Monday, July 28, 2008 - 5 Best Practices

This week I will be taking my family on the final leg of our journey from Brisbane Queensland Australia to Cumming Georgia. This year I will be undertaking a Church Planting Fellowship with
My coaches will be David Putman and Shawn Lovejoy who are pastors of Mountain Lake Church.
The year will primarily be focused on developing me in these five key areas:
1. Nurturing vitality
2. Being mean about the vision
3. Financing the mission
4. Thinking team
5. Redefining discipleship

I am so excited and humbled that God has opened the way for this Aussie boy to have this awesome learning experience.
I pray, Heavenly Father may you grow me and change me this year to be the man, husband, Dad and person you want me to be in your Son Jesus. May this year be a year of growth, change and joy as I see you work in my life and my families life as we seek to reach out to those who are far from you for your glory. In Jesus Christ's Mighty name, Amen!

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Church Plant - New River Fellowship

L-R : Issac, Will, Will Jr., Michael W. Smith, Fergus, Archie & Nerida.
Today the Henderson Clan visited Mary and Matt's Church, New River Fellowship, Franklin Tennessee.
It was an great church of a couple of hundred that meets in a converted Movie Theater Complex that they lease.
The church was envisioned and planted by the singer songwriter Michael W. Smith and it was obvious that although Michael has recently stepped back (he remains an elder) and handed the point leadership to Pastor Steve Garrett the congregation noticeably reflects his mark:
1 * Awesome musicians and singers playing in a contemporary yet relaxed style
2 * The service was middle of the road contemporary, thoroughly evangelical
3 * Like Michael the congregation was a happy outgoing and relational fellowship, very welcoming and warm. The Congregation mixing and laughing etc before, during and after the service.
It was great too that we could hang out with our new friends Bryan and Amber for church and afterwards at Panera Bread it was really nice!! No sugary sauces!!
Anyway today has been great and God's message was : "Jesus be my vision, and from knowing and following Him flows amazing power to live a life of relationship and worship of God that truly satisfies no matter what circumstances we face."

Driving to Nashville Airport!

Yesterday I actually drove for an hour along the 65 and through Nashville to the airport to pick up Matt, Mary, Caleb and Isaac. It was crazy!! Can't believe the speed limit is 70 Miles and hour!! Anyway thanks to my mate 'Tom' I made it safe and sound, I sure owe him a VB... Anyway it was great to see the Smallbones after Matt's work trip playing for Michael W. Smith on a Carribean Cruise. That's not work!!

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Jetlag Update

BTW for everyone who thinks this is all a walk in the park...
the kids woke up again last night at midnight wanting breakfast, so I guess they're still jetlagged or something. Nerida actually made them sandwiches and stuff... can you believe it? She is crazy... now she'll be doing it till they get married and leave home!!! I'm gonna have to take some leadership with this now. Just kidding. Kinda.

Everything seems BIGGER

Since arriving in the United States we've been blown away by the size of everything.
Big cities.
Big roads/highways.
Big meals and drinks (the boys go berko on the fizzy drink cause a small is like a litre).
Big trucks, cars and utes.
Big hair and other accessories.
Big churches everywhere and massive shopping centres.
The Americans generally have also been BIG on HOSPITALITY too and have really helped us alot. At least twice someone's made the comment, "Well that's what living in community is all about." Nice and freaky at the same time.
Speaking of everything BIG... Fergus has been stung by one of the thousand SUPER SIZED BLACK DEATH HORNETS living in Isaacs play gym!! It was really bad his leg is still swollen, two days afterwards!! After he finished crying Nerida was commenting something about the poison, Fergus overheard and said, "Mum I don't want to be DEAD, I don't want to be DEAD!" Classic. BTW we did reassure him he would be okay.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Well it's been another huge day.
It all began last night... the three eldest Henderson's couldn't sleep (Nerida, Will Jr and myself). And to make matters worse Archie keep waking up every couple of hours but get this Fergus slept like a lamb... it must have been the wasp sting he got in the back yard that sedated him???!!
So when it came to 5am I was wide awake and seriously tired at the same time. So I got up and got organised to be picked up by our new friends Bryan and Amber.
Bryan dropped me off at a really nice independent coffee shop in Spring Hill called "Utopia" at 6.45am so I could wait for the car (see picture) to be fixed just down the road.
I had a coffee (lattes are the most like Aussie flat whites) and then walked down to pick up the car. It was actually really interesting cause this entire area is really historical with the US Civil War and the very old houses have information about the generals who lived in them, had affairs in them, got murdered in them etc!!
Anyway, I picked up the car and it's going like a charm!!
Drove home and we got organised to visit the local 'recreation' center. We drove there and were told we weren't allowed to swim cause it was raining. Yeah I know, crazy. So we drove home and then had lunch, drove to Michael and Jen Smallbone's place to pick up the rest of our ports and headed home in time for dinner.
Another wild day in the adventures of the Hendo's crash the US!!
PS We really hope and pray we can all sleep through tonight.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Target wins an award for best customer service!

L - R : Will, Bryan & Amber.
Well today could have been an absolute disaster... but thanks to the kind staff at the Spring Hill TN MEGA Target it was fine.
It all started with a superb breakfast at Cracker Barrel - the service and food was great. We then drove over to Target, grabbed some groceries and were heading back home when the car we've been loaned literally died in the car park (parking lot) with the automatic windows all in the 'down' position and not going up. So we unloaded all our food and took it back into the store and went up to the 'Guest Services' desk and told them our situation. They kindly helped us phone AAA (Americas RACQ service) and looked after us while we waited for 2 hours for the Mobile Mechanic to arrive. Nerida burst into tears, remember we're absolutely smashed with Jetlag, at the Starbucks in the Target and the kind man there gave her half price drinks against her protests. Well the help finally arrived and they jumpstarted the car no worries, they left us with the car running, I drove it down to the front to pick up the cold food and it again promptly died.... again. So back into the Target, ring AAA again, and wait another 2 hours. They jumpstarted the car and get this one of the Target managers, Bryan and his wife, actually followed us to the mechanic shop where the car AGAIN DIED. So we left it there and Bryan and his wife Amber actually dropped us off home at Mary and Matts!!
Can you believe that!! We have had a bad day made good by the generous kindness of complete strangers. Thanks Bryan and Amber, you guys ROCK!!

Nashville, 24 July, 7.11am

Well it is a beautiful summer morning here in Nashville. Here is the view from Matt and Marys back veranda. We can't get over how green it is everywhere.

Everyone is still asleep, I think Jetlag finally has won with the boys! Ha, I was beginning to wonder if they were actually human.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Arrived in Nashville TN!

Well this 1.30 this afternoon (US time) we arrived in Nashville TN after a mammoth haul across the Pacific Ocean to LAX and then on to Matt and Marys house. We are so thankful that the trip went smoothly, the 3 boys are fine and are actually going hyperactive from too much sleeping on the plane... No I don't get it either. Anyway gotta crash and before that threaten the boys if they don't go to sleep there'll be some action!! G'night.
PS here's a photo of the boys playing with some crazy dogs while Dad takes his first driving lesson with Michael Smallbone, yes thats right, you heard it Will is now driving in Nashville!!

Arrived in LAX!

Having arrived at Los Angeles Airport city we actually made it out with all our seven bags and five carry on. Fergus insisted we have Hotdogs, so we did!!
We then got a bus over to the Traveloge and crashed into bed. The boys were so tired but none of them complained. You can see how they were when we tried to get them up at five this morning for breaky before heading back to LAX to catch the 8.50am flight to Nashville. We had a good laugh when we headed down to the free continental breakfast, we could have eaten donuts, bagels, sugary cinamon scrolls and cold boiled eggs. We are so hopless at fitting in - we all opted for toast and jam... sorry jelly.
Here's a photo of the boys this morning, we're to ashamed to post how Nerida and I felt.

Flying to the USA!

Here we are flying to Los Angeles. Somewhere over the Pacific Ocean.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

A day of goodbyes

Today was sad. We had lunch and catch up time with family and friends. I never thought I would feel so weird, kinda homesick before we even leave, and it's even worse when Nerida's Mum and sisters start crying everywhere. Anyway I managed to get the kids in the car after they had drank enough red fizzy drink to send an army nuts. We got to my parents place to say more goodbyes and it started all over again, the tears I mean. I'll be glad when the goodbyes are over, it's tough on us.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

My Dad (and Mum) is AWESOME!

Now I know that most boys idolise their Dads. But I have to admit that more I live the more I love my Dad and want to be like him.
He is a simple humble man of God, not perfect but willing to admit it... Pastors need to be like that, I want to be like that.
He is generous, kind and slow to speak, but when he does speak everyone who knows him listens. I want to be a man like that.
He is hard working and loves building things. He always does his best and once he starts something he finishes it. I want to be like that.
He loves his family and his family love and adore him. I want my wife and boys to always do the same.
My Dad is 65+ but get this... he's still up for shifting my wife's piano... and for that he takes the cake when it comes to being the most amazing Dad I know. I don't know of any Pastors his age still willing to get their hands dirty shifting pianos. I want to be that Pastor.
Dad I love you, you and Mum you are the best.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Big Days

Yesterday was our last day at Newlife. It was a day of mixed emotions but it was the perfect send-off. The boys had a last visit to our house. They were so excited to see it all painted and clean!!
Today we jumped right into a Ridley church planting assessment with Steve Addison. It was a big weekend... I haven't really slept well for the last few days, but it is transition time.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

How we should pray

Today was the 2nd last Sunday I will teach at Newlife Church.
It was AWESOME to be able to introduce the new Pastor - Rev Jack Teepa!
It is a big deal to me. I love the people that make up this church.
I know my wife is really sad about the relationships that are in flux.
I'm upset that my boys are grumpy about their toys being packed up.
BUT we all know this is the way forward for us as a family.
Please pray for us. Pray that we will keep growing and changing, changing more and more into the people God wants us to be. More kind, generous, open and passionate about sharing the truth about Jesuse with those who're far from God.
We are excited about the things God wants to grow and teach us in the next few months.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Pharaoh Lives!!

It's hard to believe but my quiet, lovely, always relaxed wife is a bit of a Pharaoh when it comes to packing up all our stuff!!
Today at least on four different times she has asked me to do 2 tasks at the same time.
Now I have to admit - there is NO WAY I can not do any more than 1 task at once and when she asks me to answer the phone, pack and shift a a box my brain literally goes into meltdown.
Anyway, we are still working on the plan. I have just an insight as to how the Israelites felt... just kidding. It's a blessing that the boys are with Nanny and Pa as we pack!!