Thanks to those who were specifically and strategically lifting us up in prayer today. We had a blowout of a service. (Blowout = good) I know many of you who read my blog are praying. Thank you for your e-mails. God is so faithful to speak to hearts and lives and I love it when His people obey and follow through. Yesterday I got an e-mail from a reader who doesn't really know me aside from this blog but she said, "God showed me what you're dealing with" and she was spot on - and shared an encouraging Word and let me know she's been interceding for weeks on our behalf.
Prayer works! Man, the spirit of God came in that place and just took over! We had an amazingly good service. I met several several visitors in the hospitality room who just loved the service. Tom Gay's fiancee came for the first time today and seemed to love it and said, "see you next week!" and then there were two elderly ladies and they were both just AWESOME. One woman lives in Georgia but she's trying to move here and was checking out the church. She used to be a member of a fantastic church we know of in Ohio and she just loved the service today and said, "there's only one problem with this church..." and I thought, "okay, gee whiz, what's she going to say??!" (like I need another thing to be depressed about, right?) so I braced myself, and she said, "EVERYBODY NEEDS TO FIND OUT ABOUT IT! YOU NEED MORE PEOPLE HERE!!! THIS IS A FANTASTIC CHURCH! HOW COME MORE PEOPLE DON'T KNOW ABOUT IT? " She was pumped up about the service and seems to think everyone in Tampa needs to know about it. I agree.
Then another elderly lady came back - she was so sweet...just moved into a retirement community here and she was from the huge A/G church out in Naperville, IL where Pastor Schmidgall used to pastor. She just got to Tampa and is looking for a home church. She saw Larry hosting America's prayer meeting and she said to him at the back door today that she "thought he was such a good looking man" (no I'm not kidding, she really said that!) and that he "prayed such good prayers and was sensitive to people", (yes, she really said that too!) and went on to say, "now, that's the kind of pastor I like..." so she looked up the directions for how to get to our church and thankfully we aren't too far away from her home. Upon talking to me for a few minutes, she just threw her arms around me with tears in her eyes and said, "I'm home..." and I said, "yes you are, welcome home!"
So we got at least two new very happy people this morning who are returning, and one who is trying to move here. :-) I hope she does, she was really a cool lady and would make a fantastic advertiser for the church. :-) I need to get her here to Tampa and turn her loose in a few retirement communities... (GRIN) Actually I'm serious about that.
Teeb preached his heart out today. It was awesome. We started our new series, "Faith Walking People." He had four killer points that I want to share with you...
FOUR KEYS TO MAKE SURE YOU DON'T GO INTO THE PROMISED LAND:
1) Fix your eyes on the obstacles instead of the goal.
2) Compare what you lack with what others possess.
3) Allow fear to take control of your situation. Your desire for relief will ruin your courage to soar.
4) Determine to turn back and seek gratification and justification rather than endure and develop character.
Are these not awesome truths or WHAT? I was pumped.
God just took over in such a great way in worship today. I don't think Larry even got the pulpit until quarter of twelve! Although the band had only rehearsed it once I felt led to do "Healer." They loved it. What an anointed song.
For communion Dustin and I also did, "Amazing Grace, My Chains are Gone". I did fine til the final verse then couldn't make it through and cried...that doesn't happen to me often but when it does, look out.
Right after church we had a choir dinner. It was fantastic! Everybody seemed to LOVE it! We included the choir members and their families. It was so yummy and lots of fun. And, we had several new people join the choir today!! After lunch we had a great rehearsal...even though (bummer of the day) the air conditioning went out. Ugh!! At least it waited til' after church to go out. Seriously folks, this is a big problem when the air goes out in Florida. It's really not optional. We just replaced our air conditioners in the Christian Education Building but not the sanctuary. Were hoping we wouldn't have to deal with that this summer...so pray with me that we won't have to. Hopefully this is an easy fix.
I thought the choir members would not want to stay long since it was sooo hot in there and we were dripping with sweat, but no...they were really excited to rehearse. I said, "since you're all incredibly sweaty and fanning yourselves, let's table this song until the next rehearsal..." and moans and groans of, "ooooohhhh we wanted to do that...please......" so dripping with sweat or not, we still rehearsed everything on the agenda today and everybody was stoked about it. We've got two new special numbers ready to go and two new worship numbers. Yippee!
Lisa and I stopped at Publix for some groceries on the way home and by the time I got here my feet felt like they were on fire. I immediately started soaking them while going over my notes/agenda for "Driven to Pray" which is tonight at 8 pm. Can't wait! If you read this in time and want to participate follow the instructions on the Driven to Pray website. It's a national, FREE tele-conference when powerful women of God are going to dare to believe God!
The good news is, it's a tele-conference and no one can see me. I'm going to sit here in my jammies, may still be soaking my feet if they still hurt, but at the same time I'm going to be on the phone with Pastor Tara and Pastor Shelisa, Tammy, Cristy, and Noelle, praying the power down with hundreds or possibly thousands of women around the USA! Halleluia! The perfect cap off to a great day.
The best is yet to come. As I said before I felt led to change our opener to "Blessed be Your Name..." and sang it with all my heart really understanding the words and living them to a deeper level than ever before.