Monday, April 24, 2006

Who Are Those People, Anyway?

I've been thinking for a couple of weeks about how I have several links in the "Higher Calling" section of my sidebar, and I've never bothered to give you any background information on those folks. I mean, for all you know, I've provided you with links to a secret network of undercover government operatives, all of whom are monitoring your interweb activity.

But of course that's not the case at all.

So here's a Who's Who in BooMama Land. Sort of like in your high school yearbook. But with none of the behind-the-scenes drama. :-)

Favorite Church - Brook Hills - This is our church. So that explains that. :-)

Favorite Pastor - Rick Ousley of Quixotic Ministries - Rick is our former senior pastor, and he is without a doubt one of the finest preachers I've ever had the privilege to hear. He stepped down at our church last September because of health concerns (two brain surgeries within one year can take a toll), and he launched Quixotic Ministries shortly thereafter. You can hear some of his sermons here...and if your church is looking for someone to lead a revival or to do a special series, you will not be disappointed by the man or the message. We miss him. A lot.

Favorite Musician - George Vinson of Project 150 - George is the former technical director at our church, and he founded Project 150 several years ago to do missions work through music. About a year ago George felt led to make P150 a full-time venture, and he packed up the family, moved to Tennessee, and got to work. He's talented, and kind, and one of the most tenderhearted people you'll ever meet. Check out his site to get a better idea of what's going on with his ministry.

Favorite Singer - Wes Hampton - Wes is a former worship minister at our church (are you starting to see a pattern?), and I could listen to him sing for hours on end. In fact, when I get to heaven, I am confident that Wes singing "Oh, Happy Day" will be the sound that greets me as I enter the pearly gates. Wes has an incredible voice, and he left BH to be the new tenor for the Gaither Vocal Band. David and I even TiVo'd a Gaither Homecoming Special so that we could see Wes sing with the group...I don't know if the TiVo knew what was happening, what with being asked to record a Southern Gospel program and all. :-) But the boy? He can sing.

Favorite Teacher - Fran Sciacca of Hands of Hur - I met Fran when David and I moved to Birmingham (Fran and I worked together). Can I please tell you how smart he is? And how funny? And if your church has any need for a speaker who will lay it on the line in terms of what's happening in our culture and what that means for Christians, then you need to contact him ASAP. For four years I saw Fran almost every day, and when I had the opportunity, I would just sit and listen to him...I soaked up as much wisdom as I possibly could. He addresses topics like postmodernism and Christian consumerism and the 21st century church with an approach that's so easy to understand - but at the same time so profound and so Biblical. Over and over again I've heard teenagers say that of all the teachers they ever had, Fran impacted their lives for Christ more than anyone else.

And I'll tell you something else...if David and I had known Fran and his wife Jill before we married, we would've wanted them to do our premarital counseling. We respect them as individuals and as a married couple, and if you met their children, you'd know that they totally have it going on in the parenting department, too. My favorite bit-o-Fran-trivia is that he's responsible for one of Focus on the Family's Top 10 broadcasts. He's also written a "few" books. You know. In his "spare" time.

By the way, my favorite bit-o-Fran-advice is that when I was pregnant with Alex and holding a copy of Dr. Dobson's Dare to Discipline, Fran said, "S., read it if you want, but remember that there are two things you can do for your child above all else: 1) have a great marriage and 2) stay in God's Word." David and I are honored to call him friend.

Favorite Church Plant - Randy, Tom and John of Clermont Fellowship Church - Randy Hemphill was the first staff person we really bonded with at Brook Hills, and David and I both love him to pieces. All three of these guys were on staff at our church and felt called to do a plant in Clermont (you can read the story on their website). They're still very much connected to Brook Hills because we're helping them with the plant, but OH can I just tell you how much we miss them? Anyway, if you live in the Orlando area and you're looking for a church, these guys are the real deal. Completely humble, completely compassionate, and completely faithful to their calling.

Now I'm going to skip explaining who Beth Moore is, because I think y'all have had plenty of exposure to her over the last few weeks (and 6 more weeks to go!).

And seriously - I know a lot of you who read this blog plan events for your church, but you may not have known about the people I've mentioned. So check out their them (or even me) if you have questions...and click on the links from time to time to see what they're up to.

They're good people doing God's work - no doubt about it.


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