Mack's Corner

This Week

Just Bragging

Sometimes I just have to brag on Hope. I can't help it.. This is an Email I got several years ago from Matthew Temple who used to run concerts for us. The email was a follow up to the 2nd Toby Mac Concert:

"Because the way the tour was set up on our stage it made it so about 40 people were not going to be able to see well and/or were going to be sitting directly in front of a wall of subwoofer speakers.  

So I had a stack of tickets for new seats in envelopes with the people's names on them and was walking around waiting to see these guests and explain the situation and offer to move them.  The first guests I came upon were a boy in a motorized wheelchair with his mom and grandma.  The boy was 14 and he had no hair at all. 

I approached them and introduced myself and told them that I wanted to move them.  Unfortunately I had not anticipated the wheelchair, and the seats I wanted to move them into would not work.  So now I've told them that I want to move them to better seats, but we're sold out and I don't have any seats for them because of the wheelchair.  The grandmother even said that she would sit apart from them if that would make it easier.

But I decided to simply put them front and center in two stackable chairs right in front of Toby Mac and the other artists-maybe 5 feet from the stage.  They had the best seats in the house and they were thrilled!!  I had done my good deed for the day and went about my business and didn't think about it again.

After the concert ended I ran into them in the foyer and walked up to say Hi and see how they enjoyed the concert.  The boy had his Toby Mac tour shirt on and was grinning ear to ear.  They all said they loved it!  Then the mom asked me if she could speak to me for a second and she stepped away from her son.  I stepped toward her, and the boy moved his wheelchair right up against us to hear what she wanted to say to me.  She must not have really minded if he heard her, because she proceeded to speak to me knowing he could hear everything.

What she told me is that he loves Toby Mac and had come to his concert at Hope in July of 2010.  But that he has terminal cancer and no one had expected him to still be alive for this long.  At this point I'm trying not to ball like a baby in the foyer in front of 5,000 people.  She's telling me this and he's looking right at me.  So when they heard that Toby was coming back to Hope and it was possible that the boy would still be alive to come to it, they were ecstatic!  That it had given him a reason to fight a little longer, to still be alive for the concert.  And when they got to the concert and we moved them to the best spot in the house right in front of the stage, they couldn't believe it.

Wow, what do you say to that?  I was crying, I couldn't help it.  I did my best to say something encouraging to this young man, knowing full well I will likely never see him again on this side of Heaven.  I have four sons and I cannot even begin to imagine.

And let me finish with this.  The concert at Hope was the first night of the tour, which is why they were here for two days so they could rehearse on Wednesday and Thursday.  The very next night they were in Baton Rouge.  Some of you might have seen on facebook that the tour arrived at the venue in Baton Rouge to protestors on the street saying they weren't the "right kind" of Christian music.  I am very, very thankful to work for a church like Hope that never shrinks back from taking risks and doing the right thing, even if there might be some blow back from a small but vocal minority.  What other church in Memphis would have done this concert?  Only Hope."

God's like that!

Nothing else to say…


Cooking 220 - 2 pans, 2 burners, 20 minutes:

How to get your kids (or yourself) to eat Brussels Sprouts

Penne with Brussels Sprouts, Chile and Pancetta

TOTAL TIME 20 minutes

Sea salt

8 ounces penne

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, more for drizzling

3 ounces pancetta, diced or Bacon

1 large rosemary sprig

6 garlic cloves, smashed and peeled

1 jalapeño or Serrano chile, thinly sliced (or substitute 1 large pinch crushed red pepper flakes)

Freshly ground black pepper

8 ounces brussels sprouts, thinly sliced

2 teaspoons butter

1 lemon, for serving

Freshly grated pecorino cheese


1.Bring large pot heavily salted water to a boil. Add the penne and cook until pasta is just al dente (do not overcook). Use directions on the box.

2.Meanwhile, heat large sauté pan over high heat and add the olive oil. When oil is hot, add the pancetta/bacon and rosemary, and sauté until the fat on the pancetta/bacon starts to turn translucent and very lightly brown, about 1 minute.

3.Add the garlic, chile and freshly ground black pepper to taste, and sauté until garlic and pancetta turn richly brown, about 3 minutes.

4.Add the brussels sprouts, a large pinch of salt and a splash of water to pan, and sauté until sprouts just start to soften, about 2 minutes. Spread sprouts mixture in pan and press down to flatten. Let it sear for a minute, then stir it up and repeat. This helps brown the sprouts.

5.Add the butter, and sauté for another minute.

6.Drain penne and add it to pan with brussels sprouts mixture. Cook, tossing, until everything is well mixed.

Spoon into pasta bowls and top with a drizzle of oil and lemon juice, and a little cheese… This is GOOOOOOOD !!!!!! and Even You can do it!!!


How about saving a kid's life!!

When you give Platelets it's like giving St Jude $700 - $1000. If we don't give them, they have to buy them.

Giving Platelets is like giving blood, it just takes longer (1 1/2 hours) and you get all of your blood back (so you can do it every week if you want) . I know it's a long trip to go all the way down to St Jude, but you may be saving a kid's life . plus you get to watch a movie while you're there. Call Kim at 901.595.2024 and she'll setup an appointment and treat you like family. Just tell her you're from Hope.

Directions: From Poplar, turn north on Third Street, then right on Lauderdale/Jackson Ave (first right after you go under the expressway). Enter through the north guard gate (you'll see the Danny Thomas Pavilion. Gold top).

Tell the guard at the gate that you are here to donate blood. The guard will instruct you where to park. You will then enter the hospital by the red side door closest to the blood donor parking lot. The Blood Donor Center is in the southwest corner of the hospital on the ground floor.

Appointment times are generally available Monday through Friday from 8:00am to 4:00pm. Except on Tuesdays they start at 9:15am.

See you this weekend. Bring a friend. It's going to be great!!!


Posted by Mack Oates at 5:13 AM