I got to church early enough to practice my guitar with the band a few minutes before we had to get off stage because a service was about to start. During the Sunday School hour, I decided to visit my old SS class and catch up with some of the folks over there. I miss them. Today's lesson centered around Deuteronmy 6 (with emphasis on Shema Yisrael). The teacher did a great job, some of the discussion made me thing about some things, and I really enjoyed being with that class again. I'm not going to be a regular visitor -- the folks in class still looked to me for answers when there's a part of the discussion that stumped the teach. If I were a regular, I'd just end up being the "shadow teacher," and that's not fair to either me or the current teacher. I'm probably stop back in for a visit in another few months.
One thing interesting happened. One of the ladies in class pulled me aside and told me that she was in the process of planning her mother's funeral. (Her mother is in fine health for an 80+ year old and the need for a funeral is not expected soon, but it's not a bad idea to plan for these things.) As part of the planning, the daughter wanted to know if I'd participate in it. I was honored, told her so, and agreed. I'm going to try to get in touch with the daughter again soon and find out more of what she had in mind. But, wow. I'm really humbled and honored.
Today's service at The Mount went really well. The band was tight. We had worked up a pretty high-energy set of songs for today's service and it worked out nicely. I especially enjoyed getting to debut my wah-wah pedal in one of the songs. Next week, I'm going to switch with the bass player -- he'll cover guitar and I'll cover bass. We're both really excited about doing that.
We're going to be getting some better lighting for the room soon, too. The current lighting is very harsh and the addition of some theatrical lighting should help a lot.
Today's sermon dealt with making the most of every opportunity, and it was a good message. Our pastor had been away for a couple of weeks and it is nice to have him back.
After church, yarbiedoll and I joined a couple of other worship leaders from The Mount and picked up school supplies for over 20 children that are attending The Mount and would have trouble getting the money together to get supplies on their own. The Mount seems to have (semi-)accidentally started to reach out to a local population of international Christians. Many of these people are refugees from Rwanda and other African countries. It's not the typical demographic that has been at our church throughout the years, and it's really exciting seeing that they are finding a worship home in the service that we're working to provide. It's also great that the church is not just stopping at inviting them to the service, but is supporting them in other ways. It felt really good to be part of getting those supplies together.
After getting back home from school supply shopping, I had just a few minutes to get some things together before heading downtown to the ballpark. One of my coworkers was taking his 2-year old son to his first baseball game, and I was happy to have an excuse to go to the ballpark.
I got to the ballpark about an hour early, in plenty of time to see the announcer introduce one of my friends who works with Baseball Chapel, an organization that works to make Christian services available to baseball players and umpires. During the season, it's hard for players and umpires to be able to attend services at their home church (especially when they're the visiting team), so Baseball Chapel helps provide opportunities for players to nurture their faith throughout the season. I headed down to the field to let my friend know I was at the game and he introduced me to his co-chaplain. I headed back to my seat and they headed off to do whatever else they needed to do before the game started.
A little later, I ran into them again and we all sat together. As it turns out, the co-chaplain is also into scoring baseball games. Since I've been teaching myself how to do it over the past several weeks, I was excited to be able to sit next to someone who really knew what they were doing and pick up some hints. I had a great time, and hope to run into him again at the ballpark sometime.
My coworker and his son arrived in the 2nd or 3rd inning. They had a great time and it was really cool to watch a little boy be overwhelmed by the spectacle that is a live baseball game.
The Hoppers lost (no surprise there) 5-2, but the last several innings were pretty enjoyable. I'll be heading to Durham to watch the Bulls next Sunday. And the day after that, I'll be back at the Greensboro game for their last home game of the season.
I'm adding a baseball scorebook to my Christmas list this year.
One of the other things that has been keeping me busy lately is ham radio. We're in the process of connecting the W4GSO repeater to the Gateway, so it will be able to connect to other repeaters and reflectors all over the world. It's been on the Gateway for about 2 weeks now, and we're still experiencing growing pains. But we're getting there, and I'm pretty excited about it. It's really neat to be able to key up a handheld radio and make a UHF call that ends up getting heard in England.
I'm one of the administrators for the Gateway, partly because I have some Linux experience. It's really neat to be able to help out with this. After we get
Hopefully it won't be so long between blogging here again....