Here is the sermon I preached at New Vision Church on Sunday. May you find encouragement and hope for the future!
It was a busy but great weekend! Thanks for your prayers concerning me and all the travel and events unfolding over the last couple of days.
Conference In Miami
On Thursday I flew to Ft. Lauderdale to get into town a little early for the Becoming a Woman of Influence conference. Many have wondered what was I doing at a conference like this. Here’s why I was there; I was invited.
A friend of mine os a pastor at New City Church in Miami, Fl. His kids attend Christ Fellowship Academy and they have all seen me perform many times at their school for Spiritual Emphasis Week. So when Joe, the pastor/dad/my friend saw me perform several months ago, he asked me if I would come and be part of the event. Because of my “deal” with God, I don’t turn down any event where the door has been opened and I have an invitation, especially from a friend. So that’s how it came together. I was honored to be the only “male” guest speaker at the event.
There were about 100 attending this conference from several churches in Miami. It was hosted at the Sheraton at the Miami International Airport and let me say what a great time I had being there! New City Church and the team who put this together did an exceptional job of not only maximizing the venue space but caring for me as a guest/speaker and providing what I feel was also a great lineup of other guest speakers for the ladies to learn from and be encouraged by in their growth of influence.
I was at the conference to share a few songs and then some words about how God has influenced my life and brought me to where I am today. My songlist included the Lawnmower Dance, Shark Song, Awake, No One Like You, Watch The Lamb and Jesus Paid It All. God removed my apprehensions and gave me peace as I shared and it really went well. There was a great sense of community and I didn’t feel out of place, which was nice given it was geared for “women”, which goes to show that when we do whatever we do for the glory of God, He will bless it and use it.
Thanks to my friend Pastor Joe Mira and all those at New City Church for investing in the lives of the women of Miami. You guys did an outstanding job this weekend and were a blessing to all of us involved…even us “guys”. Also a special shoutout to my good friend Mike Liebler who was driving me around over the last few days and making sure I made my appointments. And the Gallos who hosted us during my stay.
Wedding In Atlanta
When I agreed to do the conference for Joe in Miami, I failed to remember and check my multiple calendars. This caused a little scheduling conflict as Henry Bruce had notified me of his upcoming wedding on the same day. When I realized this, I called Joe and thankfully he was able to arrange the schedule so I could get a ticket back to GA without having to miss Henry’s wedding, which I certainly didn’t want to happen.
With God’s hand at work, I was able to make it see another one of my “children” get married on Saturday evening. This was not without its challenges however. When I got to the check-in kiosk, I couldn’t seem to do so. After numerous attempts, I went ahead and stood in line to speak to real person.
After waiting in the que for about 10 minutes, the lady informed me that the flight had already closed and that was why I couldn’t check in. She told me that they want people like me there an hour ahead of time and I had gotten to her 45 minutes ahead of time. Really? Ugh. So now we were having to look at rebooking me etc.
She put me on the list for the next flight but told me to go to the gate for the flight I was originally booked on and see if I could make it. So I did with haste. As life would have it, my terminal and gate were on the far side of the airport, requiring me to have extreme patience in the TSA line and on the SkyTrain as I made my way to D-60!
Once I got there they were still boarding the flight so I jumped in line. The ticket I gave the lady was not for that flight, which I knew and I explained to her what happened. Then she passed me off to another guy who looked up some information and told me that I never had a “seat” confirmed on that flight. Really? Wow!
Now he tells me that I have a confirmed seat on second flight but I was put on the standby list for the first one. So I sat and waited and had to trust God to get me on the flight. And He did. Within a few moments, they called my name and another woman, who ended up sitting right next to me to take the last two seats on that flight. Praise God!
So that’s how it worked out. I made it back to celebrate with Henry and Lauren as they joined together in God in holy matrimony. It was a wonderful wedding and a joy to be there with them in this life-changing event.
Henry was one of my students in youth group at Bethany Baptist Church many years ago. He was also part of our sign WAVE team there and at The Point. Henry traveled with me on a few mission trips including one to Florida for George Camp. He’s always been a faithful friend to me and the ministry and always served well regardless of his role. He loves to sing and has made it known on various trips like the ski trip to Winterplace 🙂 You can watch that video here:
Henry has a passion for life and a passion for God. But He also has a passion for the love of his life, Lauren and I am so happy for the both of them as they embark on this journey together! Henry has gone on to learn sign as an interpreter and works at a local school in GA with the deaf. What a great circle to the investment of Vision 2 Hear. I am grateful for what God has done!
It was also awesome to catch up with these fine folks at the wedding reception. Some of them I have not seen in years, while others I recently saw at Krista and Carey’s wedding a couple of months ago. I have resigned myself to the truth that now I will see most of these people at such events as weddings as they have all grown up. Where has the time gone? It was great to see you all and I love and miss you guys. Thanks for being such a blessing to me and part of the V2H family! It’s people like you and all the others who have made my life so special.
Preaching At Church
The weekend concluded with me preaching at my church in Fayetteville. With my pastor recently resigning, the church had asked for me to cover a few Sundays as they put together a search committee etc. So this weekend I launched a 3 week series called Awakenings.
With no surprise to those who have been part of my ministry, we had many technical issues leading right up to the beginning of the service. From trying to understand why the screen color was “pink tinted”, to trying to hook up my “Mac” to run from the back, to getting the signals set for a scenario for me to run it from the front, to transferring 50 slides to another computer so someone else could run it, everything finally came together with about 5 minutes to begin. But it came together, at the last moment, right on time, which seems to have been the case for all things concerning this weekend.
God moved in the service and removed my apprehensions of speaking; and for that I am always grateful!
In Other News
Angela is back from El Salvador and I am waiting for her to send me a little note about her experience. Once I get it, I’ll send it out so you can hear about how this trip shaped her life.
Also, I’ll be making a definitive decision about India this week. As you may know I am supposed to head out on Feb. 16 but I have not generated enough support yet for the airfare. So will see. This may be God saying wait. So I’m praying over the next day or so to see what all happens. Of course, they would like for me to be there but I also have many irons in the fire here to take care of and deal with. So please pray God’s will be done. I’m willing to go or stay…whatever I need to do.
If you’d like to give toward this trip, or any other mission project, you can do so at vision2hear.com or just follow this link: paypal
Thanks so much! Catch up with you next week.
Here’s a sermon I shared at New Vision Church last weekend. Hope you are encouraged by it.
Going With The Flow
What were they on their way to do at the Temple? What did they end up doing?
What did the man ask for from people? What did he expect from everyone? What did he get from Peter?
What is unique about Peter’s response to this cripple man? How is his response different than the other “religious” people at the Temple?
What was the result of this man’s healing?
God’s Power Flows FROM WHERE HE IS.
The God who made the world and all things in it, since He is Lord of heaven and earth, ____________________________________________. Acts 17:24 NLT
But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the __________________________________________________ 2 Corinthians 4:7KJV
God’s Power Flows FROM PEOPLE OF EXPECTANCY.
20 Now unto him that is able to do __________________________ according to the ___________________________________in us,
21 Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen. Ephesians 3:20-21
Yet you don’t have what you want because you _______________ 3 And even when you ask, you don’t get it because your__________________________________—you want only what will give you pleasure. James 4 2b-3 NLT
When it’s not His will, God says “NO!”
When it’s not His time, God says “SLOW!”
But when it’s His will, and the time is right, God says “GO!”
God’s Power Flows FROM WHERE GOD’S AUTHORITY IS RECOGNIZED.
18 Jesus came and told his disciples, “I have been given __________________in heaven and on earth. 19 Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. 20 Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Matthew 28:18-20NLT
15 And then he told them, “Go into all the world and preach the Good News to everyone. 16 Anyone who believes and is baptized will be saved. But anyone who refuses to believe will be condemned. 17 These miraculous signs will accompany those who believe: They will cast out demons in my name, and they will speak in new languages. 18 They will be able to handle snakes with safety, and if they drink anything poisonous, it won’t hurt them. They will be able to place their hands on the sick, and they will be healed.”Mark 16:15-18NLT
“Many Christians estimate difficulties in the light of their own resources, and thus attempt little and often fail in the little they attempt. All God’s giants have been weak men who did great things for God because they reckoned on His power and presence with them.” (J.Hudson Taylor)
God’s Power Flows FROM WHERE HE WILL GET THE GLORY!
15 But one time when they tried it, the evil spirit replied, “I know Jesus, and I know Paul, but____________________?” Acts 19:15
“Refuse to expect or accept any glory that belongs to God.” Charles Swindoll