The weekend didn't go quite as planned. We've had rain moving through the area on and off all weekend so the raking/bundling/weeding didn't happen. But it was still a great weekend.
Saturday we went to church for week 2 of Celebration of Hope. Richard Stearns, president of World Vision, didn't make it to the Saturday service because of the weather but Kuyasa Kids from South Africa were there and they were awesome. We found out that the food packing project has already packed more than 2 million of the 4 million projected meals and over 17,500 Creekers have signed up to participate.
The sermon was out of Luke 12:13-21. In that passage Jesus warns the crowd, "Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; a man's life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions." Bill talked about the real sources of happiness (research has found that in "happy" people wealth and possessions rarely make it into the top five contributors to their happiness) and the insidious and pervasive nature of greed. Since Stearns didn't make it to our service he also told a little of Stearns' life as a self-made man and his decision to leave his comfortable life as the CEO of Lenox to take over World Vision and how, under his leadership, World Vision has gone from feeding something like 400 million to 1.2 billion people! I thought of our little Lieketseng in Losotho and felt so grateful for what this man has done. She is one of those 1.2 billion and I can't imagine what her life would look like without World Vision.
At the end of the service they made Stearns' new book, The Hole in our Gospel, available to every family. I'm so glad they did. When you stop distracting yourself long enough to see what is going on it can be really depressing. The enormity of the problem is overwhelming, and a feeling of impotence is almost inevitable. But as long as you can keep making one conscious decision after another to engage, learn, give, etc. you can keep both the denial and the feeling of impotence at bay - and possibly even make a difference in the process.
I'm only on the second chapter but already I'm pretty impressed with how accessible and compelling it is. And I love the quotes at the beginning of each chapter. Here are some of my favorites:
The place God calls you to is the place where your deep gladness and the world's deep hunger meet. -Frederick Buechner
I believe in Christianity as I believe that the sun has risen: not only because I see it, but because by it I see everything else. -C.S. Lewis
The poverty of our century is unlike that of any other. It is not, as poverty was before, the result of natural scarcity, but of a set of priorities imposed upon the rest of the world by the rich. -John Berger
The world can no longer be left to mere diplomats, politicians and business leaders. They have done the best they could, no doubt. But this is an age for spiritual heroes--a time for men and women to be heroic in their faith and in spiritual character and power. The greatest danger to the Christian church today is that of pitching its message too low. -Dallas Willard
After church we went to visit Mom and Dad. They are leaving for a road trip to Georgia on Wednesday so we brought Mom the pretty green suitcase she lent me for my first trip to North Carolina ages ago and sat around drinking Dad's excellent iced tea and catching up.
From there we went to see the Stangers. Mark's mom, Donna, was in town and we wanted to say hi before she had to head back home. Because of the time I spent with Steph in Iowa while she and Mark were dating, and because I've known her longer, I feel closer to Donna than my own mother-in-law. I guess she's like my mother-in-law-in-law. After putting Mally to bed we all sat down for a game of Acquire in which Donna thoroughly pummeled us all!
Sunday we did some grocery shopping and picked up two kites for a dollar at Deals. We plan on making fools of ourselves with them at the park very soon, I'll try to remember to bring the camera :P