Sunday, January 08, 2006

Never Ceases to Amaze Me

What an incredible morning we shared at church today! Our guest, Roger Smets, was with us again, as he usually is the first or second Sunday of the year. He speaks from God's Word and then ministers personally through prophetic words that are interlaced with Scripture over people he calls out of the crowd.

As we re-connected just before the 8:30 service, he shared with me that his wife, Gwen, was not with him this time (they live in Redding, CA) because Roger's mom had passed away 2 days before Christmas. All the activities of the funeral and the holidays had Gwen pretty worn out, so she stayed home to recuperate.

Roger went on to share that today was the first Sunday he was ministering in a church since his mom's death. He and his mom were very close and her death, while no surprise at her age, is a traumatic loss. The grief he is enduring was evident and he was uncertain and apprehensive about how he would minister from here on.

As he was sharing his heart with me, I was immediately grateful the Lord brought him to us at this time. With all we've been processing in our current series, Emotionally Healthy Spirituality, what better place for the Lord to put Roger for his first Sunday back in a pulpit! I told him he need feel no pressure to "perform" or live up to unrealistic expectations to "pump everyone up." He could just be himself.

I asked for, and he gave, permission for me to share some of where he is at, and after 30 years of ministering and giving out week after week in different churches, I felt we were to minister to Roger. We had him stand in our "well-worn spot", where we place those we're laying hands on and praying for.

Roger went on to minister and it was a powerful message. Tonight's informal gathering for personal ministry was equally encouraging and powerful. God's timing truly never ceases to amaze me!

I SO want to encourage any and all who are a part of the NewHeart family to really make our gatherings a priority. The Lord is doing some deep things with us, in us, and through us. Bring and include the people He's placed around you who need Him. You too will be amazed!

In the next few weeks, we'll be concluding our series. On January 29, I'll bring our annual "Stae of the Church" message. I am excited about sharing what the Lord has ahead of us this year!

Friday, January 06, 2006

Funny, The Things That Make Us Happy ...

I was thinking just yesterday (the day after the Rose Bowl) how some of the things that make us happy are just plain funny. I don't mean humorous/funny, but silly/funny or strange/funny.

Forgive me for gloating a little, but I'm more a UCLA fan than a USC fan. Not that UCLA is my favorite College Football Team. In fact, in my world, Michigan takes it hands down (GO WOLVERINES!!).

Anyway, it was strange to have the Rose Bowl take place on January 4 this year. Being a resident of SoCal, I am particularly mindful that New Year's DAY is Rose Bowl day (except when NY Day is on a Sunday).

I think Texas had way more fans at the Rose Bowl game. Maybe that's what carried them to victory. Maybe it was way-underrated Vince Young (who is only a Junior right now with 2 Rose Bowl games under his belt) that carried them. C'mon, a QB with 200 yards RUSHING!!

All that to say that yesterday, I caught myself smiling with at odd times. Upon introspection, I was happy not just about a GREAT football game, but that Texas came out on top! Could be that my parents living in Texas now has something to do with it. Or maybe that I played my Jr. High football years there. Face it, there is NO football state like Texas!

Funny, the things that make us happy ...