In reflecting back on this weekend, I’m filled with gratitude for the fin de semana we just had. To be honest, I had grave doubts about the people’s choice. It’s a dangerous thing to turn your fate over to the public (“I hate the public… how can I get the public to love me” Homer Simpson). But believe it or not there was an important message & we ended up with a great weekend. Here are a few highlights for me:
• PREACHING TO MYSELF – I think Billy Idol could re-release “dancing with myself” for pastors under this title. I felt like I was preaching to myself this weekend. This was especially true of the 1st main point about “Cynicism”. I tend to take a very real world, earthy perspective on people & things. I tend to be something of a smart….err…elic. Yeah. This is probably especially true in my own self-assessment. I was convicted to do some re-thinking. I’ll let you know when I get this figured out.
• THE PEOPLE AT JOURNEY ARE INVITING FOOLS! I LOVE IT! Like every weekend during this series, I met so many guests, friends, invitees, people who have been coming to Journey for only a few weeks. I saw lots of people saving seats for coming friends. Let’s not forget, we’ve been praying a lot about our invite temp. God moved as we prayed.
• FRIDAY NIGHT & PEOPLE BEING BORN FROM ABOVE – If you haven’t heard the message this won’t make as much sense. The closing point we talked about being born into the other world, God making you alive in the kingdom & the Kingdom alive in you. I was teaching out of John 3. Jesus said the following: John 3:3 Jesus answered and said to him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again [anothen better trans – from above] he cannot see the kingdom of God.” I was amazed at our Friday Services (our smallest service b/t 250-275 normally) there must have been 10 people who indicated they were asking God to be “born from above”. I wondered if I accidentally promised a free ham.
• HEALING – As my friend John Pacillio came up to pray anointing over me during worship before going up to speak in the 10:30 service. My neck, which has been killing me for about 2 weeks, was instantly & dramatically improved… he didn’t know about it, we didn’t pray about it. He said amen. I noticed – hey, my neck doesn’t hurt… at all.
• MAS WORSHIP POR FAVOR – We cut a little bit of our worship time during GATM. Our team is awesome. The got a lot out of the set they had. But, I’m looking forward to our normal worship run. It’s water for my thirsty soul.
• HIDDEN TALENTS… HIDDEN NO LONGER – It is a little known fact that, Jason, Rod, Matt & myself were originally cast as a part of the music dance number that is the center of ENCHANTED. We were cut out due to budgetary constraints. Finally someone saw what we could do! Seriously. Check out the Hilarious video that Dan Stevers put together. (search Dan Stevers on YouTube,)
• LIVING IN 2 WORLDS – The center of the message was the idea that to be all that we are created to be, to live the lives we were designed to, we need to live in 2 worlds. Much of my thinking on this was clarified & honed in reading N.T. Wright’s book, Simply Christian. I quoted him in the message. I CANNOT RECOMMEND A BOOK MORE HIGHLY (other than anything written by Dallas Willard, but that’s another subject). NTW is one of the top New Testament scholars on the planet today. He’s written some monumental & ground breaking stuff. Much of it is not accessible to the average schmo. The great thing about him, is he is a pastor. He isn’t just an academic. When I read an interview with him when this book was coming out, I read that he was writing a book along the lines of Mere Christianity (C.S. Lewis). I though well la de da, is that all, just an updated version of what a lot of us would consider one of the greatest modern Christian books ever… is that all? Well, what do you know, I think he pretty much did it. It feels like MC. It’s brilliant. It really is a MC for a post modern world.
• ROD’S PRESUMPTIOUS T-SHIRTS – Rod Kaya had GATM 09 t-shirts made & worn this weekend. What? Did I miss a meeting? JK – if the Lord wills (James 4:15). Check out Rod’s thoughts here on his blog.
I’m going to miss the next couple of weekends. I’ll be at a conference called OGN (operation good news) & then on a big in-law side family vacation at Lake Tahoe. I’ll blog about each of these things later. But, I’m already bummed that I’m going to miss the next couple of weekends. I absolutely love the weekends at Journey.