What's hockey got to do with it?

At the Thursday practice for Easter at Wells Fargo Arena, a guy walked in and sat along the boards... I could tell he was a hockey player because it looked like he had climbed over the boards a time or two in his life. The fact that there was a game there the next night also helped. He sat silently through most of the rehearsal and Pastor Mike's sermon run through. I thought to myself... hey, a chance to invite someone. His name was J.J. Hunter. He was from Manitoba eh... A true Canadian hockey player... He asked if there was a service that night and i said that it was just a run through for Easter. But I mentioned that we had a service back at Hope that night for young adults, gave him my card, offered to give him a ride if needed and left it at that.

The fact that he called was cool! I get to hang with a hockey player! Now you need to know that I don't skate, and the boards for me are the only thing keeping me from falling down even more, but I am a fan! So we talked a bit of hockey and I told him a bit about Immersion. Then he started to drop some BIG questions, with BIG words... My whole world shattered and he went from being a hockey player to a scholar in matter of mere seconds. Now I am no slouch, but I know when I am outgunned... This was a job for a real superhero... Pastor Richard!

I introduced the two and they sat for hours after Immersion going back and forth like I always imagined C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien might have in the good old days. it was on that level. Richard was in his element, J.J was soaking it up and I felt like a spectator at a tennis match! It was unreal!

When God looks at us, what do you suppose he sees? Hockey player? Pastor? Guitar player? Claims adjuster? College Student? Those are merely the feeble attempt at identity that we place on ourselves. God sees us as HIS! I saw a Hockey player... and I almost missed a child of God... Praise God for that late night in the Chapel. Look him up sometime. He is with the Manitoba Moose...



On my HEART...

It's been a "heart week" for me. Do you ever have those? A week when it seems like each day there's something which pierces your heart, burdens your heart, lifts your heart or, simply, grips your heart?

Piercing my heart
How could your heart not be pierced by the events at Virginia Tech this week. What a tragic end to so many lives. What a tragic story of a hatred and evil. A tragic story of desperation.

When I think of the families and friends who are grieving now, my eyes well with tears. I can't even imagine the pain they are going through. And I know if I'm feeling this way, God's heart must feel pierced beyond belief.

He said that in the last days grievous times will come (2 Tim. 3:1). Sin results in death and pain and grief. This tragedy at V.T. doesn't come as a shock to Him. He knows what sin's outcome can look like.

But, it does rip His heart out. He never intended for evil to be part of our world. He hates it and he weeps over His lost and broken children.

Burdening my heart
We found out this week that my dad has a heart aneurysm. The news came as a shock. And it stirred up familiar feelings from nearly 17 years ago.

Back in 1990, my dad had open-heart surgery to replace a faulty aortic valve. Now it appears his aortic artery has a weakened area which requires surgery to repair it before it ruptures.

I'm amazed at my dad's faith through all of this. We're planning a trip down to the International House of Prayer next weekend where he'll have the opportunity to be prayed for by those anointed in healing prayer. In the meantime, we're making plans for the surgery. As my dad simply stated, "God is going to heal me one way or another. Either He'll heal me through prayer or He'll heal me through medicine."

As his oldest daughter, it's hard not to worry. It's hard not to take carry that weight of uncertainty. It's hard not to wonder how my parents will pay for the surgery or what would happen to our family if anything happened to Dad.

So, my heart has been burdened. And I've been trying to remember Jesus' words about trading our heavy burden for His light one. And I'm clinging to 1 Peter 5:7 which commands me to "cast your anxiety upon Him, because He cares for you."

Lifting my heart
In the midst of the piercing and burdening, God has been good to give me some heart lifts. Those laughter-filled evening with friends, a pizza party with the whole family, refreshing conversations with some amazing women, compliments from my husband and smothers of hugs and kisses from the kids.

God knows I needed those boosts. I'm thankful that this week I've had the eyes to see the lifting moments around me. Sometimes I don't. Sometimes I miss them. Sometimes I get too wrapped up in the tough stuff around me that I miss the kisses from heaven.

What about you? What kind of week have you had? One with pierces or burdens? One with lifts? What's gripping your heart?

I'd love to know.

Blessings - Christine

Immersion Staff UPDATE: 04.09.07

Yes yes. Happy Easter everyone. Jesus got up. Hallelujah.

Haven't talked to you all in quite some time, sorry for that. Immersion is going through an amazing and fun and exciting bunch of changes. I'm excited to reveal these to you all in the weeks ahead (7:37.) What do you think? Are you in the mood for some changes? We are... (7:37)

We start a new sermon series this week - The Office. It's based off of the TV show on NBC with the same name and it will be a look into the Christian's life in the workplace. I' m a little nervous about it, as this is the first series that I've planned entirely on my own. We'll use biblical truths merged with clips from the show to, hopefully, give us a better understanding of how we bring our relationship with God into the workplace... Wherever that may be.

Anyhow... Good to connect with you. Hope to see you Thursday for the big night (7:37)