Monday, July 28, 2008
Ever since Nate was a just a tike, I would gather his toys and take him everywhere on a bicycle. I had one of those little carriages that attach to the back with a seatbelt system and I'd wheel him all over town and on the off road trail. He grew up loving bikes. So today we packed up the mountain bikes and made our way up past Dixon's Apple Orchards out by Cochiti Lake. What a great day in a magnificent place--crossing the trickling mountain stream, negotiating the rocky trails with a canopy of warm sunshine and tall pines. It's been 20 years since I road those trails--glad we went today. The best part was just hanging with Nate and listening to him download what God is doing in his life now. He just arrived back from leading a team to Belize and is now preparing for marriage in three months. I am so proud of him and thankful for God's evident grace in his life. So a day filled with mud, sweat and cheers!
Thursday, July 24, 2008
I just received a phone call informing me that Christopher Laurie (pictured here with his beautiful family) has just been killed in a automobile accident. Greg Laurie is one of my best friends and my heart dropped and is still falling. On behalf of the Laurie family I want to solicit as many prayers from the Body of Christ as possible. Christopher (we all called him "Topher") was on the 91 Freeway in southern California when this occurred about mid-day. Topher was the firstborn son of Greg and Cathe. He is not only survived by his parents but by his wife, Brittany and daughter Stella (pictured here)and by his younger brother, Jonathan. Brittany is also expected another child in the Fall. Please keep this precious family lifted before God's throne, that God's peace and comfort would envelop them and that He would guard and embrace their grieving hearts. Topher and his wife used to come every week to our church at Ocean Hills while I served there. I was able to watch their relationship blossom into marriage and rejoiced when their daughter Stella was born. Though I know he is right now with Jesus in heaven, I will deeply miss this talented and sweet young man. Thank you for your prayers.
Tuesday, July 22, 2008
This week in Austin, 2200 worshipers (who are also worship leaders) from around the country gathered at Riverbend Church in Austin, Texas. The conference hosted speakers, musicians and loads of workshops for the musically and ministry inclined. This worship conference from the first night had a wonderful air of simplicity and reverence. Rather than introducing the "big name bands" or high profile speakers, one after another came to the platform to share their gift but mostly to shine the stage light of attention onto Jesus. It was an exceptionally receptive group and it was wonderful to see old friends and make new ones. Before I spoke Monday night on, "Casting the Worship Vision--Past, Present and Future" Sarah Kelly and Matt Redman fill the sanctuary with a "joyful noise." These folks were up for a good dose of Bible truth and resonated with the message I brought. I thoroughly enjoyed the staff of Riverbend Church and watched firsthand a great teamwork by many faithful servants in that church community. Fernando Ortega did a great job this morning!
Joining Matt Redman in one of his classics!
Sunday, July 20, 2008
third service. He's 7'1" and has a shoe size of 20 AND he's only a
sophomore in high school.(Wait, I can hear the NBA coming!) Great
family. They have a new infant that we're going to dedicate soon.
Friday, July 18, 2008
Please pray for me as I travel to Austin Texas Monday to speak at the National Worship Leader's Conference. It will be held at the Riverbend Church. I'm the first speaker out of the gate on Monday night. I am told that there will be upwards of two thousand worship leaders from all over the world. I'm excited to see the resurgent interest in worship. 45 years ago AW Tozer called worship, "The missing jewel of the evangelical church." I am glad to see many trying to rediscover this jewel.
Thursday, July 17, 2008
Tuesday, July 15, 2008
Monday, July 14, 2008
Saturday, July 12, 2008
Monday, July 7, 2008
Sunday, July 6, 2008
This morning I am speaking at Harvest Christian Fellowship in Riverside California. Pastor Greg Laurie is speaking up in Montana at Fresh Life Church and Pedro Garcia is in Albuquerque at Calvary--it's like we're all playing "musical pulpits!" Harvest is a great church whose people and pastors all are involved in both teaching and evangelism and I always enjoy a visit. I've done two services so far and am about to do the thirds in just a bit. Already several have responded in committing to Christ in the first two--very exciting. Great to see friends like John Collins, Jef Lasseigne, Paul Eaton, Hans and good 'ol Billy Batstone. I'll fly home in a few hours--tomorrow I've got a Harley ride scheduled with Pedro Garcia. Fun times!
Friday, July 4, 2008
Wednesday, July 2, 2008
Tom Terry, the man in the picture (under the horse at PF Changs), has been living in Mongolia for the last 6 years. ("Tom" means "big" in Mongol and is sometimes referred to by locals as "Mr. Big"). He is headed back there today amidst a national coup over the latest election results in that country. Tom is a spiritual warrior who has learned the language and the culture and operates a TV station that broadcasts in Mongolia's most populous city. He has in that time changed the way the country produces media. There are only just over 2 million people in that entire nation and he has manages to make a significant impact. We had lunch yesterday (and yes, he ordered the Mongolian beef--seriously). He wanted to tell me that our TV program, the Connection is translated and aired in Mongolia daily and is one of the most popular programs there. (Thank you Lord!) The problem he sees is with the church there. Christians have traditionally been syncretists on their approach and open to every form of false teaching imaginable. He's now asking for pastors to come there and start the "expository method" in Mongolia. The vision is to have a string of churches that will teach line upon line, verse by verse, book by book and at the same time raise up local indigenous leadership along side. As he was describing the present conditions in that country, I couldn't help but think that they are poised for something great to happen--in the spiritual level. That nation could be changed in the course of the next several years, but it needs pastors to go and start a work there. I will be focused on this project and will seek to identify and send a pastor or a family who senses the call to go there to start this work. Any takers?