Today was an emotional day at The Crossroads. People were moved to tears of brokenness and astounding celebration during worship. God's Spirit was very visibly at work today.
Shawn preached another sermon in the encore presentation of "chasing the lion". He used a new technolgy in the sermon. He used youversion live. All of his sermon points and scriptures were online, with the capability for us to take our own notes and email back prayer requests. I liked being able to see a variety of translations of a scripture at the touch of a button. (the regular paper outlines were available as well)
James 1:4 struck me hard, especially when I read it from The Message. This is my paraphrase since I don't have it nearby -" don't try to get out of adversity prematurely. Allow it to do its job of shaping your character." I admit to frequently looking for shortcuts out of bad times. I do not spend time rejoicing over how those times are shaping my character.
I was also touched by James 1:1 "I James, a slave of God...." We introduce ourselves to strangers with labels. "Hi, I'm LaRissa, I teach first grade, or I'm the pastor's wife, or I play the keys, or I'm Katie's mom." I wish that I lived in such a way that I could honestly quote that introduction from James. And nobody laugh about hypocrisy.
As I mentioned earlier, God was really moving during worship today. It felt great to play again after being out last week. I will confess that I was very distracted by my pedal scooting around on the floor. It is amazing how something so minor can be so distracting. I enjoyed the morning,I was touched by others engaged in worship, but I was not awestruck in worship until Shawn and I were driving home.
As we talked through the day, I was touched by how hungry people at The Crossroads are for God. They sincerely want to be surrendered and obedient. They attend church looking for how God wants to change them. They expect to leave better people than when they arrived. I love how they are expressive and real about what God is doing in their lives. As Shawn and I talked, I was moved to worship because God allows me to be a piece of this beautiful thing. He allows me to watch Him work in big ways. I worshiped because I am not worthy, and yet I am used.
Thank you, God for using me for your kingdom. Help me to live so that I could say that I am your slave, without laughing because I know it's a stretch of the truth. Move in Anna. Draw people to your truth. Help us to want you desperately.