Wow. God is just amazing. What a great day this was at Cobblestone, and a great start to our "How to Survive the End of the World" series.
- Con Brio, you guys did another awesome job leading worship today. Just beautiful.
- I am especially excited about this new series, from The Revelation, the last book in the Bible. Today's message, "The Last Word," was an absolute blast to study for and deliver, and I know God used it.
- In the message, I mentioned four common hermeneutical approaches to the interpretation of this book, and said, "I wish we had a few years to spend studying through the book from EACH of these four perspectives. But, we’re not gonna do that." At which I'm told there was an audible response of disappointment, and even some who said, "Go for it," or something like that! I love it!
- As I said in the message, the third verse of Revelation 1 says, "Blessed is the one who reads the words of this prophecy, and blessed are those who hear it and take to heart what is written in it, because the time is near" (Revelation 1:3, NIV). But that's not usually the attitude we take in approaching this book. We usually are looking for insight, for secrets, to learn who the antichrist is, what "666" means, and so on. But the stated purpose of this book is to bless us! And if this morning was any indication, God is definitely going to fulfill that promise in the course of this study!
- I LOVED sharing the context of the words, "I am the Alpha and the Omega" (Revelation 1:8). That kind of study floats my boat!
- Another favorite part of the preparation and message for me was the realization that, "if we come to the study of The Revelation WITHOUT focusing on Jesus, that just shows us how badly we NEED the message of this book."
- One of those unplanned Spirit things: I had planned a different conclusion to today's message...but 2/3 of the way through the message in the first celebration, I knew why Johnny Cole's singing of the Tommy Walker song, "Speak to Me," had so moved me and why I had immersed myself in that song over the last 48 hours....so from the stage I asked Suzan to get ready to play this song and (yea Suzan!) she had it ready. It was the accompaniment to our response time at the end of each celebration. It worked perfectly with the last point of the message, about the moment in Revelation 1 when Jesus touched John and spoke to him. It's a beautiful song:
- Thanks again, Cobblestone, for your lovely responsiveness to the Word and the Spirit this morning.
- I'm REALLY excited about the changes to the auditorium and atrium. While not everyone approved, I'm extremely grateful for the great job our staff and volunteers did in getting all that done in just 5 days. And I hope we can get the atrium screens cabled before next Sunday. That will be awesome.
- I'm also REALLY excited at the debut, next Sunday evening at 7, of "The Third," our new Sunday evening service, with Con Brio playing every week, and Andrew Holzworth the usual featured speaker!
- I'm also REALLY excited by the volunteers and student registration for our upcoming VBS, June 21-25. We had a volunteer meeting after second celebration today:
It's gonna be an awesome week of exciting, active learning for kids. AND ministry for adults.I guess that's it. I'm feeling the winds of refreshing blowing through my life and the life of my church, after about two years of negative stuff. But God is blessing now, and we are seeing fruit, and I am feeling blessed! Thank you, Lord!