21 Days for Sons

 

I just signed up for “21 Days for Sons” sponsored by “MOB Society – For Moms of Boys, By Moms of Boys”. These two guys need all the help they can get! The challenge begins May 1. You can download the book on Kindle. Just go to Prayer Warriors for more information. I’m looking forward to the challenge!

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Cold Weather, Warm Smiles

I grew up near St. Paul, Minnesota. After 18 years of cold and snow, I headed south where I have been ever since. Now I know that the south is not immune to cold temperatures, however, we have been spoiled this winter with unusually warm weather. This weekend, winter reared it’s ugly head with unusually cold temps.

As we prepared for the Worship Service at our new site, Lee-Scott Academy, temperatures were still in the 30′s. But that didn’t seem to bother our most wonderful volunteers! Armed with warm smiles and gloved hands, they were prepared to greet our guests as if it were in the 60′s. I might also mention that at the same time, volunteers at our Hamilton Road site were also braving the elements to welcome our guests there and show them the way to the coffee pots. I am so thankful every Sunday for the dedication of Cornerstone volunteers, no matter what the weather!

Hopefully next week will be a little warmer. But if not, bring it on! We’re ready!

 

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A Drop in the Bucket (food drop, that is)

There is something coming up at Cornerstone that I am very excited about – FOOD DROP 2012. See the photo above? That is step 1. Come by the church and pick up a cardboard box and a packing list. Fill the box with those items and return it to the church. Step 1 must be completed by January 1.

Step 2 happens on Saturday, January 7. Be at the church at 8:30 am to load up vehicles/trailers with these boxes. Then we will head out to communities identified by the Food Bank of East Alabama to distribute these gifts of food.

I’ve heard of other churches doing things like this but have never really been a part of it. That’s why I can’t wait for January 7! We are hoping to deliver 1,000 of these gifts. That seems like such a big number to me. Seems hard to believe that there could be 1,000 families in the Auburn/Opelika area that can’t afford these basic necessities. But I know the sad truth is that there are many more than 1,000. This is just a drop in the bucket. But every drop counts!

So join me on January 7 in spreading the unconditional love of Jesus Christ to families in our very own community. You don’t have to register. However, if you have a large truck or trailer you’d be willing to share, please let Jonathan Savage know (jonathan@cornerstonebuzz.org). For more information and a packing list, go to Food Drop 2012. See you there!

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Electric in the Air!

    One of our favorite family movies to watch is “Kicking and Screaming” with Will Farrell as a soccer coach. In the above scene in this movie, Farrell is trying to get his youngsters excited about soccer, and one of the boys yells, “Electric in the air!” My kids find that especially funny.

    Well, this afternoon the Guest Services Team leaders of Cornerstone Church had a meeting to discuss our strategy for recruiting volunteers for both our current site and our new site (yet to be determined). This meeting of dedicated servants was led by Jack Fisher, our fearless Administrator. I think I speak for Jack also when I say how excited I was leaving that meeting with a sense of mission and direction these folks want to go. Our meeting truly was “Electric in the air!” We’ve got some stuff in the works you’ll be hearing about in the next few weeks. But please know that it’s not too soon to get involved. Even if you think you may want to serve at the new site, we’d love for you to go ahead and begin serving in that capacity at the current site. So if you want to be a part of this adventure, contact the following people:

    Cafe – Emile Ewing – emile@cornerstonebuzz.org

    Kitchen – Ken Atkins – ken@cornerstonebuzz.org

    Children’s Check-in – Merit Sims – merit@cornerstonebuzz.org

    Greeters and Information Desk – julia@cornerstonebuzz.org

    Parking Lot – Andy Vaughn – andy@cornerstonebuzz.org

    Recovery Team/Ushers – Steffani Bryant – steffani@cornerstonebuzz.org

    And for more information on the above volunteer opportunities, visit Volunteer Opportunities.

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An American in Paris

Two weeks ago I had the amazing opportunity to visit Paris, France, with my husband, Ben, for six days. He was already there with a group of students. So I was traveling there and back by myself to visit him. Now any of my friends and co-workers can tell you that I really don’t like to fly. As I’ve gotten older, my sense of adventure has dwindled. I would rather paddle in a boat across the ocean in a hurricane then fly in an airplane. Facing my fear of flying was the first obstacle to my amazing experience. But thanks to a prescription from the doctor, free wine on international flights and prayers from family and friends, I made it without incident to Charles De Gaulle airport. And there at the baggage claim was Ben waiting to take me on my Parisian vacation.

To get to the apartment where Ben was staying, I had my first ride on the “Metro.” This was a typical underground railroad scenario, similar to those I’ve experienced in other big cities in the U.S. I learned that you had to move really fast on and off the metro – I counted 15 seconds from the time the train stopped to the time it left the station. And I learned that the doors don’t open automatically. If you want off at a station, you must open the door yourself. Luckily, Ben already knew this and showed me how it was done.

Over the course of the next 5 1/2 days, we toured I think every typical tourist thing there is to see and do in the Paris area. We even ventured out of the area to Normandy to see where the D-Day battles happened. Talk about history coming to life! During my European vacation, I made a few observations.

  • Everything is smaller in Paris – washing machines, sinks, roads, cars, dogs, dining areas in restaurants and especially cups of coffee. I was amazed what small confines cars could fit into. And I believe the game for restaurants was to see how many people they could pack into the smallest dining area (and then have the fewest waiters in those areas).
  • Be prepared to hurry up and wait. People seem to rush and rush to get where they are going and do it effectively. But when you get there, the rush is gone. Customer service in restaurants was almost non-existent. Waiters/waitresses would seat you, come back 20 minutes for your order, come back 30 minutes with your food, come back 30 minutes later with the bill, then come back 20 minutes later to settle up. There was no checking back on you to see if your meal was OK. We quickly learned the routines to getting their attention and how to attempt to minimize our wait times.
  • Paris is very American friendly. Honestly, I feel like we could have gotten through our entire stay without saying any French. At every restaurant we went to, the waiters spoke English. And most of the restaurants had separate menus in English that they provided.
  • Parisians are friendly to Americans. I had heard that French people in general were very rude to Americans. So I was expecting the worst. There was only one place where I really experienced a rude Parisian and wouldn’t you know it was a McDonald’s employee.
  • One size fits all. There’s no “having it your way” in Paris. I wanted a BLT at a Subway shop one day. Because it wasn’t one of the 5 or 6 generic sandwiches they made, I was told I couldn’t get one. One night we were at a restaurant and a friend we were with wanted to have fries instead of the vegetable his dish came with. The waiter was quite displeased.
  • Running shorts and shoes are for exercise only. I was warned through a series of “Paris Information Books” I read that Parisians are proud of their fashion. I certainly didn’t see everyone running around with suits and dresses on. However, I believe I was one of the few people around town wearing running shoes. I never saw anyone sporting exercise clothes like I would have worn to any store around Auburn. Jeans and/or khakis along with what I call “retro-Nikes” (looked like what I would have worn in Junior High School) seemed to be the norm. But I had to go for comfort over fashion for this trip and sported my beat-up pair of  Brookes. I didn’t seem to get too many glares.
  • Lunch begins at noon, and dinner begins at 8 pm. It didn’t get dark there until after 11 pm. I kind of enjoyed staying up “late” and sleeping in late.

Probably my favorite part of the trip was being in Paris on Bastille Day, their Independence Day. We witnessed their parade with lots of French military. But the most amazing part was the fireworks show at the Eiffel Tower that night. I don’t know if I’ve seen anything more beautiful. And oddly enough, the entire show was set to American showtunes. I feel lucky to have gotten to see this.

All-in-all it was a fantastic trip. I felt particularly special being able to experience life in Paris like a true Parisian living in a “normal” apartment rather then staying in a hotel. And the entire trip would not have been possible without my wonderful parents who once again stepped up to take care of 4 crazy grandkids so I could go. Thank you Grammy and Bop Bop! And also thank you to my wonderful husband who experienced Paris with me. It was truly memorable!

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Camp Cornerstone takes it to New York City!


Camp Cornerstone is about half-way through, and it’s obvious that the kids are having a blast! The theme is “The Big Apple Adventure: Where Faith and Life Connect.”  There are wonderful New York City decorations complete with an Apollo Theater. One thing is for sure: between the popcorn, cotton candy, volunteer snacks and Brusters Ice Cream, I’ve probably gained 5 pounds. Good thing there is great dancing music to help burn off those calories.

 

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One Church in Many Locations

On Sunday, May 15, Cornerstone Church Senior Pastor, Rusty Hutson, made a very exciting announcement (find podcast here) – Cornerstone Church is going multi-site! What is multi-site? In their book The Multi-Site Church Revolution, Geoff Surratt, Greg Ligon and Warren Bird define a multi-site church as “one church meeting in multiple locations – different rooms on the same campus, different locations in the same region, or in some instances different cities, states, or nations.” Well, Cornerstone Church is now ready to take that next step and become a multi-site church, which for us will mean finding an additional location.

If you want to follow along with the progress of the multi-site plans, check out the “Leadership Blog” page on our website, cornerstonebuzz.org. Every week or so, someone will be updating that blog with what’s going on.

Needless to say, the next few months will be crazy for the entire staff and Executive Team with making important decisions and moving ahead with the plan. Please keep us all in your prayers!

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Happy Anniversary!

18 years ago I said, “I do” to my now husband, Ben. 4 kids, a few national championship titles and a couple moves later, we’re still going strong. Happy Anniversary to you, Ben. I love you!

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Volunteering has its perks!

I just want to say how the Cornerstone family never ceases to amaze me. When I began my latest stint as the Volunteer Coordinator, I was handed a list of volunteers, most of which I didn’t know. Over the course of the last 3 months, I have met and gotten to know the most dedicated, gifted, loving, caring and selfless servants of God. Over and over again they have answered my plea for help on Sunday mornings (and for other church events) whether it is greeting, manning the information desk or whatever else needs to be done. Not only have the “regular” volunteers consistently helped out, but others who have never greeted or made coffee before have stepped up.

The next step in my volunteer coordinator journey is to get the newbies turned into “regulars”. We ask our volunteer teams to take on a rotation where they would serve three months out of the year, one service each Sunday during those months. Most serving opportunities take up approximately 45 minutes of time on a Sunday morning. 45 MINUTES! I know I spend more time than that playing Words with Friends or checking Facebook on a given day. And the beauty of it is that you don’t have to miss your own worship time. Just “Attend One/Serve One”.

And if just the fact that you could make an impact leading people to know and serve Jesus isn’t enough, we have great refreshments just for our volunteers (see the photo above, compliments of Rusty Hutson, for an idea of how we like to bribe our volunteers). We also have fun get-togethers to treat our volunteers to dinner and other fun stuff.

So if you’re interested in growing the kingdom of believers by being the hands and feet of Christ on Sunday mornings, please let me know at julia@cornerstonebuzz.org. To get a complete listing of service opportunities, visit the Serve page of our website. We’ll set you up with your official volunteer nametag and all-you-can-eat-and-drink coffee, juice and snacks. I’ll look forward to serving with you!

 

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What’s in your cupboard?

You can tell a little about our family by the cups in our cupboard. Sadly, this is just a portion of our collection. What’s in your cupboard?

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