What a fabulous 60th Anniversary and Homecoming weekend at our GCR Church! People came from all over Midland and even traveled from out of state, coming from as far away as Arkansas, Colorado, and North Carolina to renew relationships and catch up with old friends. More than 500 showed up at the picnic on Saturday for burgers and dogs, cornhole and volleyball, and a once in a lifetime total solar eclipse. We held a youth ministry reunion Saturday afternoon, and then a Praise and Pie event that evening in our newly remodeled worship center. And then 873 of us came together Sunday for a time of reflection and thanksgiving, worship, and a catered lunch. At every event I felt like I had never seen a third of the people. There was energy and excitement, gratitude and praise, and lots of laughter.
It was really good for me, personally, to just hang around and listen to the old stories, the formative events from GCR’s past, the really great times and the tough times, to get a better handle on all the connections, and to hear the hope and joy for the present and the future. I’ve only been here a little over two years. I needed to hear about O.C. Collins and those faithful Christians from the North A Church of Christ who planted GCR in 1963. I needed to hear Ronnie White preach — yes, he still knows how. I needed to worship with Andy Spell, I needed to eat coconut cream pie with people who “used to go to GCR,” I needed to look at those old directories and Stream videos. I needed to hear the motivations behind the apartments ministry and the passion for divorce recovery and care and single parent family camp. I needed to be in the same room with these people when they laughed at a 35-year-old memory and when they cried during It Is Well With My Soul and How Great Thou Art.
It’s good for me and for our present day church at GCR to realize that everything we’re doing now, by God’s grace, is done with the same spirit, the same passion, the same drive, the same love for our Lord and his people that has always characterized the Christians at Golf Course Road. This is a grace-oriented, redemption-minded church. Always has been. Still is.
What we’re doing now and where we’re going — these aren’t new things. Our vision is not an innovative thing. Our local missions partnerships and ecumenical efforts are not a new direction or some kind of revolution. It’s an evolution born of the Spirit and what has gone before. It’s our church’s refusal to stand pat, our refusal to allow the status to remain quo, our conviction that our God is at work in and through GCR to his eternal glory and praise.
We’ve got great shepherds at GCR. Holy and godly men who share a unified desire for transformation and mission.
We’ve got a great ministry team here. A tremendous group of talented and dedicated disciples of Jesus who share a unified vision for ministry and service.
We’ve got a great church at GCR. An historically great church. A loving and giving church that wants to be challenged, wants to grow, and shares a desire to impact our city for Christ.
Much more than all that, we have our God. We belong to a mighty God, a faithful God, who has promised to finish in us and through us what he started 60 years ago on Golf Course Road.
The one who calls us is faithful and he will do it.
Nasty Nate did it again yesterday, becoming the first pitcher in these 2023 playoffs with three wins. The Rangers plated four runs on five hits and an error in the first inning, and tight defense and clutch pitching made it stand to take a two-games-to-none lead in the ALCS. Eovaldi worked masterfully out of a bases-loaded, nobody out jam in the fifth inning, and finished with nine strikeouts and one walk in six outstanding innings to earn the win. That’s 24 K’s against one walk for Big Game Nate in this postseason. And that’s seven straight playoff wins for Texas, six of those games on the road. Now the Astros and Rangers head north up I-45 to Arlington, where Mad Max takes the hill tomorrow night in Game Three.
No team has ever won the first two games of a league championship series on the road and gone on to lose that series. The Rangers need to win two games out of the remaining five to get to their first World Series since 2011. And the next three are in Arlington.
Mike McCarthy really said out loud last night after the Cowboys squeaker over the Chargers that he intentionally allowed the clock to run down so they could kick that field goal from the 14-yard-line at the end of the first half. The referees and the time keeper had stopped the clock at eight-seconds, assuming McCarthy would take one of his two remaining timeouts and throw the ball into the end zone. If it’s caught, it’s a touchdown. If it’s not, they kick the gimmee three-pointer and go to the locker room. The referees even asked McCarthy, “You don’t want the timeout? Are you sure?” They’re begging him to do the right thing! And he declined, telling reporters after the game he’s all about getting the points. The Cowboys had committed a holding penalty earlier on that drive and he just wanted to make sure nothing was going to mess up that automatic field goal.
He’s all about getting the points? That does not explain McCarthy’s going for it on 4th down inside the red zone two other times last night. It confuses the whole conversation. It must be madness for Dak having McCarthy in his helmet for three hours.