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Archive for May, 2007

dsc01911.jpgWe had another awesome time at Expression on May 25th. I was surprised by the attendance! I wasn’t sure how many people would actually come out. I was expecting a major dip for two reasons: 1) It was Memorial Day weekend and 2) It wasn’t on a Saturday night, like our first one. It’s sort of like taking a TV program that followed American Idol and moving it to another night. Will the audience actually follow? Needless to say, the attendance was still high (probably even more than last time) and some by passers decided to hang around. We’ve never done a head count, even though we should. From the onset, we decided not to measure our “win” by attendance. A “win” for us is collecting names for our database and connecting with those who attend. Again, we accomplished our win! I echo Andy Stanley in saying, “if you don’t clarify the win, your team will define it in their own terms.” We had a lot more open mic sign-ups this time. We’ll have to work on tightening the flow. The team is encouraged. The word is continuing to spread about the event through newspapers ads, website postings, community calendars, postcards, and word of mouth. One of our launch team members began inviting one of her coworkers to Expression, only to find out that her coworker already new about it! To God be all the glory…

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I’m so excited!  Smitty, the guy who played congas as the last Expression, told me he was going to be out of town.  Ron Holmes, a friend of mine from Zion, is going to fill in for him!  It is true.  The just shall live by faith.  God provides everything that we need according to his riches in glory.  Debbie, my sister and Expression coordinator, even told me that there was another musician who was willing to volunteer tonight.  However, we have enough musicians for tonight.  It’s a blessing to see that this time we had more than we needed. Wow!  I just realized something! We pretty much have a full band!  We didn’t plan it that way.  It just sort of evolved and mushroomed beyond our expectations.   God freely moves when we “take our hands off” and submit all to him.  The best thing that we can do is trust in God.

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Tonight, we are having our second Expression at Mayorga Coffee Factory in Silver Spring, MD.  God is truly testing my faith.  Yesterday, I discovered that we now have three voids to fill, both for Expression and our launch team.  Being a church planter is a faith walk.  On one hand, you desire for individuals to be consistent and stick with the team.  On the other hand, you must give people the freedom to uphold priorities and pursue God’s will at anytime.  I am confident that God will continue to do amazing things, both tonight and beyond.

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I wrapped up my Fighting Temptation trilogy on Tuesday evening.  I spoke on the Temptation of Progress: when we are tempted to compromise for the sake of progress.  Satan offered to give Jesus all the nations and their glory, if He would compromise by worshiping him for a temporarily.  God wants us to trust in Him and not always take what seems to be the quickest route.  The folks at Calvary were very hospitable towards me.  As it is often said, “they took care of me.”  This trip was the longest I’ve ever traveled for a speaking engagement.  I pray that more opportunities would open up and my wife would be able to accompany me.  She truly has a heart for ministry and to be with me on those type of outings.  Well, I’m back in Maryland and the saddle of church planting.  Expression is coming up again this Friday.  Wow. Time flies!

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I stumbled across this strange video. It reminded me of our dinner theater outing for some reason, even though they have nothing to do with each other.  The intro has a Frazier-type vibe.  As a watched the video, I noticed that the tracks sounded very familiar.  It then struck me.  I’ve used some of them in The Bridge 1:12 podcast!  Enjoy!

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Last night, I did part two of my Fighting Temptation series.  I spoke on the Temptation of Presumption: when we are tempted to presume on God.  This is when we are tempted to make bad decisions assuming that God will clean up our mess and allow things to go the way we planned.  God is calling His people to trust Him, not test Him.  I also got a chance to see a bit of L.A. yesterday.  Miquel Broadus, the son of Calvary’s pastor, took me to a few places in the city.  The people here have been very hospitable.  I’m reminded of the importance of making The Bridge’s guests feel welcomed.  People will decide whether or not they want to return even before the message begins.   It’s also important that they feel welcomed after they have left.  We often think our job of hospitality is over when the guests walk out the door.  In actuality, it is only the beginning.

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Things went well at Calvary Baptist Church yesterday morning. I started a three part series called “Fighting Temptation.” It is based on the three temptations that Jesus faced in Matthew 4. Yesterday, I spoke on the Temptation of Provision: being tempted to meet a legitimate need in an illegitimae way. I shared on when I was recently tempted at a restaurant check counter as I gazed into the window shielded dessert display. After the service, I went out to eat with some of the youth from the church. As soon as we entered the restaurant, we were welcomed by a dessert display! I was amazed at how excited they were to make the connection between the message and the desserts! Not to mention the fact that they displayed the largest six-layer chocolate cake that any of us had ever seen, with the exception of a wedding cake! They were joking about avoiding the temptations of the desserts and refusing to meet a legitimate need in an illegitimate way. I praise God for being his instrument.

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