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Last weekend was the closest I’ve had to a “normal” weekend in a while. Fresh off the LEADERSHIP SUMMIT we kicked off an important series on prayer. We put all our best creative people together who are good at branding and we came up with the series title… “PRAYER”.
- PRIMAL / UBIQUITOUS PRAYER – I’ve come to the conclusion that prayer is a great topic for the spiritual seeker, for the not yet committed. I think that everyone prays. We have a weird approach / avoidance thing going on with prayer & seeking God in general. To that end, it was a great connection that our band made by performing the Carolina Liar song, “Show Me What I’m Looking For…” Poor grammar. Great song!
- BETWEEN THE WEEKENDS – More than most series, this one is more about what happens between the weekends. April King wrote a prayer guide & journal, which has 5 readings and exercises to go with each weekend of the series. I’m on day 2 as of this writing & it’s fantastic. I’m loving it.
- NEW NORMAL – We really want this month to be an invitation to journey along the path of a “NEW NORMAL” for you & God. There’s going to be tons of opportunities to dive in & try things together that may be new. Some of them will be a stretch. Of course our various prayer teams are recruiting people to dive in!
- TEACH US TO PRAY – There is a place for the prayer alone. A vital place that Jesus modeled. But there is a place for the prayer of the community, the US. It seemed to me that may sense of experiencing something together at the Leadership Summit was heightened by all the people posting real time comments & impressions on Facebook. So, thanks to my colleague, Todd Tolson we’ve created a place to post thoughts, learnings and even ways that God may be speaking to you on Facebook & twitter. In fact I’m caving TODAY and going to start with my 1st TWEET! I’ll make sure that they go up on FB also for those of you gallantly holding out.
- FRIENDS – We had a couple of cool friend times this weekend. Surfing wise it’s always way more fun when a whole crew of people show up & that was the case Saturday. The conditions weren’t epic, but it was major fun. Then our long time friends Barbie & Donnie Rea came down from Ventura. It’s great to reconnect.
I have a sense that more than usual, God is going to do something in our lives over the next month.
Monday, August 17, 2009
“BELIEVE” & The Weekend that Was
At the end of the weekend I felt that strange & actually pretty cool combination of being empty & full at the same time. The weekend, especially Sunday, was full of moments in which I felt the Lord drawing near. But there was also some heaviness, some moments in which I felt a piece of God’s heart for situations & people.
- HOLY SPIRIT HANING AROUND THE WORSHIP – It was one of those weekends, which thankfully is not at all rare for us at Journey, in which the Spirit seemed to land on our worship. I’ve felt lately & Jason’s confirmed it that the specific songs have been particularly “right”. Each service seemed to have one of these. At the 9:00 Sunday service we had one of those moments. I sensed the song & the prayer were too good to move off so we just “prayed it in”. Cool!
- MESSAGE ON BELIEVE – This one was a lot of work. There is so stinking (glorious?) much in the scripture on the connection of prayer & belief (faith – same word in the bible). I felt like I was flailing all week. But here’s what makes my job lots of fun some times. When it’s like the Lord is waiting for you in the middle of the stage. Most of the good illustrations that made the thing come alive were on the spot. Muy Fun!
- PETRA’S STORY – I absolutely LOVED Petra’s story. God’s glory was so on display when she shared about His sufficiency even in the most difficult stuff in life, the loss of her son. “It was then I heard God speak to me for the 1st time…” Psalm 29:4 comes to mind. Thanks Petra!
- PRAYER JOURNALS – people are really digging these bad boys. God is speaking to people.
- BATTLING – I don’t think it is a coincidence that in a weekend in which we’re talking about “prayer… believe” that before the services a friend comes up & shares that she just found out she has breast cancer & is scheduled for a mastectomy. After the service my friend Al comes up & says his scans are clear (and invites me to a Charger game – 2 pieces of good news).
- A COOL MOMENT – Then after we met Gene Fisher. You may recall, Gene is the Gran Torino guy. My buddy Butch made him a plaque & I wrote the inscription – “Thanks for going the extra mile. With much appreciation, your friends at Journey.” Although he wasn’t feeling well (Gene is battling cancer, too) he came & we had a cool moment of thanking Gene. Then we had a GREAT prayer time and asked God to heal him. I love guys like this. Older than me, wiser than me, full of great experiences & thankful for all that God’s given them.
Here’s a follow-up comment Ann, Butch’s wife left me on Facebook: “It was so cool that you and Butch got to connect with Gene. I think he was really touched. He asked for a card with the service times.”
- HAPPY B-DAY TO MY WONDERFUL WIFE – It was Linda’s b-day on Sunday. For her B-day we went to see the musical Wicked. Those of you that know me know how much l love musicals. She liked it a lot. I was impressed with the excellence. I haven’t seen a major musical production like this since we were dating & I was trying to give her the impression that I was more sophisticated than I really am. Must have worked.
Next weekend starts a weeklong prayer week. I’ll blog on this sometime mid-week.