Everything began with a story:
"When I was 17 years old, I was hanging out with my closest buddies, David and Kevin. The conversation turned to one of our favorite topics… girls. Usually, we’d talk about the girls that David liked, because girls usually told Kevin “no thank you,” and I’d never dated anyone. But on this particular day… the conversation shifted.
My two friends suddenly had a question that I could not avoid, “So Chad, why haven’t you asked anyone out?” No matter how I tried, I couldn’t get them to change the subject. Finally, David threw down the challenge… “You’ve been interested in Bekah’s friend, so why don’t you ask her out?” I said, “Yeah… she’s nice.”
Suddenly, to my shock… David picked up the phone, and held it out to me as he dialed the number and said, “So do it. Ask her out.”
I took the phone as I heard the steady pulse of the call. My mouth went dry and my arms felt weak. There was no turning back now.
Well… I thought… maybe no-one would answer.
“Hello.” A voice answered. It wasn’t her. Maybe she wasn’t there. Maybe I could avoid this humiliation. There really was no chance she’d say yes.
Her Mom handed her the phone and she said, “Hello?”
“Hi, this is Chad from church. Um… I really like seeing you at your high school play last week and I’m just wondering if you might want to do something Friday night? Maybe dinner and a movie?
[Oh… my… goodness… I’ve said it. They’ve heard me… she’s going to say “No” and they’re going to laugh for a really long time… maybe forever]
The phone was silent as she paused….
“Well… sure. What time will you pick me up?”
[Ohmygoshshejustsaidyes… I don’t have a clue how this works. I’ve never ever asked out a girl…]
“Ah… how about 5 or 6?”
“Sure, 5:00 sounds good, I’ll check movie times.”
I hung up the phone and looked at my two friends who sat beside me in shock with their mouths open and big-eyed. “She said yes?”
The girl that I’d called was probably the biggest catch of our entire circle… and she said yes to me (She had turned David down more than once).
Suddenly my chest got bigger and I’m certain I grew at least an inch taller as I just said looked at them and said, “Sure, she said yes.”
That day that I sat in the living room of my friend David’s house. When my friends were in shock that the girl said yes… I was really celebrating with an audience of one. The girl.
She and I went out that Friday night and we saw a movie, Disney’s Beauty and the Beast. It was magical. It was all that… I took her home and dropped her off… without even a kiss. I think we had a quick hug. I was terrified.
And I went home and wrote in my journal… I love her. I’m going to marry this girl.
On May the 17th, 2017, Disney is re-releasing Beauty and the Beast. Now, you know that at Journey Church, our motto is “Live Big.” And so, I’m going to do something really big… I’m going to reconnect with that girl, and we’re going to repeat that date back on November 22, 1991.
Because that girl and I just celebrated 21 years of marriage.
Yes! That’s right… that girl, Kellie married me. And now we celebrate together as we recognize the real audience of ONE... God.
The story had ended, interlaced with bits of Joshua and the tribes of Israel celebrating their arrival into the promised land. It's important to celebrate what God has done, is doing, and will do. It's important to establish moments in our life that we can remember.
Journey Church celebrated a significant event today as we held our first ever, Welcome to Journey class... in Spanish. Pastor of Next Steps, Otto Lopez presented the essentials of Journey to eight new families that now call Journey their home church!
And everyone enjoyed 150 tacos from Taco Bell. Honestly though, nobody enjoyed them as much as me. Yo quiero Taco Bell.
We wrapped up with a question and answer session and an introduction of the Shepherd family. Afterwards conversations continued for another hour. The event was a success! Praise to God.
The day ended with tear down and everything snuggly buttoned up in the Journey office. I give thanks to God and this reminder that we are commanded to celebrate the actions of God in our lives.
For the curious, below is a link to a live recording of our worship together, and the full message of Celebrations, adapted from the sermon series, If... Then from Journey Church West Chester.