I can honestly say that I’m not “living for the weekend” (was that a “loverboy” song?), but I do love them. For most of us pastor types, the rhythm of our week revolves around the weekend. This is especially true for me with my role as the guy who does the messages. But honestly, they are normally fantastic. They seem to come around too fast & seem to vanish in a moment.
• This weekend we entered the “people’s choice” part of God At the Movies. The top vote getter was “I Am Legend”. Especially in the 2nd watching & as I got into it, I kept asking myself, “did these guys intend to make a ‘gospel movie’”. I had to check to see if Billy Graham was one of the executive producers. I felt like I was picking the low hanging fruit.
• This weekend was also the 2nd weekend of our NEW SUNDAY SERVICE TIMES! I think it’s working. The 2 Sunday services are pretty close to even after only 2 weeks. I know some of you early risers (sorry Gary) don’t like to hear this, but the energy level in the 9:00 compared with the 8:30 is night & day. For me the last 2 weekends have felt like time change weekends – you know when you get extra time to get it in gear.
• INVITE – Journey people rock when it comes to inviting! I keep meeting more & more guests & people that have been coming about 4 weeks. I was inviting this friend from Starbucks last week & she said, “ya, my neighobor goes to Journey & was telling me about the GMAT series”.
• “BLESS THE LORD YOU HIS WORKS” – Before the message in the 10:45 service, I shared an email of a dramatic answer to prayer for healing that happened in our after service prayer times. Guess which service was packed with people seeking a touch from God for healing etc after the service. I’m learning how important it is to share what God is doing.
• BATTING .500 – I went long in the message this weekend. I knew it would be tough when we got back into to GMAT. So the 1st weekend, I jerked one right out of the yard in terms of time! This weekend (time wise – bless God, I know He used the message) grounded weekly to the SS – easy out. Pray for me next weekend.
• VIVA LA VIDA – Our band & Matt KILLED THIS SONG. I loved how they brought it & with the B-roll behind it, it fit the context so well. VISION CASING MOMENT – Songs like this are lines thrown to the guests that come. We are saying, “we are taking time & making the effort to connect with you. Also, they are moments of integration – learning to think differently about the culture we are in. I saw one person really worshipping to a couple of the lines to the song. Not that she was ignorant that it wasn’t a “worship song”, she’s actually one of our deep prayer warrior types. Often God has moved over me as she’s prayed. It’s that she has learned to worship God in places that some, perhaps, have not.
• LOTS OF BOB – It’s no secret that I dig Bob Marley. He’s all over the Legend movie.
• 10+ CARS BROKEN INTO… INCLUDING ONE OF OURS – During the 10:45 service about 10 people got their car broken into. Lots of stolen iPods, sunglasses, cel phones, a diaper bag & a purse (pray for her), my son, David had his guitar stolen. OBVIOUSLY this isn’t a highlight. BUT, I was BLOWN AWAY, by the attitude of everyone. Our facilities guys got shop vacs out & helped vacuum out everyone’s cars. Everyone had a smile on their face. I was moved by how EVERYONE mentioned something about praying for our enemies as a proper response. No one likes this & it’s a hassle (this is the 5th time we’ve had this happen to someone in our fam), but I loved, I mean stinking LOVED, what came out of people’s mouth & heart.
• CLARIFICATION 1 – I think there is an impression out there that I don’t like doing this series. Yes it’s more work. Yes, you all didn’t HAVE TO vote for Enchanted. But I have a great time with it.
• CLARIFICATION 2 – There are always more messages that do NOT get preached every weekend than do. There were several that didn’t. Here’s a few that I had on my mind
- The Reality of Wide Spread Institutional Evil – I thought of how horrible it must have been to live through Mao’s cultural revolution, one of the Soviet Purges. The examples are legion.
- A Disease in Which One Loses One’s soul – The part I skipped on the outline looked at the remarkable similarity b/t the “dark seekers” & the demonized in the gosels.
- Darkness & Light – I only touched on this, but there is much in the bible, especially in the Johannine lit about this.
- Bio-Ethics & The Wisdom of Genetic Engineering – Because we “can” doesn’t mean we “should”. There was an Orwellian quality to Emma Thompson’s statement that “we have cured cancer”
I hope your Fin de Semana was great!