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Home from Oberhausen

I am back home now getting back into the swing of things at work and home. I must admit it is good to be home. As I look back on the past week in Germany I want to remember all the ways that God showed up. I am someone who is always on the go. I guess I am somewhat of an activist. In all my good intentions for action and change in our world, I seem to forget God’s actions so easily once the tasks of everyday life set in. I take for granted all the ways that God works in our lives. I get judgmental, critical, even downright cynical.

While things went very well, overall, I can’t say that everything went perfectly while I was in Germany. As in all events of this size, we went through many challenges in our creative pursuit to broadcast high quality video to 2 countries using a standard internet connection. The amazing thing is that God really used it. We did our best with the money, energy, talent, and time that we had. We prayed that God might use it to send vision and truth to the faithful in Austria and Switzerland and God took it further. He revealed himself to all of us.

It seemed like no matter what particular challenge faced all the teams who helped to make this event happen, it was as if everyone knew that somehow we were all in this together. During the celebration dinner at the end of our trip, one word kept coming up…family. For me, that word best described the sense of community that God blessed all the sites with throughout the conference. I think attenders saw it too and that is why Gary Schwaamlein said that he received an enormous amount of unexplainable feedback from all the sites that this was the deepest spiritual Summit that they ever experienced. He received this feedback even through there were no major programming changes to the content or format of the event.

I write this not to take away from the faithful who have worked so hard in the past to make these events happen. The point is we all work hard and do our best for our God who deserves it. Perhaps  what  was most amazing to me, is that at in this particular event God gave me the gift of seeing what happens when God brings people together in community to serve Him.  The result was that throughout all the sites we didn’t end up boasting about anything we did to make it happen, we boasted about everything God did to touch the lives of thousands with hope and revelation.

I wrote at the beginning of this post that in my pursuit of good intentions I can easily forget God’s great blessings. Well, I don’t intend to forget what he did in Germany. With that in mind, I am writing this post as a testimony that God is still in control, Mathew 28:19-20 are still in effect and there is a whole community of people who served in Germany, Austria and Switzerland who can who witnessed His love and power firsthand.

Since it was God’s word that came alive last week. I wanted to end this point with a passage from God’s word. May we never forget what God did in Oberhausen, 2008.

1 Corinthians 1:18-26

18For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. 19For it is written:
   "I will destroy the wisdom of the wise;
      the intelligence of the intelligent I will frustrate."[c]

20Where
is the wise man? Where is the scholar? Where is the philosopher of this
age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? 21For
since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not know
him, God was pleased through the foolishness of what was preached to
save those who believe. 22Jews demand miraculous signs and Greeks look for wisdom, 23but we preach Christ crucified: a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles, 24but to those whom God has called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. 25For the foolishness of God is wiser than man’s wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than man’s strength.

26Brothers,
think of what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise
by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble
birth. 27But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. 28He chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things—and the things that are not—to nullify the things that are, 29so that no one may boast before him. 30It
is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us
wisdom from God—that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption. 31Therefore, as it is written: "Let him who boasts boast in the Lord."[d]

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