Church Beyond the Walls

We did something today many churches would never do, invite another local pastor to preach in your church. Especially if that pastor is a friendly guy and everyone likes him.  Especially when that pastor is from a church just up the road from your church location. And ESPECIALLY if that pastor is a good preacher. Well, we broke all those rules by having Dr. Blake Switzer preach this morning at Waterbrook Bible Fellowship.

Jeff & Deana, James & Amy Howard, Shawn & Blake Switzer

Blake is the Senior Pastor at Gateway Community Church in Wylie. Gateway was planted in 2001, so Blake has been doing the church setup/tear down thing longer than we have. They’re also ahead of us in the construction process, and have really been moving on construction of their building. Blake was a great encouragement to us today as he opened his sermon with some reminders as we move toward a summer groundbreaking of our own.

Blake helped us end the “I Love My Church” sermon series with a glimpse of the “Church Beyond the Walls.” His message, from Acts 8, was a powerful reminder that we’re called to a world outside our Sunday morning gatherings. He pointed out the early church was pounded with persecution after the death of Stephen (see Acts 7). In Acts 8, we see the church was driven from Jerusalem. They’d been given a mission from Jesus in the Great Commission (Matthew 28:18-20), but they were driven out by this persecution, not because they were joyfully heading out on missions trips. In other words, as Saul and others sought to destroy the followers of Jesus they were forced to run. Yet, despite the rough circumstances, they preached Christ wherever they went. This was a major point of growth for the new church. And, as they spread the gospel message it resulted in great joy where lives were changed because of Christ. (See Acts 8:1-8)  The whole setup wasn’t something these 1st century believers would have developed as their plan, but it was God’s plan all along. Hopefully, it won’t take major persecution for us to be active in sharing the gospel and we’ll see the joy of changed lives as we engage in our biblical mission of helping God change lives.

I’m very grateful to Gateway Church for allowing their pastor to skip a Sunday preaching at their church so he could minister to us. After the worship service Deana and I went with Blake and his wife, Shawn, and James & Amy Howard (and elder from Gateway who came with Blake to Waterbrook this morning) for a fantastic time of lunch and laughter. One of the amazing things we discovered was all the interconnectedness of relationships in our church that already existed without us realizing it. To connect with the larger body of Christ is an encouragement for me, and I believe a great joy for God to see happening.

I was a little saddened to learn it was probably Ryan Means final Sunday with us at Waterbrook. He’s preparing to move and I didn’t learn it was likely his last Sunday until after the worship service. Ryan is a cool guy and has been a blessing to our congregation. I’m glad he’ll be with his family in Colorado, but we’ll have a void in our lives not having regular contact with someone who wears my favorite Vibram shoes. (Check out Vibram Five Fingers by clicking HERE.)  I’m wishing and praying for some great new opportunities for Ryan in the cold north.


A busy week, but some cool family times we’ve had recently. JJ continues in football season with the Upward league team, the Texans. He had a makeup game Thursday night, then the regular game Saturday afternoon. I love this action shot of him receiving a pass. He looks focused and like he actually has muscles on his scrawny body, and using them! He continues to do well, and we’re proud of him. We attended a school assembly on Friday at his school and were suprised when he was announced as winner of a Sportsmanship Award from the PE coaches. It’s great to hear someone else say he demonstrates compassion and fairness on and off the court.

"Long Legs Denton" watching one of her brother's football games this week.

Amelia has ended the school sports season. It’s the first time since volleyball began in the fall she hasn’t had some team practice daily after school – volleyball, basketball, then track. TAKS testing was last week, so now she can really focus on her flute practice. UIL solo contest is the end of this week, and I helped her select a pretty challenging piece for contest. Unfortunately, this afternoon she came home with a fever an sore throat and this evening it looks horrible at the back of her throat. So, this may hinder her ability to play this week. May have to teach her to use the Professor Harold Hill “Think System” for practicing. (A nod to all your Music Man fans.)

JJ and I took a friend of his and hit the “Free Comic Book Day” at a couple local comic book stores. One store we visited was the stereotypical comic book store – with teen and young (obviously unmarried) men. There were tables of these guys engaged in a role playing game – very seriously. They had a great selection of comic books for sale, but it’s an odd place. Had a faint odor of B.O. and weed. Having only 2 decent titles from all the publicized free comics available, we decided to run to another store. This one had snacks and drinks, guys shopping with a wife or girlfriend, and a couple tables full of selection of free books (many appropriate for JJ’s age). Very clean with bright lights and a clean smell. Don’t get me wrong, it was still full of geeky guys, they were simply proud to have a woman with them. But, I still heard one guy try to explain, with great frustration, how Batman (Bruce Wayne) had a different Robin that she thought (obviously the old Dick Grayson Robin), and that there’d been a couple Robins since then, including Tim Drake. I could tell he wanted her to understand and she could care less. Ummm, I’ve been in a couple similar conversations with my wife. Just tonight, JJ couldn’t believe his mom and sister didn’t know the difference between Wolverine, Night Crawler and Beast (all Marvel X-Men, but only 2 of the 3 are blue). He’ll learn.

My personal sous chefs

We did make a fantastic new item for family night this weekend – “Mac-n-Cheese appetizer bites”.  (Recipe HERE)  Amelia and JJ both helped make them, and they were fantastic! We thought they were wonderfully cheesy, yet didn’t taste like a box mac-n-cheese. We had to cut ourselves off, especially since the recipe made 48 of these babies. Check that recipe and try them. Here are the kids after they’ve got everything put together before the pans went into the oven, and a couple pictures below of the finished product. YUM!

That’s enough for now. Hope your weekend was good too!

The Unexamined Life and All

After cooking, they cooled for 5 minutes.Plated, and ready to serve. Delicious!

Plated, and ready to serve. Delicious!

Posted: May 2, 2010 
Filed under: Denton Family, Eating, Food, Leadership, Pastor Jeff, Pictures, Spiritual, Waterbrook Bible Fellowship
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Comments: 2 Comments


2 Responses to “Church Beyond the Walls”
  1. Amelia says:

    Those feet look VERY PRETTY and those mac & cheese cups where good

  2. admin says:

    Yes, those feet are very pretty. In the words of your brother, “They belong to Gigantor!”
    – Dad

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