Caveat #1: This message has nothing to do with Sunday School or church growth
Caveat #2: If you didn’t know I was divorced, you might find this a little puzzling. I have written a couple of articles about my divorce in the past. You can read them at http://www.joshhunt.com/divorce.htm and
I have been dating someone, Melissa is her name. Can I tell you about our Valentine’s day?
I had a series of gifts, all nicely packaged in matching bags. The first was a Bible. I explained to her that I wanted our relationship to be based on the Bible and biblical principles. We have both had more than our fair share of pain in previous relationships and humbly we wanted to go into this one with a dependence on God. Then, I gave her a fancy digital clock. It was a travel clock that could fit easily in a purse and has buttons to quickly change time zones. If I were in Sydney without her she can push one button and know what time it is in Sydney. (I assured her this was just and example; if I were in Sydney, she would surely be with me.) Then, I got her a very nice writing pen, a gift she appreciates. Then, I said this, "Take the Bible and let's look at the dedication page. Where it says ‘to' write ‘Melissa.' Where it says, ‘from' write ‘Josh.' Where it has a place for the date, I want you to write down the exact day, date and time as displayed on this clock." "Friday, February 13, 2004, 11.33 p.m." she wrote in her book. (I was too excited; I had planned to do this on Valentines Day but I couldn't wait.) She wrote down the exact day, date, and time and as I continued. "You are going to remember this day for the rest of you life.” I paused, slipped to my knee, looked in her eyes and said, "Melissa, will you marry me?"
She said yes.
I asked her to write in the final line in the Bible. "For the occasion of: our engagement." I had one final gift. Her wedding ring. I had her pull the clock out of its box. On the outside was engraved: "Melissa, will you marry me?"
We will be married March 4. God is good. I am tooooooooooooo excited!
Are you ready for the Passion surge?
I received this email from Rick Warren a day or two ago. I am sure we won't all receive the same kind of surge Saddleback had, but we might have a considerable amount because of the increases spiritual interest due to the Passion of the Christ.
Get ready to love them! Get ready to invite every member and every visitors to every fellowship every month. A great goal would be that every visitor this weekend would receive a personal invitation to lunch or similar personal encounter.
Dear Saddleback Family,
EVERYTHING CHANGES THIS WEEK AT SADDLEBACK so please share this info with everyone!
Last weekend, our attendance grew by 3,000 people and over 400 of them gave their lives to Christ. This weekend we expect as many as 5,000 MORE visitors at our services due to the interest in "The Passion of The Christ." We want your friends and neighbors to have a life-changing experience so we're making big changes to prepare for them:
WHAT'S CHANGING THIS WEEK?
1. To allow you more time to park, check in kids, pick them up, and fellowship with friends after church, we're increasing the time between service. This required combining the old 8:00 and 9:45 am services, changing service times, and beginning two new services on Sun evening:
ALL NEW SERVICE TIMES
Sat. evening: 4:30 & 6:30 pm
Sun. morning: 9:00 & 11:15 am (no 8:00 am service) Sun. evening: 4:30 & 6:30 pm NEW services with Rick Warren & Rick Muchow "Sunday @ Six" - our "younger feel" service with Lyndsey & band will move to 6:30 pm in Tent 3. (Children's programs at all services; Jr. and Sr. High Saturday at 6:30 pm and Sunday at 9:00 and 11:15 am)
2. To give you a much faster and more convenient alternative to parking on campus, we've created "Saddleback FastTrack," for Sunday morning services, a free shuttle service from our off-campus parking lot on Portola (directions below) that uses an exclusive entrance that zips you past long lines and drops you off where you need to be! Saddleback FastTrack is actually quicker than parking on campus in most cases.
3. To insure seating for everyone, we're putting up two more 500 seat tents this week for worship venues.
HOW CAN YOU HELP REACH ONE MORE FOR JESUS THIS WEEKEND?
If you are NOT bringing unchurched guests this weekend, please help out in 3
1. Please attend one of the two new Sunday evening services this weekend, leaving the Sunday morning services for people bringing unchurched guests.
2. Please park off campus at our new parking site so first time guests may park on campus. Look for a "Saddleback Parking" sign at the corner of Glenn Ranch & Portola Pkwy, Foothill Ranch. (If you already park at the Mammoth building,
please continue parking there.)
3. Please worship in one of our Tent venue services this weekend, so guests may experience Saddleback in the Worship Center on their first visit.
4. Please volunteer to help at a new service as a traffic volunteer, usher, greeter, or other helper this weekend. If you can serve at one service and attend another,
email me back:
WHY ARE WE MAKING THESE CHANGES?
Once before, the week after the 9-11 attack, our church was overwhelmed with spiritual seekers, so I asked you to make changes to accommodate those who didn't know the Lord yet. Your unselfish flexibility in changing services allowed us
to reach 2,000 new folks. Many of these are now leaders in our church.
Now, God is creating another "wave" of spiritual openness in people through "The Passion" movie. This weekend we cannot turn away anyone that Jesus died for, so thanks for being the most unselfish church family in America. People will be in heaven because of your thoughtfulness.
I'll be speaking at all services on "Part 2: God's Passion for You!" Thanks for helping get the word out.