I still can't believe it.
Yesterday, we closed out our James series. (Feels like we just started.)
We walked through James 5:7-20 and discussed those moments in life where we feel like stuck in some type of suffering or delay which is beyond our ability to fix. I had a bunch of people come up to me afterward and say that our topic was for them. They were facing a variety of things, from debiliating medical ailments, to crushing financial pressures.
Here are bonus thoughts:
- Celebrating New Life — We had a number of people in each service show that they prayed to receive Christ. Wow.
- "Babu Unplugged" — Because of the concert that ended very late Saturday night, Ben decided to lead worship by himself with just his acoustic guitar. I like the dialed-down worship from time-to-time. And Ben has a gift!
- A Peter Sighting — We had a "Peter Loth sighting" in third service. He spoke at our church last month. A POWERFUL story. If you haven't purchased his book, Peace By Piece, you ought to do so today.
- Best Invention Since Sliced Bread — Yes, Disney's FASTPASS System is way, way cool. To be a legal & ethical "cutter-in-line"…because it's available to ALL people…and to pass all the stunned faces of the "huddled masses yearning to be free" (from the 2-hour Space Mountain line)…is clearly the BEST part of Disney. 🙂
- P.S. My main point is that, sometimes, you can't FASTPASS suffering. You have to sit there and take it, either (a) passively, (b) disfunctionally, or (c) actively & Biblically.
- Blessed Persecution??? — Jesus talked about the BENEFIT of suffering over in Matthew 5:10-12 (really the whole Sermon on the Mount).
- On My Mother's Grave, I Swear! — As Jesus said in Matthew 5:33-37, if you feel the need to make promise by saying, "On my mother's grave…" or "By God…" or "I pinky-swear…", all it means is that no one can trust your word NORMALLY. Not a good position for a believer. Our word should be our bond.
- It Could Be Sin… — There are a variety of reasons people can get sick. The sinfulness of this world, demonic attack (see Job), not caring for our bodies, etc. But occasionally, it can be because of consequences of a sinful lifestyle. Check out the end of 1 Corinthians 11 for an example. That's why James tells us to confess our trespasses as we're asking for someone to pray/anoint us with oil in James 5.
- One Powerful Pray-er — As James 5 says, it only take ONE person to pray a powerful, energetic, faith-based prayer, to move the hand of God, who can move the world. The illustration James used was of Elijah's prayer in 1 Kings 17-18.
- Putting My Money Where My Mouth Is — I encouraged everyone who's did NOT have "A Place to Lead" (i.e. actively serving in a Grace ministry or outreach), to try out the First Impressions Team. This team has one of the most important roles in the church. People decide in the first 7 minutes whether they are going to return & give us a shot at introducing them to Christ & discipling them. Well, I'm going to put my money where my mouth is & serve as a Parking Lot Attendant sometime. When you see me out there, don't leave me hanging. Wave!
Next weeked, we're kicking off a new series called "Ministering to God." It's all part of getting ready to launch our year-long intiative of reading through the Bible as a church in 2011: OWNit365.com.