Category: Central Church Family (page 1 of 46)

Missions Sunday Videos

The Lord blessed us with a really fabulous Sunday at Central. Not only did he provide more than $396,000 through our generous church family for local and foreign missions, he filled us with a true sense of his great faithfulness through the Grand Opening of our grand opening. You’ll find here the two videos we showed to our church on Sunday. The first one is the Revelation 7 reading by our local and foreign missions partners, speaking from different contexts in different languages, all wearing white. The second is the time-lapse of our construction project.

$396,890 and Counting

“My God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus. To our God and Father be glory for ever and ever. Amen!” ~Philippians 4:19-20

We are still riding the wave of Spirit energy and enthusiasm generated by our God’s actions with his people on Missions Sunday yesterday here at Central:

~ $396,890 was generously given to fund our local and foreign missions budget for 2020, far surpassing our set goal of $360,000

~ Amber, Tamara, and Craeceola publicly confessed Jesus as Lord and put him on in baptism

~ Jared Odhiambo, all the way from the Alara village in Kenya, inspired us with his powerful testimony and godly vision

~ Stephanie Goins and Robyn Terrill, from Downtown Women’s Center, honored us with their gracious words

~ The new west entrance, the play space, the coffee bar, Guest Central, and the Central Commons were unveiled to great acclaim with an open house and reception

All of this Sunday morning at Central — proof that our God is working in and through his people for the sake of his Kingdom; testimony to our Lord’s faithfulness to his salvation plans; evidence that the old has gone and the new has come!

As blessings pile on top of blessings, we are increasingly convinced that our Father is keeping his covenant promises to Central and to all of his creation. May he be glorified and may his Son be exalted for ever and ever. Amen!



Um… It’s October 24

The Dallas Mavericks won their season opener for the first time in forever?
Our construction project at Central is finally finished?
Mary McNeill went 24 hours without eating?
Bernie Sanders unveiled a plan to legalize marijuana nationwide?
The baseball team in Washington DC is winning the World Series?
Adam Gray’s beard now makes sense?

Sorry. Just trying to figure out why it’s SNOWING on October 24!!!

Fasting for the Lamb

Today is our annual Day of Prayer and Fasting at Central in preparation for our Missions Sunday October 27. Our whole congregation abstains from food on this day in order to — all of us together — focus our minds and our bodies on God’s mission for his world and our roles in that mission. Our hope is that we will find a deeper connection to our God today, that we’ll become more aware of and focused on his great mission in the world and our roles in it, and that we’ll be refreshed to enter into that calling with renewed energy and a deeper faith.

Our chapel is set up today with prayer stations and prayer guides to help. I love praying in our chapel on this day. The images of our foreign missionaries and our local missions partners fade on and off the screen — these people we love so much, who have offered their very lives in service to our Lord and his Kingdom. The Scriptures on the screen remind us that our God is reconciling and restoring all of creation and we’re somehow privileged to be in on it with him. The chapel feels extra sacred today as folks quietly come and go.

When our stomachs growl today, we’ll be reminded that we are “Living for the Lamb.” When we say “no” to lunch and  snacks throughout the day, we’ll be saying “yes” to bringing our selfish desires in conformity with our Lord who came not to be served, but to serve. And when we break the fast as a church family tonight with a congregational dinner, we’ll be reminded that we’re all in this together.



The Wrong Night

We picked the wrong night to celebrate the Rangers and soak up Ballpark memories in Arlington. The Yankees scored more in their rout of the Rangers Friday than the Saints scored last night in a win over the Cowboys. The Rangers closed out their 26-years at the Ballpark by taking two out of three from the hated Pinstripers. But in the opener Friday, Texas pitchers gave up 18 hits, 14 runs, and six homers in an embarrassing blowout in the next-to-the-next-to-the last game ever at the “Temple.”

Bruce won our homerun pot when the second batter of the first inning went yard on Palumbo. And it was pretty much downhill from there. It was never as close as the 14-7 final might indicate. But, a bad day at the Ballpark is better than a good day almost anywhere else.

I thoroughly enjoyed my last ever nachos with extra peppers and Diet Dr Pepper at the Ballpark, I relished Chuck Morgan’s announcements, I marveled all over again at the Texas granite and stone murals that make up the exterior of that gorgeous shrine to the Lone Star State, I bought Whitney a Pudge Rodriguez Hall of Fame T-shirt for $5.40, and I watched wistfully as the late evening closed with a video tribute to the Ballpark’s greatest moments against the backdrop of the traditional Friday night fireworks.

Big picture, this whole thing is much more bitter than sweet for me. I still can’t believe the Rangers are moving out of this pristine, classic stadium for the slick, steel behemoth of an air-conditioned anathema across the street. It boggles my mind and nauseates my gut.

It doesn’t feel like going to a football game when you’re at Jerry Wayne’s “Death Star.” I’ve been to Cowboys games and college games in that building, and it’s more like going to a huge hotel convention center than an NFL or NCAA football game. You feel like you’re walking through a fancy airport instead of through a concourse at a football stadium. You’re very very very removed from the action on the field — by distance and screens and speakers and a massive roof. The whole thing’s just really fake. And I’m not sure how the Rangers avoid that in their new indoor digs.

I attended the last ever game at the old Texas Stadium. Watching the Ravens beat the Cowboys that night, it was obvious the stadium needed to be replaced. It was old, outdated, and falling apart; rusty rails, water leaking and standing everywhere, weird smells, missing ceiling tiles, cracks in the concrete, faded paint. Not once did anybody in Arlington this year think that about the Ballpark. It’s not right.

I was fortunate to have watched somewhere between 350-400 Rangers games inside that majestic Ballpark. And it was a blast taking in my last one Friday with some really great friends from Amarillo. I’m thankful.

I’m not sure what next year looks like. I’m sure we’ll still take our twice annual trips to Arlington. I’ll eat nachos and drink DDP, I’ll sing along to “Deep in the Heart of Texas,” and Chuck Morgan will still be announcing the batters and pitchers and calling the dot races. But I might be wearing a jacket. In August. Drinking hot chocolate. Yikes.



Sharkey’s at Summit

It’s a tradition for me and whoever’s with me from our church staff attending the annual ACU Summit / Lectureship to take the Central kids at Abilene Christian University out to lunch. That day was yesterday and Mary and Josh J and I were so blessed to be able to spend that hour at a table with seven fantastic young people in our church family.

What a great honor that these college students will actually sit down to lunch with us. And, yeah, we had a blast. Talking to Chelsea about her Bible classes, asking Audrey (an honorary Central member) about the color of her armpit hair, hearing Grant describe Freshmen Follies, learning about Brooke’s post-graduation plans in New York City, meeting Kathryn’s boyfriend, finding out what Josh S does on his Tuesdays and Thursdays, and marveling at Chloe’s study habits — we had so much fun.

The only one who couldn’t make the lunch was Josh D. He has a noon class on Tuesdays. I urged him to skip the class — it’s just a daily quiz; it’s just Statistics — but he wouldn’t take the bait. We had already reconnected Sunday night when he threw a water balloon at me in the University Church of Christ parking lot. Of course, my cat-like agility prevented my getting soaked. Still, it was a good thing for him I was in my church shoes. If I had needed to, there’s no way I could have chased him down.

The Sharkey’s in Abilene isn’t nearly as good as the one in Amarillo. Unless you’re eating and laughing with these great kids in whom and through whom our Lord is powerfully at work. God bless ’em.



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