I’m generally not the type of person to get super riled up about anything (other than golf). But let me explain why this !gnite made me super excited and joyful:
One of my expectations going into !gnite was to have a greater heart of worship. Personally, in my life, worship has played an incredibly big role. It encourages me when I am discouraged, it speaks truth to me when I need to be reminded the most, and it just sounds awesome.. for the most part lol. At this !gnite, I just had this urge to get a bit more undignified. I was reminded of Acts 16 and the power of worship, especially how it can potentially break the chains of people around us. Whether it’s by jumping or singing loud with my mediocre singing voice or lifting hands that do not deserve to touch a holy heaven.. I just wanted those chains to be free. I wanted to enjoy God’s presence as much as I could. I just wanted to remind my soul that God is that good.
2. Small group
Small group reminded me of a connect group I visited. No prompts, no obligation, no sense of feeling pressured. The masks were off and people shared genuine, raw things. Living in New York has always unconsciously made me wear a mask at all times— the only way to be respected and liked was if you put your best up front and hide all the weak junk that no one wants to see. But man, #TeamColonel really encouraged me to talk straight from the heart.. No extra steps in thinking and no sugar coating what’s up.. I really appreciated it. We didn’t even spend THAT much time with one another, but man it felt like family. I don’t know.. words can’t really capture how I felt with them.
Serving in VM is incredible only with the right mindset. VM had to do a bit more extra and focus a lot more because we were streaming to the churches in Asia. We wanted to do anything and everything to ensure that they enjoy worship as much as we do, that they are immersed in the sermons as much as we were here. And, this additional focus made it really hard to focus on what the preacher was saying, and it even made it hard to really sing and praise freely. But man, knowing that my sacrifice can potentially bless other people.. it’s a great feeling. As Pastor Carl once said.. if we need to lie down and have people step on us so that they can see Jesus face to face, then so be it.
Last !gnite, I had this beautiful vision, which ended with God audibly saying, “Go and tell New York that I love them.” This !gnite, one of my first friends in Michigan (who is also from New York) told me that he had a vision of New York as well.. and, based on his description of it, it was pretty much the same, if not, ridiculously similar to the vision I had a year ago. We both came to our respective !gnites with a heart against New York, and we both left our respective !gnites with a burden for New York. He is envisioning a HMCC church plant in New York, but I don’t necessarily see myself being committed to HMCC in the long run. Nevertheless, because Jesus is at the center, there’s no reason why we shouldn’t work side by side, right?
I’m sure there is more. Without a doubt. But for now, this is all I can muster haha.
tl;dr - Jesus