Palo Cedro, CA
“I feel like I just found out the earth was round instead of flat!”
Right from the beginning, let me say that I had a blast this last weekend at the Palo Cedro Adventist Church. It began Friday night at a more centrally located venue in Redding. In a worship environment that I felt was uncharacteristically culturally relevant, I had an opportunity to share the first presentation of the weekend, laying down the ground work for the foundational concept that whatever picture of God (Hebrews 1.1-3, John 14.9) we begin with directly determines which conclusions we arrive at when examining the subject of Divine forgiveness. I felt an unusual level of freedom and clarity during this presentation and I am excitedly looking forward to making it available online shortly (we are currently preparing the new Life Unlimited series for online publication and then this series will be next). The next day, I shared three presentations at the actual church located a little ways outside of Redding in Palo Cedro. Again, summing up my personal feelings, it just “clicked!” I have given this series two other times this year, but for various reasons I thought, “I could have said that better.” This time though, I said what I was trying to say! We looked at the concept of Prevenient Forgiveness and then had a spontaneous church-wide question and answer session. It was great!
In the afternoon, we looked at the subject of why if anyone is lost in the end, it will not be because God did not forgive them. Finally, we spent some time looking at the cross, not as a means of convincing a reluctant or even “just” God to forgive, but rather, through Christ’s own explanations, as Jesus’ victory over the powers, and his destruction of their works, specifically His victory in revealing the length, depth, height, breadth, and width of the forgiveness that is already in the heart of God for every one. We closed with a call to allow God’s forgiveness to awaken forgiveness in us, so that His forgiveness would be more than something we simply believe in, it would also become a lifestyle that we have embraced as “followers” of Jesus.
After it was all over, I think this was between four and five o’clock, a small handful stuck around for an informal Bible study, more Q & A, discussion, and fellowship. I think I got back to my hotel room at 10:30 that night. I loved it!
During the day, I received a great deal of positive feedback, but the moment that sticks out the most was when a new friend came to me and with deep sincerity shared, “I feel like I just found out the earth was round instead of flat!” The day was filled with one paradigm shift after another regarding our understanding of what type of a “god” our Father in heaven really is, especially in respect to our understanding of and beliefs about His forgiveness.
To say the very least, it was an excellent weekend. For those who were out there praying, thank you. And for those who attended, it was such a pleasure to fellowship with you.
Starting this upcoming Sunday, I will be speaking twice a day at the North Carolina Camp Meeting at Lake Junaluska. Once for the adults in the main auditorium and again for the collegiate/young adults as well. I will be giving twelve presentations in all and plan to make these presentations available online for everyone once the week is over. Please keep this next week covered in prayer as we partner together once again to help enable others to, through the lens of Jesus Christ, see the beauty of our Father’s character of radical, self-sacrificial, other-centered love.
Keep living in love and building the kingdom wherever this may find you. I’m praying for you in this too!
I love you guys. Keep shining.