Monday, April 5, 2010

why I cry

Well, yesterday was a very moving time as we celebrated Easter together. I cried (or teared up a lot - actually all weekend).

*It began with my preaching time at Mt. Moriah Christian in downtown Bloomington on Good Friday. Great time of preaching and fellowship. But at the end, Pastor Rayford caught me completely off guard by giving me an award for being a preacher who "loves preaching, preahers and prayer". It is an annual award given in honor of Pastor Walter Banks. I was moved and undeserving (tears) - but it is true, I love preaching, preachers and prayer.
*Friday I received word that we were given occupancy of our new balcony expansion - I teared up as I thought about all that many people had to do to make that a reality. I praised God.
*Saturday I had to run 18 miles - didn't really cry - but I should have.
*Sunday I had a lump in my throat as I saw all the humble servants of our choir and orchestra get on the shuttle at 6:45 a.m. I'm blown away by the people who love God enough to sacrifice.
*I was moved deeply as I watched people pack the place both services on Sunday.
*By the time all the people came on stage with their cardboard testimonies...I just stood backstage watching on the screen (there was no place to sit) and wept with Karen.
*then I tried to invite others to let Jesus change their lives.

Why do I cry? Well, you'd have to be dead not to cry yesterday. The spirit moved hundreds to tears! Literally. I cry when I sense God doing something in the lives of people that only he can do and then I'm moved that maybe some small little part of that was God using me and the church that I serve. Overwhelming.

15 comments:

Kevin Handley said...

Mike I thought yesterday's service (1st service) was the most inspirational Easter service I have ever witnessed. I have recently had my oun personal battle with cancer and yesterdays message of love and hope had to be from God Himself!

Thanks for all you do for us brother.

Kevin Handley

Anonymous said...

Yesterday's service was WONDERFUL. I had so much going on within myself that I almost didn't go. I really didn't decide until the very last minute and even when I got there I contemplated just staying in the atrium. I am so glad that I didn't do that. It was very moving. I LOVE Eastview!

Alan said...

Yesterdays Easter service was an awesome experience. I don’t think I can put into words how I felt after performing my step-sons baptism. I was so honored I could do it for him. Now not only is he my step-son he is my brother in Christ. It was so moving to see everyone with their cardboard testimonials and to hear “Thank you for Loving Me”. The tears just started to roll down my check as I saw people I knew and didn’t know stand on stage with their sign. I think it all came together when we sang “Great Big God” in Kidsview. Mike we are so blessed to have you preach at Eastview each week.

Love ya,
Alan

Melissa said...

I cannot tell you how much I needed to see all of those cardboard stories yesterday. I am a woman who rarely cries (my small group would agree), and crying in public is out of the question! Yesterday, however, I was overwhelmed with joy! The tears were flowing, and I think I had a friend from my small group a little worried. I just love seeing how God can transform the lives of sinners like me! So thank you and all of the hands that went into orchestrating yesterday. It was amazing!

Lindsey Hale said...

Yesterday's service was amazing and so moving! I am 30 weeks pregnant so of course I cry all the time, but when the little boy was baptized at the beginning of service, I cried and I cried at the end with the cardboard testimonies...God is so good! Thank you for loving preaching! It was a amazing day to celebrate! Jesus is alive!!

Amy Kuntz said...

Mike - I was equally moved yesterday and tears were falling down my cheeks. I was trying to cry softly as I didn't want my son, Andy and his bride to be see me cry -- As I looked over at them, they were both tearing up. Such a moving service. Thanks for all you do.

Anonymous said...

Mike, We serve an awesome God and you served Him well yesterday! That was the most spirit filled Easter service I have every attended. Great message, baptism and testimonials. Thank you for being our pastor.

Marilee Alvey said...

Mike, I, too, was moved by all the people willing to be transparent so that others can see what God can do. The best part were the joyful smiles when they flipped over their cards! I was so proud of my Larry, pumping his fist in the air in defiance of death! He always used to ask people, "Do you know the one thing you can't do in Heaven? Witness!" Thanks for giving him another platform to witness from. God has, indeed, enlarged his territory! You brought the Bible to life for people yesterday and you know what? I bet they had fun! They'll be back.... Thanks, Mike!

Deb said...

I felt the energy when I walked into the auditorium and I knew something amazing was going to happen. It was one of the most moving experiences of my life starting with the opening by the choir, the baptism, Paul's solo, your sermon (great as always)and the cardboard testimonies. We had family in both services and then all met for Easter dinner; it was the topic of conversation at the table. We are so Blessed.

God's Child said...

Easter Service was so wonderful. I fell in love with my God and my church all over again.

Laura said...

Praise God for the ECC family, staff and Senior Pastor! What a blessing it is to be a part of ECC...I truly believe this is exactly what Jesus had in mind for His church. Thanks for your love, passion and teachings Mike!

Kathy said...

Mike, I have been attending Eastview for about two years. My daughter inspired me. She attends ONE. Easter service was Awesome. I attended with my 14 year old son. The cardboard testimonies really caught both of our attention. My son and I both cried and what was so wonderful was that my son talked about the service all day. He enjoyed your preaching and wants to attend next week. Sometimes it is hard to get a child that age excited about church. Thank you Mike for encouraging him.

Anonymous said...

Mike, I wanted you to know that I was unable to attend Easter Sunday and regretted it just as soon as I saw the clip on fb. I missed out on an opportunity to help my daughter become closer to the Lord.

I wrote the following response on fb:I absolutely love the Cardboard Testimonies! Eastview is just AWESOME! Our small group leaders in GEMS (Eastview's single mother's group) started the first meeting with each one giving their cardboard testimony!

The experience was so incredible, and their wasn't a dry eye in the room. I hope our Pastor, Mike Baker does this again next year! I want to be the first to sign up if he does. Note: GEMS=God Embracing Moms who are Single

I am now ready to come and talk to you about my life's journey. Will you be available this week?

Mike keep up the good work and God Bless! :>]

Angela Whitney

Anonymous said...

Mike

I so needed to hear the sermon this past Sunday (4.11.10). I loved the Easter Sunday service and had invited 5 other couples/family members to come. Unfortunately, not a one accepted my invitation:-( Needless to say I was feeling pretty defeated. Especially after the cardboard testimonies...powerful!!! I think that the people I invited needed to know that there is another side to their piece of cardboard.

I also needed to hear that to serve Jesus, I don't have to be good just willing...hung onto those words last Sunday....Good encouragement

Thanks!
Kris

PS I've resigned myself to the fact, that when I go to church I take not only my Bible but a handful of kleenex:)

Amber Ellis said...

Mike,

Although this is late (I'm just now catching up on your blogs), I too wanted to let you know how blessed I feel to have you leading our church. You would be an awesome speaker to see at a special event - and here we are getting lucky enough to hear you speaking the Word every Sunday.

Easter was especially moving as I was told 8 years ago that i would never have children and there I sat - with my 6 month old son.

What a moving service as mom, Clint and each passed a tissue back and forth as we were all crying so hard.

I walked away from that service amazed at the courage it took for each of them to witness such personal PERSONAL stories to our large congregation.