We spent a few days in Houston last week for my sister-in-law's wedding. It's always kind of strange to go back to where you grew up. I experienced a lot of joy and pain in that city. Mostly, a lot of really good Mexican food (Pappasitos anyone?). Here are some of the highlights:
1. Lakewood Church
On Sunday, we attended the 8:30am service at Lakewood Church. While I was in college, I worked a couple of seasons for the Houston Rockets - who at that time played at the Summit/Compaq Center/Lakewood Church. It was absolutely amazing to see a church meeting there! They have totally transformed that place into a really cool church building. I know that Joel Osteen gets knocked around a bit in some circles (it's pretty easy to attack the largest church in America), but our experience was awesome. The worship was rockin' and they had a large army of volunteers every where you turned. At one point in the service, Dodi Osteen had everyone who were evacuees from the hurricane stand-up, and around 200 people stood. They then laid hands and prayed for them. I don't know if I have been more moved in a service than at that moment. Some of those people indicated that they had lost loved ones, or had lost contact with loved ones. I cannot even imagine. What an opportunity we have to live out true Biblical community right now.
2. The house I grew up in
I had not seen the house that I grew up in - in probably 10 years. My wife had to help us find it! It was empty, so we got to walk around and look in all of the windows. A lot of it had not changed. The whirlpool that my father bought at a garage sale and worked for a total of one month - was still in the backyard rotting away. My basketball goal in the driveway had been cut down, and all that remained was half a pole. The memories flooded in as we walked around. Most good, some bad. I've done that now.
We somehow managed to dine twice at Pappasitos while we were there. It's not the Taco Casa, but...ok, it's going to take me a few days to adjust back to the Casa!
God also showed me some things about myself and our church that I am going to share with everyone tomorrow at First Wednesday. If you are in Greenville, make plans to be there tomorrow night at 7.