Month: December 2006

Holidays With Our Family

The-Family-Reunion-That-Never-Happened

The Family Reunion That Never Happened


We spent this holiday season with both sides of our family. Although they were never all together at once, like this picture, we think of our time with them this way.

There was enough time to sit and talk with everyone but not as much time as we’d have liked. If we had made group pictures of all the family we were with, the group of other relatives would make this picture double as wide as it is.

In the morning we start the two day drive back to Orlando with the van packed to bursting. I’ll be reading Don Quixote in between naps and driving.

What Was I Thinking? WCA Alumni Basketball Game

I have a recurring dream. I’m going to school, and it doesn’t seem like such a big deal if I go in my underwear. Only when I get there, it IS a big deal, and worse, I find I no longer have my underwear.

Tonight my dream came very close to reality. I went to school to play in the Westminster Christian Academy Alumni Basketball Game. I figured it would be a fun chance to play pickup basketball with friends I hadn’t seen for a long time and maybe a chance to meet a few younger alums, too.

My first clue that I figured wrong came as I walked into the gym hearing the names of the players announced over the PA system and hearing fans cheering for them from the bleachers. This was not what I expected, so I headed back to the car to put on some jeans and watch the game from the bleachers.

Only just as I was almost out the door someone asked me, “Are you Jerry? The game coordinator was looking for you. You’re on the blue team.” This is when my judgement failed me. I turned around and went back in, got my blue jersey and sat down with the rest of the blue “old guys” team.

Thirty seconds after sitting down it became obvious what a terrible mistake I’d made. WCA took third in the state tournament just a couple years ago, as one of my blue teammates pointed out. Our opposing team was basically that same championship team, reunited. Me? I was a bench sitter my senior year, and our senior year team was bush league anyway. This is when I began understanding why all my old buddies weren’t there. Yet here I was sitting on the bench with my blue jersey, stuck, and with my stupidity on full display to the crowd in the bleachers.

In fact, the fans in the stands were parents of this championship team. I was easily much closer in age to them then I was to all but one of my blue teamates, not to mention any of the other team! They were all still in college I think.

I decided that saving face would mean subbing myself in for a few minutes, demonstrating that even though I was old I could still run with the kids, then sitting down and watching the rest of the game. This I managed to do, but barely. Out on the court is when I really felt out of place. I haven’t played basketball in 12 years. What was I thinking??!!!

Needless to say, this was my first and last alumni basketball game.

Community Prayer for Project24

Project24 Community Prayer

Project24 Community Prayer Gathering

My friend, Scott Puckett, pastor of Christ Kingdom Church, led an interesting initiative this winter with the churches in our area. He organized Project24, a cooperation of the churches in east Orlando, Florida to pray for our community and help meet community needs. The goal is to show the love of Jesus during the Christmas season.

Today there were about eight different community prayer meetings scattered around. This was the one in our neighborhood.

They Got It Right in Poland

Anita

Anita, Leader of Agape.pl

Today and tomorrow a bunch of us Campus Crusade types are talking about how we can do a better job helping people grow spiritually via the Internet. God has blessed our efforts at bringing people to a site that explains who Jesus is, and many thousands have responded to Jesus in this way. We have email volunteers that answer visitors’ questions and help these people get connected with a church, but we haven’t done a great job staying connected with them and helping them grow.

Well, some of us in Campus Crusade have done well at this; our ministries in Canada and Poland.

My friend, Anita, leads a Bible correspondence course in Poland, Agape.pl. Every day they get one or two new students, 30% of whom finish a four-lesson course that covers the basics of a relationship with God through Jesus Christ. Students get new lessons after they complete and discuss the first ones, and all students have their own personal teacher assigned to them. All the correspondence is done by email.

Both our Canadian and Polish ministries use some of the same elements; personal attention from spiritual coaches and opportunities for leadership as you grow spiritually. After a student completes the entire Agape.pl Bible course, quite a challenge actually, they can be teachers themselves. Currently there are about 50 teachers and 500 students enrolled. Our Canadian ministry has many more staff members and volunteers working with it, but they use the same idea.

The challenge we have now with EveryStudent.com will be finding ways we can help our campus staff members keep students engaged in a process of spiritual growth when they can’t meet with them personally. StartingWithGod.com is a site we currently direct new believers to, but we don’t have a solid means of staying connected with someone as they work through the site. We’re praying for a creative solution.

Getting Old, Getting Slow

2006-OUC-Half-Marathon

Ted, David, Dan, and Jerry

This year’s Orlando half marathon was better and harder than any other I’ve done. It was better than any other because of all the friends I ran it with. There were 7 from Campus Crusade, and our neighbor, too. Training for this race was the best part, as every week I’ve done a long run with a group of guys on Friday mornings before work.

The fun ended in the middle of mile 6. That’s when I knew for sure that I wasn’t in shape to finish the race as fast as I started. By the end of mile 6 I knew that finishing the race at all was going to be a challenge.

I did finish, but with a new slow time; 1:41:11. I’m trying to decide now whether I’m motivated to make that time faster next year or not.