Monday, November 15, 2004

Going Deeper

Is it really Monday already? Cuz I'm not sure where the weekend has all been a wonderful whirlwind. Sleep has been lacking, but all that God has done sure has kicked up my energy!

This weekend we had our FOCUS weekend at Apex. We registered and met on Thursday and Friday night as well as ALL DAY (yeah, starting at 7:30 am) on Saturday. God definately met us there and showed us His heart over and over again. We brought in a truely inspiring speaker, Stan Archie, who was on par with Tony Evans. And we had the opportunity to attend some very good workshops throughout the weekend (what I learned there could be a whole other post). I'm sure everyone felt refocused and rejuvinated towards God's purpose for Apex Community Church.

God didn't stop revealing His plans there...oh no. On to Sunday morning So our church has been involved with an Christ's Hope International, through mission trips our church has taken to Namibia, Africa. With God's leading and a lot of prayer He has led us to plant a church there! God had laid the vision on our Pastor's heart to plant a new church within 5 years...but who knew it wouldn't be in the USA? God did! The first essential thing that needs done is to build a community center, and eventually people from Apex to rise up and go live there to help start this church.

Rob (our pastor) laid out this whole proposal explaining how much it would cost to build the community center, staff it, and for and startup costs. ($90,000 which would hopefully be raised by sometime around Feb) During more praise and worship time after Rob done talking I watched our Administrative Pastor hand Rob a piece of paper..... As Rob gets this dumbfounded look on his face, he says "Um, someone just gave $30,000...." The church exploded in applause to God! More worshiping, and then Rob says "Someone else gave $10,000. A bit later, Jim came back up to Rob and we're all like "WHAT???" Rob said "We have just raised $70,000 today!" This is the first time I've seen God move like that...with meeting such a huge financial need/dream so quickly! But He has promised to show us more than we can ask or imagine. After I'm done with my responsibilites in KidsTown, I hear that someone gave another $20,000! Yep. Just that morning God moved people to give $90,000. And that wasn't even the goal of Rob's talk...he just wanted to share with the church about this vision that has been made clear. I am just so blown away...thinking back to the few years ago at our firs 'leadership summit' weekend where a small core of us were hammering out vision statments and core values, and praying that God would just send people. And now to see who He has sent to Apex and how He is using these willing vessels. I'm speechless and humbled.

Oh God, help my unbelief! You are sooo amazing. And thank you for giving me the opportunity to be here, and a part of where YOU are working.

This song became the unofficial theme for this weekend, and it has all new meaning to me:

Blessed be Your name in the land that is plentiful
Where Your streams of abundance flow
Blessed be Your name
And blessed be Your name when I’m found in the desert place
Though I walk through the wilderness
Blessed be your name

Every blessing You pour out I’ll turn back to praise
And when the darkness closes in Lord
Still I will say

Blessed be the name of the Lord
Blessed be Your name
Blessed be the name of the Lord
Blessed be Your glorious name

Blessed be Your name when the sun’s shining down on me
When the world’s “all as it should be”
Blessed be Your name
And blessed be Your name on the road marked with suffering
Though there’s pain in the offering
Blessed be Your name

You give and take away
You give and take away
My heart will choose to say
Lord, blessed be Your name

4 whatevers:

AmyLea said...

honestly, I never even really liked that song before....but yeah, totally. ENTIRE new meaning. I loved how in the first service when they started playing that, everyone went nutso.... Now the second service was a COMPLETE different story. The overall tone of the second was just not even CLOSE to the first... We stayed to pray during the service and see what happened.... I think that some people DID give at the 2nd service, but it wasn't announced like in the first... I seem to remember someone saying that we had a total of $120,000 after the 2nd....but I'm not SURE. :-)

Joel said...

Amy, you are correct. $120k was the final count after second service.

God is incredible. Not even in the amount of the money but His absolute sovereignty and involvement in the details. Incredible! He blew out all the potential "show stoppers" and gave us the opportunity to see Him working in such a tangible way. Whodathunkit! Now we just need, I have a lot to think about.

Anonymous said...

i remember first hearing that song about a year ago... actually it woudl be a year ago this weekend. i was at the national youth workers convention... the first one after youth specialties founder, mike yaconelli, had died a couple weeks earlier. rather than the upbeat celebration that usually kicks off the nywc it started on a very somber note led by mike's wife and the two men now carrying the mantel of youth specialties. after they had finished speaking chris tomlin came up and began a worship time with that song.

i had only met mike once before but he had certainly made an impact on my life. i had never met someone with more passion for Christ. at times he said things i totally disagreed with, but i was always enamored with the passion with which he said them.

at the same time i was dealing with losing a girl friend that i felt very strongly about. so my heart was heavy on two fronts.

when i heard the song i tried my best to sing along, but it hit me hard. spent the majority of the worship time in tears, but being tremendously hit by the fact that no matter where we are... no matter whether we are blessed with enourmous amounts of money for a ministry that we love, or whether it feels at the time like so much is being stripped away, our hearts are called to be faithful in the Lord. and not only to be faithful, but to rejoice in Him at all times.

since then that song has become increasingly meaningful to me. in times that i am rejoicing and in times that i am mourning. its also become a song that i seem to find plenty of times to work into worship sets, as i hope others can find that same meaning in it. there just must be something about job that most of us can relate to... though few of us have ever tackled what he had to go through to get there.

pardon the long comment. probably should have just written it on my own blog... just kinda came out. :) you mentioning the song just got me thinking of it again. excited about what God is doing in your community of believers. :)

have a nice day


Anonymous said...

well, girlie....since you missed apex today on account of being in PA, i'll give you the update so far:

rob said today that the comitted total is now up to $180,000! God has such a bigger idea of what He's going to do!

love ya, roomie!