Monday, September 29, 2003

September 29, 2003

4:17 PM Commitment Sunday update: We received over 480 signed commitment cards from the leaders and from the congregation during the Legacy Campaign. When yesterday’s totals are added to the leadership commitments already given, the total pledged for the Legacy Campaign is over $1.3 million. We received additional cards today and others will be coming in during the week so we will have a more complete total by next Sunday. In addition, some people signed a commitment card pledging to give but without a specific amount indicated. I have been asked if the giving was what I expected. Since we haven’t done anything like this at Calvary before, I really didn’t know what to expect, but I am very pleased with the sacrifice of so many people. With nearly 500 people making commitments, this means there is a large base of support behind the renovation project. It will be important for all of us who made commitments to pray and to give on a regular basis. Our goal is to completely pay for the project by Thanksgiving 2005. We will still need to raise another $300,000-400,000 to cover additional costs. As Pastor Davis said last night, we’ve uncovered a few surprises as the construction has gone forward. We found more asbestos than we expected, we found no steel beams where the old drawings said there were steel beams, we found rotting wood beams in one location and lead paint on the old steel beams in the gym. All these things are being dealt with, but that has caused the cost to go up a bit. Renovating an old building is almost always more expensive than new construction. It looks like we’re still on schedule to meet the new completion date of December 15. So, we’re grateful to the congregation for being so generous, and very frankly, we will all need to be even more generous over the next two years. I think the Lord gave us enough to be satisfied but not enough to be entirely comfortable, which keeps us working and praying hard and depending on Him. After all, if we had gotten $2 million yesterday, we would be patting ourselves on the back today. Instead, we’re happy and grateful for all the Lord did, and we’re going back to work to finish the project and to pray in the rest of the money we need by Thanksgiving 2005. For those who didn’t make a commitment, I hope you’ll plan to give anyway as God enables you. Special thanks to everyone who made a commitment to the campaign. You are truly “legacy-builders” who are ensuring that Calvary will continue to reach out to new people in the years to come. 9:57 AM I’m doing four radio interviews this week: Monday 10:30 AM Sounds of the Spirit radio network, taped for later broadcast. Tuesday 7 PM Perspective Underground, live on WFEN in Rockford, IL. Thursday 11:15 AM TFC radio network, national broadcast live from Toccoa Falls, Georgia. Thursday 2:05 PM KDOV in Medford, OR. Live broadcast. 9:07 Just received this letter from “Francis,” a prisoner in Pennsylvania:

I’m writing to thank you for the book you wrote, “An Anchor for the Soul.” I just read it and it opened my heart up to the Lord as my Savior.

8:06 AM The Chicago Tribune reports that a property tax revolution may be underway in Oak Park. It’s about time. 8:01 AM Chuck Colson recommends the new film Luther, starring Joseph Finnes and Peter Ustinov. It is currently showing at the Lake Street Theater in Oak Park. 7:57 AM Pastor Colin Smith and his wife visited the 8 AM and the 9:15 AM services yesterday. Colin is the pastor of Arlington Heights Evangelical Free Church. I’ve gotten to know Colin through a quarterly pastor’s group that he and I attend… . Howard and Morel Harvey were in the 10:30 AM. Howard was saved at Calvary through the Evangelism Explosion ministry in the 70s. He and Morel now live in Nashville. 7:52 AM It was deeply moving to me to see hundreds of people coming forward with their Legacy Campaign commitment cards. It was a living cross-section of our congregation—young and old, men and women, long-time members and new attenders, students, singles, young married couples, widows, teenagers, people from all walks of life and from many different backgrounds. The one common denominator I saw on their faces was joy. What a powerful testimony to the work of God’s Spirit as the aisles were filled with people gladly bringing their commitments to the Lord. I saw several people with canes and walkers carefully making their way forward. And I was struck by how many people came forward whom I did not know. Clearly God spoke to vast numbers of people in our congregation — and they gladly responded. Later today we’ll have a report on the amount of money committed yesterday. 7:49 AM David Zysk wrote the Living Sacrifices devotional for today based on 2 Corinthians 4:16, “Therefore, we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day.” Here’s an excerpt:

We look forward to the day when we need not be concerned with rotting produce. Until then, let’s jump into the brine and not lose heart over our light “pickling” and instead focus on the glory that God is producing in us.

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