Today was a pretty chill day. Michael and I woke up super early and went to a local coffee shop to get some coffee and journal a little bit. We went to Expression 58 this morning for church which is about 20 minutes away in Glendale.
There was so much that I appreciated about how that church operated that I haven’t actually seen back home in GA. It’s LA and you definitely know it when you walk into this building. Art work all over the walls. Vintage theatre style seating and a whole lot of skinny jeans. No smoke. No fancy light show. No impressive graphic screen. But their style was very unique. Probably one of the most authentic and intentional Sunday morning services I have ever been to.
I can tell that they really get family right as well. I think many churches today talk so much about family but they really have no clue what it really looks like or how to do it well. One of the pastors wives was walking down to her seat while her husband was doing announcements on stage. He saw her and mentioned that people should contact her if they had any questions about a particular ministry or event and in the process pointed out that she had recently been pronounced cancer free. The place erupted and gave her a standing ovation that lasted for about 5 minutes. I knew right away that this group of Jesus lovers knew what it was like to celebrate the miracles of the Lord in each other’s lives.
They really gave the Holy Spirit room to move in their services as well. Worship actually didn’t last as long as I thought it would this morning but the Holy Spirit was given the opportunity to accomplish what He was there to accomplish. Worship was alive. I don’t think J put my eyes on one person that I could tell wasn’t engaged in what the Holy Spirit was doing. I long to see a day where this is reality in churches all over my city back home. I’m praying for churches in the Deep South to have its religious chains truly truly broken and for Christians to begin pursuing more than what the American seeker sensitive church is offering.
I later learned that they have 3 services on Sunday. 2 in the morning and 1 at night. I found it very admirable that the staff of that church would sacrifice their whole day to facilitating 3 services at 2 hours a piece to make sure they gave each service the freedom it needed instead of trying to jam pack 3 services into 1 morning.
The sermon is a conversation for another day but it was spot on. Jennifer Toledo. Check her out:)
We went to eat lunch and went for a run this afternoon and now we are sitting at Starbucks (all the local places are closed) to write and reflect and what happened.l I’m service today.
We actually ran in a very populated park this afternoon. As I ran I couldn’t help but notice the broken people and the smell of weed around every turn. I thought about the fact that not as many people here profess to Christian like they do back home. We certainly aren’t in the Bible Belt anymore. I love it though. One thing that I can say is that people are real here. They are who they are. If they aren’t Christian they’ll say it. If they are they are usually really on fire for Jesus. Not a whole lot of luke-warm going on here.
We check into the Dream Center tomorrow where we will begin the real work. It’s going to be such a powerful week of empowerment for both Michael and I. There are many things that I’ve been praying to receive here that I can take back to Augusta. I believe the Lord is going to activate me in those things this week. I’m ready for it! Continue to pray for us as the Lord has been preparing our hearts for a long time to receive some very powerful tools here. I will keep you all posted throughout the week!
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