Yesterday my beautiful wife (more on that another day) had an outing planned for her Small Group of Sophomore girls. They all brought in money, and went shopping for Christmas gifts for RETA (pregnancy help center) in their earn while you learn program. They then took those gifts to RETA, and volunteered for several hours. The girls also got a tour of the facilities and learned more about how RETA is bringing life to the unborn and those who are seeking counsel in their pregnancies. This whole event has a lot of beautiful aspects to it.
- Senior High Small Groups at NMC are a thing of beauty to see in action. We have too many students for any 1-4 paid staff members shepherd all. Small Groups are the key where we match 5-8 (we try but they keep them at that size but they keep stinking growing with new kids) with an adult who loves Jesus and the students. This adult volunteer, for all practical purposes, serves as those students' pastor.
- My wife as a Small Group Leader is a thing of beauty. I may be biased, but I don't believe they get much better. Her empathy, compassion, creativity, discernment, mentoring and support has been pretty amazing through the years, and has yielded some significant spiritual fruit.
- RETA and what they are doing is absolutely beautiful. Counseling those with unwanted pregnancies toward choosing life, the follow up, and abortion recovery can be one messy world to dive into. They're approach is filled with love, grace and the power of the Holy Spirit's work to make beauty from ashes.
- The actual outing was a thing of beauty. A group of really sweet, very popular, and for the most part innocent Sophomore gals were able to see the value of being together as the body of Christ and doing something to serve others as the body of Christ.
As an additional moment of beauty, Janelle's outing allowed for a different kind of outing. Katylynn and I went out on a Saturday daddy/daughter date. Our time together included shopping for a Christmas gift for Mommy and lunch at Jimmy John's. At Jimmy John's, Katylynn sat across from me and we had a significant conversation covering:
- When you should/shouldn't wear your boots.
- The difference between getting a gift for someone that we might like and getting a gift that person would actually like.
- Where Mickey, Minnie, and Goofy are at.
- Why the sandwich didn't have cheese.
- How to eat a cookie over the table.
It was not the most deep conversation, but it was pretty significant conversation for a 3 year old. The beauty was that she was locked in to our time together. I had a little fast forward to about 11-14 years from now when I saw what I believe God wants to have happen... me at a restaurant with my teenage daughter on a Daddy/Daughter date.