Thoughts from the weekend:
Debbie and I got to attend a Cubs game last Friday - it was a beautiful day at the ballpark.
The Cubs are on a roll! Maybe this is the year - at any rate there was an overwhelming sense of excitement at Wrigley!
I really enjoyed worship yesterday - David and the team did a wonderful job in ministry. God's Spirit was present in a powerful way!
Thanks to the entire worship team - thanks walking in the anointing of God!
Momentum is building for our first annual City Fest. Please pray about being a part of this outreach that has two goals: Connect people to Christ. Connect our church family to the community.
Let's all pray that many will come to Christ!
I would like to echo one thought that I gave yesterday as a word of encouragement to everyone.
We saw yesterday that Paul enters Corinth (Acts 18) - a wicked, ungodly city of huge, evil proportions. He is one man - with the burden and God given goal of reaching that city for God.
Even, or I should say especially (Acts 18:6) the Jews opposed Paul and became abusive the verse says (religious people).
Acts 18:9,10 tells us: "One night the Lord spoke to Paul in a vision: "Do not be afraid; keep on speaking, do not be silent. For I am with you, and no one is going to attack and harm you, because I have many people in this city."
What a wonderful word for all of us in times of difficulty.
God says to you, "Do not be afraid - keep on speaking, keep on going."
Every person in the Bible who was ever used by God to any degree was told over and over again.
Fear not. Fear not. Fear not. Fear not.
If you are a normal human being (like all of us) you are thinking when you read or hear this, "I'll try, but I can't help it. I don't want to feel afraid, but I can't help it."
Here's what I know: When the Bible says, "Fear not", it doesn't mean, don't feel fear."
Any time you try to do something for God (like Paul - reaching Corinth) - any time you try to reach out and do something you have never done before, any time you start trying to come out of a bondage you are in or have worked yourself into, anytime you try to change your situation, fear will rush right up into your face and try to stop you.
And we think to ourselves: "I shouldn't feel that way."
But feeling fear is not the problem; you are normal if you feel fear.
The mistake is in bowing your knee to the feeling of fear - instead of going ahead and doing what you are afraid of while you are afraid.
In other words: Just do it - afraid!
Faith is more than believing that God can do something. Faith is taking action.
It is moving ahead in spite of your fears. Faith is doing the thing you fear the most in spite of how you feel. Faith does not always remove the fearful feelings, but it gives you the strength to move ahead in spite of those feelings.
Gang, don't let the devil (or abusive people around you) rob you of the destiny God has for you. Step out and face your fears, face your pain and just do it!
Love you all.....