The shtuff was hitting the fan at home. Mom and Dad were going at it with words that would be hard to retract. By all indications, Dad was making his way through a classic mid-life crisis. Mom was frayed at every edge. Their twenty-four year marriage was crumbling, and so was my life.

The idealistic 60’s slowly faded into the turbulent 70’s. My older brother was wearing peace sign shirts and sporting long hair. The chaos of our home meshed well with the soundtrack of my brother’s life as he blasted Steppenwolf and The Who. My younger sister was blissfully oblivious for the time being. I was all of fourteen and went into survivor mode.

When a horrific divorce rips through your house at the same time you’re headed into your freshman year of high school, finding air to breathe is difficult at best.

That’s when Bob Smith stepped into the mess of my life. Something or someone compelled him to go. I doubt it was the miserly pay he received as a youth minister. He went into my darkness. He went with his Jesus identity firmly in place because mine was shot all to hell.

I can still remember Bob Smith driving me to a week of summer church camp in his black, 1970 GTO. He drove fast. Fastened beneath his dashboard was a color organ with lights that danced to some of the same music my brother thought was groovy. Bob was cool. He was also my Little League coach. Because I made the all-star team, Bob made an extra back and forth trip to camp so I could play.

I still remember his infectious smile, his lamb-chop sideburns, and, most of all, his impeccable timing and presence in my life. Because my life was so jacked up, each time Bob stopped by the house was a critical event. They were life-saving conversations for a kid who was drowning. Critical events with Bob always pointed me to Jesus.

On Sunday, we’ll talk more about “The Critical Event.” Jesus did the critical event so very well. In fact, look at what his “going” looks like in Matthew 8:28-34.

We believe this holiday season will provide many opportunities for critical events. Will you be ready to give a reason for the hope you have? Will you engage and “go” this holiday season to anyone Jesus might place in your path?

Our five-week “Critical Event” series will culminate on Christmas Eve. Your conversations and invitations to our special services may prove to be critical events.

I’m excited to begin teaching this series. I’ll see you Sunday at 9:00 and 11:00 a.m.!

Blessings,
Alan

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