#FiatFriday is just for fun…
#FiatFriday is just for fun…
This year, Easter was a little crazier than usual. We put on our 3rd annual community-wide FREE BBQ and Easter Egg Hunt at Dry Creek Park in Clovis, CA and people showed up in droves. The first year, it was basically for Two Cities Church. The second year we were able to invite a couple of hundred people to participate with us, but this year… this year was a different ball game. This year well over 800 people, maybe even 1000, came out to the hunt and it clarified for us that this event is for the community and not at all for our church. So next year, we’ll have that mindset as we enter into it.
Our kids walked away from that hunt with ZERO eggs, because it wasn’t about us. So we had a little hunt at a family gathering and then a third at our friend’s house. Here’s a short video highlighting all three from our Go.Do Youtube Vlog. Subscribe to the YouTube channel for more regular videos.
Your local public park can be a great source of adventure. Most people take their kids and sit on a bench while their kids play. They (we… I’m guilty too) use the time to catch up on email or Facebook. But what if we helped their imagination bloom? What if we became part of their games? What if we participated with them? We’re making these YouTube videos to encourage people to play together and Go Do Something. Life is actually pretty amazing and my kids are growing up fast, so I’m trying to be more proactive in enjoying each day with them. Sometimes it’s little and simple and sometimes it’ll be bigger, but it’s something.
My son, Josiah, has recently become interested in vlogging. You know, video-blogging? So we’re going to start recording every-day adventures. So many people believe life is boring or that there is nothing to do in their hometown. We’ll, we’re going to prove you wrong. So we’re starting to put out some videos under the name “Go.Do” because if you’re bored, all you need to do is go do something. Check out our first video, Go.Do Episode 1: Touch Some Trucks. Feel free to subscribe and we’d love to hear what kinds of adventures you’d like us to try out.
What’s the real problem with Fresno?
I grew up here and I grew up hearing your words. In many ways, your words have shaped what the people who grow up here, think about here. Do any of these statements sound familiar?
And maybe you graduated and left. But like many of us, maybe you found yourself being pulled back by a gravity you did not understand. And maybe you acted on that gravity or maybe you stay away. Either way…
We need to change our verbage for the next generation. If we continue to talk about how hot it is, how miserable, how awful Fresno is, the best and the brightest will pick up on our scorn and they will leave and they will take their talent and their insight and their drive with them. They will build and contribute to the economy, the industry, the art, the humanity, and the aid of some other people in some other place.
I lived in Malibu for five years and Sonoma County for almost four years and surprisingly, I met a lot of people from the Fresno and the Central Valley area. At the church I worked at in Santa Rosa, we joked about how so many good people come from the Fresno area. We routinely said, “All good things come through Fresno.”
Now, since I’ve moved back and lived here for four years, I’m in love with our cities, with Fresno and with Clovis. There’s so much to love. From a great education, to a police chief that talks to the people and pleads with them to make wise choices, to a mayor who desperately believes in the revitalization of our downtown area, to local restaurants trying to make a genuine impact, not just a dollar. And the list goes on…
I’m not saying we’re perfect, far from it, but we have a strong community and we’ve got people working hard to make a real impact on our problems. People like Feed Our Future Fresno and the Pinedale Impact Center (more on this later).
If you’re going to continue to contribute to the defamation of Fresno, you should probably go find some place to live that you’ll be proud of. I mean it, we don’t have the water or the jobs to support you, so go find someplace that does. Life is too short to live in a place you despise. What’s holding you back? Sell everything, uproot and go. I don’t want my kids to grow up hearing about how awful you think their hometown is. I want them to love it and be motivated to contribute to it. We don’t need to be defeatists, we need to be optimistic and hopeful.
So if you plan on being here, let’s make here the best here it can be.
My family and I moved back here to contribute and partake. That’s what being a good citizen is about. You add value to your environment and you engage in the richness of its culture.
But here’s my hunch; a high percentage of you who will move away in the coming months and years, you’ll find yourself in a similar situation, a similar mindset as you have here. You may like the summer temperature in your new location or even the air quality. Those things might be significantly better for you, but in a year or two you’ll find yourself complaining again. The complaints may not be the same, but they will linger. Because your attitude about your city is more about your attitude than your city. Changing your perspective, changes your life and you don’t have to move cities to do that. You may have to move away from relationships or situations, but you may not have to leave your city.
Feel free to disagree, but I love these two cities and I think you should too.
Related Content: 8 Things I learned about Fresno from @HiddenCash
Rachel Lewis is a Student Impact volunteer at Two Cities Church. She’s a student at Buchanan High School and this is the story of how she searched for and found Two Cities online. Came with her mom and eventually decided to be baptized. Here’s her story:
It’s been one year since we launched Two Cities Church into every week Sunday services. We had been networking, fundraising, and praying for what seemed like forever. It took us 6 years of waiting, praying, seeking, listening, learning and dreaming, plus two years of ground work, to get to our launch day. We were filled with expectation, curiosity, and nerves on that day. I remember being a ball of nerves. I don’t get nervous, but on that day I was. We launched with a vision message that we called #WeAreTwoCities. One year later, we took a look back and celebrated what God has done. [You can listen to that here or on our iPhone app.]
These photos were from our One Year Anniversary after party. See more Photo Booth pictures from our One Year Anniversary here.
After one year, a lot of heartache, ups and downs, changes in our team, changes in the faces that volunteer and attend and more… I continue to say, “It’s Worth it.” It being church planting that is FOR our community and the people in our community. But here’s the thing, it’s worth it because Jesus said with his actions, “You are worth it.” When he spoke to people the religious leaders avoided and he forgave people who didn’t deserve forgiveness and he taught and healed and loved… he communicated that each person, each individual is worth it all. And ultimately, when he died a gruesome and embarrassing death, he did that to pay for the sins of each “worth it” person. You and me.
I know I’m right where God wants me and I can’t wait to see what he does in and through Two Cities Church in our second year.
Yesterday I had the honor of baptizing my brother-in-law, Mitch Karraker, at his parent’s home in Clovis, CA. When I first met Mitch, he was a great kid. I’ve always felt that God would use him for big things. He comes from a long legacy of spiritual leaders and sometimes that can be a big burden for people, but not for Mitch. I love his honesty and how he tells his story. It’s a story you may recognize. It’s a story you may resonate with. Maybe it’s your story or the story of your kids, or maybe you’re hoping that’s how it ends, but you aren’t sure yet. Like Mitch said, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to Him, and He will make your paths straight.” (Proverbs 3:5-6)
Thanks for letting me be a part of your baptism, your life, your family and your story.