In what seems to be the story of my life, things have been quite busy for me – which in a lot of ways is still a good thing. I’ve got two great church clients that have been a steady stream of work for me, my two new business web sites are creeping toward a launch, and I’ve been in a plethora of things at church this week. Just to recap, here are some highlights from the last two weeks or so (yes.. I’m a bit behind in my blogging!)
Photos, videos, and links after the jump
- Mr. Wyatt invited me to sing worship with the team at Chicago Hope Academy. It’s always wonderful to get back to the roots of my “youth ministry” days. The message that the speaker brought was powerful and hit my heart. I didn’t write down her name but she talked about how Solomon was granted great wisdom and wealth, yet his life was led astray by his compromises in relationships. I’ve been struggling with little seemingly innocent conversations that could easily bring trouble in the long run. So that message served as a GREAT reminder to watch for the small foxes that spoil the vine.
- My small group gathered together and really came to the support of one of our members who was/is having a difficult time. We ALL were at some very similar points and 1 Thessalonians chapters 4:1-12 and 5:23-28 really blessed us. It was great to spend that time in fellowship and prayer.
- AXIS: Chicago – the 20’s and 30’s ministry from my church led us in a powerful time of worship and testimony as 4 people were given the platform to share their stories of struggle and victory with Sex and Sexuality. I loved that our community has created a safe place for people to be honest about their lives and we can grow together into the fullness the lives we’re called to live. I’m looking forward to the upcoming featured guest — my friend — Andy Marin who will be talking about the role of the church in ministering to the gay community.
- Worship without Limits – Sunday’s worship and message were AWESOME! Bill Hybels spoke about hearing the voice of God and discerning that voice from everything else. And being part of the worship that morning was amazing we had SUCH a great time and sang a few songs for the first time: Glory to Glory, and Victory Chant (Hail Jesus, You’re My King). It totally rocked!
- I was asked to be part of our Good Friday service at church. My role was one of three in a dramatic reading that was the retelling of the Passion of Christ. The reading was weaved through the entire service around the communion, solos, and times of reflective silence. The preparation was great – I had two wonderful directors who have such a passion for ministry through drama and the service went powerfully well! I got a lot of positive response and a few long silent hugs. 😥 It was powerful! I hope to get an audio recording of the service (I don’t know if one was made).
- Our regular Men’s Breakfast (second Saturday of every month) went wonderfully well! I created a new screen graphic for our series (Letters Written to Men) and led the guys in singing “I Am Free”. We studied the book of Galatians together and dug into what freedom in Christ really means for our everyday lives. I’m so thankful for the relationships I’ve built in that group – it’s encouraged me in ways far too numerous to list here. 🙂
- Resurrection Sunday – I’m looking forward to how God will minister to the people that walk through our doors in just a few hours. It’s about 1am now and I should be sleeping but I’m excited about the service. I’m continually amazed at what God is doing in the community at Willow Chicago. I was just sharing with someone how remarkable it is that it’s not a ‘perfect church’ but it’s a healthy and growing church. It’s an interesting paradox to live in, but helps to create a vision in me for my own life that won’t be ‘perfect’ but can be healthy. I realize that there’s so much power in the relationships we maintain with God, with ourselves, and with others. This weekend we celebrate the ultimate act of restoring relationships as we celebrate Christ’s suffering, death, and resurrection so that we could be restored to complete relationship.