Mark Batterson - House of Dreams
...At 11:14am, in what would've been the middle of my message. Our lives have revolved around her ever since, for which we are grateful. But fortunately, that weekend we had someone on deck, Dick Foth, who pitch hit for Pastor Mark. The tables have turned. Foth was scheduled to preach this morning, but I'm afraid I am pitch hitting. And we're gonna pray in just a moment, he's okay. Passed out yesterday, went to the hospital, diagnosed with Covid. He's in good spirits, he's on the mend, but we love Dick Foth so much. He's a spiritual father to me, to us. So Dick, we love you. I'm guessing you might be watching right now. Can we just pray?
Lord, thank you for Dick and Ruth. This was a curve ball, but Lord, thank you that you have been faithful. 80 years young, still preaching, still going after the vision you've given to him. I believe the best is yet to come. And so right now, God, we pray healing and wholeness. I pray that the joy of the Lord would be his strength. God, I pray that you would get him back up on those feet. And Lord, we bless them and thank you for them. May they sense and know our love and your love right here, right now, in Jesus name. Would you add an amen?
Well, this message is what pastors call a Saturday night special. You don't get many of those, but ready or not, here we go. Last week I was in Colorado, our Dream Collective hosted a retreat for network pastors in Fort Collins. Got some hang time with Foth, also two adventures. I biked a century and I'll share a little bit about that later on. But I went on my first hot air balloon ride. Yeah, I was a little nervous 'cause I'm afraid of heights. Anybody been up in a hot air balloon? Actually pretty peaceful, pretty quiet. So we hop in the basket, or aeronaut, I think that's what they're called, which is awesome. Fired up the burners. And as you elevate and it doesn't take long, change of pace plus change a place equals change of perspective. And so now instead of looking at things horizontally, I'm looking at things vertically.
And so there was this moment where we're flying over a corn maze. And I'm thinking to myself like, you know, I think it's one of those October things that, it has to be hard to navigate that thing horizontally, yes? Vertically from a bird's eye view, no problem. I think when you're up in a hot air balloon, one, everything looks smaller, including the mountains. And two, you can see so much further. Can we hop in a hot air balloon this weekend? Can we dream a little bigger? Can we almost elevate over our lives? I think it's so easy to get frustrated by our horizontal circumstances. Am I in the right room? We lose heart, lose faith, lose perspective so easily. Nine times out of 10 when I get discouraged, it's because I've zoomed in on something that is frustrating me. And the solution usually is to zoom back out. And I've got some good news. It's never too late to be who you might have been.
I think Tom Robinson, it's never too late to have a happy childhood. Why don't we try that? And so instead of zooming in, we're gonna zoom out. And to do that, you have to dream big, pray hard, think long. And that's something we talk about a lot around here. And so welcome to NCC, in person, online, our campuses. Such a joy to gather this weekend in a series called Welcome Home. We talked about House of Prayer, House of Worship, House of Miracles. Let me add one to the mix, House of Dreams. If you have a Bible, you can meet me. Book of Acts, we'll start in Acts 2. We'll end in Acts 17. Let me set the scene. Before the ascension, Jesus casts a crazy vision, and because many of us have heard it so many times, we kinda read right over it. But he says to his disciples, all authority in Heaven and on Earth has been given to me. Therefore go, my dad ghosts at ready. Go and make disciples of all nations.
Wait, what? In the first century, average person never traveled outside of 30 mile radius of their birthplace. Okay, so this is like literally off the map. And according to Eusebius, second century church historian, Philip went as far north as Gaul. Matthew, as far south as Ethiopia. James went as far west as Spain. And doubting Thomas went as far east as India. What I'm getting at is this thing we call the Great Commission, Jim Collins would call it a BHAG, a big, hairy, audacious goal. And look at, here we are halfway around the world, two millennium later. Bam, we are still going and making disciples of all nations. Why, 'cause it started with this unbelievable dream.
So Jesus said, go, but before giving them the green light, what did he say? Wait. Wait for what? Wait for the Holy Spirit. And so they spend 10 days in the upper room praying. And they are writing history before it happens. This is when and where and how God prepared them for that God-sized dream he had given them. Nothing has changed. So I'm gonna keep saying this. I felt like the Lord said this on a silent retreat and that still small voice, if you prioritize prayer, if you pray like it depends on God. If this is a house of prayer, I'm gonna turn it into a house of miracles, a house of healing, a house of dreams. Everything else is gonna take care of itself. Because the more you pray, the bigger you dream, and the bigger you dream, the more you have to pray. It's this virtuous cycle that propels the church into its future. And on that note, open invitation to House of Prayer. Woo.
I love what's happening on Thursday nights. So many testimonies, healing, deliverance, miracle. I mean it is out of control right now. And I'm hungry for more of it. And in upper room, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, I think we've got a link for ya, yep. ncc.re/houseofprayer. You'll find that schedule. Come on, let's press in, pray through, and those dreams are gonna take care of themselves. And so the disciples in an upper room, and it's not like they got to day 10. This is it boys. This is the day. God's gonna pour out his spirit. We're gonna speak in tongues. We're gonna baptize three, it's right here on the calendar. No, no, no, you can't plan Pentecost. But if you pray for 10 days that way, you better buckle your seatbelt, keep your hand inside the ride at all times, 'cause God is gonna show up and show off. Listen, you can call me old fashioned. You can call me a simpleton, if we do what they did in the Bible, God's gonna do what he did. He's the same yesterday, today, and forever.
A.W. Tozer said it this way. Anything God promised or did at time in any place for anybody, God will do for us here, if we will meet his conditions. If it is truth, it is true for anybody who would believe it anywhere, anytime. Two times two equals four, whether it's 400 BC or AD 1963, whether in Russia or China or Canada. Two times two equals four, no one can get around it. Anybody can trust it. And so I say, come Holy Spirit, do what you do in us and through us in Jesus. I am believing God for greater things. I'm believing God for a supernatural demonstration of love and power. And when it happens, when it happens, one manifestation, you just start dreaming God-sized dreams. You cannot be filled with the spirit of God and it not begin to manifest itself. And those dreams are gonna be unique as your history and personality, as your gifts and your passions. Okay? It's gonna look like you. Ha! And I love it.
Your dream isn't my dream, my dream isn't your dream. But as a family, as a community, God then raises up dreamers and accomplishes his purposes. And so here's what happens. Acts 2, 16 and 17. This is that. This is that which was spoken of by the prophet Joel in the last days. God says, I will pour out my spirit on all people. Which people? All people. Your sons and daughters, who? Sons and daughters will prophesy. Your young, young men will see visions, and your old, old men will dream dreams. See, when the Holy Spirit shows up, everything takes care of itself. Racism? Sexism? Ageism, out of business. Holy spirit levels the playing field. I love this. All people, sons, oh God, raise up our sons and daughters to stand on our shoulders and dream bigger dreams. And young and old, you are never past your prime.
I'll use a few Dick Foth stories since he's not here, I guess. This is just, we had some fun on our retreat. We were laughing at the fact that Ruth was chuckling, 'cause Dick did his life plan at 71. Because at 71, he's still not sure what he wants to do when he grows up, right? Like I have an uncle who wrote his first book at 87. Come on, don't give up on that dream, whatever it is. It is never too late. All right, step back for a second. Would you agree with me? There are a lot of misconceptions about the church, right about now. There are a lot of misperceptions about this thing called Christianity. Listen, some of it is kind of, you know, our collective fault. I'm not saying that, you know, I get it. You give love a bad name or whatever, I don't know, that just popped into my head. That's a Saturday night special, whatever. Wow.
But I subscribed to something G.K. Chesterton said. I think I've shared this a time or two. The more I considered Christianity, the more I found that while it established a rule and order, the chief aim, the chief aim of that order was to give room for good things to run wild. Woo. I need more amens than that. When I say house of dreams, this is that. As a church, we give room for good things to run wild. Quit living as if the purpose of life is to arrive safely at death. Go after a dream that's destined to fail without divine intervention. If your dream doesn't scare you, it's too small. Show me the size of your dream. I'll show you the size of our God. This is a community that dreams. But dreams, dreams that are inspired by the infilling of the Holy Spirit, God given, God-sized. And Proverbs 29:18 says, Without vision, the people perish.
I have a theory. I have a few of them, don't I? I have a theory. You don't stop sinning by not sinning. Now, that works for a week or two. But what you really need is a vision that's bigger and better than the temptation you face. And by vision, I don't mean just the vision for your life. I mean a vision of God like Isaiah, high and exalted seated on its throne. All authority has been given to me and I give it to you. When you begin to get a vision of how good and how great God is, all bets are off and all things are possible. That kind of vision starts putting things in perspective like a hot air balloon. I have one more theory. When we lack vision, we create problems to keep us busy. Well, when we don't have vision, bad things run wild.
Now let me come at this neurologically, theologically. Nothing to me more mysterious, more miraculous than the three pounds of gray matter housed within the cranium. On a grand scale, brain consists of two hemispheres connected by corpus callosum. By the way, ladies, I think you have 70% more connective tissue between right and left hemisphere of the brain. Can we give it up for the the ladies? I like sharing that little fact here and there. You are more bilateral, your brains. And so there's that. Now left brain, again, oversimplification, but left brain, locus of logic. Right brain, locus of imagination. Now this may be the most important thing I say right here, and it's so simple, but don't let it just kinda in it one ear and out the other. Imagination is part of the image of God. I mean, you look at all of creation and its imagination.
Yes, I understand that animals have herding instincts. That's a very different thing. I know there are ant hills, so they build stuff. We landed a man on the moon. What? We build cities. I mean we even, whew. AI, wow. We need to talk about that some weekend. Like where our creativity is taking us. And by the way, I've met people who say, I'm just not creative. I am not buying what you're selling. I've never met anybody who isn't creative when it comes to making excuses. We just gotta channel our creativity in the right way. And so this capacity to dream, this ability to imagine, what I'm getting at, it's a stewardship issue. This is not fluff this weekend. This is heart and soul potential. God's gift to us, what we do with it, our gift back to God. So let me get theological here in a second. But we are surrounded by so much negativity.
Studies have found that 90% of network news coverage is negative. That's what people tune into. Negative partisanship on the rise. Everybody is blaming everybody else for everything. And then social media fuels the negativity. It's called click bait. And it works because we have what psychologists call a negativity bias. There are like a thousand studies on this. And it's crazy, you know this is true personally, too. You remember negative things so much more readily and easily, and those things tend to just be huge in our memory and then we can hardly remember the good stuff. But it's not just true psychologically, I think it's true theologically. And so this is just kind of a, this is more of a big picture observation that's gonna bring us right back to dreaming and why it's so important. It's holiness by subtraction. It's a form of legalism that focuses on sins of commission. Don't do this, don't do that, and you're okay. But the problem with that is this. Goodness is not the absence of badness. You can do nothing wrong and still do nothing right.
So let me flip that script. At NCC we believe in holiness by multiplication. Faithfulness is fruitfulness. Instead of playing defense, we play offense. We wanna be more known for what we're for than what we're against. And I might add, it's love based rather than fear based. Just sidebar right here for a second. Henri Nouwen in his writings asked this question. How can we live inside a world marked by fear, hatred, and violence, and not be destroyed by it? Oh, I love what he said. He answered his own question and said, Leave the house of fear and enter the house of love. Come on, if you're in a house of fear right now, walk out the door. Close the door behind you, lock it, throw away the key. Walk into the house of love and dead bolt it behind you. Like as we're talking about a house of prayer, house of worship. Man, this is a house of love. And by the way, by definition that means grace plus truth. Which is critical.
Okay. That brings us to Act 17. Revival is God's gift to the church. Renaissance is God's gift to culture. And so it's not about what happens on the weekend. It's not like we're about show up on Sunday, check the box, we're good to go. No, no, no, this is a Monday to Friday. A church that stays within his four walls isn't a church at all. And so I love the way this is modeled by Paul in Athens. And Paul stood up in the meeting of Areopagus and said, people of Athens, I see that you are in every way very religious. As I walked around and looked carefully at your objects of worship., I even found an alter with this inscription to an unknown God. I mean they're literally worshiping who knows what. No clue. But, and by the way, that's because we were hardwired, you can't not worship. You will worship someone or something. You will worship God with a capital G or you will find a substitute. And that's called an idol.
And by the way, an idol is anything you love more, trust more, desire more than God. So, Paul pays them a compliment. You're every way very religious. Which is so ironic to me. Like, and I kind of love this because he's tapping into this human instinct. And I think America is a lot like Athens. We have alters to this, that and the other thing. We might be less religious now in the traditional sense than we were 20, 50, 100 years ago. We are no less spiritual. Can I shoot straight? I think for some science is their religion. And I'm a science guy. I mean, I'm a Albert Einstein. Listen, science without religion is blind and religion without science is lame. So you're hearing me, right? But I think for some people, like scientific method, that's their religion. For some, politics. Especially identity politics. Their religion. I think for a lot of people, their cause of choice is their religion. Atheism is a religion. What I'm trying to say here is all of these are expressions of faith and they are religion just like Christianity.
So can we kinda level the playing field? And part of why I'm saying this is that it's all these alters to an unknown God. So many idols and ideologies. False narratives, false identities, false securities, false assumptions. And I just don't think that this is a moment to stand down. People are hungry for what's true. False idols will fill the gap for a few. But there is a hole in the human heart that only the almighty creator of the universe can fill. Oh, and his name is Jesus. In the beginning was the word, word was with God. Word was God. I'm not ashamed of the gospel. It's the power of God under salvation. You know what, we've gotta contend for the faith. Jude 1:3. And so I love that Paul walks into the areopagus, competes with some of the greatest minds in the ancient Greek world and goes toe to toe. He competes for what is good and true and beautiful.
Let me poke. Those who can, do. Those who can't, criticize. We have a core value, criticize by creating. God isn't gonna say, well thought, mm. Well planned, mm. Well posted. How'd you do that in 240 characters? Amazing. Amazing. No, no, he's gonna say well done, good and faithful servant. And so we wanna write better books. We wanna produce better films, make better music, draft better legislation, paint better pictures, start better businesses. How? With the help of the Holy Spirit. This is how we give room for good things to run wild. I wanna make it personal. You have a unique testimony. You have unique giftings. You have a unique anointing. I wanna call it out today. Just like Paul called it out to Timothy. God is not giving you a spirit of timidity. But if power and a sound mind and so fan into flame, the gift of God that is within you. And now every time I think about fanning into flame, I think about that hot air balloon. Come on, God, elevate us as a church, elevate us. Take those gifts. Fan into flame with your Holy Spirit, baptism by fire.
So that what we're doing, we couldn't even take credit for it. No, no, no. This is a God that is at work in and through us by his Holy Spirit. Man, Thursday night House of Prayer was a special one because so many artists and entrepreneurs and dreamers and creators at NCC. And so we unveiled a commission piece of art by Chris Logan. Chris is an anointed artist. And I wasn't surprised to find out that she prays while she paints. And I'm so excited to share this. We shared it Thursday night and we actually just kind of prayed over our creators and God did some anointing and some gifting and some calling out. But let's pop this, there it is.
Now listen, we have the original piece of art, and I wish this was actually a little bit bigger, but again, Saturday night special. And on that note, thanks to our team for very late last night, very early this morning, kind of pulling off what it takes to put a few things on the screen. What I love is prayer is how we turn the city upside down. Prayer is how we're gonna write history before it happens. And so we prayed for those who have a business, have a film, have a language, have legislation, have a nonprofit, have a dream.
And I think about so many NCCers over the years who have blazed a trail. I think about Ethic, Food on the Stove, Foodini, Bittersweet, Homes not Borders. The shoes I wear are ENZI shoes every weekend, 'cause I got 'em when I spoke at Africa Arise for our partner church, a church that we help plant in Addis, Beza International Church. Shout out to Abel Mengistu. These are my favorite shoes. Ethiopian leather is off the chart, y'all. And then they're employing this cobbler shop in Addis. I wish you could see it. Maybe someday we'll have one over in our marketplace. But I love the way that it empowers and the dream behind it. This Bike Century, I'll tell you about it. But can I tell you how it started?
A guy named Jeff Zogg has a blog, "Dad Awesome". Organization called Fathers for the Fatherless, a heart for those who don't have a dad. So why don't we do something about it? Why don't we like put on spandex and bike long distances for a cause? They have now raised almost a million dollars, but just hopping on bikes. We're helping on so many different levels, so many different ministry partners. Even Ebenezers coffee with a cause, everything starts with the dream. All right, I gotta, hoo, we gotta giddy up and giddy up and go. Whoa, what is happening? All right, we'll just see where this puts us. When I say NCC is a house of dreams, it's really two dimensional. We want you to be a part of the dream God's given us. And we make no apologies for that. We're not just trying to build a church, we're trying to bless a city to the third and fourth generation. We don't just have a living room on Wednesday nights at Ebenezers. We haven't just been, not only serving and loving, but restoring dignity to our friends experiencing homelessness for decades now. We're believing that let's end homelessness in this city. Let's make sure that every child has a home.
Come on, let's get behind this vision to foster kids and put them in families where they're loved. Why don't we stop sex trafficking while we're at it? Why don't we resettle refugees when they land in the DMV? I mean, not to mention the DC Dream Center, where hope becomes habit. And that's a tip of the iceberg. You know, we have this common fund inspired by Acts 2. Since March of 2020, you've given $1,869,401. We have assisted 2,295 households. And you know what, through your generosity, things are happening that sometimes we feel like you might not even know about. And that's like a sin of omission. Like, we have five ministry partners on the ground who are loving people in Florida, especially Fort Myers. And so through hurricane relief, what an opportunity to stand in a gap. So many people devastated by this destruction. We may be in DC, but can we be a part of the solution there? Yes we can. So we're not just dreaming for a city. God said, ask in me, and I'll get the nations. Like, let's dream big. And it takes hundreds of volunteers just to pull off a weekend at NCC.
So thank you for your time, talent, and treasure. Would you be a part of the dream God's given us? Oh, and one more thing. Why? Because as long as there's one person who doesn't have a relationship with their creator, who has not experienced the abundant life of relationship with Jesus Christ, we need to keep growing. We're gonna keep helping people find their way back to God. We're gonna help people find faith with their fingerprint on it. We're gonna help people find their people, their place, and their purpose. In Jesus name, Amen, amen.
Let me flip the script. We wanna be a part of the dream that God has given you. Please hear the heartbeat behind this. Legacy is not what you accomplish, it's what others accomplish because of you. Discipleship is growing fruit on someone else's tree. Nothing gives me greater joy than to see my kids pursue things and go after things. It's just far more gratifying than anything I would do. The Heavenly Father's no different. He loves it when his heart gets expressed through your life. And that's what we wanna get. We wanna rally cap around that. This is why we launched our dream collective. We're planting churches, we're helping start business as mission. Why? 'Cause it's not about the name over the church door. It's about the name above every name. We wanna do more things that don't have our name on it. No control, no credit. Let's go! Let's dream bigger than what we could control and get in the corner of those who have a dream.
You know, and this is our ecclesiology, our theology of the church. Technically, you can't go to church 'cause you are the church. You are the only Bible some people will ever read. Are you a good translation? You are the only church some people will ever attend. Is it life giving? You are a house of prayer. You are a house of miracles. You are a house of dreams. And we're saying, step up, step into it. And I will just, oh man, oh boy. This just turned into a two part Saturday night special. What I wanna do is talk about how you discover your dream, how you develop your dream. But I'm gonna have to give Cliff Notes and we'll see. I might preach a different message in 11, we'll see. Just a couple of things. One, every dream has a genealogy. It's actually a dream Within a dream within a dream. 1849, Edgar Allen Poe, pens a poem. "Is all that we see or seen, but a dream within a dream"?
I love that, no one dreams in a vacuum. We drink from wells we did not dig. We eat from fields we did not plant. We live in houses we did not build. All of us are born into someone else's story. Like since Foth couldn't make it this weekend, I'll tip the cap. This dream called National Community Church didn't start with 19 people, January 14th, 1996. It started with Calvary Church, in Urbana Assembly of God. Two 20 somethings, Bob Schmidgall, Dick Foth, and a guy named Ian Clark who said, come share your dream with us. They plant churches and these churches become high impact. In fact, they become friends. I started attending Calvary Church in the eighth grade and Bob Schmidgall became my pastor. A few years later, I asked his daughter to marry me and he became my father-in-law. That's a win.
And then Dick Foth, he would go on to be president of Bethany Bible College, but then would come to DC, and man, when my father-in-law passed, he just kind of stepped in and loved on us and put, Dick and Ruth put their arms around us. Like, you just need someone who's been there and done that and survived. It's gonna be okay. We're gonna get there. And so part of what I'm saying is like, we don't dream in a vacuum. Like every dream is a dream within a dream to get around people with bigger dreams. Short version, first time we ever had dinner with Bob Goff, remember he spoke in February? Oh, Bob's a, I don't use this word very often, he's a hoot. I don't even know what that means, but it seems spot on. Like he is the master of whimsy. So we sit down to dinner, we've just met him and he said, "You guys should take over a country".
We're looking for facial clues, and are, are you kidding? Are you serious? Oh, he was serious. Like, you get around Bob, you are dreaming too small, my friend. Like, let's dream a little bigger. And so I would also say, you gotta get around people who stretch your faith. Oh, can I share just this one fun thing? I called my mom this week, it was her 81st birthday. And we had a wonderful conversation, kind of caught up on everything. And I said, "Mom, what have you been doing today"? And she said, "Stretching"!
Like, she's 81, but she has this daily stretching routine. And the backstory is when Summer, our daughter, when Austin, our son-in-law. got married, like the dance floor, we were working it. I mean I was churning the butter. I was even running man, Saturday night special. But my mom is crushing it on the floor. The young guns are like, I'm tired, I'm taking a break. My mom, I guess you would've been 78 at the time, is just busting moves on the dance floor. I'm like, Mom, well how are you doing this? My mom, in the most deadpan voice says, "I stretch every day". Would you keep stretching your faith? I feel like church is herd immunity against fear. And so you get in an environment where people are dreaming and going after things. And all of a sudden now we go after bigger, bigger dreams. Okay? Three, it'll take longer than you think, and be harder than you want. I'll just close with this story.
By the way, on that note, slow motion is still motion. I heard someone say that a couple of weeks ago, and I write things down in my journal. I'm like, I'm holding on to that, because sometimes I get frustrated by the slow motion. Do you know, I dreamed to write when I was 22, but I didn't write a book until I was 35. That was a long 13 years. Now looking back, I'm glad I didn't write a book at 22, 'cause I would've had to write a book at 23 to retract what I said at 22. It doesn't happen overnight. This is one of those messages, don't give up on it. If God has put in your heart, come on, let's keep believing, keep pressing. And so I will end, 'cause I, man that Bike Century. For me it was a dream. And by the way, like when I say dream, one of the things I do is every year I try to have an annual adventure and an annual challenge.
And some of this comes out of Laura and I do an annual retreat, two days. We do calendar, we do budget, verse of the year, that kind of thing. But one of the things I try to do 'cause of the way I'm wired, I need a challenge. And so my challenge this year was this Bike Century in Colorado, which I was a little bit nervous about, because it was a 5,000 foot elevation. And so then six weeks before the race, Jeff Zogg, race organizer, calls me and says, Hey Mark, just wanna let you know that we added 4,000 feet of altitude gains. See, here's the deal. When he recruited me, he said, it's all in the flats. I almost quit, Laura knows this. I thought about... I started making internal excuses. I had a low grade anxiety for six weeks, y'all.
By the way, it didn't go away until House of Prayer on a Thursday night when I was kneeling, and I just felt this sense. Just let someone pray over you. And so I went to the prayer team. Juan prayed for me, laid hands on me. All right, Lord, it's in your hands. Couple of challenges we're almost done. Oh man. You're gonna experience opposition. You're gonna experience setbacks. Stop using it as excuses and start using it as motivation. I got on my bike, I doubled down on my training. No shortcuts, no cheat codes. And God gave me a word. It's totally outta context. Zechariah 4, What are you, mighty mountain? Before Zerubbabel you will become level ground. I get to the first of three climbs. It's only five miles into the Bike Century. I'm like, I really don't know if I can even do this. I just start going up.
What are you, mighty mountain? Before Zerubbabel you will become level ground. The obstacle is not the enemy, the obstacle is the way. There's gonna be an even greater testimony because of what you overcome. Final thought, it takes teamwork to make dream work. I was banking on the Peloton effect. Not the bike with the coaches, the actual Peloton where you bike in a group. And I knew scientifically it was supposed to save me 20% energy. I got behind Jeff Zogg, who is 6'7". That's who you want pulling for you. That's who you want to draft behind. He pulled me for 30 miles. I'm pulling you today. I'm pulling you. We have experienced too many miracles not to believe God for the next one. You are surrounded by people with the testimony of healing and deliverance and dreams that only God could accomplish. You're struggling, you're hurting.
Come on, let's pull each other. Isn't that what Jesus did? Listen, there was this moment where I was getting double vision, 70 miles, because I was staring at the tire in front of me. I think it was my progressive glasses or just mental fatigue. And Jeff noticed it and he said, "Look over my shoulder, look over my shoulder, look over my shoulder". And I started looking over his shoulder. Would you look over my shoulder today? What do you see? For the joy that was set before him, Jesus endured the cross. He kept his eyes fixed on the goal. Fix your eyes on Jesus. In Jesus name, amen. Can we stand?
Oh Lord, we bless you. We thank you. Thank you Lord, for the way that you fill us, and call us and choose us and use us. Never has been, never will be anyone like you. Not a testament to you, a testament to the God who created you. You matter. I pray that you feel seen and heard and loved. I pray that maybe, just maybe, that hot air balloon's giving you a little bit of perspective. We're gonna sing one more song to the Lord. I'm just gonna pray. Lord, restore to us the joy of our salvation. Renew the dreams and visions that you've given to us. Fill us with your spirit. Help us take captive every thought and make it obedient to Christ. In Jesus' name, amen, amen.
We've got one more song, I'm gonna invite prayer team to come and altar is open. Maybe this weekend there's something you need to put at the altar. It might be the dream God's given you. You might want someone to pray for you just like I had someone pray for me and man, the Lord answered it. One way or the other, we'll trust the Lord, we'll enjoy his presence. One more song, let's worship him together.