Saturday, March 07, 2009

Zach's Day

Zachery Shawn Vinson
March 7, 1986

Today we celebrate the birthday of Zach, our 2nd born.
As I looked through the many pictures I was reminded again of what a precious son he was and still is. He had more facial expressions than anyone that I know. And his face readily showed what he was feeling. We never knew quite what to expect on his face for photos. That still holds true to this day.

From the time he started reading in 1st grade, I don’t believe that he has ever been without a book close at hand.
He was a goal setter and didn’t let anything deter him from accomplishing those goals. When he was about 9 or 10 he set out to read through the Bible. He did get rather slowed down going through some of the Old Testament but he diligently continued on until he finished over 1 year later.
He received the top awards for AWANA – the children's church program that required much scripture memorization.
After hearing how much it cost his brother for college he set out to get top scholarships so that he wouldn’t have to pay as much for schooling.

He learned the difference between excellence and perfection which is difficult for a child who is bent on perfection.
Even as a young boy, he was sensitive to God’s working in his life. He has a very loving, gentle spirit and is quick to express appreciation to those in his life.
There were times when it was difficult for me to understand what was going on in his amazing brain. He thinks at a much deeper level than I do and I remember feeling so inadequate as I tried to answer some of his questions.

He has a wonderful sense of humor which can catch people off guard until people get to know him.
And you should hear him play the piano! Wow, what a gift! I love it when his hands are flying over the keys. I had a friend ask once how he hits the right notes when his hands are a foot above the keyboard. I just don’t know.

He will be home much later tonight for what will probably be the last time in a while that he will be home for his birthday. He's coming from Chicago where he is giving a concert.
Zach is able to do a lot of things in amazing ways but that's not why we love him. He is a gift from God - someone who has been given the gift of music and seeks to honor God in what he plays and the songs he writes. He loves being home and I love having him here. A lot of things will be happening in his life in the next few months. In May he will graduate with honors and in July he will be getting married to Christina. God has gifted him in many ways and I’m excited to see where He leads.

But for now.... I can't wait to hear the garage door open up and know that once again he's home.

AMALGAM is the band that Zach was in for over 5 years. They spent a year living in Boston playing at many different locations.

Christina and Zach

Sunday, March 01, 2009

Pier 19 Luau

Every February for over the past 8 years, I am busy helping put together the Sweetheart Banquet at our church. It is a fund raising event focused on encouraging married couples. It is put on by some of the youth of our church. But, over the years it has gotten to be so much more than that. Its' main focus has changed to be an outreach opportunity to invite neighbors, friends, and co-workers to who don’t attend a church, and more importantly, who don’t have a relationship with the God who loves them.

While last year’s banquet was quite formal with the theme “Unforgettable” done in black & white, this year’s banquet was very casual. It was “Pier 19” – a luau theme and thus very laid back. People were encouraged to dress as they would to a luau.

After many months of our planning, directing the teens practicing the songs & skits, searching for ideas for decorating and food, the weekend finally arrived.
Everyone enjoyed pulled pork, twice baked sweet potatoes and a rice dish. The dessert was a frozen coconut cheesecake.

We had 20 teens in the program singing and dancing to “Surfin’ USA”, “I’m Gonna Walk 500 Miles”, “Chapel of Love” and “The World”. The fun that the teens had on stage through songs and skits made for an evening filled with laughter. This year we also did a skit that required audience participation, which was a great hit. We had many other teens help with decorating for the event and serving of the food.

Our Youth Pastor then gives a short word of encouragement for our marriages and God’s desire for them.
Here are a few of the pictures from the “Pier 19 Luau”.

The funds raised from the evenings will go to help students with expenses like our summer missions trip. This summer our group will be serving for a week in a neighborhood in Chicago.