13) The list could go on and on . . . but I can't close the book until I mention small groups. My first two groups were Sunday School and Pee Wee baseball back in the 60's. Groups are powerful. Groups are like families. In groups you do life together, good and bad. Also, groups often see you act beyond your roles.
My family group experience at Willow Ridge has raised my bar because we talk about real life. What are the kids doing? Who is going to bring the mac and cheese next week? How was your week? What did you learn from this morning's sermon? Did I even listen to this morning's sermon? I spent over two years in a men's group where we did everything from the MasterLife Discipleship course, to wrestle with the hardest questions we could think of.
A new group for me is the Sons of Italy, an organization with the purpose of preserving Italian culture. I am on the School Improvement Committee at Abby's school. I spent many years as part of an A.A. group in New Orleans. In A.A. we talked about everything from Jesus, to flying saucers, to Jesus in flying saucers. All these groups raised my bar in some way. All of them made me uncomfortable, in a healthy way, for some reason.
No matter the agenda of the group you are in plain view of people. When you are on your own you can drive the agenda. With groups, driving the agenda is not as easy. Protecting yourself is not as easy. Your accountability bar is raised . . . Playing for Pizza tomorrow.
What a weekend! When I pull for the other team the winning percentage of my real teams has raised(66%). So, I am pulling for the Gamecocks and the Jaguars (10/28) next weekend. The relevance of my 2007 football season is hanging by a thread. Carowinds was fun. I did Top Gun (roller coaster) twice in a row with Anna. I am thinking I might retire from coasters.
Heard Ruppe and Dustin preach. Two great young communicators. Chris had a strong word on self-awareness from Ps 139. Dustin addressed baptism, in preparation for the big baptism thing next week at The Coop. In Columbia today working on Cypress Project material. I'll keep you posted.