Sunday, December 18, 2005

Grande cafe mocha and Lakewood's move to Compaq Center

I'm a little worked up from a grande cafe mocha I just had a few minutes ago at the Starbucks across from the JSC, so I'll take a couple minutes to pound something out here.

Why doesn't "grande" mean "large" at Starbucks? Am I missing something? "Grande" at Starbucks actually means medium. It's strange. Everywhere else around here, grande means large. And "tall" is actually the shortest. The coffee is pretty good but they seem to be a bit confused...

There is a radio DJ here in town who says she can read your personality by knowing what you order at the coffee shop. If I order a grande cafe mocha with whipped cream and extra chocolate some of the time and a regular coffee black the rest of the time, I wonder what it says about me? That I'm a complex individual that teeters on the edge of being sickening sweet and amazingly bland, and I can't decide what I want?

That, of course, doesn't describe me but it sure sounds like a good reading.

Christmas and New Year's is upon us again. Amazing. I'm excited about 2006. There is such a sense (at least I'm feeling it) that God is doing a new thing and this is going to be a great year coming up. Looking back, 2005 seemed like a time of preparation.

One highlight: moving Lakewood into the former Compaq Center.

If you didn't experience it firsthand, there is no way to adequately describe that opening weekend. I'll never forget the first service. It was Saturday evening, and the place was so packed that the best seat I could get was on the top level, almost behind the platform. I watched most of the service on the video screens. I remember being so excited about what God was doing, but at the same time feeling a sense of loss about the old building.

The moment I walked into that old building, I knew instantly there was something special going on at Lakewood Church. I went because I saw the place on TV and thought I might be able to meet my beautiful wife there.

I saw three immediate family members get saved in that building. God changed me exponentially in the old sanctuary.

I even remember visiting years and years ago, just shortly after it was built, and seeing John Osteen preach there. It was the only time I ever saw him preach in person.

Change is sometimes difficult. But now the new Lakewood is such a reminder, every time I walk in it, that He is able to do more than we can ask or think.

So, what does God have in store for me in 2006? Change. I wish I could be more specific, but I'm just not sure. A very enduring remark I heard from the pulpit at Lakewood (at least, I can say it has really stuck with me) came from Dr. Paul Osteen on a Wednesday night, back before we moved. He said, "You don't have to know where you're going, as long as you trust the One who is leading."

Isn’t that true? We don’t have to have a perfectly clear picture of what is coming, as long as we know that His plans are to prosper us and not to harm us, to give us a hope and a future.

The scripture that is reverberating in my spirit is Proverbs 3: 5-6: "Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight."

I'm ready to have a bigger impact on those around me.

I’m ready for new experiences and opportunities.

I'm ready to walk in a greater anointing.

I'm ready to watch my incredible woman of God walk down an isle.

These are the dreams I’ll be placing before Him in 2006, watering them with prayer, and raising my level of faith and trust like never before.

Thank you in advance, Jesus!

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