Our Couples with Kids lifegroup meets this Saturday night, 6pm at the home of Tim and Tiffany Brandenburg. Come and enjoy conversation and feel free to bring your kids! Map below is to the Brandenburg’s home.
God has certainly been challenging my expectations recently…
We started off last week with the best Legacy Ladies event ever, held Monday night at the beautiful Sweet Art Gallery. It was so successful. we are going to hold our next Ladies event their in August as well. Thanks to all the ladies who attended, who organized the event, and to Susan Stripling for a challenging and creative message!
Also, I sent out a letter last week reminding people that summer is a tough time financially for churches in SW Florida, and to please remember to tithe. I expected some angry responses, as people don’t always like to be reminded that the church relies on God’s tithe to pay the bills. What I got instead were people dropping off their tithe to my house BEFORE they went out of town for the week (!), and zero negative responses.
I was frankly expecting a down day last Sunday, June 9. School was officially out, families were traveling, and people had a sunny weekend finally after a full week of almost ceaseless rain. What we got instead was a room-full of people, some of whom were new, but many who are committed to the vision and work of Legacy Church. This is happening, in a big way…in a “God way”. At the end of my sermon on “God’s glory” (not your most “user-friendly” topic), the altar was filled with people giving their lives to Christ, asking to experience more of Him and His glory in their lives. Not what I expected either…
Dawn and I went to a lovely lunch with a group made up mostly of single adults in our church. We ate at the 5th Ave Cafe, and the room was filled with laughter and good conversation. A lady sat at our table and started telling me how the sermon had touched her, and then she started to cry. Certainly didn’t expect that.
We met at the Loudermilk Park beach at 5pm to baptize some new believers in Christ. Interestingly enough, all these believers were not children raised in Christian families, but grown adults (and one teenager). One was a Jewish man who began coming to our church in January and has not missed one service since! He has had probably around 100 people visit our church that he has invited, and the baptism was no exception and more of his friends witnessed his public testimony of faith in Jesus the Messiah.
Later, I sat on the beach and watched as everyone enjoyed each other’s company. I talked for a while with another man who told me how God had led him to our church. He reminisced about the first time he visited our church, and God told him this was were he was supposed to be. God spoke to him so clearly that moment that he actually turned around to see who had called his name! Didn’t expect that either. Maybe God is teaching me to expect Him to do the unexpected, and that something miraculous really is happening in Legacy Church
This coming Sunday is Father Day, and I’ll be preaching on something that is often a challenge for men – worship. Not only do men tend to be outnumbered in worship attendance by women, they often seem uncomfortable expressing their affection for God in worship services. We’ll talk about that and about why worship is so important to God. And as a special treat, Lazaro Arbos will be singing this Sunday, so invite your friends as we wish him well on his summer tour with American Idol.
Our own Bill Gonzales is starting a dynamic new ministry to the people of Immokalee. It will not only focus on evangelism but also on continuing discipleship, which is something many other ministries ignore. Bill has a great deal of past ministry experience, and he and his dear wife Sandra are committed members at Legacy. I hope you will stay after the service on June 23 to hear his heart and vision for reaching this area with so many needs.
Finally, I am in the last 2 and a half week of rehearsals for Les Miserables before we open on June 28. I can tell God has His hand on the production and is going to use it to bring glory to Himself! Please continue to pray for my health, strength (I have to carry a man all over the stage, and I get thrown around quite a bit as well), and for me to be the best ambassador for Christ I possibly can!
In coordination with the play running through the month of July, I will be doing a sermon series that whole month called THE MESSAGE OF LES MIS. There is so much spiritual depth to be gleaned from the play, which actually has Scripture in the song lyrics and so many Christian messages in the story. In the play’s program, people will read in my bio that I am the pastor at Legacy and will see our website address. So hopefully some of them will come and visit us during the month of July, and I know you will make them all feel right at home as you always do!
So to sum it all up – God is working, lives are changing, and we’ve only just begun! I love you and I love being the pastor of Legacy Church of Naples!
Pastor David Gipson