Sunday, November 14, 2004

I've added a link to TJ's website you can keep up with him and listen to some of his record there. They were selling like hotcakes this morning at OC. I'm so proud of him!

Last night the girls were in the bath tub cutting up--they have so much fun together and it's so enjoyable to watch. They got a little overboard and started having a screaming contest. I was hanging clothes (from my early birthday shopping spree--thanks, mom!) while Sheryl was downstairs fixing dinner. Finally, it got to me and I had to yell over them to STOP SCREAMING!!! (makes a lot of sense) They giggled and went on with their playing. After a minute or two they were really quiet--any parent knows this is a sign of trouble. I stepped out to see what they were doing and they were both sitting holding hands while covering their eyes with the other hand and Maddie was praying. I about died! They heard me come in and I said, "Don't stop! I want to hear you!" At that point each uncovered their eyes and offered me their free hand. Maddie's prayer went like this:
"Dear God, thank you for Mommy,
thank you for Daddy,
thank you for Kiki,
thank you for Mommy,
thank you for Mommy,
thank you for my baby sister named Ella,
thank you for all my friends named Abby,
thank you for Bear,
I love Jesus so much.
It's in Jesus' name we pray, A-me-yan." (I'm pretty sure that last sentence--at least--is in thanks to her teacher, Miss Delle.)

Those are moments that are better than just about anything I can imagine in my limited parenting experience. It about made me cry. And, just in case anyone wonders, they are almost always squeezed between someone hitting the other or screaming or saying "mine!!" It's a glimmer of hope that gives us great joy!

This morning was one of those praise team mornings. I was a little too ambitious without considering my team. Usually, I look at the list to make sure there will be at least one on each part who know the more challenging songs. I overestimated a bit this morning. I write this for several reasons--because I want you to know that EVERYONE has those mornings and because it was really my responsibility to help the team feel really prepared. I think everyone just felt harried today. The front TV monitor was out--no lyrics. There were at least two songs that were still a gamble when we went in. And--other stuff that added to an already stressful morning for everyone. Honestly, I felt ok about it and tried not to let it crawl all over me which I have done SOOOO many times. The thing I feel badly about is that I didn't help our team have the tools they needed to lead as effectively as possible. Before we went in I told them, "Let's just take a step back and look at the grand scheme. God is God. He will be praised. While we don't want to do anything that will distract in worship, I'd much rather you just WORSHIP instead of stress about notes and other stuff." It was just one of those mornings and I would say that the Holy Spirit really worked through us IN SPITE of us. It's always that way, but mornings like this one are a good reminder that it's not by power or talent--but by THE SPIRIT!

Daren and Christy Stanley had their daughter this morning! Daren called about 6:30 am to say they were on the way to the hospital. I told Maddie and Ella that Mary Carsen's sister was being born and they were really excited. Eliza was born around 10:30 and weighed 7 lbs 9oz. I'm sure she's gorgeous. We will hope to see her tomorrow.

We went to see how Mom's house is progressing on our way home from OC. It's looking good. The 3 men working on it were taking a break inside sitting in the living room SMOKING. Is this typical? I am sure there are things no one would ever want to know about the building process. I just have such an aversion to the cigarette smoke smell in a house that it irritated me...not to mention that the master bath completely smelled of urine--they'd been going in the shower. Hello! There's a nice little porta-potty right outside. Anyway--it appears to be on schedule. Smoke and all.

Rehearsal begins in 10 minutes. I'm going from here straight home to life group. Sundays are long days. It's like packing a weeks worth of stuff into one day. It'll be nice to have life group again after a couple of week break. Tomorrow's D day--or should we say "B" day. I decided that 35 is as far as I'm going. Next year I plan to turn 34.


Jennifer said...

First of all, Happy Birthday!

Second, I just want to say thank you, thank you, thank you! This morning at Highland, we did "You Raise Me Up," which we were able to do because of the arrangement that was done at the conference, and we also sang "Blessed be the Name of the Lord." These songs, coupled with Mike's message, ministered to so many people this morning. Thanks so much for letting God work through you in such a mighty way! What a blessing your ministry is!

wstaple said...

Oh, man, do I remember being on a few of those praise teams.....AND being the one who got the BST "evil eye"....I'm laughing as I write this! So many great memories from singing with you at OC..... Regardless of how it sounded, God was always worshipped and given the praise anytime you led in worship!

Matt Elliott said...

I've had more of those praise team mornings that I can count! And you're right -- when it happens, it's all MY doing. I'm glad you shared it, because it's just a bit comforting to know that it happens to someone else. KnowwhutImean? Shallow of me, isn't it? :-)

SG said...

Happy Birthday Brandon! I'm just a month behind you. Can we grown down now? :) Next year we revisit 34! Hope all is well with ALL the Thomas clan!

Tim Castle said...


Ed Harrell said...

Happy Birthday!

Unfortunately, the behavior you experienced is fairly typical in construction. It even goes on in "Luxury" homes that are valued at well over $750,000. Most good builders, however, realize that their subs do this kind of stuff and have exceptional clean up crews. Good luck with it.

Thanks for the negative stuff about your team. It truly encouraged me. We are trying to get ours off the ground and we have bad mornings sometimes. It is truly God's Holy Spirit that works in spite of us.

God Bless,