- I looked around at such a huge crowd of people, and God loves them so much. I was moved at the thought of what a great number of people God has saved!
- Romans 14 stuff. I don’t have to fix everyone or judge how everyone is doing. I had a hard time for a bit judging people that were there. This wasn’t about that at all. It was about attention on worshipping the Lord.
- We were waiting out on the lawn, looking at the 4 hour line, and I said we should just start praying and worshipping right there. My daughter said “yeah, what are we waiting for?” and we all started singing. There were about 100 people on the lawn and many of them had hands raised and were singing or praying. But there were hundreds to thousands in the line waiting. Some of them were singing or praying, but nowhere close to the majority. The majority were just standing around and talking like they were in line for a movie. I don’t want to be too critical of them, but I am a little bit. If that whole crowd would have just gathered together instead of spreading out in a line on the sidewalk for a half mile, the whole place would have transformed! At one point I shouted “The louder you sing, the warmer you get!” because it was 21 degrees out there. One guy shouted “Hallelujah” from the lawn, but the line didn’t start singing.
- If all of the men would have grouped together outside and worshipped and let the women and children inside, that would have changed everything. I saw old women waiting in line outside while young studs stood with their cell phones videoing inside the main room. C’mon guys!
- It was really really good to have a dedicated 3-hour prayer and worship time. When you have a long time to do that, you pray and worship in a completely different way. You sing choruses more times over and over again if you aren’t rushing through a setlist. I bet we sang some choruses 15 times, and it was good. You got to a point where you really got to pray the words as you sang them.
- Since the event was not time-specific, there was a very free come-and-go feel to it. We showed up and joined in on whatever song we wanted. You could stop and sit down and pray or use the bathroom or eat a snack and then join right back in. There was no sermon to get to or schedule. I’m curious how much this is critical to a revival type of event like this. Everyone knew it was just going to be an ongoing thing. Nobody was anxious to get to anything (except maybe the people freezing in line for the main room. I’m still curious about how cutting works in that line.)
- I talked to a guy at the overflow church where we were. He said “Yeah, we’re not going to do this tomorrow, we’re going to have church. So we’ll have to block off parking so our people can come and we can have our church service.” That struck me as so weird. There is this amazing thing happening 5 blocks away, that 10,000 people are coming to (we met some from Atlanta!) and you’re going to kick them out so you can have your weekly church service? In a city of 6,000 people, with 13 churches (I counted), you are going to turn away pilgrims coming for this event so your congregation can do their weekly thing? I mean, I guess it is the Sunday before Lent, so that’s a big deal, right?
- It was so good to have so many different songs and types of songs. The Body of Christ is diverse and we’re all coming from different cultures. I loved to sing some of those songs and I was able to participate and engage in a lot. Another group got up and led worship for a while and that wasn’t my style. BUT I could tell that they were certainly worshiping Jesus in the style most comfortable to them. That gave me a great opportunity to appreciate some other people pray differently for a while, and join in when I wanted. All worship music is about preference. It really is. Otherwise we’d all be singing only 1000 BC hebraic songs in Hebrew. I don’t think that’s necessary. It was great to sing different styles of worship songs.
- Don’t let the spectators get you down. While we were in the overflow church, singing and praying, I could hear a murmur in the room. I stopped and looked around, and there were a lot of people just sitting and chatting. It was like they were watching a baseball game. At one point I did some instruction on intercessory prayer with my kids, so I was talking too, so I shouldn’t be quick to put down everyone in the room, but I doubt they were doing that. It didn’t seem like it. If you go to a place where people are doing a lot of praying and praising God, don’t get the popcorn and sit around and talk about it. Respect the place. Respect the tone in the room.
- My kids commented that we’re really glad we went to this after watching the Chosen scenes with the crowds. It’s cool to see hundreds and hundreds of people displaced to go draw close to Jesus. It definitely had a feed the 5,000 feel to it. We were too cold, away from home, wanting to worship Jesus. That was awesome.
Teaching at a Valentine’s Dinner
These are some of the scripture notes from Notion. I’ll fill in some of my points afterward.
Basically, I’m making the case that we were put here to build something together, and the thing we’re building is the Body of Christ!
Here’s the recording, in case you want to hear what I said. I talked about how God created us to build up the Garden of Eden.
Failing that, we got an even better task, to build up one another, which is the Church. Scriptures after the recording.
Genesis 2:5 (ESV): When no bush of the field was yet in the land and no small plant of the field had yet sprung up—for the Lord God had not caused it to rain on the land, and there was no man to work the ground,
Genesis 2:15 (ESV): The Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to work it and keep it.
Genesis 2:18 (ESV): Then the Lord God said, “It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him.”
“Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing.” 1 Thessalonians 5:11 ESV
“We who are strong have an obligation to bear with the failings of the weak, and not to please ourselves. Let each of us please his neighbor for his good, to build him up.” Romans 15:1-2 ESV
“For whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, that through endurance and through the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope. May the God of endurance and encouragement grant you to live in such harmony with one another, in accord with Christ Jesus, that together you may with one voice glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore welcome one another as Christ has welcomed you, for the glory of God.” Romans 15:4-7 ESV
“So with yourselves, since you are eager for manifestations of the Spirit, strive to excel in building up the church.” 1 Corinthians 14:12 ESV
Go Find Me Outside the Camp
13Therefore let us go to him outside the camp and bear the reproach he endured.
14For here we have no lasting city, but we seek the city that is to come.Hebrews 13:13–14 (ESV)
If we aren’t going to follow the law (which we know has now been made completely unnecessary from Romans 10:4 and a lot of previous chapters of Hebrews), we go where all of the lawbreakers go, outside the camp.
The wild part is, there is a tent of meeting out there where anybody can go meet with God whenever they want — without a sacrifice!
7Now Moses used to take the tent and pitch it outside the camp, far off from the camp, and he called it the tent of meeting. And everyone who sought the Lord would go out to the tent of meeting, which was outside the camp.Exodus 33:7 (ESV)
So even if you are clean, if you ‘sought the Lord’ you would go outside the camp, among all of the other people that were outside of the camp, and meet Him there.
My sermon from Hebrews 9
Here is my sermon from New Year’s Day on Hebrews 9. I think my favorite thing about this section is the hope it instills. This world and everything in it is passing away, and the old ways of Torah and the Law are part of that. The temple, tabernacle, priestly order — the whole bit — were just a shadow of all of the life Jesus would bring to us. Enjoy.
Craig Groschel Opening Talk at GLS 2022
Here are my notes from the opening of the Global Leadership Summit 2022. It was a good talk and a lot of the things he mentioned came up from other speakers throughout the next 2 days. Particularly the paradoxes. There were other speakers that either exemplified or talked about things like being confident and humble, direct and kind, or empowering and controlling.
At the end he asked people to stand to show which one of the 3 we wanted to work on the most. I felt stupid standing up in a room of 540 people to say I wanted to work on being humble. I stood during the 3rd choice because that was the one that resonated with me the least. If I get the Confident and Humble points, and the Driven and Healthy sounds relatable, maybe the Focused and Flexible is the one I need to improve in.
My nametag listed “Various” as my organization, so some FOCUS would be good!
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