what a weekend...
Sunday, September 11 at 11:38 PM

first, awanita for a youth retreat. dustin spoke and chris and the guys played. so great to see the fabulous chris brown band in action again. the demo is coming soon...prepare yourselves.

the weekend was a nice break from things...but also very difficult. we were with a group from fountain inn. while we were there, two guys very close to the group were in a car wreck in charleston. one died instantly and the other is in a coma. obviously, the news of what had happened caught us all totally unprepared...i mean, you can't prepare for things like that. but it makes you think about things so differently, at least for a while. one of the leaders on the trip had been dating the guy who passed away for like three years...i don't think they were "technically a couple" at the time. i mean, we were sitting at awanita and she was talking about this guy and things that were going on with him at school--and he was dead. she had no idea. (i don't mean to sound insensitive. i hope it doesn't read that way. it's just the truth.) how do you recover from something like that? how do you deal with that sort of thing? other guys on the trip lost a best friend. it was just so hard to be there and not have any clue how to help...your heart just hurts for the families and the friends of these guys. and of course, it's so easy to give the answer that God is using this in some way. and i know that He is. i'm sure most of the people affected would say the same. but that doesn't make the hurting stop. it doesn't keep people from wondering why and wishing they could have said that one more thing...

situations like this one naturally make you reflect on your own relationships. have you said everything you need to say to the people you care about? is there anyone you're upset with that needs your forgiveness? there really is no better time than right now...we are not promised tomorrow. that whole deal about not letting the sun go down while you are still angry makes so much sense. i'm not trying to teach you all some cute little lesson...this isn't my attempt to gain some deep insight out of what happened. i just know that i immediately started thinking through some of the last conversations i had had with people--just to make sure there was no one i needed to call. i hope i never have to live with the regret that my last encounter with someone was not what i wanted it to be, or that i didn't tell them how much i loved them, or that i wouldn't forgive them for something.

(brenna, kent, and john...these are the people i know who lost loved ones this weekend. i'm sure your prayers would be cherished.)

on a much lighter note...midtown fellowship had it's first deal-io tonight. we had a cook-out downtown at jammin' java. an amazing group of people showed up for incredible teriyaki chicken (nice job, dee wee), discussion, fellowship, and prayer. it was so exciting to sit in a room full of people who are ready to get this thing going too! columbia has been starving for a church that truly exists to serve people and to show others how to experience the love of Christ.

i could go on and on...but i must go to sleep. i'm exhausted from this weekend and we've got a church planting conference to go to for the next 3 days. i have to get up in 5 hours. dang, that's gonna suck. (the getting up part, not the conference part...hopefully.)

love ya. mean it.