Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Eres me amigo fiel (I am a friend of God)

i still remember a vivid picture of the worshippers singing "eres me amigo fiel" (I am a friend of God) in venezuela...tears streaming down their faces...singing in fact almost shouting the words. i cannot get that picture out of my head nor do i want to!

Romans 5:10-12(nlt)

"for since our friendship with God was restored by the death of his Son while we were still his enemies, we will certainly be saved through the life of his Son. So now we can rejoice in our wonderful new relationship with God because our Lord Jesus Christ has made us friends of God." (the word friend here has been translated reconciled in other translations)

i ask myself why was singing that song so moving there in venezuela...i mean i love that song...great message...great hope...great news...but like a lot of songs we sing...just that..."songs we sing"

what impacted me the most was knowing that most of these people had absolutely "nothing" compared to our standards of "something" yet they sang it as though they had everything they ever would need... knowing from the bottom of their hearts and the depths of their souls that being made a friend of God is everything there is!!...being made right in God's eyes through what Jesus did for us is everything!

i will never ever sing that song the same again and my prayer as a worship pastor is we live...breathe...feel...take in...live out the words we sing in a new and fresh way!

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

what a trip!

what an experience! God protected us and taught us great things during my time in cua and caracas! see below for a brief synopsis of my trip

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

welcome to siempre con Christe!(always with Christ)

Well it was quite a day of travel yesterday...after about 16 hours of traveling...clearing customs...sam making sure i did not go with some cab drivers who i thought were custom agents...an hour and a half trip thru the mountains to cua...we arrived at sam and matt's place about 11:30 pm...we sat up until 2:30 chatting...took a cold shower...felt great...turned on my power fan and slept like a baby! day one comes to a close!
day 2
woke up and sam took me for coffee and a cachito (a sweet bread with ham and raisins inside)at the local market.... came home and finished preparing for the conference on friday and saturday...this afternoon we sat down and shared a home cooked meal with matt and sam (sam cooked smoked pork chops and potatoes with sweet tea) tonight...the water goes out in the city at least once a week...went out today...got to experience taking a shower with a 2 liter bottle and a bucket!! on our way to a leadership meeting...i will try to get a daily blog up with day's activities
sam and isbeth consult after their team meeting
sam leading us in worship at wednesday night youth and prayer meeting this was one of the most powerful prayer meetings i've ever attended! these young people pray with with expectation and fervor!

after the prayer meeting we needed to head back to caracas to retrieve some office furniture for the siempres con christos facility. it was an hour and half drive back up and down the mountain...got there about 11:30pm...on the way we needed get gas and sam filled up his gas tak for about $1.50!!!...i wept for all of us... we stayed at the team leader eric's house. this is the georgeous view out the front of his house...it is right on the side of part of the mountain

the conference friday was a great success...alot of great discussion...questions...and there seemed to be a spirit of 'let's get busy with our calling"...lots to tell you...after the conference on friday i stayed in caracas again this time with pastor steve from another church who sent their team to the conference. he asked that i stay over and come to their worship team rehearsal which meets at his house...i worked with their drummer...built some confidence in him...they are just starting the worship band...great bunch of people...we rehearsed...prayed and ate a meal together!! hmmm sounds familiar! :)
the last session on saturday i had them break into their specific teams they came with...they did 5 things...they came up with their own mission statement from words they used to describe worship...they came up with an idea describing what their worship team could become if nothing was impossible (with God all things are possible)... they shared one or two of the most memorable things they will take away from the conference...they shared these assignments with the whole conference publicly...next they shared what they appreciated about the person sitting next to them...and to end they prayed as a team...the worship time was a blast...I got to play drums with the team!
at the close everyone took an exam on the conference...even sam!...they take their educational opportunities seriously!

after the conference we ate at an authentic venezuelan establishment.. :) actually i have many examples to share with you about their food...hmm...hmm...good

after a long day we came back to cua to lead worship for the students...sam is holding me up!!
part of sam's worship team

sunday worship was unbelievable...i got to play drums again...much discussion will take place when i get back regarding why we should be excited about worshiping
i also preached twice!

Thursday, October 4, 2007

a new friendship has developed

abbey and cosie have been hanging out closer and closer to each other lately since joyce's passing. this shocked me however!