The Easter EGGStravaganza and the REAL Easter Story!

We had lots of family fun at the annual Easter EGGstravaganza gathering for this Windingwalk community. It is an unhurried time of connection and just plain fun.  In addition to the fun EGG HUNT which this year served between 700-800 children!  We also had the opportunity to tell children (and their parents) about the REAL Easter story about Jesus.  There were children who had never heard the story before!  We met thousands of people from our community and our team had lots of great conversations.  We got to tell the Concordia story over and over.  We answered questions about our work with the church, the preschool, our community and in our newest partnership with Children of the Nations International.  That was really fun and a great way to show Concordia’s heart.  We packed 2,000 meals for children in Malawi.  We will pack an additional 8,000 meals on July 27th.  Put that on your calendar.

OUR BUNNY RUN was a blast.  Young children and their parents got to run through an obstacle course!  B2be sports and wellness sponsored the fun run. Our young orange clad runners took this very seriously!

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We had about 40 booths. Business sponsors, restaurants, non profits.  Together we were able to put on this fun day!  Thank you B2be, Dr. Blanca of Pediatrics in Paradise, Chick-fil-A, Our Hometown, Kid Ventures and Jump and Rock who were our platinum sponsors!

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The beautiful blue canopies came from the Naval Base.  Can you believe thanks to our wonderful volunteers, that we broke down the canopies, tables and chairs in 18 minutes?  Our event ended at noon and we were unloading on the Naval Base at 12:45pm Wonderful effort by so many.

We had between 700-800 children for the Egg Hunt!  The under two group began their hunt fine and then the other three areas all charged their egg hunt areas!  It was all good.

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Pastor talking with Minit!

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We had some great sponsors that offered wonderful raffle prizes.  One night stay at the Lowe’s Coronado and El Cordova Coronado. There were VIP memberships to B2be, and  birthday party at Jump and Rock.

Jump and Rock congratulating the winner….one of our after school program parents!

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Another raffle winner!

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More scenes of a fun day!

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We had more than 120 volunteers that came to serve our community.  That is a win!  You know who you are.  Thank you!

 

 

 

Still mothering hard….

I have so enjoyed being in home groups.  Every round of groups brings such growing depth in my faith walk and beautiful deepening connections with people and beautiful surprises along the way.  In my Wednesday group I am privileged to journey with moms of young children.  I love it. I admire them as I see them mothering “hard”….intentionally and purposefully. I was thinking this morning especially in this time of transition that I am still mothering hard even though my kids are maturing adults!

The transition is that my baby has moved into her first apartment.  It’s a good thing.  Yes, she just turned 25 and I am so grateful that I got to have her bounce back a bit after college. In this season, our early morning talks and conversations about simple and deep things….even controversial things….have been delightful and I have enjoyed the new relationship of mother and daughter when daughter is an adult.  I am aware that I am still mothering intentionally and purposefully…..as much now as when Andres and Elizabeth were young.  It is different but deeper and as meaningful, maybe more!

Maybe mothering is not a linear journey, marked by the passing of time but a multifaceted jewel that you behold and experience from many different sides and dimensions. It has brought such meaning to my life and the gift of mothering is such a sweet calling.  I found this post from Dale Partridge very touching when it popped up on my Pinterest.  Enjoy it.

MARCH 20, 2014

5 Things You Must Tell Your Kids Before You Die

5 Things You Must Tell Your Parents Before You Die“. As a Father, I’m going to flip the tables a bit.

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This is one of my favorites photos of my daughter and I :)

As parents, adopted parents, or even mentors we have have an intrinsic responsibility to show our children they are loved, valued, and protected. While writing this post, I literally could not find an article on things you “should tell” you kids. Everything was on things “you must stop saying” or “should never say”. That’s just like our culture. It’s always about stop, no, and quit. How about we adopt a new philosophy of start, yes, and keep going?

Here is my list of 5 Things You Must Tell Your Kids Before You Die:

1. You gave my life so much meaning. Thank you. - When my daughter was born I remember being hit with this insane rush of purpose. Life was no longer about work, hobbies, or myself. It was about experiencing her. Working because of her, doing things with her, and planning a future as a family. What a gift. As parents, we believe this is implied. But it’s not. We must reach out to our children, at the right age, and thank them for the memories, the purpose, the laughter, and the love. After all, there is nothing quite like it.

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Photo by Tracy Parker


2. I’m so proud of you
. – Children need a surplus of affirmation. I can’t tell you the countless stories of boys still working for their Father’s approval or daughters seeking their blessing. Though we may not fully agree with our children’s ways, we must commend them on completing the hardest task of all, independence. And even though this statement is said by almost all parents, the difference is made in quantity, creativity, and sincerity.

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Photo by Adrienne Elliot

3. You we’re right, I was wrong. - Parents, leaders, and teachers can often times find themselves on the wrong side of an argument. While it’s easy to play off our child’s ignorance, a tiny moment of transparency and honesty will bring huge impact to your little one’s development. But let’s not stop there. Let this virtue carry on throughout your relationship, even through the harder years of adulthood. Just because you’re children are adults, does not mean you should stop acting like their parent.

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Photo by Sunny Kang

4. This was my favorite moment - In a lifetime made of millions of memories, experiences, and stories – narrowing them down to one can be extremely powerful. To remind your child of a time where everything was perfect and claim it as your favorite will reinforce this special moment forever. But don’t be brief, share it with passion, provide every little detail, and bring your child back (no matter how old they are) to that time where all things were just right. You won’t regret it, I promise.

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Photo by Natasha Wiseman

5. I’m Sorry – As I mentioned above, we all have moments of failure. Some were yesterday while others were year ago. It’s easy to ignore the past and move on as if our memories have somehow erased it. But let me tell you a secret. They don’t. If you have a parental failure don’t ignore it. Lead with integrity, right your wrongs, and restore that piece of your child’s history no matter how small. You only have so many tomorrows.

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Photo by Valics Lehel

Faith and Sacrifice

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We finished the series on FAITH and how we can trust God with our fears and doubts because of who He is and what we have seen Him do.  We are now looking at the cost of love in the topic of SACRIFICE.  We launched home groups last night with a reflective discussion about the sacrifice that we do for loved ones.  It is often not a burden because what we do is born out of love.  So we see the sacrifice of God in Jesus on the cross that bought our rescue.  It was a sweet sacrifice.

We talked about the fact that often in our culture we are willing to sacrifice only when it doesn’t cost us that much, only when it is convenient and until we feel like it or it serves our purposes.  That, it seems, is no sacrifice at all!  How hard it is to give up the things we want.  How hard it is to get out of our own experience.  But how necessary it is to learn to let go of the things … often material things … that try to bind us.

There are some big things to reflect on.

This is a good time to reflect.

Ash Wednesday is tomorrow.

Reflect on the cost.

Reflect on the love.

 

Christmas Day Reflection

What a beautiful celebration of the Light at Concordia yesterday and today. Today it has been a beautiful day of quiet celebration of love surrounded by family and tonight a silent night. Aside from the dramatic message last night of light piercing the darkness that is vivid in my memory I also remember the encouragement to make time, slow down and incorporate some “silent nights” into your life. Time that is so necessary to be able to hear the voice of God, the nudging of God and the encouragement of God.

I am taking that encouragement to heart. I think this is a lesson that has been stirring in my heart over the last year anyway. Last year one word that was a theme of focus for me was “surrender” and I think my word for 2014 will be “silence.” As is always the case, the word usually finds me. I am thinking I can benefit from:

–stillness and silence to listen and not always fill conversations with chatter or opinions. I think this will bring greater wisdom.

–silence to notice the quiet moments of beauty around that go unnoticed in busyness.

–silence to extend my time in quiet reflection and meditation with God.

–silence to reflect and flesh out ideas more. Good and creative ideas need breath and space to become what they are meant to be.

–stillness as a reminder to stop from rushing from one thing to the next.

–silence and stillness to just be the person God created me to be.

For a person that is task oriented and loves to measure in a tangible way the progress of things, this will not be an easy thing to remember to do. But I have seen this year, how it enriches my life and deepens my experience in my everyday life when I incorporate stillness, silence, solitude and quiet.

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Christmas…..celebrating the light of the world!

ChristmasInvite-page-001 (2)We are excited to prepare for our Christmas celebration. Celebrating the light that came to disperse the darkness…..we are creating an atmosphere that will echo the theme of light. We hung special lighting and a wall of lighted stars and angels and star art created by the children of Concordia. Then there will be the candlelight! Real candlelight for adults and flickering electric tealights for the children.

I am excited we are creating a message and multisensory memory for families.  The message of Jesus, light of the world. The message imprinted on the mind, memory and heart as we each hold the light in our hands and hearts.

Yes, I am praying that the clear message will be so burned into the memory that we will remember it for a very long time. I know that through the working of the Holy Spirit, we will learn and remember that Jesus, the light of the world, comes down to be among us and to save us because of His great love for each one of us….His creation. It will be a beautiful night of light. It is a beautiful life of light.  I am praying for people to be touched like never before, maybe for the first time!

Don’t miss that touch of light……from the Light of the world, Jesus!

http://www.concordiachurch.com

Great day for a great message.

We had 180 guest preachers yesterday for church outside of church. They were ages 2-5! They spoke about Jesus with total conviction and 700 people were hanging on every word and movement.

Yes our annual living nativity program was yesterday. We had a downpour of rain on Saturday but the field we had set up for the program was dry the next morning, thankfully! The air was crisp…just the way you would want for a Christmas program especially since steaming hot chocolate and butter cookies were part of the experience!

Here are some photos that show some of the joy and commitment of the children to the telling of the timeless story of the timeless Christ.

Enjoy. Join me in thanking God for the opportunity to take the message of Christmas to our community in Windingwalk.

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This young man changed my life!

Twenty six years wash over me and although cliche, it seems like yesterday i sat by the glow of christmas tree lights in the wee hours of the morning thinking about the future man this little baby would be. The task seemed entirely doable because I knew the measure of love in my heart for him was infinite and that seemed a clear signal to me that God would equip me to love, guide and cherish this little boy’s heart.

We have birthday celebration plans after the Living Nativity but we were able to steal away for this impromptu lunch on his birthday and a kind girl snapped this shot of us.

I look at this photo and there is so much I am grateful for. Mostly I am grateful that God did indeed equip me, assist me and encourage me at every turn over the last 26 years to be able to mother this young man. What joy he has brought me and I know will continue to bring me.

I am just grateful to God for things I cant even find the words to express.

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