Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Why I Will Be At The Missions Conference This Coming Week

The question has been asked, "If your church closed its doors and disappeared today, who would notice?" I believe the 14 missionaries along the back wall of our church represent hundreds, if not thousands, of people who would notice if Vine Fellowship closed its doors today. The vision of Vine Fellowship is to connect people to God, other Christians and the world. One way we focus on reaching the world is through our support of world missions. Through these missionaries we preach the love of Jesus, help feed hungry children, send students to school, teach people how to grow their own food, raise up and train indigenous pastors, plant churches, and train more missionaries to go out and do the same. We believe in and support world missions.

Our vision statement...connecting to God, other Christians and the world, is not just text to put over a pretty graphic on the front of the bulletin. Our vision statement defines who we are as a church and guides where we invest our time and finances. I hope that our vision becomes a part of the DNA of our church body and our church members.

Our annual missions conference is just a few weeks away. I hope that world missions is a part of who are as a member of The Vine Fellowship and that you are as excited as I am. As we spend these four days together (March 27-30) focusing on connecting to the world, we can all be involved and play a vital role. Not only do we Faith Promise financial support for our missionaries during our conference, but we also hear from our missionaries and allow God to speak to us about the role He wants us to play in these ministries. But another big role we fill is loving and supporting our missionaries. Our attendance at the gatherings shows our missionaries the heart of Vine Fellowship and says to them, "Keep doing what you are doing. You are important to us and we will partner with you in this work." Our missions conference is always an exciting time, and I hope to see you there!

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Spring Break 2011

Today is Saturday...either the last day of Spring Break or the day after depending on how you look at it. This year's Spring Break was different. Spring Break camping has become the official vacation of the Hurt household for the past five years, but because of the way some things worked out this year, we were not able to go camping. Brooke's new job required her to work and I took some vacation time so Amanda would not be home alone. While we would still have preferred to go camping, we still had fun and made some memories this week.

Amanda and I planned to go for a bike ride, but the weather was cool and windy. Instead we headed downtown to the big library, found some good books to read, sat and read for a little while, grabbed a Coke at Sonic and came home. Not too exciting, but better than being at work and at school!

The weather was a little more cooperative for bike riding. Amanda and I loaded up our bikes and drove to Craven's Park. We got the bikes out and hopped onto the bike trail. Craven's Park has a paved walking/biking trail that goes from Matlock heading east all the way past Great Southwest Parkway. We rode to Hwy. 360 and turned around because 5.5 miles was about enough biking for Amanda. As we were headed back, we met two girls who were also riding to the park. They began following us and obviously wanted some company, so we all talked while we rode. When we arrived back at the park, we passed a geocache that I had done before. We stopped so Amanda could find and sign the cache and we introduced our two new friends to the hobby of geocaching. When our ride was over, Brooke called to say she was picking up Ryanne to spend the night. The girls set up the tent in the back yard and spent the night "camping".

Girls we met while biking at at Craven's Park.
The geocache is hidden in the stick the first girl is holding.

Amanda and Ryanne setting up the tent in the back yard

Wednesday morning was strawberry muffins for breakfast and then a trip to Bass Pro Shop. Nope, didn't buy anything, just took the Amanda and Ryanne to have something to do. The girls watched the bass being fed, got on and checked out almost every boat at the store and even practiced some putting in the golf area. Afterwards we stopped by McDonalds for lunch on the way home. The girls played outside some more, sang with Ryanne's karaoke machine and then went to church.

Amanda and Ryanne at Bass Pro Shop

Amanda and Ryanne on one of the many boats they "tried out"

One last picture before leaving

Thursday wasn't so exciting. We were supposed to get our new copier at church this coming Monday, but since the old one broke, they rescheduled delivery of the new one for Thursday. Since I am the guy who will connect our computers to the new copier, I wanted to be there to learn how to do this. I was also trying to get an explanation of a security bid so I could pass that along to the Advisory Team for their meeting Thursday night. At 4pm, my Dad stopped by to help me put up a book shelf he built for Amanda. As you can see from the picture below, when Dad builds a bookshelf, it's a NICE bookshelf. My day was already going "great", but it got even better when I tried to carry the bookshelf in from the garage and dropped it! The glue and staples did not hold, so it broke into 4 parts. Fortunately it was not damaged so Dad and I used screws to put it back together and got it hung.

Amanda has been asking all week about going to a museum, so we went online to see what we could find. We stumbled upon the Crow Collection of Asian Art. Although this seemed as exciting to me as poking myself in the eye with a fork, it excited Amanda and so we made plans to go. Brooke heard us making plans before she left for work, and when she got to work she was miserable. Not only had we missed camping this week, but Brooke had not been able to do anything with the family. Next thing we knew, Brooke was home telling us she had gotten the day off. Amanda and I cheered, we all got ready and headed to downtown Dallas to visit the museum. After touring the museum, we were hungry and looked for a place to eat. At my suggestion, we stopped at TGI Fridays which was not such a great experience as the food was expensive and not so good. After that, we headed for what used to be West End Marketplace. Brooke and I had many memories of visiting this huge building with friends back in our CFNI days and were disappointed to find out that it had closed down (who knows how many years ago!). We then went searching for the tunnels under downtown Dallas. I had great hopes of visiting some unique shops and having a family tunnel adventure, but real life didn't work out that way. There seems to be more than one tunnel system and they are not interconnected. At least we got some exercise walking around downtown and we got to take some pictures at "The Fountains" which also had many fond memories for Brooke and me. We headed back to the car, stopped at Sonic during Happy Hour and returned home. Friday evening we fixed dinner and watch Dirty Rotten Scoundrels. It was Amanda's first time to see the movie and we all enjoyed it.

At The Fountains

So Spring Break was different this year. Hopefully we can return to camping next year, but as long as you have family, anything can be fun!