I’ve been trying to write this blog for so long now. Two weekends ago we had the Watoto Children’s Choir at our church. They are SO incredible. If you have a chance to go see them, do it! It will move your heart for Africa and all the need that is so great there. Kampala Pentecostal Church pastored by Gary and Marilyn Skinner is the church that founded and runs Watoto Childcare Ministries. They are holistically caring for orphans and widows in families housed in supportive, loving communities. If you want to experience some incredible raising up of the next generation of leaders in Uganda, check out our winter mission trip at Go Global.
Filed under church, missions
This month has been a month of huge weekends here at The Life Church! Coming up this weekend we’ve got the Watoto Children’s Choir coming. AND the Joyce Meyer Conference is in town! It’s going to be a busy weekend.
If you are near Memphis, come join in the fun! Here are the details:
Joyce Meyer Conference at the FedEx Forum starting Thursday evening, Friday morning and evening and concluding Saturday morning (March 27-29).
Watoto Children’s Choir will be performing one song in all our morning services: 8:30a, 9:45a, 10:45a (Collierville Campus) and 11:30a.
Watoto Children’s Choir Concert will be Sunday, March 30 at 6 pm.
We had a great Easter weekend at our church – The Life Church of Memphis. We went from operating 3 services to 5 on this weekend, with one of these being at the Collierville YMCA. We’ve launched our Collierville Campus there and Sunday was the first official day!
This past weekend I went to church on Friday night, then served – mainly in the nursery/preschool area – for the 3 services at the Cordova campus. It was an awesome service! In the middle of worship, there was a video of our people simply telling a line from their testimony and the words: “but with God I overcame.” I wish I could relay the power that was in that video. To hear where people came from and how God worked in their lives was so incredible. I think when people come into our church they see a group of incredible leaders who are loving Jesus and loving life and totally flourishing because they are serving God wholeheartedly. What people don’t see are the awesome testimonies behind every person’s life. Everyone has a story because we all have messed up and fall so so short of God’s standard.
If you are thinking that you’re not good enough to be in church or you’ll never get to the place where other people are – remember that God plays no favorites; He draws near to those who draw near to Him. When we seek Him with our whole heart, we’ll find He’s there ready to make our life what He’s created our life to be. Are you ready to begin living your real life? Join in to what God is doing and watch Him transform your life.
Filed under church, holidays
I am believing that through this time of prayer and fasting that my heart will be refined and my life will be more surrendered to God. I’m believing that I’ll have a new perspective, renewed vision and increased zeal for doing the work of the Kingdom. I don’t want any compartments in my life – I want it all to be for the glory of God. In his book Fasting, Jentezen Franklin draws a correlation between a fresh anointing and fasting.
“Fasting is a tremendous weapon and a source of power in the life of a believer.”
If we need touch from God, a word of direction, or the power and strength to carry out what He’s already told us, then we need to fast. The enemy would love to distract you from this powerful spiritual tool. He would love for you to continue where you are then for you to seek God for a fresh word. He wants you to stay defeated. Don’t listen to him today when he brings the many distractions your way. Stand firm and focus on God and all His good and true promises.
Promises from God’s word from The Secret Power of Speaking God’s Word:
I pray that I may enjoy good health and that all my go well with me, even as my soul is getting along well. 3 John 2
Because I listen to and obey God’s voice, He will be my God and I will be one of His people. Jeremiah 7:23
I leave my troubles with the Lord, and He will defend me; He never lets honest people be defeated. Psalm 55:22
According to God’s word I have been set free from sin and have become the slave of God, I have my present reward in holiness and its end is eternal life. Romans 6:22
Filed under Bible, church
Yesterday, we fasted full water and juice all day until after our Wednesday night services. I personally totally felt more in-tune with the Holy Spirit and more boldness. We had a few challenging kids last night. One child was a two year old who was just being a perfect TERRIBLE two. He was saying “No!” to EVERYTHING. His sweet teacher last night was trying to make it enjoyable for him, but when he won’t even give it a chance, it’s frustrating. I took him out during the lesson part and tried to sit with him. While he was playing, I sat there praying for him and talking to him about church. I told him how fun it was and that I didn’t want him to miss out on it. Suddenly, he turned and looked at me and said, “This is church?” I said yes. He said, “This isn’t daycare?” I totally didn’t know he could even talk that good. I said, “No, it’s not daycare, this is church where we learn about God.” He stood up and I asked if he was ready to go back and listen and obey. He agreed and he cheerfully went into his classroom. Bizarre. Must be the Holy Spirit!
If you are getting discouraged or challenged with the fast, here’ s some encouragement. It’s straight from Fasting by Jentezen Franklin:
Every assignment, every call of God, every direction from Him starts somewhere. God has specific assignments for you life. But how do you discover them? How will you hear His voice? How wil you know His plan for your life, His plans for you? Whom should you marry? Where should you live? What job should you take? What mission field is calling your name?
The answer can be found in the appeal Paul made to the Romans: “Present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service” (Romans 12:1). Fasting is how one way you “present” your body to God as a “living” sacrifice. Fasting keeps you sensitive to His Spirit, enabling you to live holy. Paul went on to say, “And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.”
Filed under Bible, church
We started a Daniel Fast at our church this month. We’re going 21 days until Easter with certain days of water and juice fast. It’s going to be an incredible experience, but right now we are all in the first days of it. I’ve come to realize I must have a sugar/carb addiction because I’ve had a headache, fatigue and grouchiness. I was already off caffeine, so I’m assuming its all the sugar I consume. It’s amazing the things that have added sugar. Today I bought some Craisins and was so excited when I really like them. Then I looked at the back and saw that they have added sugar to them. That’s why they were so good!
I have an advantage with the fast – my whole office is also fasting since I work full-time at the church. So I don’t have to worry about anyone bringing in baked goods or anything like that. Though that was pretty much all we talked about in the office today. I’m ready to get over the initial shock to my system and start enjoying it. I’ll let you know how it goes!
At church, we launched our first conference for church leaders called Make Room. It attracted pastors and ministry team leaders from over 10 states. I don’t know the total of attendees, but I do know we planned for 200 and had just a few packets left over. It really blew our minds! When we started planning for this conference, it was out of our pastor’s heart to share what God has done with our church. We thought, hey, if we have 40-50 pastors here, it’ll be cool. But God had different plans. As the registrations came in, it became clear that this was not because of anything we did. And the weekend proved that too. Pastor John was, and encouraged us to be too, totally transparent with the struggles, challenges and mind-set shifts that we’ve faced these past 11 years. Our honesty really encouraged some leaders. Church building is tough work. It takes everything you have mentally, physically, emotionally and spiritually. But anything that requires much, gives back even more. It’s the best thing in the world to see God moving and know that your efforts contributed. It’s awesome to see people come to know Jesus, to see families restored, and see leaders grow and believe in themselves. There’s nothing like it!
At the end of the conference we had a powerful ministry time with worship and prayer. Practically all the leaders came forward to pray at the altar, many weeping. As our team prayed for them, I could almost feel the emotions of those early years of plowing and persevering. I was young then – didn’t really understand all the things we were going through – but I prayed diligently for my pastors. And I did my best to help them any way I could, from babysitting to answering phone calls. We struggled to grow past 200 people for five years while set up and tore down church every week. Looking back it looks more discouraging than it felt at the time. Back then it was a big adventure (it still is!) and I knew in my heart that we were building something much bigger than ourselves.