Sunday, March 13, 2005

March 13, 2005

5:05 PM Although I could not get a totally accurate count, I would estimate we had 20-25 people raise their hands in our various worship services to indicate they had “prayed the prayer” to receive Christ. We know that God alone can read the heart. Some people prayed the prayer as a kind of reaffirmation of their faith, but I’m also certain that others were trusting Christ as Savior for the very first time. Here’s part of an email I received this afternoon:

I sat in the back, as I always do and you talked about Peter and baptisim. I was feeling good until you read that letter from the young prison inmate. Pastor Ray, its almost as if you knew that I needed to hear that letter. Thank you so much for knowing that people need guidance when they feel isolated from God. I have been living in fear and shame for so long, and that prayer that you so sincerely said out loud felt like an embrace from God. I’m still crying but I feel good after having said “that prayer” at your 11:30 service. Please know that your sermon affected me deeply and I NEEDED that prayer to be spoken out loud for a long, long time.

12:10 AM Men’s Night Out at the Wheaton Sports Center was a grand success. I think we had around 100 men. Hard to tell because they were scattered in various places playing tennis, basketball, racquetball and ping pong, along with swimming and weight lifting. I saw quite a few men sitting and talking with one another. I survived the “Knock Out” with no problems. In the first game, I lasted quite a while. In the second game, I lasted exactly one shot (about 10 seconds). It was fun being with the guys, and it was great to so many new men coming to this event. 12:07 AM I saw Darin Weil at the Men’s Night Out and he told told me the junior high outreach event on Friday night turned out to be a great success. They had a record attendance—105 students, 10 leaders—who enjoyed an all-night event at an entertainment center near Gurnee Mills. Along with the games and general frivolity, they took time to openly share the gospel. Several students gave testimonies of how they came to Christ. During the invitation, six students indicated they were trusting Christ, and another 12 said they would be open to having someone contact them to talk about knowing Christ personally.

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