Sunday Night Rejoicings

I can't even begin to say how joyful I feel at what God is doing in me, and in his people Cobblestone! Seriously, not only was today a great day of worship and fellowship with the people of God, but it honestly seems like God is sending growth and blessing in these summer months more than in the six months or year prior! Here are just a few reflections on the day:
Tried something different with this morning's Scripture reading, from Revelation 8 and 9. The passage refers to the seven trumpets (or shofars), so our sound and projection team played a music clip of shofars sounding while the church read silently the entire passage (both chapters) from the screen. Don't know what anyone else thought, but it was a neat exercise for me, reading about "trumpets" while listening to them play.

I've said it before (at least to myself), but I am LOVING this series, "How to Survive the End of the World," from Revelation. Expository book series are my favorites to preach anyway, but to be getting so much out of the most mysterious (and some would say inscrutable) book in the Bible is such a blessing! (Which is what the Author promised--Rev. 1:3)

This may have been the first time (in over thirty years of preaching) that I presented in my message not one, but three interpretations and applications of the text. At least in that way.

I can't keep up with the new people coming to Cobblestone these days--and in July!

I'm LOVING what the outreach committee is planning for these coming weeks and months. These folks are so passionate and dedicated!

Saw a GREAT response to the "Back to School Bash" effort to provide a backpack and school supplies to every kid who needs it by the day of the Bash, August 14 (which is also going to be the day of an accompanying Motorcycle Ride launched from The Loft!). So far our efforts have raised $865, which is not yet enough, but we will keep praying and collecting between now and then and, God helping us, we'll git 'er done!

Con Brio did an awesome job (AGAIN) in leading worship...and on short notice, as our worship pastor, Sharla, became a grandma last week. It will be weird having Pastor Gaga leading worship from now on, but I'm so happy for new parents Kim and Corey and the Racioppa family! Praying that Baby KC comes home soon.

Heard three cool reports in the last few days of the fruit our outreach ministry is bearing: a nurse who told our worship pastor someone from Cobblestone anonymously paid for her McDonald's drive-thru lunch, prompting her to say, "Wow, I'd like to visit THAT church!"; a man who came to church last week because we washed his car and gave HIM a dollar in one of our car wash outreaches; and another person (didn't get the whole story yet, but I will) who was surprised by grace at one of our $1 car washes! Oh, and we received an email from a woman who one of our members reached out to in Jungle Jim's this past week! What a joy!

SOOOOO excited for our Baptism & Barbecue Bash next Sunday, July 25. We're changing the schedule that morning, having our regular 10 a.m. worship celebration, but THEN, instead of the regular 11:30 celebration, we're going to have the baptism at 11:30 in the pond at The Loft, and then party together with a barbecue in the atrium and on the deck of the Loft! So far nine people are planning on being baptized that day...and several others are considering taking that step! So jazzed about that.

I seriously cannot sing the praises of our volunteers loudly enough. We are so blessed! And this morning, the people that make our church go just blessed the socks off me, from David and Johnny and Guy and Suzan in the tech booth, to Gretchen fixing the coffee, to Gary and the outreach committee, to Tom Huskey filling in for a sick Overdrive volunteer, to Brad the floor manager, to Debbie the first impressions coordinator, to Denise at the welcome counter, and on and on and on it goes! What a blessing it is to have so many fine, fine people sharing the load and joyfully making things happen!

In just a few minutes I'll be leaving for tonight's edition of "The Third," our 7 p.m. rockin' celebration. Andrew, you better have your preaching mojo workin'! Oh, and may I just say it's also a blessing to see the ownership Andrew and David and Con Brio and others are taking of this effort to reach out to twenty-somethings and the MU community! It's gonna be a GREAT Fall!
Honest to goodness, I can't wait for next Sunday! And if it keeps getting better, I don't know if I can handle it. But I'm willing to try. Thank you, Lord!

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