It is going on 8pm on Easter evening and I am just now being able to sit down and reflect on a great morning of worship, celebration and transformation here at Gaylord E-Free! Below are my thoughts from this morning:
I am still laughing because I actually found myself on an Easter Egg hunt of sorts this morning during our first service. Yesterday when I was going through my sermon I put a 2.5 foot strip of white gauze on the stage in front of one of the monitors to use as a sermon illustration when I talked about the linen wrappings that Peter and John saw when they went to the tomb. However, when the service started I noticed that my "linen wrappings" were not there any more. As one of the videos played I walked over to our Worship Director and asked him if he knew where it went. He laughed and said that he thought it was toilet paper and couldn't figure out why it was on the stage so he had it thrown away. So while the next worship song was taking place I was digging through the closest trash cans finding my "linen wrappings."
I praise the Lord for the 1100 people that were in attendance between our two services!
I praise the Lord for the many, many adults who made decisions and turned in response cards. I am looking forward to praying for each of them by name this week and to personally making a contact with each person who turned in a response card!
I am thankful for Matt Jenkins and our dedicated children's workers who put on a wonderful children's program during both services this morning with great activities, games and snacks. Matt gave the Gospel and 33 kids trusted Jesus as their savior this morning! My hat is really off to Matt as he was pretty sick this morning but still persevered through both services.
I am so thankful for Joshua Rupp and all of our musicians, vocalists and technicians. The music today was fabulous! Everyone loved the I-PAD band that started our service (seen in the 1st picture above). And I am still amazed at the way Paige Wolford played that fiddle and Sherri Irish played her flute (and it was all memorized to boot!)! What a great morning of worship!
I am so thankful for our creative team. What a great job they did on the set. It looked so awesome with all of the colored panels (seen in the first picture above) and spinning paper lanterns (even though 3 of those lanterns "bit the dust" during the first service). I wish you could have been on stage with me and seen the looks on the faces of those in the auditorium as those panels suddenly changed to bright orange and spelled out the word B-E-L-I-E-V-E-! (seen in the 2nd picture above). You could even hear audible gasps of astonishment when it happened! How cool!
I am thankful for our Deaconess Team that provided the refreshments this morning and for those who oversaw the coffee connect area.
I am so thankful for those who were inside and outside looking through things to help establish our theme of "Seeing Easter"!
I am so thankful for our nursery workers who faithfully served our littlest ones both services!
I am so thankful for Pastor Joe and our first impressions teams that worked hard both services to make sure our guests had a great experience.
I am so thankful for our Trustee Team and our custodians that took care of making sure our facility was ready for our big day and who cleaned the restrooms in between our services.
I am so thankful for the ladies who work in our office who did so much behind the scenes to prepare for this celebration.
I am so thankful for our Media and Marketing Team who did an outstanding job on our Easter Invite Cards, bulletins and the newspaper ads.
Most of all, I am thankful to our risen Savior! What a thrill it was to be part of worshipping Him this Easter morning here at Gaylord E-Free! Now let's celebrate with the angels and saints in heaven for the spiritual victories won today because of the empty tomb! I am so thankful that the celebration doesn't end because Easter ends. Remember, Jesus did not come out of the tomb to give us a great day. He conquered death to give us a great life and a great eternity!