- 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.
The People of God: A Praise Factory
What if we considered ourselves a praise factory? What if the Church was a factory for God’s praise? When we praise God, we celebrate His person, presence, and actions. One Hebrew word for this is Halal, which means to shine and boast, all in one.
How do you like that? We are a factory for shining the boasts of God. Or maybe we are the shining boasts of God?
How about that sentence: “Unity and Praise are constitutive?” As in part of what makes us Christians, what makes us the people of God, is our unity together as we praise the one true and living God?
This comment was great “Praise and worship is like we all bring our faith and dump it together in a pot.” That is the truth. When we come together to sing songs to God, or to pray and give Him glory, it makes a better thing than if we only did it by ourselves in isolation.
Peaceful as a Weaned Baby
 O LORD, my heart is not lifted up;
my eyes are not raised too high;
I do not occupy myself with things
too great and too marvelous for me.
 But I have calmed and quieted my soul,
like a weaned child with its mother;
like a weaned child is my soul within me.
(Psalm 131:1-2 ESV)
The picture here is awesome. God’s peace, the calm and quiet soul at peace, is like a baby that doesn’t have to cry for milk anymore. A weaned baby eats and is full, is still. Still with its mother, just sitting.
I remember with each of our kids the feelilng my wife felt when our kids were weaned and just sat with her. They were no longer whining or rooting for milk, they were just sitting and holding on and happy to be held by their mommy.
The person at peace and full of the Lord doesn’t have to worry about things that are too lofty for them, like if Obama is going to invade Texas, or the next crazy germ to break out somewhere. He doesn’t have to demand gifts from the Lord or raise his eyes up above what he currently has to demand more.
A weaned child sitting in her mother’s arms asking for a bunch of stuff that the mother knows better about is just a spoiled brat. There is no peace there.
A weaned child sitting and enjoying the shear fact of being with her momma brings joy to them both. How much more-so with our Lord!
WCAGLS14: Bill Hybels’ Opening Talk
Here are my notes from the opening session at the Willow Creek Association Global Leadership Summit.
It was Bill Hybels and it was a good talk.
After this my word of the day was QUEEN-FREAKIN-MARY although I was convinced that I was going to slip at some point.
Be Selectively All-Powerful, Lord
God is Always the One That Does It
Healing Prayer Seminar v.1
These are just my scribbled notes, but some of them might make sense. There isn’t a lot here mainly because we spent so much time praying!
Full Armor Prayer Guide
Spurgeon quoted by Dale Beaver: The Hard To Pull Bow
This was in Dale Beaver’s sermon from 11/18/12 at CFC. We weren’t there on Sunday, but I listened to some from the atrium as my 3rd son practiced being a ring bearer at a friend’s wedding. The next morning I tuned in via YouVersion Live and read this quote:
“We cannot draw the bow of prayer alone. Sometimes a bow of steel is
not broken by our hands, for we cannot even bend it; and then the Holy
Ghost puts his mighty hand over ours, and covers our weakness so that
we draw; and lo, what splendid drawing of the bow it is then! The bow
bends so easily we wonder how it is; away flies the arrow, and it
pierces the very center of the target, for he who giveth has won the
day, but it was his secret might that made us strong, and to him be
the glory of it.”
-C H Spurgeon, The Holy Spirit’s Intercession
I read that to the boys and they thought it was cool. They can relate to having a bow that is too hard to pull.
They also immediately related it to Hawkeye’s move in the Avengers, when he shoots an arrow behind him and wipes out a Chitari. They seem to really understand how the Holy Spirit works, in a elementary school way.
Sometimes the thing we are praying for looks like the main thing, the right thing-even, that we should be focussed on. Drawing to God with thanksgiving, surrender, and openness is what focuses our aim in the right direction, and moves God to blast the target for His glory.
From Secrecy to Publicity
2 Samuel 7:14-15 NET
When he sins, I will correct him with the rod of men and with wounds inflicted by human beings. But my loyal love will not be removed from him as I removed it from Saul, whom I removed from before you.
I think it’s great here that even though David and God (and later Solomon and God) have a supernatural relationship, God is going to use natural, human events to discipline Solomon. The things that nobody sees that Solomon will do against God, God will punish and correct in front of everyone to see. This sounds like a bad thing, but God is abundantly graceful, because He does this in discipline and in blessing.
Matthew 6:6 NET
But whenever you pray, go into your room, close the door, and pray to your Father in secret. And your Father, who sees in secret, will reward you.
So God doesn’t just discipline publicly the sin that is in secret, He also answers the prayers in public that you offer up to Him in secret!
Last week I talked to one of my mentors about a tough situation I’m in and that I’m witnessing. He said, “Go and grieve before the Lord. Go and grieve in His presence. Declare things before Him and tell Him. He will change the hearts of people that are not geographically close to you. He will change events. He will tell you things that you would not naturally know that will help you make decisions about things.”
That is pretty awesome to realize the truth in that. We can talk to God and relate to God in secrecy, but when He answers and moves, He participates in the world of Men.
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