The Morning After

I unintentionally went AWOL from the blog last week, but I’m back in the saddle this week. I had the privilege of attending the Awaken the Church conference early last week in Raleigh-Durham, NC and then I had the “privilege” of battling the stomach flu at the end of the week. But, all is well and back to “normal” now…whatever that is!

Here are a few highlights from Awaken’s worship gathering yesterday…and a few other things…

  • I preached on “How to Suffer Well” from 1 Thessalonians 2:13-3:13. It was a timely word as we have many people in our church who are fighting through seasons of suffering. Jesus did work among us through His Word and for that, I am very thankful.
  • This is the first time I have preached verse by verse through an entire book of the Bible and I am LOVING it! We’re studying 1 Thessalonians and there is SO MUCH that applies to our context – new church, full of new believers, strategic city, dealing with spiritual warfare, etc. Every week, I have to fight the urge to say everything there is to say about the passage we’re studying because there is so much that applies so well.
  • By the way…the last thing I said is BY FAR my greatest weakness as a preacher. Choosing the BEST from the loads of GOOD and even GREAT things to say is very hard for me. God’s Word is ALIVE and ACTIVE and TRUTH…and so, so good!
  • Last Sunday, we had our first Covenant Members sign Membership Covenants. All total, 42 adults became the first Covenant Members of Awaken Church! We take membership very seriously, so these people have made a huge commitment to Jesus, to each other, to the city God has called us to love and serve.
  • Our worship leader yesterday, Tadd Tatum, dropped the hammer of the day leading into “Jesus Paid It All.” Tadd said, “We don’t suffer for a victory; we suffer from a victory.” BOOM! Great truth to think on as we sang, “Jesus Paid It All.” So thankful for Tadd’s love for Jesus and willingness to lead us in worship a couple times per month.
  • AwakenKids was slammed yesterday…and very “energetic” if you know what I mean. 🙂 My wife, Lara Beth, does an incredible job organizing things for AwakenKids and our leaders are serving well. Every week, we hear stories from parents about how God is working in their kids’ lives. Thank you AwakenKids team!
  • David Spink, Gary Ashe, Sam Frye, and Brian Munn are incredible servant leaders. Those guys bust it EVERY week to lead the charge for set-up & tear-down. And, they sweat a lot, too! Gentlemen, you are loved and appreciated!
  • Going to miss our college students who will be gone for the summer. Many of them are serving in so many different places this summer. Can’t wait to hear stories and see how God uses them we they return in the fall!
  • I love hearing the stories of how God is already at work in our Communities! We have 6 communities meeting now with over 70 adults involved. Each one is unique, yet the way God is at work in each one is almost exactly the same. People are opening up about what’s going on in their lives and finding encouragement and healing in the gospel. We’re only 2-3 weeks in – eager to see how God continues to work.

Watch the blog this week for a couple of powerful videos of people who are suffering well, some announcements for upcoming Awaken stuff, and some things God is teaching me of late.

AC’ers…I love you and I love serving as your pastor! The best is STILL yet to come, but I love seeing what God is doing in you right now!

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