I need to get some feedback from all of you church-goin' folks... Especially the pastors.
As most of you know, summer is usually the time of year when churches experience a "dip." It's called "The Summer Slump." As hard as we try to avoid it, it usually shows up.
But here's what's weird - we've experienced just the opposite at The Orchard! It's crazy! Good, but so strange to me!
Just to give you an example - this past weekend, our attendance was 52% higher than the same weekend the year before. Same thing financially! 72% higher than the same weekend the year before.
Not only that, but get this - we have almost 80 people getting water baptized at our big BBQ & Baptism coming up next weekend! We've never had this many! It's usually been between 30 and 40 a year. But almost 80?!?!? So, so, so jazzed about that!!
I share all of this to ask - is this happening at your church? Please share! Give me your feedback! Is this just a "God thing" or are people not vacationing this year and instead inviting their friends to church with them!?
I think I might be pregnant. Or maybe it’s just the strep throat. I don’t know… But for some reason (today especially) I have found myself on a huge bacon kick.
It’s crazy! It’s as if I have to get my hands on as much bacon as possible before being forcefully shipped to some pork free nation.
Here’s how bad it is….
My wife Amanda just left for the store a few minutes ago. As soon as she backed out of the driveway I found myself running to the fridge to see if we had any bacon left. Sure enough, no bacon! So as fast as I could, I grabbed my phone and quickly dialed her number with my greasy bacon fingers.
“Babe – while you’re there be sure to pick up a couple packages of GOOD THICK CUT bacon, ok?”
After about 4 seconds of silence there was finally a response, “Is this some sort of joke? Scott, weren’t you JUST frying up some bacon as I was leaving?”
I replied, “Don’t ask any questions. Just show me your love by doing what I ask!”
Then for some reason the phone went dead. Weird…
Not only that, but I’ve gotten greedy about the bacon. Earlier this morning, Elise (my 6 year old) came in the house with a couple of neighborhood bacon thieves…oops, I mean friends….and said, “Oh yeah! Bacon!” to which I replied, “Oh yeah! Not for you!”
Can this be forgiven?
Anyway, I have to go. Lunch time. BLT's.
(PS – By the way, Amanda, I’m sorry about your keyboard…. My Mac “wasn’t working” so I had to use your computer for this post.)
I hate being sick. I'm typing this from deep within the confines of my bed under about 5 layers of sheets and blankets. I've got the chills and my throat feels like I've swallowed one of these. Not good...
Merlin, over at 43 Folders, has a great "mind-sweep" reminder for all of us GTD fans. (C'mon...read it already, would you??!!)
"Scott, what the heck is mind-sweep?"
Merlin summarizes it well:
The idea behind the mind-sweep is to identify and gather everything
that is making claims on your attention or is likely to affect the
larger areas of responsibility in your life — everything that’s quietly
burning cycles, stealing focus, and whittling away at your attention —
so that you can then decide what (if anything) must be done about each
of those things.
If your brain feels half as fried as mine does right now, you need to click the link below and read his post. It's good.
It's amazing to me how the smallest things can ignite such sudden emotion in my heart. Tonight, I found this little note that I had written my dad tucked inside of a book from his library.
On the back of the note he had written the date: 1-17-82.
I was nine years old.
And now, here I am 24 years later... Dad is in Heaven and my life is so incredibly different than I would have ever imagined.
It's been 21 months since he unexpectedly passed away and I still find myself shaking my head in disbelief from time to time. I often wonder why it feels so hard to accept that he's really gone. When I pause from my hectic life and get quiet, I find myself missing him more than words can describe. Those are the moment that I realize the pain is still pretty dang fresh.
Looking at this note tonight, it makes me wonder what he must have felt when he found it in one of his books or sitting on his desk. I'm curious as to what challenges or difficulties he may have been facing on that day. Weird thoughts, I know...
But pushing aside my grief, I'm reminded of how incredibly blessed I am to have had this man as my father/friend/mentor/leader. He empowered me in so many ways... He encouraged me to lead and pursue God's best for my life. He showed me unconditional love and never strayed from it.
Was he perfect? No. But knowing that encourages me as I realize how far I have to go as a husband and father to the three incredible girls in my life (one wife, two daughters that is...).
I'd love nothing more than to be able to write another note and slip it on his desk. So just in case he's reading my blog from the ultra, high-speed connection in Heaven, I'll say it again:
I have a blog stalker. At least that's what he calls himself. And I feel honored!
His name is Carlos Whittaker and he is the Worship & Arts pastor at a great church in Riverside, CA called Sandals. Carlos seems like a cool dude - I'm diggin' his blog, his tattoos and his killer glasses.
Anyway - Carlos had some nice things to say about scotthodge.org on his latest podcast. Totally blew me away! He's also trying to get me to whip out another podcast, but after listening to his I'm feeling a little intimidated! :)