Summer is a great time for outdoor service activities. I’m excited about some of the outreach initiatives we have planned for this summer. Last week, a group of teenagers from Oklahoma helped us impact our community. They didn’t assist us with the outreach. They pretty much did the whole thing as their project. We handed out hundreds of granola bars in Downtown Silver Spring last week. Three things I learned through the team: 1. I resemble Darius Rucker, 2. that thing I ate in Dallas was a frito chilli pie, and 3. when all else fails in handing out promo cards, try a magic trick. Major props and thanks to the Powerplant Team.
Archive for June, 2011
I’m still on a bit of a high from yesterday’s baptism. It was such a blessing to see 17 people publicly declare before their friends and family that they have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. David James came out and led us in worship. It was an amazing time. Who knows. We may have to run back to the beach and sneak one more baptism in before the summer is over. We’ll see what happens.
I did a message on natural disasters as the opening message of our current series, The Front Page. God uses natural disasters to get our attention. He desires for the survivors to acknowledge Him and the spectators to serve those in need. Over the years, we’ve spectated many natural disasters. including Hurricane Katrina in 2005. Even though it’s no longer on the radar of many, there are people in New Orleans that are suffering to this day. We had the opportunity to commission a team that Sunday before heading to New Orleans to help rebuild homes and serve those in need. Today is there last day on the field.
God uses our toughest valleys to prepare us for our greatest moments. When Jesus was being crucified, the soldiers shouted, “If you are the King of Jews, save yourself!” Then one of the criminals hanging next to him said, “Are you not the Christ? Save Yourself and us!” Jesus never responded. Why would Jesus give up on this opportunity to display His power? This was not the first time Jesus faced this challenge. When He was being tempted in the wilderness by Satan, Satan said, “If you are the Son of God, turn these stones into bread!” “If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down!” The language sounded too familiar. Jesus probably recognized it from the wilderness and, therefore, knew exactly what He need to do; or in this case not do! Jesus did not give in in the wilderness and He didn’t on the cross. His wilderness experience prepared Him for His greatest moment. His true power was not displayed by saving Himself or proving His worth, but saving us through His death and resurrection. God never wastes a test. Whatever temptation and hardship you’re facing in the valley, God will use on the mountain. When you get to that great moment, everything you experienced in the valley will make sense.
In the three and a half years The Bridge has been in existence, we’ve seen God do some amazing things. We’ve seen Him provide financially. We’ve had technical difficulties in our early days only for them to be solved two minutes was scheduled to begin. Since our Take Charge series, we’ve seen God do something we haven’t seen before. Over a period of about eight weeks, we witnessed someone give their life to Christ every single week. In that time period, about thirty individuals made a decision to accept Christ into their lives. I’m not one to brag or boast, but 2 Corinthians 10:17 says, “but let him who boasts boast in the Lord.” As believers, we should be excited and share with others about what God is doing. In Psalm 118:17, the psalmist says that “I shall not die, but live and declare the works of the Lord.” I just wanted to take some time and declare His marvelous works!
Starting tomorrow evening, we’re beginning a two-month one hour summer bible study experience called Fuel. It will be an opportunity for us to dig into the Scriptures together as a body. It is easy to become distracted during the summer and drive on spiritual “E.” We hope that Fuel will allow us to fill up our spiritual tank through bible study and interaction. We’ll be meeting at the Silver Spring Civic Center in Downtown Silver Spring.