This week I'd like to ask for a Do over! Not Halloween it was dandy, and it involved candy. Not sure why I just said dandy but I think it's because it rhymes with candy. "Candy is dandy but liquor is quicker....." Anyone??? So Perry was a sock monster. I caught a brief glimpse of this costume at Spookeree last year and memorized it in my head, and recreated it because it's a genius idea. But before Halloween could even begin, while at work I got word that Charlie Matthews , had passed away that morning. Due to medical complications, he had been in the hospital since October 5, and days before seemed to be on the road to recovery. I was crushed. 2 Corintians 4:8 is crap. " We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair;" Some of it I am certain is true. Crushed.....CHECK.....hard pressed....CHECK......perplexed......CHECK CHECK.......not in despair.....WRONG....Saturday I was fine, sad, but not in despair just yet because I was working and somewhat in disbelief, Sunday in church....was when I started feeling that despair that Paul says in that verse I'm not suppose to be in. Then Monday when I read Dave Workmans blog, he said all the right words, and it was almost like he gave me permisson to be in complete despair.....thanks Dave! (honestly something needed to be released) It just seemed to get worse from there like a crazy downward spiral of overwhelming sadness. It seemed to get worse as the day of his funeral drew closer. Felt somewhat alone in my sadness as I hadn't really been connected with anyone from Alpha in over 2 years. Then I got connected, and it was as though we had never lost touch and they were experiencing the same kind of grief I was. It was so good to reconnect. And grieve with people who knew exactly how I felt. It was good to see even more Alpha peeps at the memorial service.....which was super sad.....super cleansing and was pretty much a life changing event. You could not walk away from that service and not feel like you were commissioned to change the world, and be passionate about doing it. 3 of my Alpha peeps and I were invited back to the Mason Vineyard, after the cemetary. What an honor to see what Charlie had poured his heart into over the past 6 months. And wow these people loved him and his family. They embraced us immediately. It was as though they saw some of Charlie in us, afterall we were trained leaders who served under his leadership for many years. All 4 of us were what many refer to as Alphaholics.....those who serve every session often it would be 3 sessions a year. (that's 30 weeks people) So we got the grand tour.....what a special place.....clearly inspired by all that was Charlie. As I stepped foot into the sactuary, first of all the smallest sactuary I've seen in my whole life. It seats 50 people, anymore you are violating the fire code. I've been at VCC for 22 years, when I first started one service was 200 we had 3 services, when we moved to crescentville we were at one point at like 7 or 8 services. And by the time we got to where we are now, we eventually grew to 8,000, don't check the math but I think it's fairly accurate. So I digress...basically 50 people is like a small group to us. Just a little bit before my time VCC started with as few as 50 people.
So asside from the smallness, it was actually very quaint and cozy, the first thing I noticed was the chairs. I recognized the chairs. Ok so to most these chairs are just chairs. To someone like me who thrives on the simple things.....these chairs signify way way more than just a place to
rest your rear. These chairs were at VCC when we were at Crescentville. These chairs bring back a lot of great memories. Lots of great worship, with Dave Workman as the worship leader. I once saw a women get slain in the spirit and nearly hit her head on one of these chairs (true story) me and my friend Weezer (mean Kim) were right behind her and both of us neglected to even attempt to catch her. She was fine the HG....allowed her to rest gently to the floor. These chairs represent growth and change, because they are moveable and you can always add more. Which I truely believe is going to happen at Mason Vineyard. Charlie set them up for great success.....I got a great sense of the Holy Spirit in this sactuary, and felt like he was saying "great things are going to happen here." Can't wait to see what happens. So I am "double dipping" on Sunday with some of my Alpha peeps, Charlie had prepared to do a series called "One Month to Live." I listened to the first week online at the Mason website....and well lets just say, it's going to be a good one I'm sure of it. Ok so no more crying, pretty sure I've got no more tears left...I said that before then found some more. On to the business of living people we got a world to change! Lots of people blogged about Charlies death. When my friend Michelle had mentioned Steve Fuller had visited Mason Vineyard on Sunday, he's always had a way with words, this time was no exception, very well put and keeping it real just like Charlie would have it.