Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Exhale and Give Thanks.

The rhythm of college ministry allows for a deep exhale at the end of every semester. Here are some reflections on last semester.

First, a snapshot of the last Salt Company of 2011:

There's always the big picture of what happened...

- The largest attendance at Salt Company last year was around 170. The lowest attendance at Salt Company this year was around 170. 

- 21 people were baptized in 2011. 

- 98 people became members of Veritas

- We are at about 109% of our budget... which we thought was aggressive when we planned it last year. 2012 will be an even bigger step of faith... and our people are ENERGIZED. I love what one of our elders said, "This is not a financial decision, but a spiritual one." It led to a sweet time of prayer and fasting for the year to come. 

- The largest Veritas service last year was 255; the largest this year was 365. 

Here's a picture of our service from Sunday in the Coralville Convention Center (we got bumped to this "airport terminal" from our much warmer ball room)

I'm not going to end this blog with the conventional pastor riff that "numbers don't matter." Not when those numbers represent...

People becoming followers of Jesus.
Prisoners (not metaphorically speaking) getting set free and becoming part of a community.
Learning how to pray while studying through Luke's gospel.
Relationships being reconciled.
Children growing in faith and love.
People responding in love when they are told by their employer that they are not allowed to take people to church or tell them about Jesus (strategic ambiguity here...)
And de-churched people realizing that just maybe the church is the hope of the world after all (an email Jeff and I received from a dad in our church)...

"I just wanted to send you a quick not of encouragement about the good ways God is using Veritas. Every year since [our kids] were little, we've had a tradition that when we are having Thanksgiving dinner we go around the table and everybody talks about something that has occurred in the last year that they are thankful for. This year all five (added one this year) of them included Veritas as one of the things that happened in their lives that they're thankful for... I told them about what a thrill it is for their mother and I to watch them individually pursue their relationship with Jesus... [We] are also thankful for the work of Veritas. A year ago I was pretty much of a mindset that I was completely ok with the notion that we may never attend another church service, but God has used Veritas to show me that corporate worship can still be genuine and meaningful, and that church community still has purpose..."

The kingdom of God is among us- and it is marvelous in our eyes!

Monday, December 5, 2011

Adoleo Back in Action

Adoleo was back in the "studio" (thanks Boatmans) Friday night. Here's a little video from our recording session for the acoustic album, which will be out sometime this winter...

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Filling the Earth

We enjoyed number five so much...

Using screw driver for dinner utensils,
 Trying on shoes,
 Covered in peanut butter,
Using iPhone cords as repelling devices,
 Putting that green paper where it belongs,
 Fixing some plumbing,
Helping with laundry,
 Snack time,
 Oops. I think the wrong kid is crying,
 With UV rays these days, you can never be careful enough out in the sun,
 Sampling the best part of banana bars,

As I was saying, we're enjoying number five so much we thought we'd go for number six. '01-'03-'05-'07-'09...another Arant child coming in the Spring 2012.

The best part of expecting #6 so far have been the comments. People have gone from excitement back in 2001 to compassion and concern in 2012...

"Wow. How many do you think you'll have?"
"You know what causes that, right?"(I've lost count of how many times this has been said)
"At least I don't have to take care of it"
"Are you sure?"
"If you're happy, I'm happy"

Those are just a few of the responses. Most have been very encouraging, especially...

"Don't you see that children are God's best gift? the fruit of the womb his generous legacy? Like a warrior's fistful of arrow are the children of a vigorous youth. Oh, how blessed are you parents, with your quivers full of children! Your enemies don't stand a chance against you; you'll sweep them right off your doorstep." - Psalm 127:3-5 (from the Message)

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Adoleo Worship Night

Last Friday around 500 people packed into the Englert theater for a night of worship. 

The Anthem band kicked it off (their main event will be on November 11th at Cornerstone in Ames), then Adoleo played the rest of the night. 

Some highlights included Voices of Soul gospel choir that joined us for an epic set of worship and Ally leading "Savior", which included crowd participation in a video project. 

I was sitting around thinking about how to include the crowd in the song. So I pulled 15 volunteers from the crowd with iPhones, and asked them to film the experience. I let four of them up on stage to get closer shots. We'll see at the beginning of November (the video deadline) whether or not that was a good idea. Here's a shot at the end of "Savior"...

I'm so proud of the Adoleo team, who has spent countless hours writing, recording, producing, worshiping, and praying- this was one of those late Monday night rehearsals at an empty coffee shop...

It's easier to use someone else's music that's tried and true, and there are good reasons most churches do that. But there's also something about giving our people their own voice with original music written by people in the church. It ignites latent creative juices, and energizes the people of God when they see writers using their gifts to encourage the body of Christ.

At the end of the day, most of the songs will not get beyond our church walls (if we had them), but the offering is not for man, but God.

Thus the name, Adoleo. ("I offer a sacrifice of worship")


It was a privilege to baptize my two friends, Grant and Joe. They just started attending Salt Company last year (chasing some girls) and I asked them if they would be interested in studying the Bible over the summer. Within a few months, both made decisions to follow Jesus.

Here are their stories, along with a few others dunked in obedience to Christ...

Grant had never been to church, and Joe grew up in church. Both had different paths to understanding their need for Jesus, but ended up getting dunked in the same pool.

Mike! What a cool story! He's been working in the prison system for the last 25+ years. He took me on a tour of the women's prison in Mitchelville and Oakdale, a men's prison in Coralville. Both were eye opening. I thank God for a new ambassador in that arena...
Baptisms - Oct 16th 2011 from Veritas Church on Vimeo.

Again we say with boldness, "To God Alone Be Glory!"

Monday, October 17, 2011

It is happening.

The kingdom of God is coming on earth (Iowa City) as it is in heaven. The lost are found.

This is a video we showed Friday night at the Adoleo concert. More on that soon.

Raquel was baptized on Sunday with 4 others. This video is well worth 10 minutes of your life...

This is my God story - Raquel from Veritas Church on Vimeo.


Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Fall Retreat 2011 Recap

As I've stepped out of the TSC realm, this was a different retreat for me- more observer than participant.  One of the highlights was the time spent with an old friend and spiritual mentor, Ed Noble.  

I was excited for our students to be led by a guy who has a deep connection with Jesus. So often our faith is something we do, not someone we love. Ed has a way of getting people from words on a page to the person Himself...
 Retreats provide not just a context for more sermons and worship, but relationships...
 The guy worshiping with his hands up in the back row is a new Chinese believer.
 Saturday ended with letting go of our idols. We wrote them on these mini hot air balloons and launched them off into the night sky. Saying "adios" to idols is freeing.
 Nathan Gartin is deep in prayer... Dude cracks me up.
It was a wild weekend. Ed's flight to Cedar Rapids got cancelled Friday, along with every other flights within a 6 hour radius of Iowa. Against all odds, he managed to get here in time to speak at 10:30pm on Friday night! After getting up early on Sunday, I drove back to lead worship, Ed spoke at the retreat then sped over to Veritas where he gave sermon #5. Thune closed out the retreat then got back in time for lunch in Iowa City. We were wasted but enjoyed a last meal together with our families...
This retreat was a huge win for our ministry. Our students connected with Jesus and each other. People got saved, everyone made some new friends. We got some group identity.

Once again, this church planting adventure is marked by the words, "Great is Thy faithfulness!"


Wednesday, September 28, 2011

How I save 20 days of my life every year

Like a resourceful, diligent mom filing through her coupons and saving the family hundreds of dollars, every October I go to work, having saved some 20+ days of my life.

I'm a sports fan. And yet I realize how fleeting the whole enterprise is- that it will never be more than the candy section of life. However, as every kid knows, we all need candy.

And my theory with sports is the same as with music: given enough time listening to any genre, you can learn to not only appreciate it, but enjoy it. NASCAR is currently on the brink of ruining my theory, but my recent breakthroughs in enjoying golf have given me hope that in time, I will enter the appreciation stage of the left-turn only "sport." And my friend Jeff Thune's recent confession about his love for country music has also confirmed my theory.

Baseball is one of those sports I have come to enjoy. This is a real problem for anyone who's not retired. 

Each team plays 162 games, each lasting around three hours, spanning half the year. Assuming you don't follow any of spring training, watch any highlights or pre-game hype- that's 486 hours, or 20 days and 6 hours. Who has that kind of time on their hands? 

So here's where dad-couponing comes in.

It's simple but revolutionary (not to mention wise): I start watching baseball in October. 

I pick up my remote control in October, feeling great about the 20 days of my life that I just saved. That month saved because I didn't watch a single out of baseball easily justifies the hours of playoffs and World Series which I'm about to indulge in.

And this is where dad couponing can go to the whole next level...


You can consolidate 3 hours of baseball into about 15 minutes- or less. As I've said, if you're playing baseball it's 99% boredom and 1% sheer terror. (Especially in Right, where they put me.) But watching the sport is entirely different- it's 99% relaxation/therapy and 1% adrenaline rush.  

As every frugal mother who's trying to stretch her budget knows, the DVR time savings totally justifies the money her husband spends on satellite TV. 

So I'm just now getting caught up on some of the baseball story lines... pennant races, possible comebacks, epic meltdowns and one game playoffs.

October, here we come.


Here's a little video for you. The latest from Jeff Thune. I wonder how he does it... pastor, preacher, and rap artist. Sabino, you out there? This one might be better than yours from last year...

Last night we just passed the 100 mark for people going on our fall retreat! Today we are waiting for God and praying for Him to show up on our behalf this weekend. Please pray with us, for the students to encounter God. For this to be a break through weekend. Pray for Ed, our speaker. He'll also be preaching at Veritas on Sunday morning.

N to the O to the B to the L to the E...

N. O. B. L. E. from Veritas Church on Vimeo.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

"Waiting for You" on youtube

Given this article (props challies for vine), I thought I should re-post it via youtube. Don't hesitate to subscribe to Adoleo music

Monday, September 26, 2011

Adoleo's "Waiting For You" Music Video

Thanks to Gabe and Elena Noll (and many of our friends back at TSC in Ames) for their work on Adoleo's new music video, "Waiting for You." Well done.

The end of this video left me sitting in silence, speechless. That's the appropriate visual conclusion to the whole business of waiting for God. Anyone who has ever waited on God has experienced this sort of suspense, tension, and letting go that the video captures so well.

"I wait for the LORD, my soul waits, and in His word I put my hope." - Psalm 130:5

Adoleo - Waiting for You from Veritas Church on Vimeo.


Wednesday, September 14, 2011

My friend, Dusty.

Last night at Salt Company, I spoke on the life of Josiah- "a dude completely set up with every ingredient in life for a batch of disaster and ruin."

I use quotation marks because those are the exact words Joe Kuphal used to describe his "brother"- Dusty White. (Joe on left, Dusty on right)

I'm re-telling this story that I told last night, because I think there are people that need to hear those words again, "There is hope for you. If you will lay hold of Him with all your heart, Jesus Christ will change everything."

Dusty grew up in Omaha with his grandparents, and occasionally a drunk, abusive father and strung out uncle. By God's good providence, only a small open lot separated Dusty from the Kuphal family.

"He took shelter at our house many times... I remember he spent the night at our house after his drunk father threw a brick at him," Joe told me in a text conversation yesterday.

I asked Dusty for a picture of himself when he was little. His response, "That's assuming anyone took pictures of me when I was little."

It was not the broken voice of a victim who spoke those words. It was the grace-filled chuckle of a confident man.

Dusty was basically adopted by the Kuphal family, where he was constantly confronted with the good news about Jesus, not just in words, but action. Dusty's house was a war zone, the Kuphal home a refuge.

When Dusty was in sixth grade, the Kuphals moved to Indiana. Sally, the Kuphal matriarch, pulled Jeff Thune aside and said, "Make sure Dusty gets to church every week."

"He just kept coming," Dusty said with tears.

During those teen years, surrounded by his church family, Dusty continued to put his stake in the ground for Christ. As a senior, I drove the scrawny freshman to school in my old Accord, rocking out to Keith Green on the way to Burke High. Poised to change the world, our mustard seed faith and love for Jesus propelled us into that school with good news.

Fast forward to today.

Dusty is a pastor on staff at a church in Omaha (Coram Deo). He married (way up!) to Jaci, and they have 4 beautiful kids.

A couple years ago, he told me how his dad was taking advantage of his grandparents. Dusty manned up on his own dad and kicked him out of the house, making him homeless. Every so often, he would take his dad his mail.

"How do you know where to find him?" I asked.
Dusty simply replied, "I know where he parks."

Dusty is a modern day Josiah- a reminder that every person has access to newness of life. When Jesus Christ comes into a person, He changes everything.

He exhorted me to "Preach it! Tell them college kids to get a vision for their life, to shrug off all the dang excuses, and get busy living for the kingdom!"

"Dusty, a dude completely set up with every ingredient in life for a batch of disaster and ruin..." Joe said, ending his text with the simple triumphant proclamation...

"...God wins."

To the praise of his glorious grace!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Veritas One Year Birthday

From our perspective, we just turned one. From God's perspective, we're much older (Isaiah 25:1). There's so much to say, and all the blog space on the internet would not be enough to tell about it. For now, I'll let this video say it for me.

We showed this video on Sunday (except James played the song live with the video behind him). It will never capture all that God has done, but it is a taste of it. This new song "I can't help but love you" is one that James recently wrote. You'll have to wait for the next Adoleo album to download it- which may not be long... December acoustic EP??

If this happened in just one year, what does God have in store in the days to come?

One Year Anniversary of Veritas Church from Veritas Church on Vimeo.

To celebrate our one year birthday on the 10th anniversary of 9/11 was beautiful irony. As evil men tear down with destructive religion, God is building his kingdom through love and grace. May that message be powerfully proclaimed through his Church.

Jesus is the hope of the world.


Thursday, September 1, 2011

More evidence of the empty tomb

Martin, I'm so proud of the path you're on! I will never forget that Monday morning prayer meeting- you were about 5 hours old in the faith. And to think... about a year later you would stand up and say "yes" to stepping out in faith to plant the church in Iowa City. Your life speaks to the fact that Jesus is alive...

This is my God story - Martin from Veritas Church on Vimeo.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Congrats Jason Munday...

... on being featured today on youtube!

The indirect connection to Adoleo: Jason's link to Ryan Seiler's youtube channel, Seiler's link to Adoleo's youtube

It's a jungle out there in cyberspace!


On The Rise: Jason Munday

The votes are in, and you've chosen singer, songwriter and producer Jason Munday as August's On The Rise winner! Jason was one-third of YouTube faves Ministry of Magic and a self-described "nerdy musician."

Saturday, August 27, 2011

"This Hope" music video

Here's the first Adoleo music video. It was fun filming this in such a beautiful setting that encourages reflection on God's purposes. Nature has a way of displaying the glory of God.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Veritas and TSC Fall Kickoffs

Year two is underway! Here are some snapshots of what God is doing in our midst. In chronological order...

Veritas staff retreat.

Veritas service on Sunday.

Our study of Judges this month is stretching the limits of our teaching ability. This book is dark, yet its darkness points to the light of the gospel.

The nature of ministry in a transient town like Iowa City is saying good bye to people you come to love in a short time. Nathan rolled in to town the same time we did last fall, not knowing anything about Veritas. He ended up playing a critical role in planting the church, as he led one of our connection groups and became a friend and mentor to so many. He will be greatly missed.

This is our weekly reminder that we are not as strong as we think we are... Monday morning prayer at 7 am. "Prayer is that slender nerve that moves the muscle of omnipotence" - Martin Tupper

Last night before TSC started in our new venue, the Englert Theater

Jeff preaches to the audience of 202. The big difference between locations from this year and last is that in the bar we only had room to shrink. It was packed from the beginning. This year, there's room to grow! 300 more seats on floor and balcony

The Adoleo CDs came in this morning!!!! The website is up with the latest information. You can also find all the chord charts available for free under the "store" tab... www.adoleomusic.com

Psalm 40:5 is the only possible way to end this blog entry...

"Many O LORD, my God are the wonders you have done. The things you planned for us no one can recount to you. Were I to speak and tell of them they would be too many to declare."


Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Adoleo... Released TODAY!

I don't usually resort to all CAPS (and exclamation point!). But I will today...

I'm proud to announce the release of Adoleo's first album, "This Hope."
Here's where you can purchase it:

Amazon (Click here) You can get the digital copy for $7.99
Itunes: $9.99
Kunaki (Click here) Order your hard copy for $10

We will also have them available tonight at Salt Company in Iowa City (Englert Theater, 8pm) or at Veritas on Sunday.

They will also be available on Thursday in Ames at the (free) Anthem/Phil Wickham concert, or at the Cornerstone Resource Center.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

A Prayer (for the great grandchildren)

The timing of capturing Grandma Marge's prayer could not have been better as I was preparing to teach on Judges 1-2 at Veritas. Judges 2:10 is probably the saddest verse in the Bible... what is worse than the next generation missing God? I used this video as an example for what we hope to be about as a church. There are over 30,000 young people about to converge on Iowa City this week...

God, help us to make it difficult for them to escape your mercy. Give us this kind of passion to pass on authentic faith to all who are to come.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Adoleo... it's coming!

Our first album is finished and set to release August 23rd. Here's a sampler...

Thanks, Boatman's, for the use of your pasture for the video and photo shoot. The video to "This Hope" should be out in two weeks.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

The Plague, Cousins, Advice

We had the plague hit our house a couple weeks ago. If you were to walk onto our back porch, you would be instantly attacked by these little specks you can see on the tape...
They almost completely covered our kids, looking like mud moving up their bodies, biting and embedding themselves in the skin. It was terrible. Under a magnifying glass they looked like baby ticks. But our doctor sent them in and an entomologist at Iowa State concluded that they were bird mites.

Lesson: Never let a bird's nest anywhere on or around your house.

After spraying and getting rid of the nest, the plague cleared right before we welcomed family visiting from the other side of the globe. First time together in 2 years!

The cousins loved meeting each other for the first time...

Makai wears his baseball glove at all times. It comes in handy for such a time as this...

The garden is ripe...
Our connection group went to help out a family in our group clean up from the wind storm that swept across central Iowa and hit their town with 130+ mph WINDS. It looked like a tornado hit Vinton...

What would a blog post be without evidence of kids sabotaging a perfectly good batch of banana bars? Imagine me looking down to see this and then yelling, "JETT??!!!!!!" We then go on to play out the scene from Genesis 3:9-12...
Who knows how long this headless star wars figure has been riding with us? Good thing we didn't rear end anyone. He would've been dead...
I mentioned before the challenge of where to find Rob Bell's new book at Barnes&Noble, but the truly formidable task was finding a home for it on my book shelf. I think I'm happy with my decision...
...Lodged between Idiot's Guide to World Religions and Jesus Under Fire. And yet not too far from church history, as a reminder of the nugget of wisdom my friend David Churchill bequeathed upon me the summer of '98...

"When I was a teenager, I never listened to anyone over 30. Now that I'm over 30, I don't listen to anyone under 300."

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

"July"...Just what I've been waiting for!

I'm so stoked for the release of the official music video for "July." The song and video capture the pathos of summer. We all have our "Brookside Parks", places where we enjoy the goodness of God as we gather with friends and share life in God's good creation. The video is also a good companion to the chapter on "Hope" from Mere Christianity. These moments are a glimpse of what is yet to come.

It's great to see old friends, too. Ahh Travis and Wendy, Savannah is such a cutie! We miss Ames.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

What I'm Reading and Watching

First of all, I'm trying to do more of the former and less of the latter... so I'm going to try to make this post sound like I'm doing a LOT of reading and very little TV watching- hardly any. Here's my best shot at it...

"The Online Looking Glass": Ross Douthat is my favorite editorialist. This article is prophetic, and something I have to think about all the time. Why do we feel the need to blog, post our thoughts and pictures online for the world to see? It can lead to the dark place of narcissism.

"Miami Heat Needs to Work on Their People Skills": I'm one of the "billions" that enjoyed watching the Heat lose Sunday night. But why? Mike Lopresti has a good take.

"The Reason for God": This is one of those books that I'm ashamed I haven't read yet. Speaking of prophetic, there's a reason God has put his favor all over Tim Keller's writings and ministry. He's worth hearing.

Team of Rivals: I'll be reading this book for awhile...

"Mere Christianity": This won't be the last time I talk about reading and (currently) listening to this book by C.S. Lewis. Next to the Bible, this is my most frequented book. Writing about it is my way of prodding you to take and read, not throwing out the excuse "I read it once back in college."

"Revelation: God Wins" (itunes podcast or website): Speaking of what I'm listening to... My partner's bro, Bob Thune Jr., just finished rocking this series on Revelation. People ask about my view on Revelation and end times... Bob articulates them in his journey through Revelation with his church, Coram Deo. Revelation is cyclical, allegorical, and as much about the past (the cross) as the future. As GK Chesterton said, "And though St. John saw many strange monsters in his vision, he saw no creature so wild as one of his own commentators." God won, and he will win. God wins. We were going to teach through this at Veritas this fall, but I think we're headed for Luke's two books this fall and spring...

Samuel and the Epistles: I'm reading the ESV in a year. I'm not loving the ESV, mostly because it doesn't follow the most natural lingual paths. On the other hand, it's more literal translation colors in certain parts of the text. For example, this morning in Colossians 2:18 the ESV uses "asceticism" where the NIV uses "false humility." An argument could be made for either word choice, but I hadn't heard "asceticism" used before in that passage and it seemed to help me understand what Paul was conveying. Next year I think I'm going to give the Holman translation a shot.

Joshua 6 and related commentaries: I'm preaching on the fall of Jericho this week at Veritas. Last week Jeff took one for the team, taking on the issue of circumcision in Joshua 5.

Now to the candy section of life- what I've been watching:

I just subscribed to FreddeGredde's youtube channel thanks to Todd Wallace's twitter post.

Sarah Palin's explanation of Paul Revere. That's just plain sad; enough to end someone's political career.

I recorded the Republican debate last night but I'm not sure if I'll get around to watching it. I'm a little jaded when it comes to politics right now, but I know I should be informed and prayerful for our leaders and country.

Truth be told, the reason for less tv watching is seasonal. NBA finals are over, who cares about baseball until late September?, and we have a 3 month lull until kickoff of college/NFL football.

For now, I'll get back to pretending I like to read more than watch tv...

Monday, June 13, 2011


It's official.

The new name for the former "Anthem Iowa City" band is "Adoleo", Latin for "I worship"

"Adoleo" reflects our desire to produce worship music that's connected to and flows out of our local church here in Iowa City. We use Latin phrases as a reminder that we are joining the Ancients in our pursuit of truth (Veritas) and writing music (Adoleo) that rightly glorifies God. As Bach said, "Music's only purpose should be the glory of God and the recreation of the human spirit." (click here for Bach article)

Names are important not only because they are a statement of who you are, but who you are becoming. We are so prone to pride and the pursuit of fame and fortune- it's in us. And yet, it seems that we are joining a growing movement of song writers in the church (not just our church, but globally) who believe there has to be another way of making music that exalts Christ, not people. It's got to be about something bigger than fame and fortune... something that will far outlast this life, namely Jesus and his Church. Therefore "Adoleo" cautions us to be and become humble followers who exist to worship Jesus Christ and inspire hope in his followers.

"Adoleo" will also remind us that life is an act of worship. The word has the idea of offering burnt sacrifices. Paul takes the Old Testament concept of "sacrifice" and explains how that should look for us, on the other side of the cross. Romans 12:1, "I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your rational service to God." The "no duh" of life is to live every moment of it for God. So "Adoleo" is not just a style of music, it's a way of life. Every moment is a burnt offering for Christ. As our people listen to the music, we hope that they will not just hear melodies, but precious promises that become a way of life.

Adoleo is in the studio recording as we speak. The sound is going to be raw, slightly more acoustic driven than what you've heard on previous Anthem albums (indie-ish), at times a bit lyrically unconventional yet authentic (typical of Anthem i.e. "To Hear You"), a touch of banjo, soulful ballads, and a few tasty mainstream melodies. Overall the lining is a little darker in the clouds, yet filled with hope and joy. "This Hope", the probable album title, will be released sometime in August/September.

Until then I'll chide Clint and James to get us all something to listen to. I'll post it when I get it.

If you have some ideas for the album design, send them to me.

There's also a rumor that Anthem in Ames has some plans for another album- we can't wait for that... live album?

Thanks, Mary Ann for the tip on the name.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Veritas in the Marriott

We made our third big move as a church.

Last summer we started with some informal gatherings in a family's basement, moved to potlucks at random parks, then officially launched Veritas church on September 12 in Hotel Vetro.

In less than 9 months from our launch date, we have outgrown the space at Vetro and yesterday we had our first service in the Marriott. I LOVED it!
Clint gathered his setup crew of about 20 at 6 a.m...
Jeff quickly took over and started giving orders, from everything big (new truss system to hang speakers, lights, etc)...
... to the smallest details of tri-folding the programs. To his credit, he had his work cut out for him here, though, teaching the football player how to get it done, "C'mon, Forgy, nice and straight..."
In addition to the better accessibility (right off I-80/1st Ave), more parking, bigger room with better acoustics, easier load in... we have coffee!!!!! And the best part of waking up is that it wasn't Folgers in my cup (Folgers, I'm still bitter you didn't pick Ryan Seiler and Clint Robinson's jingle for your commercial)
I preached for the 3rd time in a row, which is unusual for us, as we have a "team preaching" approach. I'm excited for Jeff to get back in the saddle next week, but the timing of Joshua 3-4 was perfect for helping us keep our focus on Christ. It's about the Israelites crossing the Jordan river by the powerful work of God, and it happened "so that all peoples on earth will know that the hand of the LORD is mighty, that you may fear the LORD your God forever." (4:24)

We feel His presence with us, just like the Israelites. "The Narratives: Modern Truth, in Ancient Stories" is our series title, and fitting... The biggest theme I've seen in studying through Joshua is how clearly God is the main character. He is great and greatly to be praised.

To God be the glory for providing amazing spaces for us to meet in and for drawing more and more people to Christ. Lead on, O King Eternal...