My mink theatre coat. I think it's WW1 era. I love it!
I realize that this post is mainly just pictures, but I am so emotionally exhausted that I simply cannot write tonight.
This trip has been amazing, on countless levels.
Ambassadoring. (yes, I made that word up)
More fun than I could have imagined.
Life calling clarifying.
A time to watch the good hand of our Mighty God in ways that I am still astounded by.
I've thought of so many of you during this trip...prayed for so many of you...cherished the times of quiet to lift your precious friends on the Salvation Shot List up before the King of Kings.
Today I watched countless people...hundreds, pour forth to surrender their lives to Jesus Christ after hearing Niki Cruz share his testimony and gift as an evangelist.
Then Pastor Cymbala guided those who had come forth in a deep, clear prayer of repentance. He shared with clarity that they now had a new heart, but that they weren't going to be dropped...that they would be ministered to, discipled..
Oh, I could go on and on and on.
Broadway has been great, but they ain't got nothin' on the Brooklyn Tabernacle when it comes to talent!
My tears of rejoicing and thanksgiving before the Lord began last night after the sweetest phone call I think I've ever had with a friend. Oh...what precious words of grace and edification and love and kindness she poured over me.
Combined with today, I've almost been crying for 24 hours straight.
Good tears. Oh, such sweet tears.
Pastor Cymbala prayed over Lisa and I today, and as much as that meant to us, I think the prayers offered by the amazing sisters in the Lord in that church touched our hearts at an even deeper level.
Ah....to see the church acting as the church!
I felt like I got such a deeper glimpse of what my own dear Pastor and his wife are working to develop within our church body, and I can't wait to get home and thank them and come alongside them, and my other brothers and sisters there...for the work of Christ...to the building up of the body...the equipping of the saints...to reach the lost.
Oh, my heart is overflowing tonight.
Tomorrow we see the doctor in Albany. Lisa isn't desperate yet, but I am. I think that if he finds in my body what I expect he will, that I'll begin to pray that I could just stay a few extra days and get the surgery done now.
While I've felt good most of the time here, some points have been very hard.
Hey...I could get a stand up show here and finally get to at least play off-Broadway!
Please....please be praying and asking God who needs to study with us for the upcoming blog study.
I saw today the fruit (in large numbers!) of people who are rooted and grounded in the Word of God.
Whose walk with God are you so carefree about that you won't step out of yourself enough to ask them to join a blog study?
Aha...when we look at it that way, it changes things, doesn't it?
Kind of like when you ask yourself what unbeliever you know who you hate so much that you simply won't share the Gospel with them, isn't it?
At one point today, Lisa and I went up to the front of the church and just prayed before God, asking Him to take this cup from us if it be His will. It was a time when the pastor had told everyone in the building that if there was anything in their lives that they wanted to be free of, they could just bring it up front....and then pray.
So we took our MS.
As the people went forward, the BROOKLYN TABERNACLE CHOIR members poured out of their seats, walked down the stairs, and began praying over those who were kneeling in prayer.
The Scripture filled prayer that our sister prayed over us was DRIPPING with the Word of God. She had no idea what we were there for...in context, she clearly thought it was some sort of deep bondage...but her prayer...
Oh, her prayer!
And the one of the dear sister from St. Lucia who sat next to me and asked me why we were in New York...I'm serious when I tell you that SHE TOOK OUR BURDEN and bore it with us in prayer!
Then, Niki Cruz...see, church was a noon and lasted 2-2.5 hours.
Niki was at 3.
There was a different audience pouring in to see Niki.
Street gang guys. Street girls.
And...the church. Being THE CHURCH!
I know I'm all over the place here. Stay with me.
I forgot to tell you that someone left a pack of cigarettes with the Pastor, and one took their crack pipe.
Praise Jesus! Pray for them, church! (This time, that's YOU!)
After the hundred+ people went forth to receive our Risen Savior...or should I say AS...there was on man whom I just couldn't quit looking at.
He walked down as one of the last.
Scared maybe? I don't know...
I only know he was at the very back of the group who had gone front.
Yet, after the prayer his hesitant arms flung up to the heavens...clearly in praise to his new King and Master.
I stood, praying for him. Compelled that I could not leave that sanctuary until I had spoken to him...welcomed him into the Kingdom.
I had to say it twice..the second time loudly..."Sir. SIR!"
He turned..."May I speak with you for just a moment?"
Remember now, he'd only had his new heart for a few minutes....no telling what could have been going through his mind.
But he stayed to talk with us. And I told him of how the Lord by His Spirit had been leading me to pray for him while he was down there.
I welcomed him.
I told him they'd love him here...they'd teach him.
You see...this man was alone. Most of the others seemed to be with a friend, but this man was alone.
His name is Milton, and he told me he really needed my prayers...kept saying how nice that was.
I asked him how to pray specifically and he said, "I just got out of prison."
I don't recall all the other words, but it was clear...he knew he needed Jesus and he wants to live for Him.
Church: Milton needs us to intercede for him.
Church: Will you join me?
Church, Milton is now your brother in Christ. He is a new creation. He has a new heart. The Spirit of God resides in Him now. He has a spiritual gift now...he doesn't know that yet, doesn't know what it is...but he does!
Church: They went down sinners today. They left as saints...and I wept through it all!
Milton let us pray for him, and when I finished praying I told him that it was 11.5 years ago for me that Jesus became my all in all...and that He's just as fresh, just as new for me today as He was then.
I told him to read Romans 5 & 6 in his new Bible the church was giving him...he said he would. I told him that it will show him that he is no longer a slave to sin...no longer in prison to satan, but that he is now a bond slave of Jesus Christ.
I hugged that dear man...I don't hug other men, but this man needed a hug. A touch from someone to let him know he is loved.
Went in a sinner.
Left my brother, a co-heir with Christ.
And to think, I wasn't going to say much...
I was pierced to the heart today.
We cannot be complacent.
How will we answer before a Holy God for complacent arrogance about our precious salvation?!
My church may not have prostitutes and parolees going forth weekly, but we are most certainly still called to reach the lost while we're equipping the saints.
I want to tell you one last thing...and I want you to really let it soak deep into your mind and heart.
If you call yourself a Christian and you are not COMPELLED to reach the lost, then you must go before God and ask Him to re-examine your heart for you...to show you if you truly belong to Him.
A Christian who isn't burdened to reach those on their way to hell for all eternity, is an oxymoron.
To that end...who are you going to ask to join you in the study we're about to begin? See the tab above.
Bring the seekers. Bring the lost. Bring them. Study with them. Open your home to them. Meet with them at lunch at work.
Just bring them.
God will do the work in their lives through His Word.
This is just one avenue that He can use.
Pray and ask Him to direct you to them, and then either buy the book for them or buy a whole box of books, and see whom the Lord will bring.
The lost are dying and many of them know they are, they just don't know where to find the Truth.
You do, so show them.
I love you tonight,