Friday, January 30, 2004

January 30, 2004

10:28 PM Many Chicago-area churches are promoting Mel Gibson’s The Passion of Jesus Christ 9:44 PM Craig Hammond reports that almost 120 high schoolers came to Allied Force last night. The youth room on the third floor was filled to overflowing. God is doing great things among our young people. They are hungry to know the Lord and eager to share Christ with their friends. 9:43 PM Renovation update: The workers did lots of “punch list” items in the West Wing this week. They have nearly finished plastering the portico ceiling. One major remaining project involves the door from the sanctuary to the new portico. When they dismantled the frame of the old door, they discovered that the stone lintel was cracked and had to be replaced. This involves some unexpected stonework. One problem: There is a beautiful piece of stained glass a few feet above the doorway. As far as we know, that stained glass has not been removed for 102 years. The builders are concerned that doing the stonework may loosen the stained glass and damage it somehow. They have been working very carefully all week to find a way to solve this problem. As of this afternoon, there is a huge black plastic shield on the sanctuary side of the doorway. That may still be in place on Sunday. We hope to have the repair work done in the next few days, although the new door will not be installed for several more weeks. All in all, we’re making good progress, but anyone who has done construction knows that things both slow down and speed up as you near the finish line. There are always last-minute surprises and problems that must be solved. It’s a good thing we moved the Open House from February 15 to March 14. 9:31 PM A very nice thing happened a moment ago. Pat McGuin came in carrying a white paper bag. It was a gift from his parents to me. They remembered me saying that I like funnel cakes (true—and the only time I have them are at the Taste of Chicago in July). They found a place that makes them, and they bought one for me tonight and had Pat bring it over. I heated it in the microwave until it was piping hot. It’s fun having a summer treat in the dead of winter. The temp outside is zero. 9:23 PM Rosa Cervantes and Tatis Gibbons left today for a “vison trip” to Africa with World Vision. They will be learn firsthand about the devastation wrought by the AIDS epidemic in Africa—and how Christians can make a difference through frontline ministries of compassion. 7:53 AM Scott and Doreen Mahlstedt serve on the team that sends out copies of An Anchor for the Soul to prison ministries across America. We also send copies to military ministries as well. And we sell copies (at very, very low prices) to local churches for use in their evangelistic outreach. (We make no profit. The money is used to finance the free copies we give to prisoners and to military personnel.) Last summer we started with 54,000 copies in a warehouse near Oak Park. Scott reports that we now have about 44,000 in stock. Recently we sent 100 copies to a prison outreach in South Carolina, 100 copies to a father who will send them to his son serving in Iraq who (with the chaplain’s permission) will distribute them to soldiers in his unit, 300 copies to Caring Medical Clinic of Oak Park,and we are shipping 5000 copies to Calvary Chapel of Old Bridge, New Jersey. That’s the church we worked with shortly after 9/11. They gave out thousands of copies of Anchor in and around Ground Zero. They plan to use 1500 copies for prison ministry and 3500 copies in their general evangelistic outreach. 7:51 AM Ron Feley asked me last night if I was still riding my bike. Answer: No. Just before my first trip to Florida, I rode in 10 or 12 degree weather, and my feet were tingling for the next two days. That’s a sign of the early stages of frostbite. Can’t mess with that. So my bike is stored in the garage until this current cold spell moderates—which may not be for another week or so. I don’t know how cold this January has been compared to other years, but it seems like the coldest January in the 15 years I’ve lived in Oak Park. 7:50 AM Panthers 24, Patriots 21.

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