This was a pretty stellar weekend. It was odd, throughout a basically joyous weekend; I kept having reminders that we are in spiritual war-zone. Death & evil does not take Kingdom movement without a little pushback – marriages that look they are failing, people struggling with loss, finances frayed because we still can’t find work, “this chemo is knocking me on my **%.”
• CONGRATS TO SMART PEOPLE – Jason Denison our worship pastor & T.C. Porter (is a part of Journey & is leading a missional church plant called Adams Ave Crossing) both graduated from Bethel Seminary on Saturday. It was great to be with them – the commencement went a little long… I just got home in time for Sunday services. I know what this took. I’m proud of you guys. They both did seminary married, with kids & while serving.
• WORSHIP – REVELATION SONG RUINED ME. I love how the Holy Spirit is free to do as He pleases. On Sunday, I’m minding my own business thinking – bummer we’re only doing 3 songs today. When our band leads us in this song called Revelation Song. I just got overwhelmed. I’m standing there, weeping out of now where… then Emily leads us in this line: “Filled with wonder, Awestruck wonder, At the mention of Your Name, Jesus, Your Name is Power, Breath, and Living Water, Such a marvelous mystery…” As my Italian phrase uttering friend Don Solin would say, MARONE! O the marvel, the wonder that we are included in this!
• THE DANCE ROCKED – Pam Turner et al put together a powerful dance woven with scripture that preached the message before I even said a word.
• THE MESSAGE – way long. Sorry. The subject was a weird balance of eminent practicality & philosophical reflection. The movie really raises a question that is worth wrestling with and is all over the Bible: Can we live I a world filled with evil without becoming evil? How is it that we can overcome evil with good?
• BEACH BAPTISM – by far the highlight of the weekend was what I’m starting to call the “BEACH BAPTISM FIESTA!”
I think about 75 people were baptized. There were so many “only God” stories. Someone with an 18-year meth addiction – “I will restore the years the locusts have eaten.” A new believer (about 28) with his 80 year old grandfather, 2 twin guys in Jr High that showed up late & insisted I get back in & dunk them. Nick got some sweet ink in celebration of his upcoming baptism. As I was walking down to the water, I saw Jim Hammond, our stellar technical arts director grinning. We kind of shoved each other & said, “this is why we do this!” I do think a view that I get, that I wish I could share with you is watching that people on the beach. I see people who have invested & sacrificed & prayed – there were a couple of great examples from Real Life of this. The look on their face as their friends stand in that water is absolutely priceless.
• SURF REPORT – it has been a blast lately. A nice south swell rolled in last week & it’s been mucho fun, especially today.
I’m looking forward to next weekend.
Here’s some extra pics