This was another pretty packed weekend for me, but in the end it was pretty good. Here are a few highlights.
•    We were in the second week of our Relational I.Q series. I feel like this series is hitting home more than I thought with people. I was a little sad, to be honest, to leave the Joseph series and a series which focused on following one passage of scripture, but this series seems to be scratching an itch as well. God is speaking to people.
•    IFFY PREACHING & GOD SPEAKING – One of the funky things about the whole enterprise of preaching is that essentially it’s about God taking a message & using it, speaking through it, having his Word come through a sermon. Usually there is a correlation between a well put together & delivered message & that happening. This weekend, to be honest, especially on Friday, I wasn’t at all crazy about the message. I knew it was saying important things that were of God. I just felt like I wasn’t connecting. Enter God with his mischievous sense of humor & irony. You guessed it – lots & lots of feedback telling me how God was using it. Mind you not just – “great sermon Ed” (which is nice) but SPECIFIC, BREAK-THROUGH, PENETRATING words from God. I like how God retains the right to do what he wants with what he wants – Psalm 115:3. I did feel like it was a little better on Sunday (esp. 9:00).
o    Here’s what I wrote in my journal today about the whole thing:
o   SUNDAY – message was a little better. But this was a weekend in which I think Your lesson for me was something along the – it’s not about Ed & when I’m weak I’m strong. This is one of the ironies of preaching. You often don’t know when You are really connecting.  I do love the new Song that J premiered this weekends about “Fixing our Eyes On You”. May we do that.
•    VISITING MY MOM – Linda & I along with Bethany & her boyfriend Brett went to see my mom in Garden Grove. My mom still lives in our house in the middle of Orange County. It was cool to visibly see her cheer up as we were there (she seemed pretty depressed when I was talking to her on the phone). We had a great time. It’s always weird going back to my old stomping ground. My community changed soooo much – its now mostly Vietnamese. In 1975 my town became the epicenter of Vietnamese migration after the fall of the country.

Here’s my old school – Bolsa Grande High School – The Mighty Matadors

•    COLLEGE MINISTRY (NEW FORMAT) Q & A – I was asked by our college ministry to sit on a panel w/ Jason Denison (our worship person) and Christina Robinson (our middle school person). There were more questions than we could get to. I like how Sarah Merk (our college person) introduced the session – New Format wants to be a “community of conversation – a place that we can bring our questions & doubts.” There were several questions. They seemed to tend toward the theological. There was one on predestination, why God allows suffering & a few others. We also had a question on gay marriage. My favorite question was the last one – How do I keep my focus on Jesus all day & have my faith not be just a weekend thing. GREAT QUESTION – C & J had great answers as well.
•    SURFING WITH PAL’S – Today was a really fun time surfing with a couple of buddies. There was about a 45-minute window where the wind, tide etc produced as many good waves as we could paddle into. Since I have no pics from the service this weekend services I had Rusty take a couple shot of us after the session – notice Randy sans wetsuit – that’s how he surfed – 100% hombre!

•    PEOPLE BROUGHT LOTS O FRIENDS –I met a lot of people brought by you Journey-ites this weekend. We pray much about “invite temp” at Journey, we pray that it would stay white hot!

Next weekend should be fun as we talk about a better US.