Hi Five Oakers:
I have a few things I want to share with you today.
#1 - I'm not the most on-time person I know. Okay, those of who know me would say I'm one of the least on-time people you know. I contend it has a lot to do with wiring, but that's another story (or an excuse). Anyway, as I saw many of you wandering in late for the services and missing the opening song I had told you about (which started about 3 minutes early...sorry, but we have to do that), it hit me that maybe I'm missing some good stuff when I arrive late to other things. Just a thought.
#2 - Here are your comments from the Communication Cards (and my responses):
- Thank you to staff of Five Oaks for sharing your gifts with others. Pastor Henry, leadership and oral charisma! And all who make it a strong community. [It really is a team effort!]
- Great message Henry. Thanks! I’m curious what the other analogy was? [An analogy hit me in the middle of my message on Saturday night that I said I better not share until I think it through. It had to do with coming Biggest Loser mid-season and watching a weigh-in and hearing all the cheers. Not seeing the before, you might be tempted to think, "Actually, they don't look so good." (And who would, wearing what they make them wear.) Someone may have lost 100 pounds and still have 150 to go. Coming in mid-season, you don't see the change and may focus on what is still needed. But the real point is comparing them to how they started. So it is with spiritual growth. It's not about comparing myself to others but comparing my current self to my earlier self. Am I growing in greater, deeper love for God and people?]
- Gratitude for the messages given here. They have relevance all thru my week. Love the way he uses Henry and opens my ears!
- Captivating service. Thank you for a great message, and also to the worship team, beautiful music. Beautiful Sunday. [Couldn't agree more! So many worshipful songs played so well. Great sound mixing too. It was loud without being harsh, so nothing got in the way. Loved it.]
- Really nifty communion method!
- Praise the Lord!
- I came early to hear “the new song”. [I was in there early every service so I could catch it. Love it!]
- Very nice having communion together for a change so everyone could comfortably participate! [It's good to change things up. Dan Lukas' idea and I appreciated it too.]
- Sweet to hear voices over music. Thanks. [I love it when the worship leader pulls back and you can hear the congregation. God is listening!]
- Powerful message! [Powerful passage.]
- Praise the Lord!
- Pastor Henry, thank you for clarifying we don’t compare ourselves to each other, but only to God when it comes to our personal salvation! Also, were you referring to Isaiah 61 at the beginning when asking us what Jesus came to do? [I was referring to Jesus' sermon in Luke 4 where he indeed quotes Isaiah 61 and several other passages.]
- Pastor Henry, thank you for being bold and for speaking so powerfully to us. The healing topic can be so difficult, but you approached it so honestly and biblically. It’s not about me… how few pastors preach this to their flock. Thank you.
- Thanks Justin for playing your song today! Thanks also for the prayer “please forgive me for not forgiving others”. Henry, GREAT, GREAT message – thanks or the honesty and clarity – for not soft balling it and for challenging us to be honest with ourselves. So many great message today – too much to write! I LOVE MY CHURCH! [The call to worship, the prayers of confession, the biblical words of assurance we include in every service are powerful. I agree. All killer; no filler.]
- Very cool message on healing. Liked seeing people engaged in worship. [Saw a line four deep waiting for prayer with the prayer team at the 9:30am. It's been a dream come true to see this kind of praying going on in our services, especially that kind of personal contact.]
- Thank you for speaking to the spiritual realm. I sometimes get so focused on this physical world; it’s problems that I forget the spiritual is the eternal. This world is Satan’s, but Jesus has overcome the world. I need to take heart and believe enough that it changes the way I think, what I say and what I do. [Me too.]
- Beautiful Majesty song today! Great sermon, really challenging us, great, great closing worship set! [On Majesty, I loved the way Justin came in slowly and beautifully with the guitar at the start.]
- Love Justin’s new song! Didn’t care for prepackaged communion – too much fumbling. Loses meaning. [Thanks for the helpful feedback. We too were concerned that it might keep people from focusing on the Scripture reading beforehand.]
- While I liked doing communion in a more traditional way once in a while, I found the new communion cups very distracting. [Traditional for some and totally new for others. But I, like you, passed the plate while growing up.]
#3 - While I'm on a one-month sabbatical this summer we will hear messages from John Ortberg (on video from the Summit), Tim Keller (on video from the Summit), Tim Bubar and Vince Miller. All but John Ortberg will be preaching from our series on Luke, even Tim Keller. He's up when we get to Luke 15 and the story of the prodigal son(s). It's a great line-up.
#4 - Speaking of the Summit, we will be promoting this year's Willow Creek Leadership Summit starting in June. The dates for the Summit (held live via satellite at Eagle Brook's Lino Lakes campus) are August 9 and 10. Save the date. This is the best conference I attend every year. You know it's great. Your friends have told you it's great. Maybe this year you'll attend. 120 from our church attended last year. Our pricing is hard to beat because of our partnership with Eagle Brook in this event. This isn't only for people who consider themselves to be "leaders." It's for everyone and you'll be inspired in your journey with God.
#5 - Here's the video faith story from the weekend. We had a little trouble with the color mix but the content is outstanding and inspiring.
#6 - Interesting passage from Luke 14 this weekend. All I'll say is that it surprised me. Here's this coming weekend's benediction based on Luke 14. You can start to hear the blessing in it now.
Put your mind on your life with God
The way to life is God.
His way is not easy,
But it is simple and good.
His promise is to be with us.
He will not leave us.
He will not leave us.
I am so privileged to serve as your pastor. I spent a few minutes talking to one of our members after one of the services. We talked about our struggles in recent years and what God has been teaching us. Then I received such a kind email from him thanking me for stopping to talk with him. I was the one blessed. It was a great time of reflecting together. I love you all, and I pray for you. If you write a request, I pray for your request specifically. Thank you for praying for me and blessing my life.
Blessings to you, Pastor Henry