Today was one of my favorite Sundays ever.
First, on my drive to The Loft early this morning, I was praying and listening to the Gospel XM radio station, and the first song, as soon as I turned on the radio, contained a prayer for breakthrough that echoed the prayer I had prayed just a moment earlier. The second song contained the phrase, "I will not be dismayed," which was a phrase from my morning prayer time, and the third song corresponded to the message I was preparing to preach from Galatians 1:11-24, on "Free to Change!" God knows he has to hit me over the head to get through my thick skull, so he had to be extremely obvious in speaking his gracious blessing to me this morning.
God was in the house at Cobblestone Community Church in a mighty way, working through Under Cover and their leading of the songs, "I am Free," "My Chains are Gone/Amazing Grace," "Deep in Love/Oh, How He Loves" and "The Heart of Worship." Under Cover is a powerful weapon in God's hands, and today was no exception. Jamie's leadership of "My Chains are Gone" was beautiful, the Spirit was glorious, the people's singing was awesome. And, of course, I can't help but be overwhelmed with blessing and gratitude at the way my son, my boy, leads "Oh, How He Loves!" God is using him and I'm so very grateful.
I loved speaking the third message in our "Livin' Venti" message series on Galatians 1:11-24, "Free to Change." What a beautiful response from the people of God as they brought written prayers forward to the front during the response time, asking God to change them.
I got to personally welcome four or five new couples or families to the church and give them a red welcome folder. Also got to pray with some precious souls, and always love that.
A beautiful "afterglow" happened following today's celebrations, especially after the second celebration, when people hung around at the front of the auditorium for prayer and fellowship. I love it when people are praying and crying AND LAUGHING! What a blessing. I've been hoping and praying that becomes a much more regular thing. It's happening.
Our Peru mission team was due to arrive home this afternoon after a fruitful and blessed time of ministry and construction and fellowship in Arequipa with our friends Don and Christie Latta. I know they had a great time, and tasted alpaca, ostrich, and guinea pig (and, I hope, granadilla)....but I cannot wait to hear how God blessed them and used them. I want to hear updates on Don and Christie, on Gianni and Giannina, Luis and Yvonne, Fio, Hebert, Ponchita, Juan Manuel and his family, Natalia, Reuben, Jack, and more. Such special people.
And excitement is growing to a fever pitch for the "Armed and Ready" all-night prayer event that will take place at The Loft this Friday night! What a blessing that is going to be, with multiple churches, pastors, worship teams, and many saints of God planning to participate. I'm praying for God to blow our minds and hearts and to blow the lid off the church in this area, uniting us and IGNITING us! It's gonna be awesome. I hope you can come. It grieves me when my precious friends and flock miss out on such mighty winds of joy and blessing as we've been experiencing and as I'm expecting this Friday evening and Saturday morning! Don't miss out!