my final week at bacc

so, i’m in my final week at bacc.  it’s been a crazy journey to say the least.  i can’t post everything here, but i have to say that i have met some incredible people who have encouraged and inspired me with their Love of God.  i have a few Bible studies, a few meetings with leaders, and this Sunday left before this time ends and then i’ll be spending my time on convergence.  i’ll be speaking at stockton covenant church on 9/7 and leading worship (yes, i still play my guitar and sing…:)) at edgewater covenant church in pittsburg, ca on 9/14.  until then, it’s a day-by-day journey of loving the Lord and loving the people of oakland…:)

prayer…

i just got back from a retreat/training time with other church planter/pastors in malibu, ca.  yes, it’s tough being a pastor at times…:)  in all honesty, it was a tough time for me.  as much as it was a time of training (learning about leadership development and evangelism), i wrestled so much in prayer.  i’ve been in prayer more than ever before.  i’m finding myself yearning more for the Spirit of God to come in power rather than relying on my own power.  i’m naturally strategic and think analytically, but i yearn for the Spirit.  my heart’s desire is to keep hearing and obeying.  i’m not always sure how to do that or how to discern the Holy Spirit’s call, but i’m placing myself in a greater posture of prayer that i might have a greater chance.  i’m praying so that i myself might change.  i’m praying so that i might remember that God is in control and to ever remind me of that.  i’m praying because there’s so much i don’t know.  i was searching through some of my older sermons today and came across an excerpt from “Shadowlands” (the movie about C.S. Lewis and his wife Joy).  i’ve pasted it here because it was a timely word for me…

Shadowlands portrays the joy and pain of the relationship between C. S. Lewis and American writer Joy Gresham. A growing friendship led to a marriage of convenience. The Oxford professor wed the single mother in a secret, civil ceremony so that Joy could gain English citizenship. Eventually it was discovered that Joy had terminal cancer, and Lewis realized his love for her.

Joy’s cancer went into temporary remission, and for a season she and Lewis experienced the depth of committed Christian love. During this time, an Anglican priest talked with Lewis about prayer. In their conversation, we hear a mature description of how prayer works.

The Priest said, “I know how hard you’ve been praying. And now God is answering your prayer.”

Lewis responded, “That’s not why I pray, Harry. I pray because I can’t help myself. I pray because I’m helpless. I pray…I pray because the need flows out of me all the time…waking and sleeping. It doesn’t change God, it changes me.”