Week 47 – Impact Church – Soul Surfer Bethany Hamilton

On Sunday for round 2 of our Week 47, and at Marykay’s request, we re-visited Impact Church near Scottsdale airpark with our cousin Natalie. The guest speaker was Bethany Hamilton, the surfer whose arm was bitten off by a shark in Hawaii. We have seen her movie Soul Surfer at least 5 times. It is such an amazing story and makes you think if she could overcome a shark attack and be back in the water 30 days later, you could probably survive just about anything. Her story and faith in God’s plan for her is truly inspiring.

Bethany has a great sense of humor and she went on to become a professional surfer who does speaking engagements all over the country. The crowd was predominately parents and their young pre-teen girls. The Pastor was very funny and casually mentioned that he was used to the paparazzi environment in church because he gets that all the time too. The cameras and video cams were out in full force. He also asked her not to tell Larry Fitzgerald that she brought in a LOT more people than Larry did the week before. Amazing!

Her goal with the movie was to glorify God. She and her mother have spent time praying for guidance in how to best glorify God through their lives and had to work very hard to keep the “sharks” in Hollywood from changing the direction of the movie. Each day they felt that they had to keep Hollywood honest through script re-writes so that the faith aspect of her story was honored. I think The Vow with Rachel McAdams and Channing Tatum suffered a similar predicament.

Bethany talked about a surfing phenomenon called the Impact Zone where you are pummeled again and again by brutal waves. The Pastor felt that when our lives were in the Impact Zone; even though it is painful and exhausting we come out in a better, stronger place afterwards. I also thought it interesting that when they surf through those gorgeous tunnels they are lucky to get 1 second of tunnel time. Bethany said 5 seconds of surfing the wave tunnel was rad. Can you imagine all that work for 1-5 seconds? Now that’s dedication.

Bethany does raise money for her foundation: http://www.friendsofbethany.com/
Soul Surfer the Movie: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1596346/
Impact Church: http://www.impactchurch.com/

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