Friday, June 16, 2017


Here we are the last morning of Summer Xtreme for Gwinnett.  You can see Madison above with some of the pastors and volunteers - and kids - just before the rush of kids were dropped off for another day's adventures!

Today's order of events were reversed, as we did our service last.  The reason for this is that we went to see a movie, and our group was large and this was the best time to rent out a theater.  And... it was opening day for the movie too!

Here is a close-up of Madison and two friends - you can see that each of the kids got a "Kidspack," which was funny of course because we were coming from KidPak.  Inside each box was some popcorn, a drink, and some candy as well.  But since they let Daddy sit with them, they got double the popcorn (he got a ginormous tub that could dump more popcorn into all of this group's boxes).  Plus, there's the humungous drinks they have there - so Daddy got to sit with Madison and watch the movie sharing a root beer as well.  And so, a sea of green shirts descended upon the movies, filling up the large auditorium, ready to see "Cars 3."

This was a great movie.  It had a lot of messages in it, and by the laughter and applause, you could tell the kids loved it as well.  But so did the adults.  We saw this on opening day, so no spoilers here.  There was a lot that we didn't see coming, including some very heartwarming moments.  We were all smiles coming out of that theater.

We got back to the church after that, and it was time for Subway sandwiches, and after that the service of course.  The final Squad Battles took place, and the Cyber team came in third, which was respectable.  And the final videos of the "Heroes:  Titanium" series were seen, to the great delight of the kids.  Even better, some of the actors - in costumes - showed up.  The kids were cheering, and wanting to get the different characters to sign their t-shirts.

Of course, the message was after this, and once again Pastor Lance spoke into the lives of our children, and our volunteers, with a memorable prayer service afterwards.

It was a great and fitting end to the week.  There were moments of rushing around with stress, but the key to it all are the moments like you see above, where kids are on their knees in the presence of God.  That is simply what it is all about.  In the twinkling of an eye, you can have an experience during worship or prayer or the message that can quite simply change your life.  Our job is to make that experience available to as many children as possible.  And in that respect we did pretty well.  Madison really had a great week, once again.

We cleaned up afterwards, the same sort of spirit hanging over us as always:  is it really all over?  All this work to set up, and here we are?  Yes, it was all over.  Some of us were pretty exhausted.  But not too exhausted to take advantage of a free Hawaiian ice from a nearby store!

Someone was promoting our business, and dropped off several "FREE HAWAIIAN SHAVED ICE" cards, and we were quite happy to take advantage of that.  Madison got cotton candy, and Daddy got the Hawaiian flavor.  And though we were tired, we were pretty happy to have a little treat like that before going home.

The trip was much easier today.  We got home, still talking about all the exploits and adventures from the day.  Madison and Daddy popped in Disney Infinity's "Cars" game, and took a spin with a few races.  But we didn't last that long.  It was an early bed time tonight.  We read some more from the devotional, and then from our new Squirrel Girl book that Madison got for her birthday.  And I think after that, Daddy and Madison in particular were fast asleep in less than five minutes!

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