David Cooke, a former student of mine at TEDS and now the pastor of a burgeoning, healthy church in Placerville, asked us out for a Jesus Creed weekend. Cold Springs is doing Jesus Creed in their Bible studies, and that is of course the best combination we have found this year in traveling around speaking. In spite of snow and rain the whole time, we had a splendid time.
I began by explaining that 2-3 inches of snow doesn’t even count as snow. Our church has a requirement that it has to snow 20 inches and be 20 below to cancel or skip church — the 20-20 rule. Well, I’ll admit this about Placerville: 2 inches of snow on those hilly, steep roads is just about equivalent to 20 inches up here. Our trip to church Sunday began by our skidding down the driveway right toward a tree and, were it not for the friction of grass and turf, we would have begun our day with an accident.
Saturday night was a special worship service, and the worship leader, Kevin, led the band and congregation with worship and singing — very good worship leader. Good drummers, too. I then gave a one-hour talk on the Jesus Creed, which you can find here [sermon], and Sunday morning was a sermon on transformation: begins by recognizing who we are (Eikons), involves all of us (each of us, each part of each of us), and takes a life time (where I use John’s story from Jesus Creed).
We always like these events, and we always come away thinking how great and big and diverse the Church is: here are Christians tucked away in the foothills of the Sierra Nevadas, working hard for the kingdom.
And we liked meeting up with David and his wife, Pam (a marathon runner, Biology teacher), and their four kids: Keenan, Noah, Daniel, and Eliza. They live next to a golf course and near the hills and valley, and I just can’t think of them without wondering what they manage to get into during the summer months.
We were impressed with something about Cold Springs: David and the leaders have created an environment of trust and friendship and love and mutual service rather than a powerful hierarchy. They see themselves as servants of Christ and working for what God is doing instead of building an empire where everyone takes notice of their empire. Leaders lead and guide, but they don’t force and cajole — they trust God to work things out rather than force God to do their will. Thanks, David, for what God is doing through you and your family and your staff and Cold Springs.
We were sad to leave right after the second service, because we would love to have seen the Emmaus (emerging) event on Sunday evening, but with the weather we faced, we are glad we did leave when we did.