My Dearest newhope,
Words cannot even begin to articulate how overjoyed and excited our family is to be back at newhope this Sunday! The picture of our family above was taken this summer from Daintree Rainforest in northeast Australia. Daintree, they say, is the oldest rain forest in the world! Even though we were very far away, none of us stopped thinking about our church family! This week has literally crawled by as I have experienced, like the prophet Jeremiah, a burning in my bones that can only be understood through my deep longing to be back in the presence of God and the beautiful people of this great church!
We will have our typical Worship Celebration times at the different campuses. For those of you who worship at our Central Campus, please consider attending the 8:15 am or noon Worship Celebration. Two weeks ago, we had to bring out additional rows of chairs down front during the 10:10 am Celebration! If we didn’t get to speak or hug one another that Sunday, please feel free to grab me in the Rotunda as I would love to see your face and hug your neck! :-)
This Sunday, I will be teaching a special message that God has laid on my heart for the first Sunday after our Sabbatical. We will also celebrate Holy Communion together as our church experiences a kind of family reunion, if you will, around the Lord’s Supper!
Next Sunday, we will kick off the brand new series titled, “The Circle Maker!” This is a church wide study, so please drop by the Resource Center and pick up this amazing book on prayer and our ability to tap into God’s power for our lives as a church and individually. It is going to be off the chain!
As I was thinking about prayer and the power that is available to each of us, I was reminded of a story I heard when I was studying Southeast Christian Church in Louisville, Kentucky! Southeast is one of the largest and most effective churches in the world.
Bob Russell serves as the Senior Pastor and wrote about a father who watched through the kitchen window as his small son attempted to lift a large stone out of his sandbox. The boy was frustrated as he wrestled with the heavy object because he just couldn’t get enough leverage to lift it over the side. Finally the boy gave up and sat down dejectedly on the edge of the sandbox with his head in his hands.
The father went outside and asked, “What’s wrong, son? Can’t you lift that rock out?” “No, sir,” the boy said, “I can’t do it.”
“Have you used all the strength that’s available to you?” the father asked. “Yes, sir,” the boy replied.
“No, you haven’t,” the father said. “You haven’t asked me to help you!”
Listen in, newhope! This fall will be about us asking, begging, pleading, and experiencing a power completely outside of ourselves! We must remember that we have not and are not becoming all that God’s wants us to be until we have authentically asked and fully received the strength that only God can provide!
It’s going to be a fall for the history books and I can’t wait to Worship with you THIS Sunday!
Because of Jesus,