This weekend we concluded our series on prayer with the creative title, PRAYER. It was a good weekend & all, but a little sad. I kind of hated ending this series. I’m going to post a few “Month of Prayer” type reflections in a couple of days, so I don’t want to elaborate too much, but this month we have felt such Holy Spirit synergy! I can honestly say that it surpassed our, or at least, my expectations by a country mile.
MESSAGE – I had lots of fun with this weeks’ message. I felt a little like I was cheating because I got to do lots of stuff with the message that I love. I love preaching out of the gospels. I love teaching on prayer (probably b/c I’ve been a struggler for much of my life & have now achieved the lofty status of novice ☺), I love Luke & then this passage had everything – a parable, some humor, bone jarring words from Jesus that challenge you to the core (ask and it will be given to you…). During the series, I’ve been reading through Richard Foster’s book called Prayer. He is almost as clever with titles as we are. This message had a couple of quotes from the book, but this one was hard to get through without choking up:
Does not every cell w/in you cry out for this life? Is there not deep inside a longing for his continuous presence? Do you not crave an increase of God’s love, God’s joy, God’s peace, God’s power? My bet is that a little prayer sprinkled here & there is simply not enough for you. Oh no, you want more, much more. You long to burn the eternal flame.
JON DAVIES MY JOURNEY – Maybe the best thing about this series has been the marvelous “My Journey’s”. This week, Jon shared the story of the miracle that he experienced being able to walk his daughter down the aisle on her wedding day & then being able to stand & dance the father / daughter dance. I love how God’s name is honored & his people are moved when he “acts on behalf of those who wait for Him” (Isa 64:4). I don’t think there were too many dry eyes, not due to sentimentality, but because it is beautiful when God works. If you missed it, it’s worth the podcast simply to hear Jon’s story. It didn’t hurt that he did all 3 services in a Charger uni.
“TOGETHER” – Part of the message was about not “losing heart” as Jesus warned about. It’s critical that we have a sense of “togetherness” if we are to “keep heart”. I remember the great Dietrich Bonhoeffer in his must read little book, Life Together, writing if not from a prison cell, with the imminent certainty of one in his mind: “the physical presence of other followers of Jesus is an unspeakable blessing which we may not always have.” So I tried to weave a strong plug for small groups & the prayer ministry into the message. Don’t miss out.
2 VIDEOS – I also loved having 2 videos in the service. One was the Baptism Video. You can check it out on Youtube using this link (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G2QA-9Gqp6g&feature=channel_page) I love those. I can’t wait for this Sunday. Our next BIG BEACH BAPTISM! But then we were able to watch the ELIJAH SERIES PROMO VIDEO. I have one word: WOW! Followed by a question: how are the messages ever going to live up to the promo video. Check out http://vimeo.com/6437872 to see it.
NICK TORTENSON & CO – Sunday afternoon it was great to have lunch with a friend from Fresno that was in the youth ministry when I was there. He was down with his wife & some friends from here in SD. I’m so encouraged that Nick is serving Jesus with everything he’s got!