Sunday, July 20, 2008

Sunday Reflections

It feels like I have not blogged in forever. Without desiring to, I have been on blogging sabbatical. Our Internet at Gulf Shores quit working after Day One -- bummer. I am back now. I'm excited to be back on the blog and reading others blogs as well.

As I sit and think about today and all we experienced, I'm grateful for all we have went through to get to this point. We have had technical difficulties, critical emails, and spiritual attacks come against leaders and their families. In spite of all of that, God is doing a great work in people and revealing Himself to folks at The Journey. I have received many emails during this series about how God is waking people up to different issues and revelations about their life. This series has not been easy to preach, it has definitely taken more out of me than any other series, yet it has been very rewarding. As of now, we should be aware of the war going on around us, the tactics that the enemy uses against us, and how we are to put on the armor of God to stand firm against those attacks. Next Sunday, I will outline how we live as conquerors in Jesus Christ. You do not want to miss next week's service. It will be the grand finale of them all. We'll wrap up the series, but also have some special elements.

It was awesome to recognize Shawn and Miranda Allen today. They have a special place in my heart. Miranda cared for Kaleb when he was in the NICU at Vanderbilt. We spent many tearful nights with her by our side comforting us. It has been a privilege to watch them grow and find themselves at this point. They are going to do great things at the campus they serve in the days ahead. Honor both Todd and Shawn by recognizing them as pastors, for that is what they are.

Journey Church, I love you guys and love serving you. We have only seen the beginning of all the great things God wants to do if we trust Him. If we'll remain obedient to Him, God will use us, along with others, to reach this community for Jesus. I love hearing the stories of what God is doing in your marriages, your daily life choices, and how your growing in Him. I'm grateful for your support and love. Together, we will experience incredible things in the days ahead. Just to bring some perspective for you, most churches decline in attendance and giving during the summer -- we have grown in both. What this tells me is that this fall is going to be crazy! We are going to have some opportunities to see God moments happen and many lives changed. Keep inviting others into the conversation.

**Prayer Update**
- continue to lift up Elaine Staggs -- she is experiencing double pneumonia and having the beginning stages of congestive heart failure. Elaine is only 20 or 21 years old. She did the childcare for The Journey back before we even opened the church and has been with ever since. Keep her lifted up to God.

- continue to pray for Fiona Soltes -- she is experiencing incredible results on her mission trip. Pray God will grant open doors for His message to move forward

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