Eric and I have been attending our church for years now, and we have loved almost everything about it. We found out recently, that we were going to be part of a merger between churches (not struggling churches, but two vibrant, growing congregations): ours and another church that I had attended for over a decade before moving to Praxis (our home church now). I'm not a church hopper and don't take changing churches lightly, and I know that our leadership is the same way. So we were thrilled to hear of the merger, knowing that much time and prayer had gone into the decision. It's a blessing to me also, in that all of my family goes to one of the two merging churches, meaning we are all now part of the same church body. This is just such a blessing to me - I kind of envied those people whose whole family went to the same church growing up, and now I get to experience a new aspect of Christian life - worshiping with my biological family. While I've always felt loved and supported by the church family, this new aspect is different, and wonderful.
This morning was the inaugural service for Redemption Church, a merger between East Valley Bible Church in Gilbert, AZ, and Praxis Church in Tempe and Arcadia, AZ. We will now be one church in multiple campuses with the goal of reaching all of Arizona with the love of Christ. As our mission says, we are "gospel centered and outward focused." There is something so wonderfully powerful about 5000 people all worshiping together and being passionate about reaching the great state in which we live for Jesus. It was such a blessing to be a part of the service on the lawn this morning, and we are excited to see where God will take us!
Here is what 5000 people worshiping together looks like (and this wasn't even everyone!!):
We are spending the rest of the day relaxing (read: jack hammering the rest of the pool, and lesson planning), and spending some much needed down time with Ted. Who, by the way, got his first bath today, and he is ADORABLE! To quote "Despicable Me"..... IT'S SO FLUFFY I'M GONNA DIE!! Ted has been such a blessing to us, and we hope we can bring him as much joy as he has brought us. Hopefully next weekend the tree and Christmas decorations will come down (yes, they're still up, stop judging me!), and we can get all ready for spring cleaning (puke).
I should also have some excellent recipes to post this week, including Spicy Chicken Ole, Apricot couscous, and Chili-rubbed Salmon (yum!), so get your taste buds all warmed up. I'll probably start posting about spring clothing/home trends as well, since they're popping up in my news feed all the time. Meanwhile, if you're feeling down, or just need a good belly laugh, go here. Allie Brosch is a comedic heroine, and she'll make you bust a gut - I guarantee it. Enjoy!