When Visiting Bethel 

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We are still on the road so I am writing this up on my phone.  I’m not a gmfan of blogging from my phone…it’s usually messy.    And takes a long time.  

This weekend we visited Bethel church in Redding, California.  If you aren’t familiar, it is is difficult to describe other than, it’s a revivalist church, it’s a healing church, it’s a worship church; sime of the most beautiful worship music has come out of Bethel.  

Here is a link from a song they sang yesterday:  

Many people make pilgrimages to Bethel. Here are some things you need to keep in mind….

1.  Dorothy, you aren’t in Texas anymore (or the Deep South).  The people are nice people but you have approach them.  No one approached us as we stood awkwardly looking around needing help for where we needed to go.  I had to ask about childcare.  They get tons of visitors and I get the feeling they aren’t impressed.

2.  If you want a seat in the main sanctuarty, get there early.  The regulars come 30 minutes early and save seats for each other.  They will let you stand against the back walls during worship and try to grab a seat when it’s time to sit down but chances are you will end up in the over flow room.  

3.  They have four Sunday services.  If you make the trip, go to multiple services.  Different worship teams led at each service and they even played different songs.  My favorite worship time was the 10:30 service, worship was lead by Brian Johnson and Steffany Gretzinger.  On a side note, one of the worship leaders forgot some of the lyrics and told the media team he needed lyrics to the second verse on the back screen.  Everyone chuckled and continued to worship.  Loved this…this happens at every church occasionally and they are keeping it real.  

4. If you can only attend one service, I would go to the 6 pm service.  It’s not rushed so worship is long (over an hour) and Papa Johnson (Senior pastor Bill Johnson) spoke.  After the message, they offer ministry.  They had both a “fire tunnel” and a room to pray specifically for healing.  Take advantage of all the prayer you can get.  We took our kids through the fire tunnel.  They loved it and wanted to go again (I kind of wanted to go again too).

5.  They have childcare for the little ones for ok the services (from what I could tell).  When I picked up my girl from the morning service, they gave me a paper with a prophecy for her.  

I love this!  

6.  There are a lot of young people in attendance.  They are not very churchy. There were both young men and young women climbing over chairs to get to their seats. People would bump into you and not even notice…again, it’s not the South.  The culture is different. 

Main thing to remember….get there early!!! At least 30 minutes. 

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Wonderstruck: Hope

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This previous blog, Wonderstruck,  explains what I’m up to.  Click here to read the entire posting at Margaret Feinberg’s blog.

Today’s Wonderstuck topic is Hope.  While I am enjoying this little series not every topic is super inspiring to me.  And I’ve decided I do not have to write a blog on every topic…I release myself from that. But the instructions for today were to think of a song that has brought you hope or restoration during difficult times.  She ask that you post or tweet it but I would rather share a little something and I there are several songs that stick out for me…

This one in particular sticks out to me.

There have been several seasons in my life when God felt so far off.  Most of these seasons were a direct result of my own actions.  I couldn’t feel Him.  I couldn’t hear Him yet I knew He was there because He said He would never leave me or forsake me.  This song was my declaration.  I might be in the middle of something but I am making a conscious effort to praise You no matter what my circumstances look like.

In case you need some suggestions for what to praise Him for:

I know…it’s old school but Jesus and this song, got me through some stuff in the 90s.  It’s a reminder that He has gotten us through so many things before and He is doing it again…

Two more…if you have time.

These two are more recent…

Because what we need most is to know who He says we are.

I love the lyrics…”chains are broken…I’m no orphan anymore”.

And still one of my favorites….because some times I have to remind myself of all that He has done.

(And this is how this song is meant to be sung…slow and lovely.)

I’m going to serve Him when things are good and when they aren’t so great because He rescued me, He saved me. And all I really need to remember is “I am Yours”.  There are seasons when need to remind ourselves who we are and who we belong to.

#wonderstruck