Sunday, October 18, 2009
- On Tuesday morning, I overworked my knee at the gym so I spent the rest of the week in quite a bit of pain. Thankfully I didn't have to walk too much in the day because I spent most of it working at the office, in staff meeting, and then doing more work. I left the office around 4:30, ran a couple of errands, scarfed down dinner, then met some peeps at the East campus to carpool to the Northeast campus.
- We started the "How to BE Rich" group study on Tuesday night and though we had a much smaller group, we had some REALLY good, honest discussion. I think God really used the Scriptures and the message from Andy Stanley to refine and convict us. This week we're doing an outreach so we won't do another session of the study again until next week. I'm REALLY looking forward to that.
- Wednesday was one of the longest days I've had in a long time. After hitting up the gym, I went in to the office and stayed there 'til nearly 8 pm working on a rough draft of a brochure for Vision 10.10.80 to give to our graphics designer. Aside from that main project, I worked on a plethora of other stuff related specifically to the NE campus and globally to Del Sol as a whole. A long, but very productive day, it was.
- Thursday was an interesting day because until about 2 pm, we didn't have power on at the offices. Thankfully, it was a planned outage while they replaced a main power line that had burned out the previous week in an unplanned outage. So I had a quick meeting with our graphic designer in the cafe of the worship center, then ran some errands I needed to run, went to The Bagel Shop in the Northeast to work for awhile, then spent the rest of the afternoon looking at carpet options and getting estimates over the phone. Hopefully we can get something set this week and get the new carpet installed in the next couple of weeks.
- I also set up an appointment with an exterminator to take care of a wasp nest there and with some guys from the church to paint the exterior of the NE campus this week. Hopefully I can meet with a landscaper this week so we can get all the trees and bushes trimmed too.
- So by the time Friday came, I was really ready to relax and have a day off. I slept in, had a good, relaxed time at the gym, had a quick lunch and then spent pretty much the rest of the day with my parents, looking at different models of cars at several dealerships. We sure drove a lot, but I felt pretty relaxed because I was with people I love, NOT thinking about work.
- I woke up really early Saturday so I could be at the NE campus at a little around 8:45 am to meet up with some others and go clean up part of Dyer street as part of Keep El Paso Beautiful's El Paso Pride Day. The 4 of us were able to clean a whole city block in about 3 hours! We piled up about 20 big bags of trash and a truckload of miscellaneous stuff like lots of wood, a shopping cart, tires, and other random stuff that didn't go in the bags. I was very proud of the others 3 who gave up their Saturday morning to help clean up part of our great city, and I felt like we - along with those from our East campus who cleaned up a lot on the Eastside - really contributed to making our city a better place to live.
- And through that experience, I determined that the "Don't Mess With Texas" slogan is something we should ALL take to heart. Littering is just not cool - period.
- After that I came home, met my parents, and spent some more time looking for cars. Then we came home, I had some dinner, and then spent the rest of the day relaxing and resting.
- Oh and also, the insurance company took my CRV and my mom's car on Saturday afternoon. Sigh ...I miss my CRV.
- Today I was running really late to our Sunday morning worship celebrations for some reason. I sat in a different spot than usual, which gave me a very different perspective of the whole worship celebration. Then after greeting people for the second service, I read some, then played with a couple of kids after the service was over, and then had lunch with the Pryors and my parents.
- Afterwards I went to look at some trailers just outside Horizon City and had fun taking the truck off the asphalt onto the dirt. I'm sure the truck enjoyed just being a truck. Somehow I haven't been able to get a Sunday afternoon nap in over a month. I really need to try to break that trend next Sunday.
Thursday, October 15, 2009
Here's the latest update on the Northeast location:
- This weekend we kicked off Vision 10.10.80 at Del Sol East. If you don’t remember, Vision 10.10.80 is an exciting new giving emphasis over and above the regular giving of our Del Sol Church family. The “10.10.80” means that 10% of the total amount given will go to expand our World Missions activities, another 10% will go towards our Northeast location to help us grow and become established as another location of Del Sol Church, and the remaining 80% will go towards paying off the balance for construction of the Children’s Ministry Center at our East campus so that we can continue to use our budget to fund ministry, rather than having to use it to pay off a mortgage.
- Getting ready for Vision 10.10.80 while getting ready for the launch of Del Sol Northeast has kept me pretty busy. On Monday, I spent most of the day painting at Del Sol Northeast with some great youth from Del Sol East. I’m very grateful because with their help, we’re nearly finished painting the inside of the NE campus. A couple of men from the East campus – Butch Villarreal and Wayne Webb – will be painting the outside of the NE campus next week and I’m working on getting a landscaper, exterminator, and carpet man out there soon so that we can have the property all finished by the end of the month.
- This week we started a new study at our Tuesday night group at the Northeast campus: Andy Stanley’s “How to BE Rich”. We did the first 2 sessions on Tuesday because next week we’ll be going out into the community to serve, and they were both eye opening, convicting sessions for our group. We had some good discussion about the study and about the Scripture related to the study, and spent some good time praying for each other. On Tuesday the 27th, we’ll spend some time going prayer-walking in the community. Know that you’re welcome to join us on Tuesday nights, so please let me know if you’re interested.
- On Saturday, October 31st from 2 – 5 pm, we’ll have our first big community outreach at the Northeast campus: a free Fall Festival! We’ll provide free games, candy, food, and prizes – all as a way to both serve the Northeast community and to let people know that we’ll soon be launching out Northeast campus. There are several opportunities to serve at this Fall Festival (security/parking, running a booth, serving food, setup, tear down, etc.) so if you’re interested in serving, even for just an hour, please let me know right away and I’ll give you the details.
- On Sunday, November 8th, we’re preparing to have our first monthly preview service at the Northeast campus. It’ll be a full-blown preview of what things will look like when we start meeting weekly, so we’ll have worship through music, prayer, preaching, and kids’ ministry. We’ll have another one in December and in January, and then launch into weekly gatherings at the end of January/beginning of February.
- We’re still nailing down the details, but I’m very excited about this upcoming first preview service!!! We’ll use the Fall Festival on the 31st as one way to promote this preview service, and I believe that God will honor all the prayer and community service we’re doing and will send us many people who we can tell the Gospel to on this Sunday.
Here's how you can pray this week:
1. Pray for our Tuesday night group as we go out into the community and serve this coming Tuesday, the 20th. I truly hope we make a big impact in people’s lives as we show up ready to serve, not wanting anything in return but simply wanting to bless them in the Name of Jesus Christ.
2. Ask God to lead and guide us, giving us direction as we prepare for the Fall Festival and for our first preview service on November 8th. There are a lot of decisions to be made and details to be done, and I especially need God’s wisdom as I oversee those decisions and details.
3. Ask God to even now open the hearts and minds of those in the community to us as we do this Fall Festival and preview service, giving us favor with them. It has to be the Holy Spirit who gives us favor in the community and opens doors for us to speak the Gospel and show the Gospel by serving people in practical ways.
Thanks for your prayers - I truly believe they make a big difference.
- Ariel Martinez | firstname.lastname@example.org
Del Sol Church - Northeast Campus Pastor
11501 Vista del Sol, El Paso, TX 79936
Office: (915) 855-3798 ext. 231 | Cell: (915) 449-0552
Sunday, October 11, 2009
- Monday was a really hard day, and I can only describe it as being God's grace and strength that got me through it. I had been sick the previous week and had just started feeling better that weekend, but then I woke up on Monday and felt like I had been hit by a Mack truck. I felt SO weak and tired, had a fever, was all congested, and had a nasty cough. It was terrible. I wanted to just go home and sleep but I had a couple of deadlines to meet, and ended up staying at the office 'til about 5 pm because my computer was giving me problems and was running so slow.
- I finally went home and just slept for about an hour, then got up, had dinner, watched some TV, then went to bed again around 9:30 pm.
- Even though it was a HORRIBLE day on Monday and I was extremely frustrated with my computer, I'm so glad that I stayed and worked on Monday because a power line fried at the East campus, so we were without power there 'til nearly 2 pm (which was past the deadlines I had to submit some files). We celebrated Troy and April's soon to arrive second child at staff meeting, then after our meeting, I did some more work at the office, went home to rest for a little bit since I was still sick, then met my NE campus peeps at the East campus to carpool to the NE for an outreach night.
- We spent most of the evening walking the streets around the NE campus, knocking on doors, offering to serve people by doing minor maintenance and cleaning at their homes. We also gave them some home made bread and offered to pray for them, if they were comfortable with us doing so. Afterwards, we met back at the NE campus to share stories, celebrate wins, and pray. It was great! I really sensed that God has been honoring our prayers all this year and is opening up doors for us in that neighborhood.
- I spent Wednesday at the office all day, working on some more important projects - mainly getting ready for our upcoming harvest party at the NE campus and putting together a brochure for Vision 10.10.80, a generosity emphasis that kicked off this morning, that we need to mail out pretty soon. That evening was First Wednesday, which was just a blessed time of worship through music and prayer. It was good and right to spend the evening in focused prayer for Juarez.
- Thursday was a crazy day. I had wanted to take the day off to rest and try to get the upper hand on my sickness and get fully well, but instead I had to work. I spent some time at the office, but also had a couple of meetings and a hospital visit in the afternoon. Thankfully I was able to get it all in - I had those two very productive meetings, made the hospital visit, and got some major work done on projects that I needed to get done.
- On Friday, I was finally able to sleep in and rest. A good friend of mine had a birthday party that evening, but I stayed home because I REALLY needed the rest. So rest is what I did most of Friday, after a relaxed lunch at Souper Salad and spending a little bit of time looking at cars.
- Thankfully I was able to sleep in a little bit again on Saturday morning, then spent the day working on stuff for the NE campus. I took Rick and met Josh & Nicki out there and we looked at the sound & light equipment that we have and figured out what we need to buy, then went to lunch together, then Rick and I spent the rest of the afternoon buying some supplies that we need for the NE location.
- As I mentioned above, we kicked off Vision 10.10.80 this morning at Del Sol Church's East campus. I love hearing Walter talk about vision and the future of our church. I'm always just totally blown away at how good God is to us and how He is blessing us in a really incredible way. We live in a time where out denomination, the Southern Baptist Convention, is in serious decline and where churches across our nation and city are losing influence and momentum and are dying - and to His glory, God is blessing and growing us at Del Sol and we are bucking the trends of most churches these days. While some of it is because of our willingness to risk and because of our humble, Kingdom-minded leadership, all the credit definitely belongs to the Lord and not to us.
- It's SUCH an honor and privilege to be in the game with what God's doing at Del Sol these days.
Wednesday, October 7, 2009
Here's the latest update on the Northeast location:
- Things have been so busy – in very good ways, as you’ll see below – that once again it’s been two weeks since I sent out the last update. Thanks for bearing with me about that.
- As a church, we’re just about to start Vision 10.10.80, an exciting new giving emphasis over and above the regular giving of our Del Sol Church family. The “10.10.80” means that 10% of the total amount given will go to expand our World Missions activities, another 10% will go towards our Northeast location to help us grow and become established as another location of Del Sol Church, and the remaining 80% will go towards paying off the balance for construction of the Children's Ministry Center at our East campus so that we can continue to use our budget to fund ministry, rather than having to use it to pay off a mortgage.
- I’ve been working with Walter to prepare for Vision 10.10.80, and we’ve had some short deadlines to meet, so I’ve had to focus a lot on that the past couple of weeks.
- On Saturday, we had another workday at the NE location and thankfully, we were able to probably about 85% of the painting done that needed to be done. For the rest, we’ll be going out at 1 pm this Monday, October 12th, to hopefully finish up. If you’re interested in helping us finish painting, please email or call me and I’ll give you more info.
- We’ve continued to meet on Tuesday nights at the NE location, praying, worshipping through music, doing a Bible study, and preparing to serve the community. Last night, we spent the bulk of our time going down a few streets in the community, letting people know that in two weeks, we’ll be back ready to serve them - no strings attached - by doing minor house cleaning and maintenance (changing smoke alarm batteries, vacuuming carpets, washing windows, polishing mirrors, etc).
- A couple of ladies on our launch team took it upon themselves to bake some small loaves of blueberry bread to give to people as we went door to door, so we also gave those away to many people, with a card on it that basically said the bread was a free gift in the name of Christ and to contact us if there was any other way we could serve them. We also offered to pray for people if they wanted us too.
- Afterwards, we came back together, shared stories and prayer requests, and talked about what the next step is to keep Serving the World by serving the community around the NE location. For the most part, we were well received by the people whose doors we knocked on; we had responses ranging from fear of not knowing why we were there, to shock and disbelief that we would want to serve a stranger with no strings attached, to excitement about the NE location opening up.
- One lady we talked to said that her daughter had been telling her mom that she wanted to go to church, so the mom was very excited that we’d be meeting right by her house and said she’d be there whenever we start meeting.
- Based on the general openness and excitement from the community, I believe that God has hearing your prayers and has been going before us, preparing that community to receive us well as we step in to tell them about the Gospel and to create environments where they can Love God, Love People, and Serve the World.
Here's how you can pray this week:
1. God is working in our Tuesday night gatherings, building up momentum and giving people a vision for the Northeast location. Please continue to ask God to work in us and through us on the launch team as we prepare to launch this Northeast location.
2. Along the same lines, ask the Lord to send us more volunteers to join our launch team. Ask Him to speak to people at our East campus about whether He wants them to be involved in launching the NE location.
3. Pray for those in the community that we met last night. Ask the Spirit of God to work in the hearts of all the people we met last night, that they would understand that we want to serve them with no strings attached, that they would be open to us and to the Gospel, and that they would spread the word and create a buzz about the Northeast location among their friends, family, and neighbors.
Thanks for your prayers - I truly believe they make a big difference.
Sunday, October 4, 2009
- This week was crazy busy. I don't know how I survived it all. By the grace of God, I suppose.
- Monday was a busy day, and I woke up stressed because I knew I had some deadlines that I had to meet by midweek. I didn't think I'd meet them, but with God I was able to and felt much more relaxed and at ease by Monday night since by then, I saw that I'd be fine.
- On Tuesday, I was at the office all day finishing up some projects, working on some stuff for our upcoming Vision 10.10.80 giving emphasis, and prepping for our Tuesday evening gathering at the NE campus. We had a good meeting out there and made plans to take this Tuesday evening and get involved in the community, asking how we can help meet some needs and show God's love in a practical way. It was a really long day, but really good. I'm always so encouraged and refreshed by being around my Del Sol Church family.
- Wednesday was a crazy busy day. I started it out with an early visit to the gym, spent most of the day at the office, then went off to the NE campus with Rick at 4 pm to finish putting primer up in the portable building out there. We were there 'til nearly 10 pm, getting it ready to be painted on Saturday at our workday.
- Also, on Wednesday, this man walked in off the street (he was waiting for a bus at the bus stop right in front of the East campus) and asked for help. At first, I thought he was wanting money but he said that wasn't what he needed. After about 2 hours of talking, he finally crossed over the line of faith and prayed to commit his life to Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior. That was pretty awesome, especially since that morning I had asked God to give me an opportunity to tell someone about Him. I was riding high all day after that.
- Then on Thursday, we started our 10th month of 2009, and it was yet another super busy day for me. I worked until about 6:30 pm, then had a meeting at 7 pm, and was finally able to start to unwind at 7:45 pm by having dinner at Chick-fil-A with Rick & Kristin.
- I slept in 'til about 11 am on Friday, and for the first time in weeks, actually felt kind of refreshed and like I had actually gotten some sleep that night. I ended up having to spend about half the day running errands to get ready for the workday on Saturday, but finally got to rest and relax some on Friday afternoon and evening. I was wanting to go to the homecoming game at Hanks High School, but I decided to stay at home and rest instead. I'm glad I did that because Hanks lost, and it's never fun or relaxing to go to a game, sit for hours on hard bleachers, and then lose a game.
- So then on Saturday, I headed over first thing to the NE campus to meet a bunch of other people and FINALLY start painting the auditorium and kids portable out there. I was so excited that I made sure I got to apply the first roller of paint on the walls. I'm VERY grateful for everyone who went out there to work, and I'm so glad we got as much done as we did. This is a sneak preview of what the auditorium will look like:
- After we finished up and I finally left around 4 pm, it was dark and rainy, so I spent a couple of hours driving around, looking at cars in case the insurance company declares my CRV to be a total loss from the hail damage. It was kind of fun and relaxing, but I was glad to get home and finally have a shower, change into some relaxed clothing, and go to bed. I barely slept though because so many things were running through my mind that night.
- Naturally, I woke up totally exhausted this morning. And because I was physically & mentally tired, I had to really fight to get up and going and felt so discouraged and down as I drove to the East campus for our worship celebrations. I asked God to encourage me as I spent time with my church family, and for the sun to break through the clouds at lunchtime. Thankfully, He did both. I had a great lunch with some of the Pryors, ran over to the NE campus to pick something up that I left on Saturday, then had a nice nap before heading back to the East campus for the wedding vow renewal ceremony. That was cool.
- And now, it's bedtime for bonzo. Good night!