Sunday, January 31, 2010

The big reveal...a.k.a. "hey, is the old church gone?!"

(New church sign on our property - it also lights up at night as well as the part below that has letters that we can put special messages on.)

"But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ's sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy." I Peter 4:13

Today is the day! I am filled with exceeding joy that few can completely understand. Only some loyal people who have lived it with us or are my few confidants that my guts have been spilled to over the years truly know the entire scope of what I'm feeling today.

Our church campus was full of people here yesterday for the unveiling of the sign and hitting the community with our launch advertisements. We had thousands of full size chocolate candy bars with our church launch info printed on it that we handed out at the local intersections when the cars were stopped. We had huge signs that said, "FREE CHOCOLATE!!!  NO KIDDING!!!" Groups of men, women and children hit the streets in full force to smile, wave and pass out chocolate with wild abandon. It was AWESOME!

 After we were finished with the candy many were still on the property working on projects that needed to be finished for today. I did a few more jobs and then stole away to my office for a few moments of peace and quiet. I needed to get still in my soul and listen to God. He led me to this verse above -- I Peter 4:13. "But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ's sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy." The good news is that after the crucifixion comes a resurrection. In Christ's case it was 3 days in the tomb, in the case of those who serve Him and His people, the time of waiting varies. HALLELUIAH, SOMEBODY SHOUT NOW, for today is the day we're COMIN' OUT, officially for all the world to see!!!  Our PREVIOUS church and all that it represents exists no more, it is wiped from the annals of time, and Celebration Church has been founded and launched and is headed into the destiny God has for us! Thank you God for this GLORIOUS DAY. The big reveal! Your big reveal! A day of EXCEEDINGLY GREAT JOY!   Thank you JESUS!!!

 In my mind's eye, for the last time, I took a quick trip yesterday through the rolodex of memories that we've gone through with what is now as of this day officially our PREVIOUS church, some of them extremely challenging.  If you would have told me beforehand what we'd have to go through I would have NEVER thought I would have survived.  As Whitney Houston sings, "I didn't know my own strength."  (Or rather, God's strength working through me -- it was all that got me through at times.  Thank God for His supernatural strength and His anointing!!!   As one of my favorite songs says, "If it had not been for the Lord on my side...")  Let me tell you something, you can do ANYTHING with God on your side.  If God be for us, who can be against us?  That's what the Word says!

 Just as Christ suffered, so must we at times in ministry.  Although most of us will never go through a literal death on the cross, we go through crucifixions of our own kind.  Larry and I have actually been through not just one, but a few of those here.  Some of you pastors out there who are reading this have gone through the same and you can empathize AND rejoice.  The harder the challenge, the greater the victory.  And today, VICTORY IS SWEET!!!!  We are in the end zone, and I am doing the happy dance, for sure.  (Actually we put a video of me doing that on the announcement line up today, no kidding!)  LOL

I will post many photos in the coming days.  This post is publishing early this morning while I'm preparing for church but photos of our launch service will come later as well as our launch party which will take place tonight at 6 pm.  We are doing it in official Celebration style.  Can't wait to share the outcome with all of you here on the blog. 
By the way, this photo above was taken yesterday afternoon by church photographer Lourdes Manners and is of one of our glass entrance doors.  All of the doors have been imprinted with our new logo, above.  The office doors were done in full color.  They are beautiful.  We have had many people we don't even know in the community pulling into our parking lot, commenting on our new sign and the changes and asking what's going on!   Yesterday when our people were in the local   intersections passing out the chocolate candy bars to all the blessed and surprised people stopped at red lights, a woman rolled down her window and said, "Hey!  Is the old church gone?"  One of our Celebration members grinned and said, "Yes, m'am, it sure is!  And we're opening a new amazing church in it's place tomorrow so come on over and join us!" 


Michael Gibson said...

EXCITED! EXCITED! EXCITED! The new logo is awesome! Hey, you guys have now actually planted that church we talked about YEARS ago. Love you all!

Mike & Donna

Ruth, PA said...

Kool and the Gang's song "Celebration" keeps coming to mind! LOL Sure hope you post some pics later today or tomorrow! Can't wait to hear!!!!

Sharon said...

Praise You, Jesus! You are SO good!

Melissa said...

Celebrating with you this morning! Can't wait to see the changes that have taken place!!!
I hear it's beautiful!

Anonymous said...

I want to see. I want to see. I guess another trip there is in order ;o) Congrats friends.
Pastor A

Ironically the word verification is cants... you have gotton past those! lol You can You can... I think you CAN! Celebration!

Leanne said...

We were just talking about how your church would be one we'd want to attend...

a.) because it would mean we live in Florida instead of Wisconsin [and I'm COLD!!!!!]

b.) it just seems stinkin' awesome!!

Glad all went well - thought of you and said a quick prayer for you in the midst of all my Sunday chaos!