Recently an Englishman told me, “It’s hard for me to believe you’re a Christian, because I don’t feel like you’re judging me right now.” My heart sank to hear such a clearly defined, universal opinion on what Christians do so well: judge.
I don’t blame him for forming this conclusion. I grew up attending church and managed to misunderstand grace for many years – thinking communication of rights and wrongs was the primary function of Christianity.
An old song popped up on my iPod yesterday while walking to get Blake at school. The lyrics communicate so well the thoughts that came to mind when my new friend commented on Christians being known more for regulations and less for their love of Jesus.
“Saving the World” by Clay Crosse
So many preachers
So many churches and denominations
Got their opinions and their documents
And statements and beliefs and sometimes
There’s a miscommunication
And we complicate the truth
And convolute the story
But as far as I recall
I do believe it all
Comes down to a man dying on a cross
Saving the world
Rising from the dead
Doing what He said He would do
Loving everyone He saw
When it’s said and done it all
Comes down to a man dying on a cross
Saving the world
It isn’t a secret
And maybe I’m being simple minded
But it’s about Jesus and a way, a truth, a life
That can change a heart and a soul forever
And we need to be reminded
It’s the power of the blood
That brings us to redemption
We can rise above the fall
And the reason for it all
Thanks everyone for your prayers! We had a total of 67 people attend today (40 people locally, 27 online). Two people committed their lives to Christ! We also have a few people planning to attend this Wednesday night’s follow-up dinner in Soho.
We’ve handed out more than 1700 invitation cards on the streets of London this week. We’ll keep our eyes peeled for more UK visitors to the Internet Campus in weeks to come.
The Milton Keynes Christian Centre worship team and volunteers were excellent. I am proud to have played part on such a successful team today!
Chris abruptly informed me a few nights back that this week marks the dreaded ‘one month until Jayma leaves’ date. The four of us ate dinner without her as she was in the city last night – and it felt like walking around with shoes on the wrong feet. Jayma has become a member of our family.
Nearly six months into obeying God’s leading to London, Jayma’s still patiently seeking to understand His will for her and whether she’ll get to return. (Sound familiar?) Please take a moment right now to pray for Jayma’s strength as she waits upon the Lord. Pray she would know His specific will and see Him provide miraculously the faith and means for her to obey.
Jayma – you are such a shining star! Your commitment to serve tirelessly and sacrifice for the Kingdom is admirable. Your care for the four of us, your insight, and your involvement in all we’ve done since June are shrouded in excellence and humility. Our family is better for having had you live under our roof. We love you!
You won’t like this (which is reason enough to do it) – but I publicly dedicate to you these words written by Marianne Williamson:
“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. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”
We’ve had good interactions with unbelievers lately that have been opportunities to plant seeds of Truth. But today I couldn’t help sharing with you instead an example of God’s faithfulness in the lives of even the youngest of believers.
Yesterday afternoon while waiting in the school yard for Blake, I received a neat surprise. One of his classmate’s mothers approached me who’d heard I’m a Christian and our sons are in the same class. Would I ilke to pray at the same time every week with her for the children in the boys’ class as well as their teachers? We very quickly scheduled a time and day to pray each week then got busy getting to know one another. This woman and her husband were missionaries in Russia for two years. We have plenty in common, and our sons even walked out of school together while we were speaking.
Blake has been sharing about Jesus at school whenever he finds the opportunity, so imagine how special the moment was for me to tell him there’s another boy whose family loves Jesus in his very class. Suddenly his world is feels more secure, I think.
We filmed the closing video for Saturday’s LIVE in London Internet Campus experience in a park this morning – it was interesting watching people jogging, biking, and pushing strollers past as they listened to me speak to the camera about salvation through Jesus and watched me pray. Some sped up walking and I think they thought I was calling them out. It was funny.
We had a record of UK attendees at the 10am GMT experience this morning. One of them even joined us for our online life group after the message today!
One of my best friends and my life group leader when we lived in Edmond is passing through to visit this week on her way back to OKC from a mission trip to Africa. She is volunteering at the experience and I am personally relieved to have an old friend along as we prepare for this weekend.
A member of H20 church in Ardmore (a LifeChurch.tv network church) e-mailed me today he’s in England on business and plans to come into the city on Saturday morning to volunteer at the experience!
Milton Keynes Christian Centre has a team of 20 people coming down to London in a mini-bus Saturday morning to hand out invitations on the street and volunteer at the experience.
Local friends have been in touch this week just to say they’re praying for this event, for us, and are trying to sort things out to attend. May all 133 seats in the cinema be filled!
The list goes on and on…God is wrapping us in His loving care as we make final preparations for Saturday. It’s exhilarating and we praise Him for this opportunity to share Christ with hurting people in London and all around the world online.
Do you ever think you’d stop what you’re doing in life if only someone gave you the opportunity? I’ve been there. In fact, stopping what we were doing in life is what led us to London over a year ago. We are still waiting for a more clear understanding of God’s plans for us but our worse day here is better than our best day doing anything else in life at this point in time.
I weigh people’s leadership actions by how much they make me think- and I am brimming with excitement today to have read this blog post. I can’t get it off my mind. People’s lives will undoubtedly be turned upside down, but experience proves that can be a great thing.
Read the post. Then ask yourself if you’re exactly where you know you belong. Or should someone else be in your seat? Don’t wait for someone to give you an offer like the one mentioned in the article because few leaders are confident enough to do such a thing. Cut your losses and head out if need be. Allow this story to rattle you where you sit today. Life’s much too short to ‘almost’ be in God’s will.
we were checking 8 pieces of luggage containing nearly everything we owned at the Oklahoma City airport to leave the US and enter all things unknown. Thankfully many more things are known today as God’s revealed them to us over the past 12 months, yet many more surprises await as we continue the adventure here in London. This year has been both the most painful and sweetest year of my life. The blessings of obedience to God’s will for our family provide everything we need to keep moving on as His plans unfold before us.
I just got off the phone on a call from a woman in a UK church who attended the Global Leadership Summit last weekend, heard of the LifeChurch.tv OPEN program, and called our contact number on the advertisement card to get some help. It was really neat walking her through the tech assistance so she can use the PARENTHOOD message series in her local church to minister to families. What a great start to my day – seeing God multiply the use of free materials to bless a church in the UK. God is good!