i wanna thank all of the praise team/tech team for coming over to the house yesterday and hanging out. i had a great time. hope you all did too. we played cornhole and grilled out, then everyone jumped in the pool! great day! (erik has now come back, from behind, to beat me in three consecutive cornhole tournaments. i am vowing right here and now that, that will NOT happen again!!!!! :)
yesterday was a weird day for me. like all sundays, i got up at around 5:30, got my shower and then began to get ready for the day. i usually, put my ipod in my ears, right after i get dressed. this does two things for me. it allows me to sing along, to help warm up my voice, but i also use it for worship. i put on a playlist of the songs that we will be doing later on that day. and along with singing, i find myself already worshiping, praying and trying to prepare myself for what God wants to do through me and the team that day.
as you all know, we are in the middle of a series called "War Zone". it is a spiritual warfare series. and for the last couple of weeks, different leaders at the Journey have expressed to me how they've been just getting attacked, not that we haven't always been getting it, but for them, those particular sundays specifically, they've felt like the attacks were bigger, stronger, harder and more in depth. well, yesterday, it was my turn in the barrel, so to speak!
for the life of me, i couldn't focus! my voice felt scratchy. i felt really tired, as i tried to pray and sing (early in the morning), i was distracted. i forgot stuff, when i left the house (which isn't that big a deal... i do that all the time.). but it was the things that i forgot, that jumped out at me. for one, i forgot the keys to the building (like we were just gonna set up outside in the rain!). two, i forgot my Bible. this one, i don't understand. i have like ten Bibles. i've always got one in my backpack/computer bag, or my car, or my guitar case, or SOMEWHERE! not yesterday. couldn't find one anywhere! at this point, i began to laugh. not because it was funny, but because i realized what was going on. i knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that yesterday was going to be a big day for the people who come to the Journey. erik's message (and i already knew the content) was probably one of, if not the most powerful one he's ever given. and i knew that it was our, the praise team's, job to lead everyone into worship; to find that place where we are at the foot of the throne, so that God could do what He so desperately wants to do for all of us.
so, i began to laugh. because i knew that, once again, we had our enemy on the run. i knew that there were going to be doors slammed in his face, that people were going to turn to the One who brings restoration back to life. that people were going to be exposed to his tactics and the havoc that he loves to wreak in peoples lives. and as we began to sing, i felt the enormous weight of his attacks, pressing down on me, as if someone were holding me down and standing on my chest. (BTW, Todd Bates, the man who was to be recognized as a new campus pastor for us that day, was in the barrel with me. he said he woke up that day with the feeling of worthlessness, and questioning whether or not he was worthy of doing God's work.)
this post could go on for like an hour, but i'll wrap it up. as i began to laugh, i decided to go to war. we began to sing, i struggled to remember the words, my guitar started going out of tune. half way through the first song, i silently said a prayer. i told God that i needed to worship Him. I needed to see His face. I needed to feel His presence and that nothing else would do. almost immediately, i felt the weight leave. i looked out across the people and they had their hands up, they were singing, and some were even jumping up and down. IT WAS AWESOME!!!! jeff bode and alex perry were even in the front row playing air guitar, as they worshiped!
right then, i realized that my prayer had been answered. i was seeing God's spirit at work. we had almost everyone get out of their seat and come lay something down at the Cross in both services, when erik gave his take action. (we literally have a seven foot tall cross in the sanctuary) i truly believe that the door was slammed on our enemy and his army yesterday and the fight i was experiencing yesterday morning, was about that! and God's church won!
Praise be to Him!