Crazy week for me getting ready to close out our series on Radical Living: I Love The 80′s. GREAT services yesterday and incredible presence of God in the place. Here are my ruminations on the day.
— 10 people acknowledged they received Jesus as their Savior yesterday! WOO HOO! That NEVER gets old.
— If only for the one!
— MANY other people indicated a request for prayer as they were facing specific crossroads in their life that they needed to make clear decisions on. Loved seeing people respond to the message with need and action.
— This last week was a crazy one for me. Both Adam and I try to be ahead 4 – 6 weeks on sermon & worship concepts. We spend a lot of time seeking God and planning on what is coming down the road for Element Church. I knew 6 weeks ago what I was preaching on this past Sunday. Earlier this past week I had the entire sermon done but just didn’t feel like I had God’s approval on it. It wasn’t “bad” just not what the Spirit wanted me to speak. I felt some direction from God, wrote a second sermon, but again didn’t feel like the meat was right in that one either. So I threw sermon #2 away. By Thursday night (last day in office) I didn’t have a finalized sermon. It’s the latest in the week I’ve ever been without having a sermon completed. I requested prayer from key leaders in our church and sought God’s direction. By Saturday morning, I felt confident that what I had was what God wanted me to speak.
— I’ve had God change directions on me before, just never this late in the game. I’ll be honest, even walking on to the stage I was unsure of what God was going to do. I knew that IF I preached a sermon, the sermon I had in front of me was what God wanted. I was very uncertain about what was going to happen yesterday. As the pastor, that is not fun. lol
— However, the moment I stepped behind the pulpit, I felt the confidence of the Holy Spirit. The Lord gave me clarity of thought and speech and everything seemed to work out great! Element Church, thank you for being open to the winds of the Spirit like that. If we don’t listen to the whispers of God, He’ll stop speaking.
— God DEFINITELY taught me some specific things through this past week. Some things I needed shaped, molded and reminded of. Maybe I’ll share those someday. The message hit me, LONG before it you! And by the way, if a pastor is only preaching messages that never challenge or change HIM, he has a pride issue! (my opinion)
— I didn’t conclude with our final core value yesterday. Instead I spoke from 2 Chronicles 15 on four crossroads we will face if we pursue the radical life. Here are some excerpts from the message:
— Asa was at a point in his life where he could have stepped off the gas, got comfortable, and remained where he was. It would have been easy to “forget” who and what got him to where he was. God basically said through the prophet “All this stuff matters little if you don’t have me!” Don’t stop what God has started in your life.
— Does my pursuit make my stuff better or the Kingdom of God bigger?
— The biggest danger to our faith is NOT in our lack but in our plenty, for in our plenty we can so easily trust in that which we possess.
— God’s presence and favor is not proven by His provisions or blessings but by His promises. It is in His promise that I find His presence.
— Radical living is not about getting what I think I deserve when I think I need it. Most often, radical living is simply knowing that I did the right thing REGARDLESS of what I receive.
— Too many of us think of Jesus as our way of avoiding the fire rather than allowing him to set us on fire. We want all the benefits of God without actually having to do anything FOR God or be changed BECAUSE of God. When we treat God this way, we’ve essentially become what we used to call “friends with benefits”. We get out of God what WE want, WHEN we want it with no real commitment required.
— There is no fence riding in Biblical Christianity. Riding the fence is not a way to get the best of both worlds. What we need to realize is that when Christ comes back, the fence is going to burn too! (It got pretty quiet in the room when I said that)
— What does your life say about the God that you claim?
— When we understand the significance of every word, action and life, our perspective changes. The petty things get replaced by the POTENTIAL of things. Our feelings are replaced by FAITH. Our pride is replaced with PASSION, and our selfishness is replaced with SERVICE. WHEN we understand the signficance.
— I was BLOWN AWAY by the band yesterday. I was only in for the whole set during 3rd service and they blew the stinkin’ roof off the place. After worship I wanted to go tackle the devil or something. It was so good!
— If you’re an Elementer, thank your worship team often!
— Had several new volunteers in our tech department shadowing their prospective volunteer position. Love seeing new people get plugged in.
— Don’t forget we are doing baptism on Nov. 22nd. For the first time we will baptize ON Sunday morning IN our worship experience. Got some creative ways we are going to celebrate people making their declaration through baptism. If you want to get baptized pick up an application form at the e:connect table and turn it in.
— We have 23 people signed up for The Tour newcomers lunch this coming Sunday. I love seeing new people learn about Element. Who we are and why we do what we do. Look forward to The Tour every month.
— Had some great conversations with some new families to the church. I think we had over 20 first time guests yesterday again.
— Got LOTS of Adopt-A-Family nomination forms turned in. As a church, and through YOUR generosity, we are going to be able to bless a BUNCH of families this holiday season with a Christmas they normally couldn’t have, AND with necessities of life they cannot afford. I’m excited to see what God is going to do THROUGH you this season.
— Our team will be working on 2010 plans in the next several weeks. I’d appreciate your prayers. I’m SO EXCITED for the potential impact God can have through YOU His people. I got some things stirring in my heart that scare me to God, but are SO exciting.
— Buckle up Element Church. The best is yet to come!
Till the end,