- Wow can’t believe that I just preached my final messages for United.
- I’m sitting in a hotel room up in Harrisburg typing this…I’m drained and could use a nap but we’ve got meetings tonight and tomorrow so I’m pushing on.
- What a hectic day.
- It started out earlier than normal because we wanted to practice the magic trick a few times.
- YES…after 3 1/2 years I finally did a magic trick on stage.
- Keeping with the theme of the day being Iron Man, we made him magically appear.
- In case you missed it, I could see a couple of people were using their phones to record, so hopefully they’ll post it on Facebook or Youtube and then I’ll link to it.
- Thanks for Thom and Brian for their hard work in helping me make this a reality.
- Essentially I took an idea that is usually done for making small things like rabbit’s appear and made it human size.
- Was lots of fun to perform and while I’ve heard some crazy theories on how it worked, no one has come even close.
- Of course the band did awesome as usual covering the Iron Man theme song.
- Also, this morning, our children’s check-in system went haywire and so I was running around checking on things and trying to get hold of our reps down in TX.
- Turns out it was a nation-wide glitch so I wasn’t the only one feeling the pressure.
- Of course when it came time to preach, I was emotional but felt really pleased with my final message.
- I’ve had quite a few people say how much they needed to hear what I shared and would keep me posted in the future as they do whatever God asks them to do.
- I’m always amazed in the differences between the early and late Experience crowds. The early one loved my LOST finale joke. The 2nd Experience just sat there.
- Can’t believe how many parallels there are to Paul’s story as he left the church of Ephesus and my story leaving Chambersburg.
- I’m praying that some of the things like never seeing each other again, my having to undergo persecution and you guys facing spiritual attack do not come true.
- All in all it was a really good day, but I’m glad it’s behind me now.
- Looking forward to celebrating with you next week what each of our collective futures look like and looking back at the past 3 1/2 years. Don’t forget there is a meal immediately afterwards and there will be an opportunity to help support our new church financially.
- Have a great week…still got a couple of minutes that I can catch a quick nap before heading off to my meeting.
Note: The Chambersburg Public Opinion is doing an article on how people dress for church. They are interviewing Earl this morning and he asked me to write up something with some of my thoughts. Don’t know if any of this will get used or not, but thought I’d pass along for you to get my 2 cents on the subject.
I always tell people that how they dress is greatly dependent on their primary view of Jesus. If your primary view is that of ruler, King, authority figure, etc., then when you go to his house, you will probably get all dressed up. If however your primary view of Jesus is that of being your best friend, then you’ll probably dress more casual.
For me personally there are two aspects to it…one is personal and the other is professional. From a personal standpoint, if I were to visit with our governor or President I would get dressed up. The reason for that is to be respectful, but mostly I’m doing it for them because that’s what they would expect and possibly require and in some ways I’d be doing it trying to impress. On the other hand, if I go to my best friend Andy or Bill’s house in a suit, they are going to laugh at me. To them it’s not about what I look like, but rather what’s going on inside of me that counts. So for me personally, I don’t get dressed up for church because I choose to see Jesus as my best friend. It was Jesus Himself in Matthew 23 who condemned the “religious leaders” of His day for looking good on the outside, but on the inside being dead. I guess my point is Jesus couldn’t care less what you look like on the outside, it’s what’s going on inside you that He’s most concerned about.
Now from a professional stand point, we have a little joke in United that our dress code is, “Please Do”. One objection that un-churched people often have is, “I don’t have anything to wear so I can’t come to church”. I’ve had quite a few stories from people who said they were able to share, “Well our pastor usually wears jeans and a t-shirt to preach in so as long as you have something like that, you’ll fit right in”. In the same way I’ve had new people tell me how comfortable it made them feel and how much more relatable I was because of the casual environment. The apostle Paul said, “I have become all things to all people so that by all possible means I might save some”. So for me if dressing casually will help remove barriers that might be keeping people from coming into a relationship with Jesus then I’m all for it.
Yesterday as I got back into the swing of things after two weeks of vacation, one of my break time activities was to catch up on some of my favorite bloggers whom I usually read on a daily basis. Imagine then my shock and surprise when one of the guys announced he was stepping down as Senior Pastor because he had had an affair with his secretary.
Man this hit hard. I first got to know this guy back in the early part of the decade through an online forum that Purpose Driven had at the time and then when I went on staff with them I got to talk with him a few times and was impressed by his passion and vision. His church in the past few years grew to almost two thousand and from all appearances everything was great.
This morning as I was doing my devotions I was reading the story of Adam and Eve being deceived by the serpant. The problem was the enemy was right before them and they didn’t recognize him. If he came to us today in that form we’d recognize him and crush him…but he’s smart and wily and knows better. Paul at one point in scripture says, “He roams around like a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour”. Again though if he came in the form of a lion we’d be prepared.
So as I was praying I asked God, “Well then what does the enemy look like”? His repsonse was quite clear…”He looks like the thing you want most that I’ve told you you can’t have”. For my pastor friend, satan came to him in the form of a woman. Now realize not literally, but he desired her and despite God I’m sure many times warning him not to sleep with her or lust after her, he did it anyway.
For him satan looked like the thing he wanted most but God told him he couldn’t have. So what does the enemy look like for you? What thing or person are you seeking to have/get/acquire that you know God doesn’t want you to have? For you that’s satan…Don’t be deceived!