th – and contacted the other churches in the 79936 zip code to coordinate distributing those multimedia CD’s I mentioned in last week’s prayer update.

- Last weekend we had a couple dozen youth and adults return from the North American Mission Board’s “PowerPlant” experience, where they worked with a church plant in Austin doing block parties, community outreach, door-to-door invitations to the church, and even a dog show! Those youth and adults came back from Austin pumped about their experience and ready to help us launch the Northeast campus. That’s awesome and I’m very grateful to Troy Sanchez, our Youth & Young Adults Pastor, for facilitating that experience for them.

- This week we’re having two short-term missions teams leave: one to serve for a month in Spain and one to serve for a few weeks in Slovakia, working with an indigenous church planter that Del Sol financially sponsors there. There’s a lot of potential to form some long-term relationships and to raise up new leaders through what starts with these trips.

Here's how you can pray this week:

1. Keep trusting God and praying with me for Him to work everything out so that we have leadership for the NE kids’ ministry director.

2. Pray for clear communication between the principal at Dr. Nixon and I, and that we’ll be able to meet there and have a good influence in the lives of the staff, the school, and the community there.

3. Pray for those who went to PowerPlant and for those spending the month in Spain and Slovakia, that God would cultivate a passion in them for missions and church planting and multi-site ministry and leadership development and that these three trips would be the beginning of great things at Del Sol Church – for God’s fame, not ours of course.

Thanks for your prayers - I truly believe they make a big difference.