My weekend started Friday night with a really fun birthday bash for Bret Gowens – who is now in his fifth decade of life since climbing past the 4-0 mark, at least ceremonially. Any guy whose kids can mock him (the skit was hilarious) in an adoring way and whose wife can publicly and honestly say, “not only do I love you, but I really like you” is a blessed guy.
I’ve actually known Bret since he was 14, through several hair and non-hair styles, and I very much enjoy working with him day in and out now. I like him, too. Not to mention that back in the 80’s he rescued me from a potentially embarrassing moment when I had a wardrobe malfunction at a local water park while clowning around with our youth group. I still owe the guy. Photos later in this post – not of the wardrobe malfunction but of the Friday night party.
Saturday morning I arrived at my office a little before 8:00 to find a line already forming outside the front door in anticipation of Santa’s Exchange – which is a wonderful service event headed up by our own Scott Finley. Scott coordinates volunteers from our community (all area high schools, Sugar Land Rotary Club, Ft. Bend Exchange Club and Sugar Land Exchange Club) to the tune of approximately 1,000 volunteers for the day.
About 1200 families, 3500 kids total, come to our church building to receive a little Christmas kindness. Things were still hopping around the building when I left around 2:00 P.M. Several FCCC members, younger and older, were around to help and I’ll have some photos at the bottom of this post.
This morning of course was “church” and that’s
always usually a pleasure and today was no exception. Noteworthy was the Children’s Chorus in the second service – they were an absolute riot to watch and a reminder that there are few things more heartwarming than child-like faith.
Following church, we hosted our First Family for a Christmas Lunch. It was fantastic if I do say so myself. TLMN was superb. Everybody contributes but I must highlight Linda Haire’s mashed potatoes – the absolute best in the history of the world. And also Ginny Johnson’s chocolate oatmeal cookies which she makes especially for me (at least that’s what she tells me).
And then this afternoon I was again honored to be a part of the Service of Remembrance at our church. I’ve been there virtually every year and it’s just one of those “tender” moments that Virgil Fry helps us create. I reflect on a lot of people who have influenced my life for good who are now in heaven – starting with my Dad. But, as I mentioned at the service, one of the reasons why I’m looking forward to heaven is that the older I get, the more people I know personally who are already there.
Why don’t you have a little service of remembrance on your own and give thanks for the role models of faith and love who have inspired your life? And for the people who now cheer you on as you run your race.
Here are some photos from the weekend.