Cowboy Camp Meeting in Gentry, Arkansas
September 27-30, 2012
If you were praying for this event, thank you, thank you, thank you. When the group there in Arkansas invited me to be a part of their Cowboy Camp Meeting, I have to admit that I didn’t have a sweet clue what I was getting myself into.
First, I don’t even like country music.
I look stupid in a cowboy hat.
I don’t even own a pair of boots.
But Cowboy Camp Meeting in Gentry, AR, is not about cowboys; it’s about Jesus!
As we began on Thursday night, I looked out on the audience, and the Holy Spirit whispered into my heart that sitting out there were hundreds and hundreds of “gifts,” some that those who possess them don’t even know they’ve been given them, waiting to be equipped and set in motion! I don’t know if that resonates with any of you, but I was overwhelmed. Those there were not called to be mere spectators while I simply verbally poured out some vision of God as revealed through Jesus. No, no! We were brought there at that moment to grasp together a vision of God as revealed through Jesus that is in itself the seed, so to speak, that will sprout (equipping and empowering) in those present to go out and begin sharing Jesus with the world and with each other in whatever way the Spirit gifts them to do so (1 Corinthians 14.26; Romans 15.14; Colossians 3.16; Hebrews 10.24,25; Ephesians 4.15,16). Each one of us is a puzzle piece, and as we come together, we together have the potential to show a BEAUTIFUL picture of God, which is a reflection of the God we see in the person of Jesus Christ.
I have to confess that these thoughts are not new to me, but I have never had these thoughts impressed upon me so profoundly as when I looked out at an audience. We, as the church, are not an audience that gathers once a week as mere spectators who have put in their time. No, each of us has a gift, given by the Spirit, needing to be equipped and empowered to share the revelation of God’s character with this world and even the unseen cosmos, too (Ephesians 3.10).
What I felt God whispering to my heart that Thursday evening was, “Give them Me, Herb. Give them Me.” Therefore, with His empowering, I did.
So many testimonies continued to surface throughout the entire weekend of how folks were encountering God and His love for them as they never had before. (I made so many new friends. Not all were positive. Some were cautious and understandably so, but for many, God was doing something beautiful in each heart and mind that were open to seeing Him anew.) Misconceptions were clarified. Hungry hearts and thirsty souls were encountering the water of life as participants began experiencing God’s radical, other-centered, self-sacrificial love as revealed in the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus.
As the weekend ended, I walked away, not just with newfound friends, not just with a new understanding of the Kingdom myself but with a whole new paradigm-shift revelation of God’s intention for His church. The Kingdom (Acts 20.25; Acts 28.30,31) wasn’t just enlarged among those who attended, although it was, but it was enlarged in me, too, as I experienced a tremendously profound vision for the church that God was driving home to me each time I spoke to this audience.
I’ll be sharing some of these thoughts in the current HeartGroups eSight and podcast series. Be looking for them. I’m praying they will be revolutionary for you as well.
Beginning this Friday night in Albuquerque, NM, I will be beginning the new Life Unlimited series again (hoping to finally get a decent recording; some of these presentations are currently online, but not all). Please keep these upcoming meetings in your prayers that those who attend from the community will have an encounter with the God who is so passionate for them and that they will choose to be part of His body here on earth for all to see.
I love you guys. Thanks in advance for your prayers.
Keep enlarging the Kingdom.
Now go love somebody.