Thursday, November 12, 2009

3 Encouraging Things

Vision Campaign: OCC 2012: Changing the World by Degrees: Be the Degree

Pastor Mike has been focused lately.
I’ve been consumed with this Vision Campaign for the last 6 months, maybe more. I’ve shared with good friends that it’s been a difficult road for me. I feel that the assault has been massive: fear, stress, anxiety, discouragement, depression, temptation, fatigue, exhaustion, feeling alone, developing an eye twitch…these are just a few of the weapons that I feel have been leveled against me. I think it’s like that whenever followers of Jesus attempt to do something powerful for His name’s sake.

As we wrap towards completing the public arm of this thing (the next TWO weeks are going to be powerful!), it was fun to have 3 encouraging things happen.

One, we had a full membership (changing the name to MISSION-ship) class last night…where we had to just keep adding chairs for all the folks streaming in. Energy, excitement, and passion for Jesus were profoundly encouraging to me.

Two, we received a $1000 check towards our vision campaign. From a family that lives in California. They have only been to OCC a handful of times, but as they track with us online, they heard about OCC 2012 and wanted to be a part of God’s amazing work through this campaign.

Three, a college student sent me an email. I won’t steal his reward by mentioning his name. But the short story is that he had been addicted to porn for years. He found the grace of Jesus at OCC, and now he’s porn free, in accountability, and amazed at Jesus. He said that he knows he used to look at women from Thailand…maybe even some of the slaves that we are seeking to set free. So God expanded his heart. This full-time student on a part-time salary committed $100 a month for the next 3 years, so that he could set slaves from the sex-industry free.

Passion. Selflessness. Freedom. 3 encouraging things.

Be encouraged today!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Don't Miss your Moment

I want to show you a moment.

This moment is a glimpse. If you play your cards right, if you trust Jesus and take a RISK every now and again for HIM, then this moment is certainly one that you can look forward to.

But if you think it’s about you. If you choose to turn inward. If you never take a RISK for Jesus, then you’ll miss it.

Don’t miss your moment.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Akeelah and the Bee, and a Church on Fire

I watched Akeelah and the Bee last Friday night with my family. It was a warm movie about an inner city middle school girl, who competes, and wins the National Spelling Bee. Lawrence Fishburne plays her coach. The uplifting story line contained elements of overcoming, of rising above, of stepping through fear, of daring to be great.

I’m honored to be a part of a church that is a part of a similar kind of uplifting story. Overlake is truly pursuing God’s call. It is a selfless story of overcoming. Of rising above. Of stepping through fear. Of daring to be great. I’m not overstating this.

OCC is called to be a church of 10,000 lives living free in Jesus, impacting 100,000 lives around the world. In a season of economic uncertainty, we seek to invest $3million in each of our 3 purposes: Love God, Love People, and Serve the World.

The Love God initiatives will focus on local Bringvitation, sharing Christ’s love with our community. The Love People initiatives will focus on Transformation, growing more and more like Jesus. And the Serve the World initiatives focus on Multiplication, caring and sharing around the globe. Which, practically speaking, means this: 1000 slaves set free. 2000 orphans placed in homes. 50 HIV/AIDS clinics opened. 1000 churches planted. Lives will be saved. Eternities will be changed. Hope will be offered.

I’d love to invite you to be a part of this journey too.

In Akeelah and the Bee, there is a quote from Nelson Mandela (at least it is credited to him; perhaps he just quoted it as well). It goes like this:

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world.”

Overlake, you are not a church that plays small. Let us Love God, Love People, and Serve the World, together.