Sunday reflections

At our Hammond campus today, the worship team introduced a great new song, "Reckless Love" that Pastor Sam says was fantastic!

At our Hammond campus today, the worship team introduced a great new song, “Reckless Love” that Pastor Sam says was fantastic!

He's also excited about new volunteers leading in prayer & announcements - today, Leslie Smith did great!

He’s also excited about new volunteers leading in prayer & announcements – today, Leslie Smith did great!

At Blue Island, one of today's highlights was a testimony from Mary Long. On her first visit about a month ago, the congregation learned that her brother had just died & our members rallied to provide funds for her to fly to Seattle to identify his body & then to Texas for his burial.   Pastor Brent said, "A lot of tears were shed during the testimony both by Mary and by the congregation but it was a great example of why we teach generosity".  I LOVE how CLC'ers respond to needs!

At Blue Island, one of today’s highlights was a testimony from Mary Long. On her first visit about a month ago, the congregation learned that her brother had just died & our members rallied to provide funds for her to fly to Seattle to identify his body & then to Texas for his burial. Pastor Brent said, “A lot of tears were shed during the testimony both by Mary and by the congregation but it was a great example of why we teach generosity”. I LOVE how CLC’ers respond to needs!

I also LOVE how CLC'ers serve in so many different ways - here's Tina Simental serving in the Tech Booth to make sure the correct slides are on the screens.

I also LOVE how CLC’ers serve in so many different ways – here’s Tina Simental serving in the Tech Booth to make sure the correct slides are on the screens.

And every Pastor LOVES when people engage with the message enough to take notes!

And every Pastor LOVES when people engage with the message enough to take notes!

It's beginning to feel a lot like Christmas at KidsLife in Blue Island!

It’s beginning to feel a lot like Christmas at KidsLife in Blue Island!

Maybe this post should be called "What I love about CLC" - in this pic, it's how our church family responds to guest speakers product tables in the lobby.

Maybe this post should be called “What I love about CLC” – in this pic, it’s how our church family responds to special ‘opportunities’ – like today’s “CLC Store”

And don't forget the DONUTS before the 8:30am service!

And don’t forget the DONUTS before the 8:30am service!

Or another favorite - how you can get prayer at CLC, anytime, anywhere!  (Didn't Jesus say, 'my house will be called a house of prayer"?)

Or another favorite – how you can get prayer at CLC, anytime, anywhere! (Didn’t Jesus say, ‘my house will be called a house of prayer”?)

I don't love winter weather, but I do love the fact that it brought new drinks to our Coffee Shop!

I don’t love winter weather, but I do love the fact that it brought new drinks to our Coffee Shop!

And I LOVE the fact that kids can have FUN at church!

And I LOVE the fact that kids can have FUN at church! (Ms. Stacy is pretty awesome, too!)

Imagine a Children's Ministry where teachers can get a pie in the face.... wait, you don't have to imagine - it happened today in KidsLife because the GIRLS defeated the BOYS in a missions project to provide meals for needy children!

Imagine a Children’s Ministry where teachers can get a pie in the face…. wait, you don’t have to imagine – it happened today in KidsLife because the GIRLS defeated the BOYS in a missions project to provide meals for needy children!  (I LOVE both parts: fun & missions at a young age!)

But the highlight of today in Tinley Park was Potter's Field, as Pastor Michael Rozell demonstrated the intimacy between the Potter and the clay.

But the highlight of today in Tinley Park was Potter’s Field, as Pastor Michael Rozell demonstrated the intimacy between the Potter and the clay.

His illustrations & Pam's songs made for a powerful message!

His illustrations & Pam’s songs made for a powerful message!

Who knew that the Potter has to go deep to clean out the gunk in our lives - "because we're full of ourselves!"

Who knew that the Potter has to go deep to clean out the gunk in our lives – “because we’re still full of ourselves!”

His demonstration of the blood of Jesus gave me chill bumps!

His demonstration of the blood of Jesus gave me chill bumps!

And I LOVED the Biblical example of how the Potter made another vessel that HE had in mind all along!

And I LOVED the Biblical example of how the Potter made another vessel that HE had in mind all along!

Thank you, Pastors Michael & Pat Rozell and the team from Potter's Field Ministries - it was an AMAZING day!

Thank you, Pastors Michael & Pat Rozell and the team from Potter’s Field Ministries – it was an AMAZING day!

 

Sunday reflections

This pic says it all: Pastor Jon WORSHIPPED while preaching about Worship!

This pic says it all: Pastor Jon WORSHIPPED while preaching about Worship!

Tiffany and the team brought us into His Presence in all 3 services

Tiffany and the team brought us into the Presence of the Lord in all 3 services

Jon's worship during his preaching inspired others to worship....

Jon’s worship during his preaching inspired others to worship….

.....like this, for example

…..like this, for example

serving others is another way we worship!

…..while serving others is another way we worship!

Meanwhile, Pastor Sam says it's GREAT to see new people finding their place on the worship team in Hammond-

Meanwhile, Pastor Sam says it’s GREAT to see new people finding their place on the worship team in Hammond-

plus it's starting to look a lot like Christmas!

plus it’s starting to look a lot like Christmas!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pastor Taylor (with Daniel's help) announcing the plan for their campus to provide ALL the gift list for all 79 children at a Hammond orphanage this Christmas!

Pastor Taylor (with Daniel’s help) announcing the plan for their campus to provide ALL the gift wish list for all 79 children at a Hammond orphanage this Christmas!  (That’s in addition to hosting a BIG Christmas event for the orphans)  That’s AWESOME!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

One thing is for sure: this series has taken worship at each campus to another level!

One thing is for sure: this series has taken worship at each campus to another level!

Not sure what this Blue Island KidsLife depicts, but it sure looks cool

Not sure what this Blue Island KidsLife depicts, but it sure looks cool

Blue Island worship director Alan Franklin closed the series today with his message, "Sing a Song"!

Blue Island worship director Alan Franklin closed the series today with his message, “Sing a Song”!

Weekend reflections

The pictures don't do it justice: EVERY conversation I had with women who were at the Conference this weekend convincingly spoke of "changed lives" through the WORSHIP and the WORD!

The pictures don’t do it justice: EVERY conversation I had with women who were at the Conference this weekend convincingly spoke of “changed lives” through the WORSHIP and the WORD!

 

This picture tells the story of both the Conference and all 3 services in Tinley today - the GLORY of God was in the House during worship!

This picture tells the story of both the Conference and all 3 services in Tinley today – the GLORY of God was in the House during worship!

I can't say enough about Sarah Bowling's ministry all weekend.  She taught the Word with such insight & challenged our thinking with life-giving truths in each message!

I can’t say enough about Sarah Bowling’s ministry all weekend. She taught the Word with such insight & challenged our thinking with life-giving truths in each message!

"Get up. Pick up. Start walking."  - simple, practical truths from God's Word - thank you, Pastor Sarah!

“Get up. Pick up. Go walk.” – simple, practical truths from God’s Word – thank you, Pastor Sarah!

 

Creative screen pics from Andy Esparza and worship led by Tommie Billups at our Hammond Campus-

Creative screen pics from Andy Esparza and worship led by Tommie Billups at Hammond-

Junior High ministry at Hammond is GROWING!

Junior High ministry at Hammond is GROWING!

Pastor Sam Hamstra preached MORE reasons to praise!

Pastor Sam Hamstra preached MORE reasons to praise!

Excitement at our Blue Island campus over three new believers going public in water baptism today!

Excitement at our Blue Island campus over three new believers going public in water baptism today!

I LOVE seeing people take that step of obedience to meet the Lord in the waters of baptism!

I LOVE seeing people take that step of obedience to meet the Lord in the waters of baptism!

CLC Youth often exhibit unique skills.....

CLC Youth often exhibit unique skills…..

No, I wasn't teaching about the "big-mouthed frog" today, despite this pic

No, I wasn’t teaching about the “big-mouthed frog” today, despite this pic

....but I was grateful for the help from Rocio Arevalo that enabled our Spanish-speakers to receive the message!

….but I was grateful for the help from Rocio Arevalo that enabled our Spanish-speakers to receive the message!

Sunday reflections

Worship isn't just a sermon series; it's a hallmark at CLC, at each campus!

Worship isn’t just a sermon series; it’s a hallmark at CLC, at each campus!

So is ministry to CHILDREN...

So is ministry to CHILDREN…

....and reaching YOUTH!

….and reaching YOUTH!

and, of course, nothing can take the place of balanced Bible teaching!

and, of course, nothing can take the place of balanced Bible teaching!

I was in Hammond today and worship was HOT!  Kudos, Tommie Billups & team!

I was in Hammond today and worship was HOT! Kudos, Tommie Billups & team!

It's always a joy to teach at our other campuses, and the Hammond congregation was very responsive today!

It’s always a joy to teach at our other campuses, and the Hammond congregation was very responsive today!

My wife was in her 'sweet spot' today, teaching on worship & ministering in the anointing - LOVED what God did in the altar in all 3 services today!

My wife was in her ‘sweet spot’ today, teaching on worship & ministering in the anointing – LOVED what God did in the altar in all 3 services today!

We tried, but it's just not possible to capture in one pic what God was doing today-

We tried, but it’s just not possible to capture in one pic what God was doing today-

but I know that many people received from the Lord!

but I know that many people received from the Lord!

 

Sunday reflections

Pastor Sam said at the end of both services in Hammond today they "saw the greatest outpouring we've experienced since we started"!  People were laid out on the floor on their faces, crying out to God in such a powerful time of worship!

Pastor Sam said at the end of both services in Hammond today they “saw the greatest outpouring we’ve experienced since we started”! People were laid out on the floor on their faces, crying out to God in such a powerful time of worship!

Sam didn't say it, but I'm sure that his preaching on worship today had something to do with that outpouring!

Sam didn’t say it, but I’m sure that his preaching on worship today had something to do with that outpouring!

And the Hammond dance ministry is GROWING!

And the Hammond dance ministry is GROWING!

Meanwhile, at our Blue Island campus, worship included a French horn

Meanwhile, at our Blue Island campus, worship included a French horn

and a bilingual time of prayer & worship...

and a bilingual time of prayer & worship…

Pastor Brent kicked-off the "Made for Worship" series with  a message that enabled everyone to come into God's Presence

Pastor Brent kicked-off the “Made for Worship” series with a message that enabled everyone to come into God’s Presence

That seems to be the theme of the day, as worship in Tinley Park was POWERFUL today, too!

That seems to be the theme of the day, as worship in Tinley Park was POWERFUL today, too!

I'm celebrating that I got thru 3 sermons with no voice, thanks to a mic at close range

I’m celebrating that I got thru 3 sermons with no voice, thanks to a mic at close range

This young lady seemed to be on a mission with her doll...I guess the extra hour of sleep helped us all today

This young lady seemed to be on a mission with her doll…I guess the extra hour of sleep helped us all today

Sunday reflections

Yes, she's my daughter. But I can still say "thanks" for the great job she's doing as our Missions Director - putting on 3 different Int'l Dinners these past 3 Sundays & coordinating all our missions trips (and today she was our service host) Kudos, Jen!

Yes, she’s my daughter. But I can still say “thanks” for the great job she’s doing as our Missions Director – putting on 3 different Int’l Dinners these past 3 Sundays & coordinating all our missions trips (and today she was our service host) Kudos, Jen!

We always focus on the platform, but the most important ministries often happen outside the auditorium - like greeters who welcome people (kudos, Jerome!)

We always focus on the platform, but the most important ministries often happen outside the auditorium – like greeters who welcome people (kudos, Jerome!)

And faithful folks at the Info Desk, who answer questions & offer assistance to so many!

And faithful folks at the Info Desk, who answer questions & offer assistance to so many!

Using other languages for some verses these past 2 weeks brought a new dimension to worship & today the GLORY came - so glad "The Cross Has the Final Word!"

Using other languages for some verses these past 2 weeks brought a new dimension to worship & today the GLORY came – so glad “The Cross Has the Final Word!”

I love team-teaching with this lady, and today was no exception!

I love team-teaching with this lady, and today was no exception!

Our Blue Island campus worship is anointed!

Our Blue Island campus worship is anointed!

Caught in the act! (of having FUN at KidsLife, that is)

Caught in the act! (of having FUN at KidsLife, that is)

Pastor Brent unveiled plans for a community "HOPE CENTER" in Blue Island, starting with a food pantry - and we already have volunteers ready to serve!

Pastor Brent unveiled plans for a community “HOPE CENTER” in Blue Island, starting with a food pantry – and we already have volunteers ready to serve!

Today was Tommy Billup's first day to lead worship at Hammond, and Pastor Sam said the 11am worship BROKE OUT into a powerful time of prayer!  Kudos, Tommy!

Today was Tommy Billup’s first day to lead worship at Hammond, and Pastor Sam said the 11am worship BROKE OUT into a powerful time of prayer! Kudos, Tommy!

He was able to share his heart for missions today, and there was also one person who gave their life to Christ afterwards!

He was able to share his heart for missions today, and there was also one person who gave their life to Christ afterwards!

and we LOVE kids at the Hammond campus (just like every CLC campus!)

and we LOVE kids at the Hammond campus (just like every CLC campus!)

 

 

Sunday reflections

Sergei Zhuravle, worship pastor of the 3500-member New Testament Church in Perm, Russia BLESSED us by joining our worship team today - LOVE the anointing of worship in different languages!

Sergei Zhuravle, worship pastor of the 3500-member New Testament Church in Perm, Russia BLESSED us by joining our Tinley Park worship team today – LOVE the anointing of worship in different languages!

Bishop Herley Montes brought a great word to all of us on "How to Have Treasure in Heaven" - will YOU win a soul in 2017?

Bishop Herley Montes brought a great word to all of us on “How to Have Treasure in Heaven” – will YOU win a soul in 2017?

Even our KidsLife children were seeking after the Lord today!

Even our KidsLife children were seeking after the Lord today!

Our Hammond campus worships, and they're looking forward to Tommie Billups as their new Director

Our Hammond campus worships, and they’re looking forward to Tommie Billups as their new Director

Dr. Chinedu Oranye brought a great word in Hammond-

Dr. Chinedu Oranye brought a great word in Hammond-

In Blue Island today, my wife delivered her HEART for missions as only she can.

In Blue Island today, my wife delivered her HEART for missions as only she can.

And our Blue Island Kidslife team made learning FUN today-

And our Blue Island Kidslife team made learning FUN today-

Sunday reflections

Worship at our Tinley Park campus was ON FIRE today!

Worship at our Tinley Park campus was ON FIRE today!

We enjoyed the music & voice of Tommy Billups with the team today, too!

We enjoyed the music & voice of Tommy Billups with the team today, too!  (Tommy is going to be the NEW Worship Director at our Hammond campus!)

Dr. Chinedu Oranye delivered a 'Word' to us today - SO good!

Dr. Chinedu Oranye delivered a ‘Word’ to us today – SO good!

And he used Pastor Jon's hairstyle as an example of how we all follow someone-

And he used Pastor Jon’s hairstyle as an example of how we all follow someone-

Tommy & his wife Azania & their children were announced at the Hammond campus today

Tommy & his wife Azania & their children were announced at the Hammond campus today

Bishop Herley Montes from the Philippines brought the Word at Hammond as to how we can build treasures in heaven.

Bishop Herley Montes from the Philippines brought the Word at Hammond as to how we can build treasures in heaven.

Our CLC pastors LOVE Bishop Herley!

Our CLC pastors LOVE Bishop Herley!

Sometimes a KidsLife Director gets to 'perform' in order to keep the kids attention!

Sometimes a KidsLife Director gets to ‘perform’ in order to keep the kids attention!

Bruce Crawford of the Abraham Project in Costa Rica was our guest at the Blue Island campus today - when you hear his testimony, you know why CLC'ers LOVE him and the Abraham project!

Bruce Crawford of the Abraham Project in Costa Rica was our guest at the Blue Island campus today – when you hear his testimony, you know why CLC’ers LOVE him and the Abraham project!

Generosity Sunday reflections

There's JOY in giving & receiving! Fresh out of college, in her own apartment & CLC will be making the rent payment for Jacqueline Hackmon!

There’s JOY in giving & receiving! Fresh out of college, in her own apartment & CLC will be making the rent payment for Jacqueline Hackmon!

Before all the giveaways began, Pastor Jon & Tiffany led us into the Presence of the Lord - STRONG presence today!

Before all the giveaways began, Pastor Jon & Tiffany led us into the Presence of the Lord – STRONG presence today!

We gave away over $6,000 worth of awards in Tinley Park today (over $12k campus-wide) just for the JOY of giving!

We gave away over $6,000 worth of awards in Tinley Park today (over $12k campus-wide) just for the JOY of giving!

I've always wondered about pastors who didn't worship with their congregation, and I'm glad that CLC pastors set the right example!

I’ve always wondered about pastors who didn’t worship with their congregation, and I’m glad that CLC pastors set the right example!

Our Blue Island worship team knows HOW!

Our Blue Island worship team knows HOW!

Lots of FUN giving stuff away in Blue Island today-

Lots of FUN giving stuff away in Blue Island today-

including a mortgage payment for the winner: Eric Williams, who spent all week in Texas helping with Hurricane Harvey relief! (God knows how to reward us!)

including a mortgage payment for the winner: Eric Williams, who spent all week in Texas helping with Hurricane Harvey relief! (God knows how to reward us!)

Our Hammond campus was ON FIRE today, with the largest non-Easter attendance ever - 501!

Our Hammond campus was ON FIRE today, with the largest non-Easter attendance ever – 501!

That record attendance was possible because of NEW FAMILIES like these two!

That record attendance was possible because of NEW FAMILIES like these two!

John won a car payment and promptly gave it back for someone else!

John won a car payment and promptly gave it back for someone else!

After Talaat & Tai McNeely shared their great teaching on "The Prosperity Plan", 8 precious people gave their life to Christ!

After Talaat & Tai McNeely shared their great teaching on “The Prosperity Plan”, 8 precious people gave their life to Christ!

That's what I'd call a FUN day in Church, CLC-style!

Just as in times past, there were reports at each campus of people who won an award (even the $1,000 awards for a house payment) and turned around and gave it to someone else in need – because generosity begets generosity! That’s what I’d call a FUN day in Church, CLC-style!

Sunday reflections

It's always a JOY to see someone baptized, but especially when their JOY shows like this - congrats, Rachael Eubanks!

It’s always a JOY to see someone baptized, but especially when their JOY shows like this – congrats, Rachael Eubanks!

Tai McNeely shared her story of becoming debt-free using the principles of God's Word.

Tai McNeely shared her story of becoming debt-free using the principles of God’s Word.

Her husband Talaat was humorous, practical & challenging, as the McNeely's did an amazing job at the Tinley Park campus today-

Her husband Talaat was humorous, practical & challenging, as the McNeely’s did an amazing job at the Tinley Park campus today – and at the noon service, about 5 or 6 adults prayed to receive Christ – after a message about money management!!!

There was something for the entire family today!

There was something for the entire family today!

At Blue Island, like each CLC campus, we couldn't do what we do without faithful volunteers!

At Blue Island, like each CLC campus, we couldn’t do what we do without faithful volunteers like Dessie Bell & Rosetta Hatchett!

Tiffany Hines stepped in to lead worship at Blue Island since 3 of their praise team leaders are in Croatia - thanks, Tiff!

Tiffany Hines stepped in to lead worship at Blue Island since 3 of their praise team leaders are in Croatia – thanks, Tiff!

Pastors Dan & Torey brought the message from Proverbs: "Choose Wisely!"

Pastors Dan & Torey brought the message from Proverbs: “Choose Wisely!”

At our Hammond campus, during this interim without a worship director, the ENTIRE praise team stepped up to lead the congregation into His Presence, and Pastor Sam said it was really neat to see!

At our Hammond campus, during this interim without a worship director, the ENTIRE praise team stepped up to lead the congregation into His Presence, and Pastor Sam said it was really neat to see!

He was also encouraged by one new member, Loren Sargent, who just moved here from one of our "hero churches", Church of the Highlands in Birmingham, AL (average attendance more than 40,000 per Sunday! - and she says CLC reminds her of CoH!) Welcome, Loren!

He was also encouraged by one new member, Loren Sargent, who just moved here from one of our “hero churches”, Church of the Highlands in Birmingham, AL (average attendance more than 40,000 per Sunday! – and she says CLC reminds her of CoH!) Welcome, Loren!

Sunday reflections

Turn your eyes upon Jesus Look full in His wonderful face And the things of earth will grow strangely dim in the light of His glory and grace!

Turn your eyes upon Jesus
Look full in His wonderful face
And the things of earth
will grow strangely dim
in the light of His glory and grace!

Chris gave us some prophetic pictures in each service

My wife gave us some prophetic pictures in each service: warnings & promises!

Pastor Jon appealed for CLC'ers to step up to help the Hurricane victims - if giving online, choose "Hurricane Relief"

Pastor Jon appealed for CLC’ers to step up to help the Hurricane victims – if giving online, choose “Hurricane Relief”

Could you tell that I'm pumped about this new series?

Could you tell that I’m pumped about this new series?  Best of all, people gave their life to Christ at each service today, and that’s always worth celebrating!

I say it again: the cutest kids on earth attend CLC!

I say it again: the cutest kids on earth attend CLC! (Our KidsLife volunteers are great, too!)

some of them are rather adventurous, too

some of them are rather adventurous, too (but our KidsLife staff has it under control!)

Don't you wanna know what was so funny?

Don’t you wanna know what was so funny?

Harmony LaBeff led worship at Hammond campus today-

Harmony LaBeff led worship at Hammond campus today-

In Hammond, Pastors Dan & Torey made their teaching debut at CLC, while Pastor Sam is on vacation. I heard it was awesome & that one person received Christ there today!

In Hammond, Pastors Dan & Torey made their teaching debut at CLC, while Pastor Sam is on vacation. I heard it was awesome & that one person received Christ there today!

Lifting up holy hands unto the Lord at our Blue Island campus!

Lifting up holy hands unto the Lord at our Blue Island campus!

I love how kids can FOCUS and receive from God's Word!

I love how kids can FOCUS and receive from God’s Word!

Two Blue Island favorite worshippers: Alan Franklin & Daniel Rodriguez!

Two Blue Island favorite worshippers: Alan Franklin & Daniel Rodriguez!

Pastor Brent received a BIRTHDAY surprise from the congregation...AND their prayers for this next year!

Pastor Brent received a BIRTHDAY surprise from the congregation…AND their prayers for this next year!  AND 4 people joined CLC-BI through Growth Track today, and 1 person gave his life to Christ after the message – that’s a great birthday gift!

Sunday reflections

What do we do on Missions Sunday? Why, pray for the CLC team about to go to Croatia, of course! L to R: Danielle, Paula, Cherry, Jen, Harm

What do we do on Missions Sunday? Why, pray for the CLC team about to go to Croatia, of course! L to R: Jonathan Aguilar, Danielle Truckenmiller, Paula Hopkins, Cherry Vauters, Jen McQuay, Tiffany Davison, Charletta Young, Tenia Hoskins, Angie Simington, (Harm LaBeff is hidden behind Pastor Dan). Not pictured from TP: Sandra Norris, Ch’vez Moore, Reuben Hutcherson.

Our ministry to Kids is only possible because of great volunteers & leaders - thanks Jamie & Stacy!

Our ministry to Kids is only possible because of great volunteers & leaders – thanks Jamie Hyrn & Stacy Hunter!

well, at times it was definitely a 'Hot Seat', but all in all, today was both fun & informative. IF we didn't get to your question today, check here the next few Friday's.

well, at times it was definitely a ‘Hot Seat’, but all in all, today was both fun & informative. IF we didn’t get to your question today, check here the next few Friday’s.

In Hammond, it was certainly bittersweet to say goodbye to the only worship director in the history of our campus - Linell Muse. He's accepted a great new opportunity in Missouri.

In Hammond, it was certainly bittersweet to say goodbye to the only worship director in the history of our campus – Linell Muse. He’s accepted a great new opportunity in Missouri.

Like I say, the CUTEST kids in America attend KidsLife - including

Like I say, the CUTEST kids in America attend KidsLife – including this little guy, RJ Smith,son of Roland and Leslie.

Pastor Sam chose not to do a 'hot seat', but I hear HE was on FIRE today with his message on "Gratitude"

Pastor Sam chose not to do a ‘hot seat’, but I hear HE was on FIRE today with his message on “Gratitude” – a much needed value in our culture!

Daniel Rodriguez in worship at Blue Island

Daniel Rodriguez in worship at Blue Island

Blue Island members of the Croatia team receiving prayer from Pastors Brent & Sol - L to R: Harry Valentine, Alan Franklin, Liane Williams & Nikeva Lawrence.

Blue Island members of the Croatia team receiving prayer from Pastors Brent & Sol – L to R: Harry Valentine, Alan Franklin, Liane Williams & Nikeva Lawrence.

I hear it was a VERY Hot Seat in Blue Island, but Pastor Brent & Sol passed the test, and people were helped!

I hear it was a VERY Hot Seat in Blue Island, but Pastor Brent & Sol passed the test, and people were helped!

Some have asked about the website I recommended for cultural issues from a Biblical perspective: it’s www.bullseyechallenge.com

Now, I’m enjoying a DVR of Mr. Trubisky, hoping Bears managment make the right decision about the next starting QB for the Bears.  Later-

 

Sunday reflections

All of the Hammond campus K-12 and Educators on the platform for prayer today!

Hammond campus K-12 and Educators on the platform for prayer today!  (Beautiful sight!)

Hammond worship was STRONG today...

Hammond worship was STRONG today…

Pastor Sam tackled the Sexual Purity message, with great feedback from parents

Pastor Sam tackled the Sexual Purity message, with great feedback from parents

After the Hammond services, they had a Back to School Bash with a special presentation by the Hammond Police Department

After the Hammond services, they had a Back to School Bash with a special presentation by the Hammond Police Department and their dogs

Meanwhile, it was a Baby Dedication Sunday in Blue Island today - love to see family members come together to dedicate a child (Congrats Daniel & Veronica and baby Jonas!)

Meanwhile, it was a Baby Dedication Sunday in Blue Island today – love to see family members come together to dedicate a child (Congrats Daniel & Veronica and baby Jonas!)

And congrats to Maria & for the dedication of their 3 children: Ruby, Julian & Monica!

And congrats to Maria on the dedication of her 3 children: Ruby, Julian & Monica!

Pastor Brent told me he was nervous about preaching the Sexual Purity message, but a guest told him afterwards, in 35 years of attending church, he had never heard this subject addressed, and he filled both sides of his outline with personal notes from the message!

Pastor Brent told me he was nervous about preaching the Sexual Purity message, but a guest told him afterwards, in 35 years of attending church, he had never heard this subject addressed, and he filled both sides of his outline with personal notes from the message!

But "how shall they hear without a translator?" says Pastor Sol!

But “how shall they hear without a translator?” says Pastor Sol!

Since it was Back to School Sunday, I think Tinley campus wins the cutest kids award!

Since it was Back to School Sunday, I think Tinley campus wins the cutest kids award!

how 'bout this little gal?

how ’bout this little gal?

Pastor Chris had some prophetic pictures to share with us: distractions, , & peace (hang on to Jesus!)

Pastor Chris had some prophetic pictures to share with us: distractions, purpose, & peace (hang on to Jesus!)

The moment we announced our new Tinley Park Campus Pastors, Jon & Rachel Jones!

The moment we announced our new Tinley Park Campus Pastors, Jon & Rachel Jones!

Honestly, I knew the Sexual Purity message was needed & I tried to include lots of humor to make it go down easier, but I'm glad it over!

Honestly, I knew the Sexual Purity message was needed & I tried to include lots of humor to make it go down easier, but I’m glad it over!

Feel free to send your congratulations to Pastors Jon & Rachel here-

Don’t forget to submit a question for next Sunday’s “HOT SEAT” here.

Sunday reflections

I wish Charlottesville, VA could see this.

I wish Charlottesville, VA could see these two little girls – as God intended it to be!

So many good things happened today:

LOTS of newcomer's at the 8:30 service today, anxious to get Joel Osteen's latest book!

LOTS of newcomer’s at the 8:30 service today, anxious to get Joel Osteen’s latest book!

Nothing like the JOY of water baptism - congratulations, Shantelya Lett!

Nothing like the JOY of water baptism – congratulations, Shantelya Lett!

We prayed for this special team of 4 men headed to Haifa, Israel this week to tackle some building projects for our partners at "Return to Zion", led by Leon Mazin!

We prayed for this special team of 4 men headed to Haifa, Israel this week to tackle some building projects for our partners at “Return to Zion”, led by Leon Mazin!

And we welcomed our new Executive Pastors, Dan & Torey Goodson!

And we welcomed our new Executive Pastors, Dan & Torey Goodson!

 

I shared a teaching on "HONOR" for week 2 of our 'Timeless' series, and people game their life to Christ in each service!

I shared a teaching on “HONOR” for week 2 of our ‘Timeless’ series, and people gave their life to Christ in each service! (That never gets old!)

The cutest babies in the world are CLC babies! (This little guy is part of our Blue Island campus)

The cutest babies in the world are CLC babies! (This little guy is part of our Blue Island campus)

Pastor Brent expressed his heart on the Charlottesville, VA situation, before leading the congregation in prayer for our nation.

Pastor Brent expressed his heart on the Charlottesville, VA situation, before leading the congregation in prayer for our nation.

Then Mama Chris 'meddled' some with her teaching on Honor.

Then Mama Chris ‘meddled’ some with her teaching on Honor.

And she was FUNNY while teaching today-

And she was FUNNY while teaching today-

Meanwhile, at our Hammond campus, Pastor Sam said the 9am service worship was one of the most powerful times of worship to-date!

Meanwhile, at our Hammond campus, Pastor Sam said the 9am service worship was one of the most powerful times of worship to-date!

At each campus today, we prayed in multi-cultural circles of prayer for God to heal the racism in our land!

At each campus today, we prayed in multi-cultural circles of prayer for God to heal the racism in our land!

"Granny" Drusie Neal gave a great exhortation about surrender during worship.

“Granny” Drusie Neal gave a great exhortation about surrender during worship.

Pastor Sam preached the "HONOR" message

Pastor Sam preached the “HONOR” message to a summertime crowd of 375 people!

and 6 people joined our CLC-Hammond family today through Growth Track, step 2!

and 6 people joined our CLC-Hammond family today through Growth Track, step 2!

It was a FULL, good day at CLC!

Don’t forget our 21-days of prayer continues tomorrow at 7am!

 

Sunday reflections

The first Sunday of August was a good day around CLC:

"Mr. Tim" to many CLC kids through the years - and they all LOVE him! (So do we!)

He’s “Mr. Tim” to many CLC kids through the years – and they all LOVE him! (So do we!)

"THe JOY of the Lord is your strength", Pastor Jon!

“THe JOY of the Lord is your strength”, Pastor Jon!  Thanks for sharing it with all of us!!

Can't recall the last time I was as nervous about preaching (or as uncomfortable while preaching), but I'm grateful for His anointing & your response!

Can’t recall the last time I was as nervous about preaching (or as uncomfortable while preaching), but I’m grateful for His anointing & your response!

Worship was good at our Hammond campus (as always!)

Worship was good at our Hammond campus (as always!)

Pastor Sam said the "Integrity" message seemed to connect well in Hammond, too!

Pastor Sam said the “Integrity” message seemed to connect well in Hammond, too!

Who says kids won't pay attention in church these days?

Who says kids won’t pay attention in church these days?

Our Blue Island youth took church outside on this beautiful day-

Our Blue Island youth took church outside on this beautiful day-

Pastor Brent says a watermelon has INTEGRITY

Pastor Brent says a watermelon has INTEGRITY

One of the things I love about CLC is that you can receive  personal ministry at any service, any campus!

One of the things I love about CLC is that you can receive personal ministry at any service, any campus!

Sunday reflections

Summertime special events in Hammond and Blue Island certainly helped these numbers, but I’m excited that almost 1,900 worshipped at CLC today!

The worship team led us into God's Presence in each service (as usual)

The worship team led us into God’s Presence in each service (as usual)

Harmony LaBeff introduced  a new song he wrote based on Psalm 73-

Harmony LaBeff introduced a new song he wrote based on Psalm 73-

duh

Looks like KidsLife was having fun today, too!

This lady was AMAZING today (also, as usual). Thanks, CLC, for honoring her birthday (which is actually this coming Wednesday). Her message from "The Shack" was the most powerful of our God@the Movies series and brought TONS of people to the altar for healing today!  You can feel her passion through this pic-

This lady was AMAZING today (also, as usual). Thanks, CLC, for honoring her birthday (which is actually this coming Wednesday). Her message from “The Shack” was the most powerful of our God@the Movies series and brought TONS of people to the altar for healing today! You can feel her passion through this pic-

It takes a LOT of volunteers to do Church at the Beach!  Kudos, Hammond CLC'ers!!

It takes a LOT of volunteers to do Church at the Beach! Kudos, Hammond CLC’ers!!

Part of the Praise Team (Love their stage design!)

Part of the Praise Team (Love their stage design!)

The blue shirts are lined up to share their testimony before being baptized-

The blue shirts are lined up to share their testimony before being baptized-

An estimated 450 people attended Church at the Beach today!

An estimated 450 people attended Church at the Beach today!

And after worship, communion, testimonies and 43 BAPTISMS, everyone settled to hang out at the beach!

And after worship, communion, testimonies and 43 BAPTISMS, everyone settled to hang out at the beach!

Meanwhile, it was "Praise in the Park" at our Blue Island campus.

Meanwhile, it was “Praise in the Park” at our Blue Island campus.

Praise in the Park means "praising God" outdoors, from the worship team...

Praise in the Park means “praising God” outdoors, from the worship team…

...to the KidsLife Director...

…to the KidsLife Director…

....to everyone present!

….to everyone present!  “Let everything that has breath, praise the Lord!”

One of the things I love most about CLC is how our volunteers serve with joy!

One of the things I love most about CLC is how our volunteers serve with joy!

after the worship, it was time for an old-fashioned church PICNIC!

after the worship, it was time for an old-fashioned church PICNIC!

I'm told the TACOS were the hit of the day!

I’m told the TACOS were the hit of the day!

the most photogenic kids in the world attend CLC!

the most photogenic kids in the world attend CLC!

Sunday reflections

The photo booth for GATM is more popular in Blue Island than ANY other campus! (Just ask Nikeva)

The photo booth for GATM is more popular in Blue Island than ANY other campus! (Just ask Nikeva)

Even Pastors Sol & Chris couldn't resist it's allure-

Even Pastors Sol & Chris couldn’t resist it’s allure-

I heard that Pastor Chris' message from "The Shack" brought healing for several people in Blue Island

I heard that Pastor Chris’ message from “The Shack” brought many people to the altar for healing in Blue Island-

Anita Winters is just one of many passionate worshippers on our BI team

Anita Winters is just one of many passionate worshippers on our BI team

Speaking of worshippers, our CLC-West campus pastors, Josh & Heather Moran, are passionate, too!

Speaking of worshippers, our CLC-West campus pastors, Josh & Heather Moran, are passionate, too! (That’s Josh on the guitar in the background, too)

I heard great reports about Pastor Brent's message in Tinley Park from "Captain America", as he told us It's ok to disagree but it's not ok to allow disagreements to turn into division!

I heard great reports about Pastor Brent’s message in Tinley Park from “Captain America”, as he told us It’s ok to disagree but it’s not ok to allow disagreements to turn into division!

Our Hammond worship team was ON POINT today!

Our Hammond worship team was ON POINT today, and it looked like a great attendance in each service.  Best of all, I think at least 15 people prayed to receive Christ after my message from “Hidden Figures”!  Nothing like momentum, even in the summertime!

Our Blue Island and Hammond campuses have heard all 4 movie messages (Tinley Park will hear “The Shack” next Sunday) – which has been your favorite so far?  Most importantly, how has God spoken to you thru this year’s GATM?

Sunday reflections

Speaking of volunteers, the AROMA of popcorn in the lobby today was AMAZING! (Thanks, Kasiya & Bill!)

Speaking of volunteers, the AROMA of popcorn in the lobby today was AMAZING! (Thanks, Kasiya & Bill!)  I think it’s the biggest attraction of ‘God@the Movies’!

It was Family Sunday at Tinley Park and we dedicated Jean-Luc, son of Kirk & Michelle Perry

It was Family Sunday at Tinley Park and we dedicated Jean-Luc, son of Kirk & Michelle Perry

It was great having Pastor Sam Hamstra from our Hammond campus bring the word today from 'Moana'!

It was great having Pastor Sam Hamstra from our Hammond campus bring the word today from ‘Moana’!

Pastor Moy Mendez, Jacob Matyszczuk and Kyla & Sean Smith surrounded me at Tinley Park's 125th Anniversary celebration this afternoon!

Pastor Moy Mendez, Jacob Matyszczuk and Kyla & Sean Smith surrounded me at Tinley Park’s 125th Anniversary celebration this afternoon!

Our face-painting booth was a popular spot at Tinley's 125th Anniversary celebration!

Our face-painting booth was a popular spot at Tinley’s 125th Anniversary celebration!

We also offered FREE prayer (no strings attached)

We also offered FREE prayer (no strings attached)

And this dear lady took us up on the offer - she is recently divorced after 44 years of marriage, so join our team in praying for her!

And this dear lady took us up on the offer – she is recently divorced after 44 years of marriage, so please join our team in praying for her!

My wife preached from the movie, "The Shack" today at our Hammond campus - lots of tears; lots of emotional healing around the altar there!

My wife preached from the movie, “The Shack” today at our Hammond campus – lots of tears; lots of emotional healing around the altar there!

Jenny Gonzalez is an AMAZING KidsLife Director at Hammond, as you can tell by the size of her team of volunteers!

Jenny Gonzalez is an AMAZING KidsLife Director at Hammond, as you can tell by the size of her team of volunteers!

Alyssa is not only part of the Blue Island Praise Team, but today is her birthday!

Alyssa is not only part of the Blue Island Praise Team, but today is her birthday!

Toren Turner will be on her way to Panama this week with another CLC missions team (we also have teams in Tanzania & Costa Rica!)

Toren Turner will be on her way to Panama this week with another CLC missions team (we also have teams in Tanzania & Costa Rica!)

I could only preach to about half the congregation in Blue Island were it not for Pastor Sol's help in translating!

I could only preach to about half the congregation in Blue Island were it not for Pastor Sol’s help in translating!

What can I say?  I LOVE "Hidden Figures" - my favorite movie of this past year-

What can I say? I LOVE “Hidden Figures” – my favorite movie of this past year-

We're all so proud of 12-year-old Joel, who made such an impression in the Russians a few weeks ago, they're STILL talking about him there!

We’re all so proud of 12-year-old Joel, who made such an impression in the Russians a few weeks ago, they’re STILL talking about him there!

Siberia, day 3

Some of the congregation at one of the four weekend services here in Novokuznetsk - so neat to hear songs we know being sung in Russian!

Some of the congregation at one of the four weekend services here in Novokuznetsk – so neat to hear songs we know being sung in Russian!

The praise team may be small, but they're a talented bunch! The man in the microphone can shred a lead guitar!

The praise team may be small, but they’re a talented bunch! The man in the microphone can shred a lead guitar!

Chris preaching here that unforgiveness gives the enemy legal access to us - he can then bind us up! (Aksana on the right is her interpreter; the young woman was a volunteer for the illustration)

Chris preaching here that unforgiveness gives the enemy legal access to us – he can then bind us up! (Aksana on the right is her interpreter; the young woman was a volunteer for the illustration)

After Chris' message in the 10am service, these two ladies gave their heart to the Lord, as a deacon led them in the sinner's prayer!

After Chris’ message in the 10am service, these two ladies gave their heart to the Lord, as a deacon led them in the sinner’s prayer!

The 5pm service featured an entirely different praise team, and they were just as talented as the first!

The 5pm service featured an entirely different praise team, and they were just as talented as the first!

Chris preached her heart out at the 5pm service, and it seemed almost everyone in the building responded to the altar invitation!  God is working in Siberia, and we feel privileged to be a small part of it!!

But we’re also thinking of home, so if you attended a service at any CLC campus today, please leave us a comment as to what you most enjoyed or how the Lord ministered to you through God@the Movies or the Watoto choir-

Sunday reflections

At Blue Island, "Captain America" was the featured film, as Pastor Brent taught about conflicts in relationships.

At Blue Island, “Captain America” was the featured film, as Pastor Brent taught a powerful message about dealing with conflicts in our relationships.

Blue Island went ALL OUT to capture the movie experience!

Blue Island went ALL OUT to capture the movie experience!  Popcorn, anyone?

Of course, the full title of today's film is 'Captain America: CIVIL WAR'!

Of course, the full title of today’s film is ‘Captain America: CIVIL WAR’!

Rosetta won today's raffle for a DVD of 'Captain America', 2 boxes of candy & 2 boxes of popcorn.  Next week could be your turn!

Rosetta won today’s raffle for a DVD of ‘Captain America’, 2 boxes of candy & 2 boxes of popcorn. Next week could be your turn!

Pastor Micah told us of the bird that sings in the dark, knowing that joy is coming in the morning!

Pastor Micah encouraged our worship by telling us of the bird that sings in the dark, knowing that joy is coming in the morning!

While Tinley Park's concession stand could compete with any theater (not to mention FREE popcorn)

While Tinley Park’s concession stand could compete with any theater (not to mention FREE popcorn)

Harmony did a great job today leading us in Communion by sharing Isaiah 52/53 about Jehovah's Suffering Servant!

Harmony did a great job today leading us in Communion by sharing Isaiah 52/53 about Jehovah’s Suffering Servant!

I had more fun preaching "How to Overcome Challenges" from the movie, 'Hidden Figures' than should be legal!

I had more fun preaching “How to Overcome Challenges” from the movie, ‘Hidden Figures’ than should be legal! Best of all, we saw 12-15 people stand and pray to receive Christ!

We were all inspired by the true story of the 3 ladies at NASA in the 1960's, but we've got a great example here at CLC in Caprice O'Bryant Gutierrez who overcame a traumatic brain injury, seizures & amnesia to become a business owner in her 20's!

We were all inspired by the true story of the 3 ladies at NASA in the 1960’s, but we’ve got a great example here at CLC in Caprice O’Bryant Gutierrez who overcame a traumatic brain injury, seizures & amnesia to become a business owner in her 20’s!

At Hammond, "Moana" was the featured movie & Pastor Sam really helped people connect w/the message!

At Hammond, “Moana” was the featured movie & Pastor Sam really helped people connect w/the message!

So much so that 4 people prayed to receive Christ, including this whole family!

So much so that 4 people prayed to receive Christ, including this whole family!

  • Perhaps the best praise report of the day in Hammond was that last week Pastor Sam led a congregational prayer for one of the members, whose daughter in California had been diagnosed with Stage 4 cancer. After that public prayer last Sunday, we learned today that her doctors had “misdiagnosed” her cancer and it was now Stage 1!  Praise God for misdiagnoses after prayer!!!
As always, it's strong worship that ushers in His Presence - which is far more important than any movie!

As always, it’s strong worship that ushers in His Presence – which is far more important than any movie!

I’d love to hear from YOU – what was your favorite moment in today’s services?  How did the Holy Spirit minister to you personally?  Please join the conversation by leaving a comment below-

Sunday reflections

(I know this has nothing to do w/Sunday at CLC, but it's my blog, ok?) I spent 5 days in a cabin w/our oldest granddaughter & her 2 brothers while their parents were in Siberia & we got really attached. Today on their way to service in Blue Island, Kelsey heard my voice on the livestream from the Tinley Park 8:30 service. She wasn't happy to hear my voice since I was at TP, so she said, "poppy my church"

(I know this has nothing to do w/Sunday at CLC, but it’s my blog, ok?) I spent 5 days in a cabin w/our oldest granddaughter & her 2 brothers while their parents were in Siberia & we got really attached. Today on their way to service in Blue Island, Kelsey heard my voice on the livestream from the Tinley Park 8:30 service & got excited until she found out I was at TP, not in Blue Island. So she said, “poppy my church!”  (She’s got me wrapped around her little finger!)

Worship was outstanding in all 3 services today, but the GLORY was in the House at 10am!  Thanks for leading us in, Pastor Jon & Tony Powell!

Worship was outstanding in all 3 services today, but the GLORY was in the House at 10am! Thanks for leading us in, Pastor Jon & Tony Powell!

It was one of those times when broken hearts were being mended in His Presence!

It was one of those times when broken hearts were being mended in His Presence!

Cary Durham brought the 1st message of the day at the 8:30 service & told us all that GOD said we are "good seed"!  (We don't have to listen to the enemy, because as Reggie Jackson observed, "Fans don't boo nobodies!"

Cary Durham brought the 1st message of the day at the 8:30 service & told us all that GOD said we are “good seed”! (We don’t have to listen to the enemy, because as Reggie Jackson observed, “Fans don’t boo nobodies!”

Our HANDSOME Outreach Pastor, Moy Mendez, showed us that he's more than eye candy by challenging us in two simple words to "Step out and Trust God" (not sure which two of those five he counted, but the message was great!)

Our HANDSOME Outreach Pastor, Moy Mendez, showed us that he’s more than eye candy by challenging us in two simple words to “Step out and Trust God” (not sure which two of those five he counted, but the message was great, and we had more fun than should be legal in church!)

Today we announced plans to launch our 4th campus and the new campus pastor, Josh Moran, brought the Word at 10am

Today we announced plans to launch our 4th campus and the new campus pastor, Josh Moran, brought the Word at 10am, reminding us that our gifts should be used for the harvest!

Chuck & Nicole Ellington delivered a great Word at the noon service!

Chuck & Nicole Ellington delivered a great Word from Psalm 105:4-5 at the noon service, encouraging us to depend on God for strength; always go to Him for help; and to remember His miracles, amazing things & fair decisions!  Good stuff!

And our kids received ministry, too - learning to worship their King!

And our kids received ministry, too – learning to worship their King!

Pastor Sam reported another great day in Hammond with strong worship, great summer attendance & many people receiving ministry at the altar today.

Pastor Sam reported another great day in Hammond with strong worship, great summer attendance & many people receiving ministry at the altar today.

Dorothy Caldwell brought a good Word about the power of prayer!

Dorothy Caldwell brought a good Word about the power of prayer!

Christian Washington taught on the process of being repurposed to be more like Christ!

Christian Washington taught on the process of being repurposed to be more like Christ!

Our Blue Island campus enjoyed the missions ministry of Dr. Patricia Bailey-

Our Blue Island campus enjoyed the missions ministry of Dr. Patricia Bailey-

Dr. Bailey demonstrated the water filters that she uses to bring clean water to some of the most difficult places on earth where she ministers

Dr. Bailey demonstrated the water filters that she uses to bring clean water to some of the most difficult places on earth where she ministers-

and even took a drink of the filthy stuff (after it had been filtered)

and even took a drink of the filthy stuff (after it had been filtered)

Practically the entire congregation came forward for prayer at the close of her message!

Practically the entire congregation came forward for prayer at the close of her message!

Father’s Day reflections

IMG_1659

Pastor Sol brought the message in Blue Island today & was able to share about the team that just returned from Siberia-

Pastor Sol brought the message in Blue Island today & was able to share about the team that just returned from Siberia-

At the close of service, the team who had gone to Siberia ministered in the altar to anyone who wanted prayer - including the youngest member of the team (Joel Mendez) who was just 12 years old - but he ministered in the altar with the others!

At the close of service, the team who had gone to Siberia ministered in the altar to anyone who wanted prayer – including the youngest member of the team (Joel Mendez) who was just 12 years old – but he ministered in the altar with the others!

The root beer floats were a big hit in Blue Island!

The root beer floats were a big hit with dads in Blue Island!

while the photo booth attracted dads & their kids in Tinley Park!

while the photo booth attracted dads & their kids in Tinley Park!

the Tacos for dads were also a hit, when we could keep Pastor Jon away from them-

the Tacos for dads were also a hit, when we could keep Pastor Jon away from them-

Real Men influence our children in KidsLife! (Thanks, Mr. Tim!)

Real Men influence our children in KidsLife! (Thanks, Mr. Tim!)

Beverly Zambrano met Jesus in the waters of baptism this Father's Day!

Beverly Zambrano met Jesus in the waters of baptism this Father’s Day!

Pastor Brent brought a great word & took a page from his mom's book with his sword illustration-

Pastor Brent brought a great word & took a page from his mom’s book with his sword illustration-

Worship was great at our Hammond campus, where the attendance was more than DOUBLE from Father's Day 2016!!!

Worship was great at our Hammond campus, where the attendance was more than DOUBLE from Father’s Day 2016!!!

Our very own elder Gerard Terrell provided BBQ brats for the dads....

Our very own elder Gerard Terrell provided BBQ brats for the dads….

and with root beer floats to wash them down, DADS were happy campers!

and with root beer floats to wash them down, DADS were happy campers!

 

Sunday reflections

Today was a “stand-alone” Sunday instead of doing the same series at all 3 campuses, and there are three very different but very good reports:

Let's start with Blue Island, since it may be THE highlight of the day. Since several leaders are in Siberia on a missions trip, Tiffany Hines led worship today & the Holy Spirit & God's love filled the House!

Let’s start with Blue Island, since it may be THE highlight today. Since several leaders are in Siberia on a missions trip, Tiffany Hines led worship & God’s love filled the House!

Pastor Jon was there in Brent's absence & he began the preaching time with a song....but that's as far as he got!

Pastor Jon was there in Brent’s absence & he began the preaching time with a song….but that’s as far as he got!

Before he could begin to preach, the Holy Spirit gave him a word for a woman who was visiting with her adult daughter for the first time.....

Before he could begin to preach, the Holy Spirit gave him a word for a woman who was visiting with her adult daughter for the first time…..he spoke healing over the daughter & assured her & her mom that the Holy Spirit had interrupted the service just for her!

Later, as some leaders prayed for the daughter, they learned that doctors had just discovered two tumors in her body & she is scheduled to visit the oncologist this week!  But today she gave her life to Jesus!

Later, as some leaders prayed for the daughter, they learned that doctors had just discovered two tumors in her body & she is scheduled to visit the oncologist this week. But today she gave her life to Jesus!

Jon was never able to get back to his prepared message, because he kept receiving prophetic words for people in the congregation!

Jon was never able to get back to his prepared message, because he kept receiving prophetic words for people in the congregation!

Finally he invited others who move prophetically to share that time of ministry with him - it was an AMAZING day in Blue Island! (The GIFTED series may have ended last Sunday, but we're just getting started!)

Finally he invited others who move prophetically to share that time of ministry with him – it was an AMAZING day in Blue Island! (The GIFTED series may have ended last Sunday, but we’re just getting started!)

Meanwhile, in Tinley Park, Harmony LaBeff led us in worship & a time of communion together-

Meanwhile, in Tinley Park, Harmony LaBeff led us in worship & a time of communion together-

Then we heard from two young men who have heard God's call to ministry: Jesus Mateo went first & shared with us the evidence of a spiritually prosperous life.

Then we heard from two young men who have heard God’s call to ministry: Jesus Mateo went first & shared with us the evidence of a spiritually prosperous life.

Then James Ineh challenged us to make a difference in the next generation, just as others have done in our generation!

Then James Ineh challenged us to make a difference in the next generation, just as others have done in our generation!

Speaking of the next generation, I thank God for KidsLife volunteers like Joanne Linane, who give special attention to our little ones!

Speaking of the next generation, I thank God for KidsLife volunteers like Joanne Linane, who give special attention to our little ones!

At the 10am service, Pastor Niyi Gbade delivered a powerful word about Christian hospitality, and gossip and missions! (Trust me, they all fit together in 3John!)

At the 10am service, Pastor Niyi Gbade delivered a powerful word about Christian hospitality, and gossip and missions! (Trust me, they all fit together in 3 John!)

And at the noon service Pastor Jen Remington illustrated that when we make the Word of God a PRIORITY in our daily lives, everything else that's needed will fit!

And at the noon service Pastor Jen Remington illustrated that when we make the Word of God a PRIORITY in our daily lives, everything else that’s needed will fit!

And her husband, Pastor Micah closed the service with a call for prayer.

And her husband, Pastor Micah closed the service with a call for prayer.

Certainly not to be outdone, our Hammond campus sent 45 youth to camp AT 3AM today!

Certainly not to be outdone, our Hammond campus sent 45 youth to camp AT 3AM today!

Plus the Worship & Arts team unveiled a new stage design and led the people into God's Presence-

Plus the Worship & Arts team unveiled a new stage design and led the people into God’s Presence-

One new member joined the Hammond campus & Pastor Sam preached part 1 of a 2-week series on what it means to be Fathered by God!

One new member joined the Hammond campus & Pastor Sam preached part 1 of a 2-week series on what it means to be Fathered by God!

Here’s my favorite quotes of the day, compliments of Niyi Gbade:

“where there is room in the heart, there is room in the house” – Danish proverb

“I want you to gossip.  Gossip the Gospel!”

“Don’t let your happiness depend on something you could lose” – C.S. Lewis

“Why should anyone hear the gospel three times when some have not heard it once?” – Oswald Chambers

I’d say summer is off to a good start at CLC!

Hope you’ll invite someone to join you for Father’s Day next Sunday-

 

Pentecost Sunday reflections

Steve Thompson was AMAZING in Tinley Park!

Steve Thompson was AMAZING in Tinley Park!

Robby Dawson (according to Pastor Sam) gave a gave a great, powerful, convicting, life giving word in Hammond!

Robby Dawson (according to Pastor Sam) gave a gave a great, powerful, convicting, life giving word in Hammond!

Pastor Brent closed the 'GIFTED' series in Blue Island with a message about Passover, Pentecost & Tabernacles.

Pastor Brent closed the ‘GIFTED’ series in Blue Island with a message about Passover, Pentecost & Tabernacles.

KidsLife in Tinley Park also has some CUTE kids (lately I'm emphasized the other campuses, but I've decided it's ALL-CLC!)

KidsLife in Tinley Park also has some CUTE kids (lately I’m emphasized the other campuses, but I’ve decided it’s ALL-CLC!)

Well, I guess the Blue Island kiddos do cute stuff in their class-

Well, I guess the Blue Island kiddos do cute stuff in their class-

Worship at Hammond was anointed!

Worship at Hammond was anointed!

I love being part of a church where we not only can FEEL something, but we can LEARN something, too!

I love being part of a church where we not only can FEEL something, but we can LEARN something, too!

 

Steve Thompson gave us such a profound, yet simple message as to WHY we were placed on earth!

Steve Thompson gave us such a profound, yet simple message as to WHY we were placed on earth!

Robby Dawkins also ministered prophetically & prayed for healing for several people in Hammond!

Robby Dawkins also ministered prophetically & prayed for healing for several people in Hammond!

I'm also glad to be part of a church that reaches across cultures & languages to reach people!

I’m also glad to be part of a church that reaches across cultures & languages to reach people!

If YOU attended any service of CLC today, at any location or online, what/s your favorite memory? Leave a comment below-

Sunday reflections

Worship was strong today, despite the holiday weekend attendance-

Worship was strong today, despite the holiday weekend attendance-

Our GIFTED series is showing up in many ways - Pastor Josh gave a prophetic word while hosting today

Our GIFTED series is showing up in many ways – Pastor Josh gave a prophetic word while hosting today

This is a great pic for a "caption contest" - what would you suggest?

This is a great pic for a “caption contest” – what would you suggest?

Today was my favorite teaching of the series, but I'm mostly grateful for several folks who received healing in our altars today!

Today was my favorite teaching of the series, but I’m mostly grateful for several folks who received healing in our altars today!

Look at those facial expressions & tell me Blue Island worshipers are PASSIONATE!

Look at those facial expressions & tell me Blue Island worshipers are PASSIONATE!

And the Blue Island campus continues to win the 'cutest kid' award in every age class!

And the Blue Island campus continues to win the ‘cutest kid’ award in every age class!

Pastor Brent taught 'Do What Jesus Did' and the altar was full of people believing for a miracle of healing.

Pastor Brent taught ‘Do What Jesus Did’ and the altar was full of people believing for a miracle of healing.

Strong worship at our Hammond campus today, plus good sign ups for summer semester of Life Groups and more people in Growth Track!

Strong worship at our Hammond campus today, plus good sign ups for summer semester of Life Groups and more people in Growth Track!

Plus Pastor Sam said the message connected well & lots of people received prayer for healing today - that's a win in my book, holiday or no holiday!

Plus Pastor Sam said the message connected well & lots of people received prayer for healing today – that’s a win in my book, holiday or no holiday!

Sunday reflections

I LOVE the fact that CLC doesn't just have talented musicians, but musicians who are WORSHIPERS!

I LOVE the fact that CLC doesn’t just have talented musicians, but musicians who are WORSHIPERS!  Bass Guitarist Jonathan Aguilar is one of them!

And I LOVE seeing FAMILIES worship Jesus together!

And I LOVE seeing FAMILIES worship Jesus together!

Train up a child....

Train up a child….

Gonna miss Pastor Jon for the next 10 days while he ministers in the Phiippines with our team that's enroute there now

Gonna miss Pastor Jon for the next 10 days while he ministers in the Phiippines with our team that’s enroute there now.  Today he challenged us to take God at His Word!

 

It's always FUN to team-teach with this lady & today was no exception.  She received several words of knowledge about healing in each service and the line of folks coming to be healed was LOOOONG!

It’s always FUN to team-teach with this lady & today was no exception. She received several words of knowledge about healing in each service and the line of folks coming to be healed was LOOOONG! Praise God for those who received!!! We’re making the supernatural  natural at CLC!

Pastor Sam reported a good day at the Hammond campus, with at least 10 first-time guests AND 15 different life groups for the summer semester!

Pastor Sam reported a good day at the Hammond campus, with at least 10 first-time guests AND 15 different life groups for the summer semester!

Dorothy Caldwell shared a 'word' from the Lord during the worship transition.

Dorothy Caldwell shared a ‘word’ from the Lord during the worship transition.

Anita Winters is just one of our passionate worshipers at our Blue Island campus!

Anita Winters is just one of our passionate worshipers at our Blue Island campus!

Jack Hayford once told me, "no matter who is on stage with the microphone, the pastor is the worship leader of the congregation!"

Jack Hayford once told me, “no matter who is on stage with the microphone, the pastor is the worship leader of the congregation!”

Do you think Blue Island has the cutest kids at CLC?

Do you think Blue Island has the cutest kids at CLC?

If you said 'no', you may need to reconsider!

If you said ‘no’ above, you may need to reconsider!

We love our BI-Youth leader, Profit Hallom!

We love our BI-Youth leader, Profit Hallom!

Mother’s Day reflections

MOM: we honor you on this special day!

MOM: we honor you on this special day!

I didn't get to hear her, but I 'heard' that my wife did a great job teaching about the speaking gifts of the Holy Spirit.

I didn’t get to hear her, but I ‘heard’ that my wife did a great job teaching about the speaking gifts of the Holy Spirit, and I know that more CLC’ers were baptized in the Holy Spirit today!

Today's focus was on our MOM's and we prayed in each service for them: for those who've lost their mom (or a child); for those who desperately want to have children, but haven't; those who have suffered a miscarriage; those who have experienced abortion. Each of them deserve our compassion & a prayer of blessing!

Today’s focus was on our MOM’s and we prayed in each service for them: for those who’ve lost their mom (or a child); for those who desperately want to have children, but haven’t; those who have suffered a miscarriage; those who have experienced abortion. Each of them deserve our compassion & a prayer of blessing! At Hammond campus, the front of the church was FILLED with moms as Pastor Taylor led us in prayer for them.

The Hammond campus also honored moms with a cupcake reception after service

The Hammond campus also honored moms with a cupcake reception after service

and I had fun sharing some practical truths & tips about the gifts that enable us to 'speak like Jesus' (supernaturally!)

I had fun sharing some practical truths & tips about the gifts that enable us to ‘speak like Jesus’ (supernaturally!)

There's NO mom in this picture, but those faces will make ANY mom melt!

There’s NO mom in this picture, but those faces will make ANY mom’s heart melt!

Mom's with their family make great pics!

Mom’s with their family make great pics!

see what I mean?

see what I mean?

It's extra-nice when mom's & son's pose together!

It’s extra-nice when mom’s & son’s pose together!

Kudos to EVERY mom & the photographers at each campus who helped make this a special day!

 

 

Sunday reflections

This pic has nothing to do with today's CLC recap, other than that it was taken at our Blue Island campus. (I just love these 2 girls!)

This pic has nothing to do with today’s CLC recap, other than that it was taken at our Blue Island campus. (I just love these 2 girls!)

At the Tinley Park campus, I enlisted the help of 15 CLC'ers who shared their stories of being baptized in the Holy Spirit - L to R: Wes & Neesha Stringfellow & Sherece Thompson.

At the Tinley Park campus, I enlisted the help of 15 CLC’ers who shared their stories of being baptized in the Holy Spirit – L to R: Wes & Neesha Stringfellow & Sherece Thompson.

Dawn Simental & Nikki Ferreria shared their stories.

Dawn Simental & Nikki Ferreria shared their stories.

Jared & Nikki Bosi told us how they received while in college-

Jared & Nikki Bosi told us how they received while in college-

L to R: Katie Jager, Tiffany & Ross Grimes encouraged many with their testimony!

L to R: Katie Jager, Tiffany & Ross Grimes encouraged many with their testimony!

Special thanks also to Tim & Melanie Hilton, Tenita Ramey, Sean Smith, & Tamika Steele for sharing their stories of how having a prayer language has changed their life!

After hearing those testimonies, our altars were full of hungry CLC'ers, and we think at least 18 were baptized in the Holy Spirit at the TP campus!

After hearing those testimonies, our altars were full of hungry CLC’ers, and we think at least 18 were baptized in the Holy Spirit at the TP campus!

Our Hammond campus went into His Presence with the help of this Praise team!

Our Hammond campus went into His Presence with the help of this Praise team!

Pastor Taylor not only blessed the Hammond campus today, but in TP we heard how her witness prompted her friend Katie Jager to come & be filled with the Holy Spirit!

Pastor Taylor not only blessed the Hammond campus today, but in TP we heard how her witness prompted her friend Katie Jager to come & be filled with the Holy Spirit!

One of CLC's Apostolic Overseers, Dale Van Steenis, ministered at the Hammond 9am service and at least 7 people were baptized in the Holy Spirit!

One of CLC’s Apostolic Overseers, Dale Van Steenis, ministered at the Hammond 9am service and at least 7 people were baptized in the Holy Spirit!

My wife ministered at the Blue Island campus on the same topic of "The Gift"

My wife ministered at the Blue Island campus on the same topic of “The Gift” (with an object lesson, of course!)

After she preached, the altar was full of CLC'ers who wanted MORE from the Lord!

After she preached, the altar was full of CLC’ers who wanted MORE from the Lord!

Chris also received prophetic words for almost everyone who came forward, as Blue Island enjoyed a powerful move of the Spirit!

Chris also received prophetic words for almost everyone who came forward, as Blue Island enjoyed a powerful move of the Spirit!

I’d say we’re off to a great start in the ‘GIFTED’ series.  Although I don’t think we reached the 3 dozen Holy Spirit baptisms I prayed for all week, we did reach dozens, plural, with at least 25 people filled today. (I should have a more complete report after we process the Connection Cards tomorrow).

And as one of our elders said, “This is only the beginning!”

Please join me in fasting at least one day this week as we continue to go deeper in the things of the Spirit in this series!

Sunday reflections

 

Today was the day we said "farewell" to our Executive Pastors & their 8 children as they move to Nashville tomorrow.

Today was the day we said “farewell” to our Executive Pastors & their 8 children as they move to Nashville tomorrow.  We love you, Pastors Ben & Nili Stewart!

Boy, something broke as we closed worship at the noon service & the Presence of God was overwhelming!

Boy, something broke as we closed worship at the noon service & the Presence of God was overwhelming!

Baby dedications are always special....

Baby dedications are always special….

....but today was

….but today was

.....triply so!

…..triply so!

My wife absolutely preached today!

My wife absolutely preached today!

then she had the children lead us all in praise & worship to conclude the message

then she had the children lead us all in praise & worship to conclude the message

But we still had to say, 'farewell' to our friends, the Stewart family.

But we still had to say, ‘farewell’ to our friends, the Stewart family.

My favorite conversation of the day was with a young boy (8 years old) who approached me in the lobby and said, “Pastor Jerry, if I don’t make it to the NBA or the MLB, I want to be a pastor just like you when I grow up” (I mean, #3 choice behind major-league baseball or the National Basketball Association ain’t bad!)

Pastor Sam reports another great Family Sunday in Hammond, with family communion...

Pastor Sam reports another great Family Sunday in Hammond, with family communion…

.....great worship

…..great worship

.....and a praise dance from the KidsLife Dance Team

…..and a praise dance from the KidsLife Dance Team

Our Blue Island campus expanded this Family Sunday to be a "Kids Day" with a special dramatic presentation about humility

Our Blue Island campus expanded this Family Sunday to be a “Kids Day” with a special FX presentation about humility

Joe Alexander & others helped bring the message home in a variety of ways

Joe Alexander & others helped bring the message home in a variety of ways

For sure, the presentation had the kid's rapt attention!

For sure, the presentation had the kid’s rapt attention!

And there were even a couple of pinata's at the end!

And there were even a couple of pinatas at the end!

This picture sums it up: FAMILY Sunday at CLC!

This picture sums it up: FAMILY Sunday at CLC!

 

 

 

Sunday reflections

We're not waiting on Jesus; Jesus is waiting on us!

We’re not waiting on Jesus; Jesus is waiting on us!

 

Pray for the team of 4 CLC'ers who will lead a Youth Camp for orphan boys this week in INDIA!

Pray for the team of 4 CLC’ers who will lead a Youth Camp for orphan boys this week in INDIA!

I LOVE the fact that our children are learning to worship Jesus! Kudos to every KidsLife volunteer!

I LOVE the fact that our children are learning to worship Jesus! Kudos to every KidsLife volunteer! (this girl’s expression in worship is priceless!)

At each service in Tinley Park today people came forward to receive Christ! (that never gets old!)

I felt impressed this week to have CLC’ers make the altar call during the teaching & offer to bring people forward, and at EACH service in Tinley Park today people came forward to receive Christ! (that never gets old!)

In Blue Island, Pastor Brent taught the same message about the Second Coming, and people responded.

In Blue Island, Pastor Brent taught the same message about the Second Coming, and people responded.

There's more than one way to GROW a church! (Blue Island is growing with BABIES!)

There’s more than one way to GROW a church! (Blue Island is growing with BABIES!)

Dr. Patricia Bailey was our guest at the Hammond campus today

Dr. Patricia Bailey was our guest at the Hammond campus for Missions Sunday today while Pastors Sam & Taylor are on vacation.

Dr. Bailey brought a strong message in both services before leaving for Somalia tonight to work in that famine-stricken country.

Dr. Bailey brought a strong message in both services before leaving for Somalia tonight to work in that famine-stricken country.

And for some reason, she was ministering to folks even in the lobby today (would someone from the Hammond campus explain to me WHY!)

She even ministered in the lobby afterwards to those who made a donation to help the work in Somalia.

And if you missed today, perhaps this video will enlighten you about the 10/40 window:

The amazing news is that CLC is actively engaged in 28 of the 56 nations within the 10/40 window, and 70% of our monthly missions support goes to the 10/40 window nations!

After service, one widow donated $1,000 and pledged $4,000 more to help others go on missions trips!

And another CLC’er heard the Holy Spirit whisper that there was someone at CLC who wanted very much to go on a missions trip but didn’t have the funds, and that he was to donate $2,100 to help make it possible!

Now, that’s what I’d call a GREAT Missions Sunday!

Sunday reflections

Palm Sunday w/a donkey - (on the left; that's my favorite Children's Director, Stacy Hunter on the right)

Palm Sunday w/a donkey – (on the left; that’s my favorite Children’s Director, Stacy Hunter on the right)

Palm Sunday baptisms: Grant Durham

Palm Sunday baptisms: (1) Grant Durham

Palm Sunday baptisms: Nya Brunson

Palm Sunday baptisms: (2) Nya Brunson

Palm Sunday baptisms: (3) Thelma Haffner

Palm Sunday baptisms: (3) Thelma Haffner

Palm Sunday baptisms: (4) Aila Haffner

Palm Sunday baptisms:
(4) Aila Haffner

Our guest, Justin Kron, enlightened all of us with the truth about Jesus our Passover Lamb!

Our guest, Justin Kron, enlightened all of us with the truth about Jesus our Passover Lamb!

As a result of Justin's teaching, celebrating communion will never be the same again!

After Justin’s teaching, celebrating communion will never be the same again!

My 2 favorite girls, with Donkey Molly on Palm Sunday

My 2 favorite girls, with Donkey Molly on Palm Sunday

Our Hammond campus set a new record attendance for a regular Sunday, with 408 worshippers today!

Our Hammond campus set a new record attendance for a regular Sunday, with 408 worshippers today!

The donkey was a BIG hit & his 3-year old son was the inspiration for Pastor Sam's message on "Why the Donkey?"

The donkey was a BIG hit & his 3-year old son was the inspiration for Pastor Sam’s message on “Why the Donkey?”

I LOVE the kids at every CLC campus - this little guy is from CLC-Blue Island

I LOVE the kids at every CLC campus – little Fernando is from CLC-Blue Island

And the 2 donkeys were a big hit at  Blue Island!

And the 2 donkeys were a big hit at Blue Island!

Our Blue Island campus said their goodbyes to Pastor Ben today by presenting him an autographed "I Am for Blue Island" t-shirt

Our Blue Island campus said their goodbyes to Pastor Ben today by presenting him an autographed “I Am for Blue Island” t-shirt

Sunday reflections

Sorry for poor lighting, but I preached to a full house at the TSK campus of New Life Fellowship tonight, with the translation from my friend, Pastor Samady.

Sorry for poor lighting, but I preached to a full house at the TSK campus of New Life Fellowship tonight, with the translation from my friend, Pastor Samady.

First, MY reflections from tonight’s services at New Life Fellowship in Cambodia:

  • I’m supposed to be here to give, but tonight I received as one of the young leaders from New Life Fellowship gave a ‘word’ that spoke directly to my heart! (Thank you, Jesus!)
  • I don’t have any pics, but Chris ministered a message about healing at the main campus of New Life, and many people responded – healings, demonstrations of the Holy Spirit, and more – powerful!
  • The highlight came after the service, as a young student from Turkmenistan that we first met about a year ago during one of our seminars agreed to meet us for dinner.  I have sensed that the hand of God was on him in a special way – learned today that he is a Muslim and tonight was his FIRST time ever in any church.  At dinner afterwards we were able to share with him and God gave Pastor Jesse a word of knowledge that I believe really helped to open his heart to the Lord.  Pics later!
Here's the promised pic - Pastors Jesse & Soar are the foreground and the young man from Turkmenistan is across from Chris and me.

Here’s the promised pic – Pastors Jesse & Soar are the foreground and the young man from Turkmenistan is across from Chris and me.

But just as importantly, I’m SO anxious to know how things were at CLC today, so I need YOUR reflections, too.  For the first time in a long, long time, I shared a message via video at each campus as we kicked off the “Only Jesus” series, and curious minds want to knowHOW WAS IT?

If you attended any service at any campus or online today, please leave your comments below:

  • what did you LEARN about the Virgin birth?
  • did you leave with a greater appreciation for the Word of God?
  • What impacted you the most?
  • (Be honest) was it difficult to receive from a video?

Feel free to expand beyond my questions to give YOUR report of how God ministered to you through the opening of our April series: 1920 x 300

Sunday reflections

Today is CLC's 27th Anniversary - while we didn't take time to celebrate in service, I'm thankful for the hundreds of people God has brought to us in across 19 different locations (6 in Chicagoland; 13 in the Philippines) since that opening day at Tinley Park High School on the last Sunday of March, 1990! Truly God is good, all the time!

Today is CLC’s 27th Anniversary – while we didn’t take time to celebrate in service, I’m thankful for the hundreds of people God has brought to us in across 19 different locations (6 in Chicagoland; 13 in the Philippines) since that opening day at Tinley Park High School on the last Sunday of March, 1990! Truly God is good, all the time!

We started this anniversary weekend with about 60 couples at a GREAT marriage retreat in Oak Brook, as we all got "N.A.K.E.D."

We started this anniversary weekend with about 60 couples at a GREAT marriage retreat in Oak Brook, as we all got “N.A.K.E.D.” (Nurtured, Affirmed & Known Every Day!)

This pic says it all: for 27 years, CLC has valued genuine WORSHIP!

This pic says it all: for 27 years, CLC has valued genuine WORSHIP, in Spirit & in truth!

Today we not only taught the Tinley Park campus how to use "Faith for your Family", but we were live streamed to the Marriage Retreat for their closing session.

Today we not only taught the Tinley Park campus how to use “Faith for your Family”, but we were live streamed to the Marriage Retreat for their closing session.

Pastors Brent & Sol taught marriage at Blue Island...

Pastors Brent & Sol taught marriage at Blue Island (in English)…

...while Jorge & Rocio translated into Spanish

…while Jorge & Rocio translated into Spanish

Who said KidsLife is all fun & games? Sometimes it's hard work that requires great concentration! Just ask these two cuties-

Who said KidsLife is all fun & games? Sometimes it’s hard work that requires great concentration! Just ask these two cuties-

But today's prize goes to our Hammond campus, where attendance continues to grow; CLC favorite Dee Wilson returned to lead a powerful time of worship, and the church family gave generously to send two students on a missions trip to Panama!

But today’s prize goes to our Hammond campus, where attendance continues to grow; CLC favorite Dee Wilson returned to lead a powerful time of worship, and the church family gave generously to send two students on a missions trip to Panama!

Just as importantly, Pastor Sam reports that Life Groups this season are the BEST ATTENDED in their history!

Just as importantly, Pastor Sam reports that Life Groups this season are the BEST ATTENDED in their history! Praise God for momentum in Hammond!

Pastor Herley contacted me to say that all 4 services at our Davao City campus were jam-packed today & even better, the awesome Presence of God filled the house in each service!

Pastor Herley contacted me to say that all 4 services at our Davao City campus were jam-packed today & even better, the awesome Presence of God filled the house in each service!

I am rejoicing over several salvation decisions that made this a really great anniversary, except for an announcement that I didn’t want to make:

 

 

Sunday reflections

Good to have Pastor Jon back in Tinley Park after a couple of weeks away!

Good to have Pastor Jon back in Tinley Park after a couple of weeks away!

Of course, the most important stuff each Sunday happens in KidsLife!

Of course, the most important stuff each Sunday happens in KidsLife!

I hope some people were helped today - the biggest takeaway may have come from Pastor Paul in Greece who said, "we've learned you don't need to have things for to be a giver. You just need to be there." SELAH

I hope some people were helped today – the biggest takeaway may have come from Pastor Paul in Greece who said, “you don’t need to have things for to be a giver. You just need to be there.” SELAH.

Our Hammond campus was over 300 in attendance for the third week in a row (ever since adding a second service!)

Our Hammond campus was over 300 in attendance for the third week in a row (ever since adding a second service!)

Pastor Ben taught in Hammond and MANY people accepted the 90-day tithe challenge!

Pastor Ben taught in Hammond and MANY people accepted the 90-day tithe challenge!

Welcome to our Blue Island campus (in English or Spanish!)

Welcome to our Blue Island campus (in English or Spanish – we have signs in both languages!)

KidsLife is FUN!

KidsLife is FUN!

Pastor Sol translated today's message for all the Spanish speakers

Pastor Sol translated today’s message for all the Spanish speakers

Pastor Brent shared the Word and inspired some  CLC'ers to take the tithe challenge

Pastor Brent shared the Word and inspired some CLC’ers to take the tithe challenge

DUH Moment #1 of the dayif you attended the first service in Tinley Park or Hammond, both Pastor Ben and I completely forgot to show the “rest of the story” from Rodney & Nikeya Young’s testimony has to how God blessed their entrepreneurial efforts after Rodney left a good-paying job when his company wanted him to be unethical.  (Sorry folks – but it’ll be up on our website soon)

DUH Moment #2 of the dayafter talking so much last week about confessing the promises of God’s Word (including meditating on them), I compiled appropriate verses on four different themes: God’s goodness, tithes & offerings, money management & God’s favor on your job, and we printed them for distribution at each campus.  But I completely forgot to mention them today!  The good news is that you can still get them next time you’re at any campus – help yourself at the Information Desk!

Sunday reflections

UGH! The Sunday when Daylight Savings Time begins is historically one of the lowest-attended Sundays of the year, and today was certainly no exception, with Tinley Park having almost 400 fewer worshippers today than last Sunday.  I’m glad that wasn’t the case at our other campuses!  Here’s a few bright spots from today:

Tinley Park Worship Director Harmony LaBeff introduced a new song that will be featured this Easter.

Tinley Park Worship Director Harmony LaBeff introduced a new song that will be featured this Easter, “RESURRECTING”

I tried to cover WAY too much material today with "How Faith Works", but the TP campus hung in there with me.

I tried to cover WAY too much material today with “How Faith Works”, but the TP campus hung in there with me.

The good news is that the altars were full in each service with people believing God's promises!

The good news is that the altars were full in each service with people believing God’s promises!

At the Hammond campus, we were over 300 in attendance again, despite DST!  Pastor Sam says the dance team was a highlight today during their presentation-

At the Hammond campus, we were over 300 in attendance again, despite DST! Pastor Sam says the dance team was a highlight today during their presentation-

Here's the SECRET behind God's blessing at each CLC campus: faithful volunteers serving with joy!

Here’s the SECRET behind God’s blessing at each CLC campus: faithful volunteers serving the Lord and His people with joy!

 

Sing Unto the Lord, Liane!

Sing Unto the Lord, Liane!

The Queen of object lessons strikes again

The Queen of object lessons strikes again

At the close of service in Blue Island, the whole congregation joined in faith-filled prayers for each other!

At the close of service in Blue Island, the whole congregation joined in faith-filled prayers for each other!

Sunday reflections

Let’s start with our Hammond campus, which added a second Sunday service today – and saw 382 people in attendance!  (That’s about 130 more than we’ve been averaging).

AND, 6 of those folks prayed to receive Christ today, including 3 from one family who were invited by a guest who just got baptized last Sunday!  (gotta love that!)

And 5 were baptized there today!  I know Pastors Sam & Taylor are still rejoicing, as am I!

Meanwhile, here’s some worship pics from there today:

faces in worship...

age is not a factor in worship…

young in worship...

young people worship…

every generation in worship...

every generation in worship…

men or women in worship...

men or women, white or black in worship…

everyone is WELCOME at our Hammond campus!

everyone is WELCOMED at our Hammond campus!

looks like our KidsLife at Blue Island have found a fun-loving Director in Harry Valentine!

looks like our KidsLife at Blue Island have found a fun-loving Director in Harry Valentine!

uh, looks like their Campus Pastor has fun while preaching...

uh, looks like their Campus Pastor has fun while preaching…

and you'll find a warm WELCOME at Blue Island, too!

and you’ll find a warm WELCOME at Blue Island, too!

Worship in Tinley Park was ALIVE today, too

Worship in Tinley Park was ALIVE today, too

and I definitely had more fun than you're supposed to have while preaching - I'm loving this new "Faith Gaps" series already!

and I definitely had more fun than you’re supposed to have while preaching (even though this pic doesn’t reflect it) – I’m loving this new “Faith Gaps” series already!

Rejoicing over every good thing happening at CLC in each campus – including new guests & prospects, more people in Growth Track, salvation decisions, baptisms, communion & more!  Say it with me, “God is good…all the time…and all the time…God is good!”

Sunday reflections

Doesn't Harmony's expression say it all? God is GOOD & His Presence filled the house today!

Doesn’t Harmony’s expression say it all? God is GOOD & His Presence filled the house today!

Worship Pastor Jon Jones showed us today that he can do more than 'sang' - he knocked it out of the park with "Inclusion" to close our 'That's MY Church' series!

Worship Pastor Jon Jones showed us today that he can do more than ‘sang’ – he knocked it out of the park with “Inclusion” to close our ‘That’s MY Church’ series!

Best of all, there were at least 10 people who prayed to receive Christ after Jon’s teaching today, plus numerous others who received emotional healing & freedom from the past!

Worship Pastor Jon Jones showed us today that he can do more than 'sang' - he knocked it out of the park with "Inclusion" to close our 'That's MY Church' series!

Jon had many great things to say, but my favorites were “Check yo self before you wreck yo self!” and “Good is Bad if it hinders you from Best”!  Teach, Jon, teach!!

I had the privilege of closing "TMC" series today in Blue Island-

I had the privilege of closing “TMC” series today in Blue Island-

But the REAL FUN was in KidsLife as Director Harry Valentine took one for the team (love the expression on the boy's face)

But the REAL FUN was in KidsLife as Director Harry Valentine took one for the team (love the expression on the boy’s face)

Yep, he did it.

Yep, he did it.

But the BEST report today came from our Hammond campus, where Pastor Sam says the worship was 'off the charts'!

But the BEST report today came from our Hammond campus, where Pastor Sam says the worship was ‘off the charts’!

Pastor Sam announced that NEXT Sunday they'll be going to 2 services at NWI!

Pastor Sam announced that NEXT Sunday they’ll be going to 2 services at NWI!

Best of all, as he ministered today on “The Full Ministry of the Holy Spirit”, people responded – as 3 were born-again (including a next-door neighbor who will be water baptized next week!) and several others were baptized in the Holy Spirit and received their prayer language!  The momentum for adding that second service is real, with another strong attendance today and perhaps a record attendance in Life Groups this past week!

Our teams there are preparing for two services & here's a couple of great VOLUNTEERS who will make it happen!

Our teams there are preparing for two services & here’s a couple of great VOLUNTEERS who will make it happen!

 

Sunday reflections

I was only able to be in the altar time during the noon service at Tinley Park, but I must say it was the atmosphere that I want for every Sunday!  When the Presence of God is that strong, it makes me weep and evidently I’m not alone, because I saw more tears in the auditorium today than I usually do in a month!  Thank you Jesus for your Presence!

One reason for the awesome Presence today is the way our Life Worship team led us INTO His Presence!

One reason for the awesome Presence today is the way our Life Worship team led us INTO His Presence!

Today was very special as we dedicated Mathias LaBranche to the Lord on Audrey's (his late mother) birthday. It was also special because about 50 members of her family were present to honor her memory & celebrate Mathias, whose name means "gift of God"

Today was very special as we dedicated Mathias LaBranche to the Lord on Audrey’s (his late mother) birthday. It was also special because about 50 members of her family were present to honor her memory & celebrate Mathias, whose name means “gift of God”

Pastor Chris reminded us all that the Full Ministry of the Holy Spirit is like using a power drill instead of a manual screwdriver!

Pastor Chris reminded us all that the Full Ministry of the Holy Spirit is like using a power drill instead of a manual screwdriver!

The prayer time around the altar in each service resulted in several physical healings & a LOT of tears!

The prayer time around the altar in each service resulted in several physical healings & a LOT of tears from CLC’ers hungry for more!

In Blue Island, the worship team brought His Presence!

In Blue Island, the worship team brought His Presence!

Our KidsLife Blue Island enjoyed some pie in the face today!

Our KidsLife Blue Island enjoyed some pie in the face today!

Pastor Brent illustrated how intercessors pray thru a window instead of in a mirror. Good word!

Pastor Brent illustrated how intercessors pray thru a window instead of in a mirror. Good word!

Today I was privileged to speak at our Hammond, IN campus - but I was so surprised to see several new musicians on stage leading us in worship there! Love how God brings gifted people along at just the right time!

Today I was privileged to speak at our Hammond, IN campus – but I was so surprised to see several new musicians on stage leading us in worship there! Love how God brings gifted people along at just the right time!

I was having such a good time in teaching that I let the time get away from me, but the congregation was kind, and best of all, at least 4 adults (who were ALL first-time guests!) prayed openly to receive Jesus as Savior today!  (Love how our Hammond campus is reaching people far from God!)

I was having such a good time in teaching that I let the time get away from me, but the congregation was kind, and best of all, at least 4 adults (who were ALL first-time guests!) prayed openly to receive Jesus as Savior today!  (Love how our Hammond campus is reaching people far from God!)

Hey, if you attended ANY service at ANY campus today, what impacted you the most?  Please join the conversation by leaving a comment below-

Sunday reflections

On this Super Bowl Sunday, our Davao City, Philippines campus is undisputed champion:

Pastor Joel making the salvation invitation to a packed house at one service

Pastor Joel making the salvation invitation to a packed house at one service

and they came!

and they came forward to receive!

and they kept coming!

and they kept coming!

in the 4 services today, literally HUNDREDS of people came forward for salvation at the Davao campus!

in their 4 services today, literally HUNDREDS of people came forward for salvation!

Pastor Jon hosted today in Tinley Park - loved the way he quoted the 23rd Psalm!

Pastor Jon hosted today in Tinley Park – loved the way he quoted the 23rd Psalm!

Everyone in my Life Group this week talked about how FRIENDLY Tinley Park is - and this pic captured some of that.

Everyone in my Life Group this week talked about how FRIENDLY Tinley Park is – and this pic captured some of that.

Our FAMILY EXPO is coming  March 11 - get more info at http://clc.tv/tinleypark/events/clc-family-fun-expo/

Our FAMILY EXPO is coming March 11 – get more info here.

GET NAKED is our annual Marriage Retreat this March 24-26.  Register TODAY (Feb. 5) ONLY and a $25 deposit holds your space!

GET NAKED is our annual Marriage Retreat this March 24-26. Register TODAY (Feb. 5) ONLY and a $25 deposit holds your space!

Pastor Sam reports a great day of worship at NWI-

Pastor Sam reports a great day of worship at NWI-

The 'prayer wall' at NWI is a list of people we're praying for salvation & inviting to the March 5 beginning of two services at NWI.

The ‘prayer wall’ at NWI is a list of people we’re praying for salvation & inviting to the March 5 beginning of two services at NWI.

Pastor Taylor welcomed two new members after Growth Track at NWI today!

Pastor Taylor welcomed two new members after Growth Track at NWI today!

Worship at Blue Island was anointed today!

Worship at Blue Island was anointed today!

And the congregation responded in praise!

And the congregation responded in praise!

My wife brought the word on our core value of "the full ministry of the Holy Spirit" (Supernatural Power)

My wife brought the word on our core value, “the full ministry of the Holy Spirit” (Supernatural Power)

Afterward, many people were indeed touched by the power of the Holy Spirit!

Afterward, many people were indeed touched by the power of the Holy Spirit!

Sunday reflections

 

Today was the kick-off for "That's MY Church" LifeGroup campaign

Today was the kick-off for “That’s MY Church” LifeGroup campaign

Loved having children of our praise team worship onstage for Family Sunday!

Loved having children of our praise team worship onstage for Family Sunday!

Baby dedications are always special at CLC - congrats, LaGenia Thompson & Laiyah!

Baby dedications are always special at CLC – congrats, Gina Thompson & Laiyah!

and congrats to Preston & Alisha Bouler for Preston III!

and congrats to Preston & Alisha Bouler for Preston III!

'Back to the Basics' went well, but I'm especially excited about the 20-25 CLC'ers who prayed PERSONALLY to make Jesus their Lord & Savior!

‘Back to the Basics’ went well, but I’m especially excited about the 20-25 CLC’ers who prayed PERSONALLY to make Jesus their Lord & Savior!

Pastor Sam says NWI set a new attendance record for a "non-event" Sunday & worship felt like a big family party!

Pastor Sam says NWI set a new attendance record for a “non-event” Sunday & worship felt like a big family party!

And congrats to Stephanie & baby Lea on her dedication today!

And congrats to Stephanie Daniels & baby Lea on her dedication today!

Love the simultaneous translation we offer for our Spanish speakers - that's what a MULTICULTURAL church does! (Kudos to Jorge Arevalo for translating today)

Love the simultaneous translation we offer in Blue Island for our Spanish speakers – that’s what a MULTICULTURAL church does! (Kudos to Jorge Arevalo for translating today)

Worship is bilingual, too!

Worship is bilingual, too!

Pastor Brent used the Vince Lombardi story in "Back to the Basics", too

Pastor Brent used the Vince Lombardi story in “Back to the Basics”, too

but perhaps the 'highlight' of the service was the close, when the entire congregation put their hands together in the 'huddle' and shouted, "That's MY Church!"

but perhaps the ‘highlight’ of the service was the close, when the entire congregation put their hands together in the ‘huddle’ and shouted, “That’s MY Church!”

Sunday reflections

This pic says it all for today's services at each CLC campus: "Here I am, Lord - send me!"

This pic says it all for today’s services at each CLC campus: “Here I am, Lord – send me!”

Our Executive Pastor is one versatile guy - leading, singing, playing - you never know where you'll see him next!

Our Executive Pastor is one versatile guy – leading, singing, playing – you never know where you’ll see him next!  Thanks, Pastor Ben Stewart!

I love our prayer ministers & the fact that anyone can receive prayer at any service!

I love our prayer ministers & the fact that anyone can receive prayer at any service!

Life Group sign-ups at each campus today for "That's MY Church" (which starts next Sunday!)

Life Group sign-ups at each campus today for “That’s MY Church” (which starts next Sunday!)

And we had several people sign up for a 2017 missions trip on this Missions Sunday!

And we had several people sign up for a 2017 missions trip on this Missions Sunday!

KidsLife in Blue Island is hands-on

KidsLife in Blue Island is hands-on

Pastor Chris preached "Send Me" in Blue Island today-

Pastor Chris preached “Send Me” in Blue Island today-

while Pastor Sol provided the Spanish translation-

while Pastor Sol provided the Spanish translation-

it seems the entire congregation at each campus is praying "Send Me" this week!

it seems the entire congregation at each campus is praying “Send Me” this week!

Great service at NWI today

Great service at NWI today

Pastor Sam preached "Send Me" and the entire congregation came forward to pray that DANGEROUS prayer!

Pastor Sam preached “Send Me” and the entire congregation came forward to pray that DANGEROUS prayer!

You heard us mention the flooding last week - this is Cagayan de Oro in northern Mindanao

You heard us mention the flooding last week – this is Cagayan de Oro in northern Mindanao

Our CLC congregation there asked for our help so they could assist others recover from the flooding.

Our CLC congregation there asked for our help so they could assist others recover from the flooding. (This pic is from their service this morning!)

  • If you want to help with any amount, click here and choose “emergency relief fund”
  • Pastor Herley sent me pics of 4 of our 13 CLC congregations in Mindanao from today’s worship services:
Our CLC congregation in Tagum, Mindanao today

Our CLC congregation in Tagum, Mindanao today (Pastors Jeser & Aying Molina)

Our CLC church at Insulan, Mindanao

Our CLC church at Insulan, Mindanao

of course, the 'mother' church, CLC-Davao City (Pastors Herley & Nelly Montes)

of course, the ‘mother’ church, CLC-Davao City (Pastors Herley & Nelly Montes)

That’s all from today’s Mission Sunday at CLC….now I’m going to enjoy the rest of this humiliation of the Green Bay Packers-

Weekend reflections

Honestly, if you were here or participated online, you don’t need any explanation; and if you weren’t able to be a part of our 2017 First Love Conference, there are no words!  But here’s a few pics:

This weekend was all about the FIRST LOVE CONFERENCE!

This weekend was all about the FIRST LOVE CONFERENCE!

Worship was wonderful in each session

Worship was wonderful in each session – especially “What a Beautiful Name” (apologies to the amazing SoP – this was my only pic)

Pastor Eddie Cupples' 3-part series in Tinley Park today was PRACTICAL nuggets on "Beginning Well, Finishing Strong"

Pastor Eddie Cupples’ 3-part series in Tinley Park today was PRACTICAL nuggets on “Beginning Well, Finishing Strong”

Our Hammond, IN campus featured a baby dedication

Our Hammond, IN campus featured a baby dedication

and Pastor Gordon Banks preached the house down!

then Pastor Gordon Banks preached the house down!

Blue Island had one of the largest attendances in their history!

Blue Island had one of the largest attendances in their history!

Our ONU students got in on what God is doing in Blue Island!

Our ONU students got in on what God is doing in Blue Island!

Prophet Denny Cramer gave 'words' to many

Prophet Denny Cramer gave ‘words’ to many

One more service to go: tonight at 5pm, with Dennis Cramer and then my pastor, Bishop Joseph Garlington.  Join us!

 

Sunday reflections

One of the highlights in Tinley Park was baptizing 4 young people at the 10am service!

One of the highlights in Tinley Park was baptizing 4 young people at the 10am service!

"Break Me" was a tough message to preach OR hear - but I'm rejoicing over 7 people who came forward to receive Christ at the 12pm service!

“Break Me” was a tough message to preach OR hear – but I’m rejoicing over 7 people who came forward to receive Christ at the 12pm service!

Pastor Sam agrees that "Break Me" was heavy at NWI, but he's excited about the largest New Member's class yet - welcome these new CLC'ers!

Pastor Sam agrees that “Break Me” was heavy at NWI, but he’s excited about the largest New Member’s class yet – welcome these new CLC’ers!

Pastor Brent says attendance was up on the 2nd Sunday of 2017 and the message was well-received, but what I mainly noticed is that someone has a REALLY CUTE granddaughter!

Pastor Brent says attendance was up on the 2nd Sunday of 2017 and the message was well-received, but what I mainly noticed is that someone has a REALLY CUTE granddaughter!

Let’s all “set our face toward God” during these next 3 days of prayer & fasting as we prepare our hearts for our annual…

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Weekend reflections

The worship & Presence of God at our NYE celebration was simply wonderful!

The worship & Presence of God at our NYE celebration was simply wonderful!

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Loved the challenges from both NWI Campus Pastor, Sam and BI Campus Pastor, Brent shortly before the end of 2016

Loved the challenges from both NWI Campus Pastor, Sam and BI Campus Pastor, Brent shortly before the end of 2016

May God bring to pass each of the prophetic words HE gave Chris for 2017!

May God bring to pass each of the prophetic words HE gave Chris for 2017!

"Search Me" seemed to be a great Kick-Off to "Dangerous Prayers" series - last night and at each campus today

“Search Me” seemed to be a great Kick-Off to “Dangerous Prayers” series – last night and at each campus today

Chris brought the 'Search Me' message to NWI, and Pastor Sam said she REALLY preached & he loved her transparency.

Chris brought the ‘Search Me’ message to NWI, and Pastor Sam said she REALLY preached & he loved her transparency.

Brent brought the message at Blue Island - and the new translation system reduced their service time by almost half an hour!

Brent brought the message at Blue Island – and the new translation system reduced their service time by almost half an hour!

As much as he enjoyed teaching with the new equipment, I think he missed having this beauty by his side (today she was the translator on the other side of the ear phones)

As much as he enjoyed teaching with the new equipment, I think he missed having this beauty by his side (today she was the Spanish translator on the other side of the ear phones)

and for those of you who may have missed it this weekend, here’s a video recap of 2016:

Christian Life Center 2016 Year in Review from Christian Life Center on Vimeo.

 

Sunday reflections

At NWI today, Pastor Sam jokingly said, "if you're a first time guest, join me onstage & share your testimony" and before he could explain he was joking, this young lady came up, gave a great testimony & received a standing ovation from the congregation! Gotta love CLC!!

At NWI today, Pastor Sam jokingly said, “if you’re a first time guest, join me onstage & share your testimony” and before he could explain he was joking, this young lady came up, gave a great testimony & received a standing ovation from the congregation! Gotta love CLC!!

And I hear that Pastor Sam preached the paint off the walls today!

And I hear that Pastor Sam preached the paint off the walls today!

Love the holiday look at NWI-

Love the holiday look at NWI-

Here's a reason the worship at CLC-Blue Island is anointed: Alan Franklin leads the whole team in prayer every Sunday!

Here’s a reason the worship at CLC-Blue Island is anointed: Alan Franklin leads the whole team in prayer every Sunday!

Looks like BI KidsLife Director Harry Valentine plays a mean Air Guitar-

Looks like BI KidsLife Director Harry Valentine plays a mean Air Guitar- (even better, looks like the kids like it, too!)

Pastors Brent & Sol brought a message from the movie, "Christmas Story" that connected well & one person prayed to receive Christ & some other new families responded as well!

Pastors Brent & Sol brought a message from the movie, “Christmas Story” that connected well & one person prayed to receive Christ & some other new families responded as well!

After service, the Core leadership team had a Christmas party with some friendly 'gingerbread house construction' competition. This team won the "Most Beautiful" prize-

After service, the Core leadership team had a Christmas party with some friendly ‘gingerbread house construction’ competition. This team won the “Most Beautiful” prize for their creation-

I was told this team received the prize for "Ugliest House" (but I don't believe it)

I was told this team received the prize for “Ugliest House” (but I don’t believe it)

needless to say, the competition was pretty intense

needless to say, the competition was pretty intense

and the end results were A-MAZING!

and the end results were A-MAZING!

You must agree: CLC'ers are a creative bunch!

You must agree: CLC’ers are a creative bunch!

 

Jingle Jam featured the "Perfect Christmas Story" from our own Ms. Angie

Jingle Jam featured the “Perfect Christmas Story” from our own Ms. Angie

And of course, Mr. Joel and the Honorable Reginald Fastidious proved a picture is worth a thousand words

And of course, Mr. Joel and the Honorable Reginald Fastidious proved a picture is worth a thousand words

even the "Hoof game" showed us that there's nothing like WINNING

even the “Hoof game” showed us that there’s nothing like WINNING (special thanks to Pastor Micah…er, I mean Guy Corvette for serving as our Game Host)

Lest you think it was all fun & games, I'm glad that Harmony LaBeff & the SoP brought us into His Presence, too!

Lest you think it was all fun & games, I’m glad that Harmony LaBeff & the SoP brought us into His Presence, too!

Sunday reflections

It's always good to have Pastor Jon Jones in the house! (And Tony Powell killed the solo of

It’s always good to have Pastor Jon Jones in the house! 

And Tony Powell KILLED it on "Give Thanks"!

And Tony Powell KILLED it on “Give Thanks”!

Loved getting to kick-off our "Christmas@the Movies" series today with 'ELF'! (I think the Elves Code is good for all of us!)

Loved getting to kick-off our “Christmas@the Movies” series today with ‘ELF’! (I think the Elves Code is good for all of us!)  And I’m rejoicing over at least 10-12 people who prayed to receive Christ!

Today was MISSIONS Sunday - if you want to help the Syrian refugee crisis, just designate your online gift to "missions"

Today was MISSIONS Sunday – if you want to help the Syrian refugee crisis, just designate your online gift to “missions”

  • Pastor Ben preached ‘ELF’ at NWI today as Pastor Sam was on vacation, and he says it was a really good service, with one salvation decision, three people participating in growth track and a great response to the message!
The Blue Island "Elf" was a big hit for photos today!

The Blue Island “Elf” was a big hit for photos today!

Pastor Brent preached 'ELF' with translation by Jorge Arevalo - and 2 people prayed to receive Christ afterwards!

Pastor Brent preached ‘ELF’ with translation by Jorge Arevalo – and 2 people prayed to receive Christ afterwards!

KidsLife remodeling at Blue Island is complete & our children love it!

KidsLife remodeling at Blue Island is complete & our children love it!

And on Missions Sunday in Blue Island we promoted the 2017 trip to Siberia - it's not too late to sign up!

And on Missions Sunday in Blue Island we promoted the 2017 trip to Siberia – it’s not too late to sign up!

 

Sunday reflections from KENYA

 

It's been 12-15 years since I was here with the Hatley's, and the development of their property is amazing - beautiful church auditorium & a choir to lead us in worship today-

It’s been 12-15 years since I was here with the Hatley’s, and the development of their property is amazing – beautiful church auditorium & a choir to lead us in worship today-

I especially enjoyed this children's trio of RAPPERS for Jesus! I'm not sure what they sang, but it was too cute!

I especially enjoyed this children’s trio of RAPPERS for Jesus! I’m not sure what they sang, but it was too cute!

I preached how God wants to do "new things" in them this next year.

I preached how God wants to do “new things” in them this next year.

After I preached & made the salvation invitation, Pastor David called people forward - and one new guest man wept his way to salvation thru Christ!

After I preached and made the salvation invitation, Pastor David called them forward – and one new first-time guest wept his way to salvation thru Christ!

One Sunday a month the various ministries have a meeting after service, so I taught the Men's Ministry session - these are a few of the men as Pastor David prayed over them to close the meeting.

One Sunday a month the various ministries have a meeting after service, so I taught the Men’s Ministry session – these are a few of the men as Pastor David prayed over them to close out.

That completed MY Sunday here in Nairobi, but as a pastor, I’m always curious about things at home.  If you attended any service at any campus of CLC today, please leave your thoughts about the service you attended:

  • what was your favorite part?
  • how did the Holy Spirit minister to you through the teaching?
  • what was your takeaway for this week?

I look forward to being home Tuesday and can’t wait to see all of you next Sunday for the kick-off of “Christmas@the Movies” with ‘ELF’ – invite a friend!

Sunday reflections

Today was a real day of celebration:

We celebrated our VETERANS in each service!

We celebrated our VETERANS in each service!

We celebrated with BETH SNYDER as she sealed her life-change through our Celebrate Recovery ministry by being baptized today! (1 of 6 adult baptisms!)

We celebrated with BETH SNYDER as she sealed her life-change through our Celebrate Recovery ministry by being baptized today! (1 of 6 adult baptisms!)

We celebrated JESUS as our King of Kings, after this week's tumultuous election!

We celebrated JESUS as our King of Kings, after this week’s tumultuous election!

We celebrated with DONALD SINGLETON who gave a touching testimony prior to his water baptism today!

We celebrated with DONALD SINGLETON who gave a touching testimony prior to his water baptism today!

We celebrated with our TITHES & OFFERING as Pastor Ben led us!

We celebrated with our TITHES & OFFERING as Pastor Ben led us!

And I celebrated a RESPONSIVE CONGREGATION at the 10am service - you guys just pulled the anointing out of me!

And I celebrated a RESPONSIVE CONGREGATION at the 10am service – you guys just pulled the anointing out of me, and it’s fun preaching when you do that!

  • No pics, but we celebrated with double-digits of folks who prayed to receive Christ.  In fact, my favorite moment of the day was when a mom came to me after the 10am service to tell me that her 16-year old daughter who has battled against depression (was hospitalized for being suicidal) and had even doubted there is a God, wept all through the message last Sunday and today prayed to receive Christ!
Pastor Sam said worship at NWI today was strong and they had a powerful time of prayer for our nation!

Pastor Sam said worship at NWI today was strong and they had a powerful time of prayer for our nation!

He also said my wife really connected today with the message

He also said my wife really connected today with the message at NWI.

Blue Island responded well in worship...

Blue Island responded well in worship…

I love how our children receive prayer each Sunday at Blue Island before going to their classes-

I love how our children receive prayer each Sunday at Blue Island before going to their classes-

Pastor Brent brought the Word with Jorge Arevalo translating into Spanish

Pastor Brent brought the Word with Jorge Arevalo translating into Spanish

What did you celebrate today?

 

Sunday reflections

I’m loving this emotional healing series, and today was a GOOD day at each CLC campus:

This guy took us "in" today - and 'The Cross Has the Final Word' is my new FAVORITE song! (Thanks, Harmony LaBeff & SoP!)

This guy took us “in” today – and ‘The Cross Has the Final Word’ is my new FAVORITE song! (Thanks, Harmony LaBeff & SoP!)

Loved the great reports of revival underground in IRAN from our ELAM missions partner, Tom Hawksley!

Loved the great reports of revival underground in IRAN from our ELAM missions partner, Tom Hawksley!

The story of Absalom made for a heavy message at each campus today-

The story of Absalom made for a heavy message at each campus today-

Every scrap of paper represents someone who was SET FREE from past hurts today!  Praise God for the power of forgiveness!

Every scrap of paper represents someone who was SET FREE from past hurts today! Praise God for what happens when we CHOOSE to forgive!

Worship during "Show Up Sunday" at NWI was great!

Worship during “Show Up Sunday” at NWI was great!

I'm convinced the CUTEST kids in Chicagoland attend KidsLife at CLC!

I’m convinced the CUTEST kids in Chicagoland attend KidsLife at CLC!

Besides the great response to the message & lots of CLC'ers set free, Pastor Sam was excited to welcome new member (and recent college grad) Gabby, who is already playing her violin with the NWI worship team!

Besides the great response to the message & lots of CLC’ers set free, Pastor Sam was excited to welcome new member (and recent college grad) Gabby, who is already playing her violin with the NWI worship team! (L to R: Sam, Gabby, Taylor & Carol Terrell)

Our Blue Island campus is truly CLC, because we're a "huggy church"!

Our Blue Island campus is truly CLC, because we’re a “huggy church”!

Pastor Chris preached the Absalom message with real anointing

Pastor Chris preached the Absalom message with real anointing

The response to the message was beautiful, and many received emotional healing as they chose to forgive!

The response to the message was beautiful, and many received emotional healing as they chose to forgive!

 

Sunday reflections

Kids dancing during the opening song was a great way to kick-off today's Family Sunday!

Kids dancing during the opening song was a great way to kick-off today’s Family Sunday!

My favorite pic of the day: when I prayed for Tony Velez (son of Paul & Tanya), he decided to "lay hands" on me!

My favorite pic of the day: when I prayed for Tony Velez (son of Paul & Tanja), prior to the formal dedication in service, he decided to “lay hands” on me!

Baby dedications are always a special moment, and today was no exception for two fine little men!

Baby dedications are always a special moment, and today was no exception for two fine little men, Ashton Pittman on the left and Tony Velez on the right!

The joy of today's message was seeing people pray to receive Christ in EACH service today - that just never gets old!

The joy of today’s message was seeing people pray to receive Christ in EACH service today – that just never gets old!

The NWI praise team was GREAT today!

The NWI praise team was ON FIRE today!

The NWI KidsLife dance team brought energy to their Family Sunday!

The NWI KidsLife dance team brought energy to their Family Sunday!

Today was the FIRST TIME he young boy pictured here with his dad & Pastor Sam had EVER stepped foot in any church and he was one of three who gave his life to the Lord today! (Afterwards, he said to Pastor Sam, "I'll see you next week!")

Today was the FIRST TIME he young boy pictured here with his dad & Pastor Sam had EVER stepped foot in any church and he was one of three who gave his life to the Lord today! (Afterwards, he said to Pastor Sam, “I’ll see you next week!”)  Love it!!!

Our Blue Island campus had their largest attendance in several months today

Our Blue Island campus had their largest attendance in several months today

The strong attendance included some guests who came for a baby dedication on this Family Sunday (There were 6 babies dedicated across 3 campuses today: 3 at NWI, 2 in TP and 1 in Blue Island!)

The strong attendance included some guests who came for a baby dedication on this Family Sunday (6 babies were dedicated across 3 campuses: 3 at NWI, 2 in TP and 1 in Blue Island!)

David Castro, son of was presented to the Lord this morning at Blue Island-

David Castro, son of Dan & Maribel Castro, was presented to the Lord this morning at Blue Island-

Our kids are enjoying their new classroom in Blue Island

Our kids are enjoying Sol’s teaching in Blue Island-

Pastor Brent brought the truth about Samson (and us) as Jorge Arevalo interpreted

Pastor Brent brought the truth about Samson (and us) as Jorge Arevalo interpreted

I’d call that a GOOD day at CLC!

Sunday reflections

n2-2

Today was the climax of our N2 series, and what a powerful day it was with Dr. Patricia Bailey as our guest at the Tinley Park campus!

The Dance Team made His Praise glorious today!

The Dance Team made His Praise glorious today!

  • We also rejoiced with John Watanabe, a new believer who was baptized today!
Dr. Bailey was "in our face" all day, and we needed it! So appreciate her ministry!

Dr. Bailey was “in our face” all day, and we needed it! So appreciate her ministry!

We prayed over the Kenya team that will be leaving later this week to serve our missionary partners, David & Jennifer Hatley.

Altars were full in each service after Dr. Bailey’s challenge for CLC’ers to GO on a missions trip-

We prayed over the Kenya missions team that will be leaving later this week for Nairobi, to serve our partners, David & Jennifer Hatley

We prayed over the Kenya missions team that will be leaving later this week for Nairobi, to serve our partners, David & Jennifer Hatley

Pastor Sam is proud of NWI teens who serve in KidsLife - and rightfully so!

Pastor Sam is proud of some NWI teens who serve in KidsLife – and rightfully so!

Chris preached her heart for missions at NWI, and was well-received today.

Chris preached her heart for missions at NWI, and was well-received today.

Our amazing Blue Island Worship Director, Alan Franklin!

Our amazing Blue Island Worship Director, Alan Franklin!

We are called to reach children & young families.  (Yes, we are!)

We are called to reach children & young families. (Yes, we are!)

Pastor Brent shared his heart for missions, and Blue Islander's responded (it looks like about 10 people are committed to go to Siberia next summer!)  God's heart is our heart!

Pastor Brent shared his heart for missions, and Blue Islander’s responded afterwards (it looks like about 10 people are committed to go to Siberia next summer!) God’s heart is our heart!

Sunday reflections

Today was all about MISSIONS!

Today was all about MISSIONS!

(Speaking of the International Dinner at Tinley Park next Sunday, October 16 at 6pm, get your tickets while they’re still available!)

Even without our Worship Pastor or TP Worship Director, this TEAM led us into God's strong Presence!

Even without our Worship Pastor or TP Worship Director, this TEAM led us into God’s strong Presence!

Today was my "one shot" for 2016 to share my heart for missions-

Today was my “one shot” for 2016 to share my heart for missions-

I realize that I'm a proud father, but in my humble opinion, Jen did an amazing job of sharing how missions trips have changed her life!

But I was happy to share the pulpit with my one-and-only daughter.  I realize that I’m a proud father, but in my humble opinion, Jen did an amazing job of sharing how missions trips have changed her life in at least 5 ways!

Our other 2 campuses followed suit today as well - Pastor Sam shared with NWI how missions trips to the Philippines and Colombia changed his life (pic on screen from his first visit to Philippines)

Our other 2 campuses followed suit today as well – Pastor Sam shared with NWI how missions trips to the Philippines and Colombia changed his life (pic on screen from his first visit to Philippines)

Pastor Jon Jones led worship at the Blue Island campus with this passionate team of singers & musicians!

Pastor Jon Jones led worship at the Blue Island campus with this passionate team of singers & musicians!

Pastor Brent shared how missions trips have impacted his life, while Sol interpreted

Pastor Brent shared how missions trips have impacted his life, while Sol interpreted

Tonight was the NWI International Dinner and besides foods from several nations & cultures, we enjoyed a Mexican folk dance and a special guest from Compassion International (Matt Kitchen) and most of all, some excited NWI’ers signing up for 2017 Missions trips and/or sponsoring children in Kenya & the Philippines thru Compassion!

Matt Kitchen from Compassion International challenged all of us with "What are YOU going to do about it?"

Matt Kitchen from Compassion International challenged all of us with “What are YOU going to do about it?”

So my wife and I decided to sponsor this little 6-year old from Mindanao, Philippines

So my wife and I decided to sponsor this little 6-year old from Mindanao, Philippines!

It’s not TOO LATE – you can visit the Compassion Experience on Monday, October 10 between noon and 8pm – make your reservation here.

 

Sunday reflections

Today was a good day to SURRENDER to God's call! (Paula Thornton & the SoP led the way)

Today was a good day to SURRENDER to God’s call! (Paula Thornton & the SoP led the way)

Don Finto was AMAZING at 86 years young! I still can't get over his animated recitation of the entire 11th chapter of Romans at the 10am service! His writings impacted my life 8 years ago, but today was the icing on the cake!

Don Finto was AMAZING at 86 years young! I still can’t get over his animated recitation of the entire 11th chapter of Romans at the 10am service! His writings impacted my life 8 years ago, but today was the icing on the cake!

And what a treat it was to have his "son", Tod McDowell, minister in tandem with Don today! (Powerful combo from the Caleb Company!)

And what a treat it was to have his “son”, Tod McDowell, minister in tandem with Don today! (Powerful combo from the Caleb Company!)

Joe & Danielle Stone cooked breakfast for the entire NWI First Touch team today & it was great to see everyone connecting!

Joe & Danielle Stone cooked breakfast for the entire NWI First Touch team today & it was great to see everyone connecting in unity!

NWI added a new member today-

NWI added a new member today-

And Tod McDowell brought the Word to NWI today-

And Tod McDowell brought the Word to NWI today-

Then tonight was the FIRST of our three “International Dinners”, and I must say that Blue Island set the bar high for NWI and Tinley Park these next two Sundays:

"Spirit Lead Me" was the theme, and I was thrilled with the response by Blue Islander's!

“Spirit Lead Me” was the theme, and I was thrilled with the response by Blue Islander’s!

CLC is offering NINE different missions trips in 2017!

CLC is offering NINE different missions trips in 2017!

I'm reminded of the Scripture when Jesus fed the 5,000......

I’m reminded of the Scripture when Jesus fed the 5,000……

.....and they ALL ate.....

…..and they ALL ate…..

.....and were SATISFIED!

…..and were SATISFIED!

Can’t wait to do it all over again NEXT Sunday, at NWI!

 

Sunday reflections

Our NWI campus celebrated their 3rd birthday this weekend, with special services Thursday, Friday & Saturday and a BIG celebration today!  Kudos to Pastors Sam & Taylor & the entire NWI "Dream Team" of volunteers!

Our NWI campus celebrated their 3rd birthday this weekend, with special services Thursday, Friday & Saturday and a BIG celebration today! Kudos to Pastors Sam & Taylor & the entire NWI “Dream Team” of volunteers!

Speaking of 'Dream Team', our team of musicians & singers at the Blue Island campus do an amazing job of leading worship in two languages each Sunday!

Speaking of ‘Dream Team’, our team of musicians & singers at the Blue Island campus do an amazing job of leading worship in two languages each Sunday!

Pastor Brent preached "N2 & U" with Jorge Arevalo translating into Spanish

Pastor Brent preached “N2 & U” with Jorge Arevalo translating into Spanish

And 5 new CLC'ers completed our Growth Track at CLC-Blue Island!

And 5 new CLC’ers completed our Growth Track at CLC-Blue Island!

 

Worship at Tinley Park today featured 3 great female soloists (Heather & Tiffany pictured here)

Worship at Tinley Park today featured 3 great female soloists (Heather & Tiffany pictured here)

and Kara makes 3!

and Kara makes 3!

Worship Pastor Jon Jones brought a timely word about INTENTIONALITY today!

Worship Pastor Jon Jones brought a timely word about INTENTIONALITY today, and someone gave their life to Christ in each service!

And as usual, the LOBBY was BUSY with CLC'ers and guests navigating Life Groups, 5K registration, international dinner tickets & volunteering for the Compassion Experience!

And as usual, the LOBBY was BUSY with CLC’ers and guests navigating Life Groups, 5K registration, international dinner tickets & volunteering for the Compassion Experience!

That’s all for CLC today.  Next up: watching the hapless Bears play the Cowboys tonight-

Sunday reflections

We ended the ‘Family Matters’ series on a high note today at each campus:

As usual, Harmony & team led us into God's Presence

As usual, Harmony & team led us into God’s Presence in Tinley Park-

Chris reminded us how important it is for EACH part of the body to do it's work - even if it's a BIG MOUTH!

Chris reminded us how important it is for EACH part of the body to do it’s work – even if it’s a BIG MOUTH!

The lobby was JAM-PACKED after each service with CLC'ers signing up for the next season of Life Groups

The lobby was JAM-PACKED after each service with CLC’ers signing up for the next season of Life Groups!  If you didn’t choose yours, you can do so next Sunday or at www.clc.tv

  • Best of all, people gave their life to Christ in EACH service today!
With today's theme, it's great to see kids of all ages SERVING at our NWI campus!

With today’s theme, it’s great to see kids of all ages SERVING at our NWI campus!

Pastor Ben brought the message at NWI, and Entheos students were his sermon illustration

Pastor Ben brought the message at NWI, and Entheos students were his sermon illustration

 

NWI altars were full after the message-

NWI altars were full after the message-

Meanwhile, in Blue Island, worship was great today as Alan and his team led us.

Meanwhile, in Blue Island, worship was great today as Alan and his team led us.

 

 

Pastor Brent illustrated the benefit of being under the umbrella (covering) of an anointed local church

Pastor Brent illustrated the benefit of being under the umbrella (covering) of an anointed local church

versus what happens when we are out from under that covering of the local church

versus what happens when we are out from under that covering of the local church

Enjoy this last week of “Family Matters” small groups before we launch N2!

Sunday reflections

On this 15th Anniversary of the day almost 3,000 Americans lost their lives on 9/11, it was GREAT to celebrate new life in Christ through water baptism with 2 CLC’ers:

Shayanna White being baptized by Pastor Josh

Shayanna White being baptized by Pastor Josh

Anne Richmond enjoyed a beautiful moment with the Lord in baptism

Anne Richmond enjoyed a beautiful moment with the Lord in the waters of baptism!

Love this team; LOVE the Presence of God even more!

Love this team; LOVE the Presence of God even more!

'Strategic Parenting' was a strong word to parents, but we all got thru it!

‘Strategic Parenting’ was a strong word to parents, but we all got thru it!

Alan Franklin is Da MAN at our Blue Island campus - he faithfully leads us into the Presence each week!

Alan Franklin is Da MAN at our Blue Island campus – he faithfully leads us into the Presence each week!

Worship is a hallmark of every CLC campus

Worship is a hallmark of every CLC campus

Pastor Brent threw marbles on the floor to make a point in Blue Island

Pastor Brent threw marbles on the floor to make a point in Blue Island

Hammond Firefighters were honored on this anniversary of 9/11 at our NWI campus

Hammond Firefighters were honored on this anniversary of 9/11 at our NWI campus

Best news of the day for me: we more than doubled the number of Life Group leaders in Tinley Park during the ‘Family Matters’ campaign, and at our meeting this afternoon it appears ALL of them are going to continue to lead during the next semester!!!

 

 

Sunday reflections

 

One of four services today at CLC-Davao!

One of four services today at CLC-Davao!

I hope you’ve enjoyed keeping up with our travels here in the Philippines, but like always, part of my heart is in Chicagoland today with our CLC campuses.  I really want to know:  how were the services at CLC today?

If you attended ANY CLC campus (Blue Island, NWI, Tinley Park, or online) please leave a comment below to tell us

  • how did the Holy Spirit minister to you?
  • what was your favorite part of the service today?
  • what was your main takeaway from the teaching?

Thanks for leaving your comments – curious pastors want to know!

Philippines, day 4 (Sunday in Davao)

Bishop Herley Montes exhorting us before we received communion together (CLC'ers note Erik in the red pants, still shredding the guitar!)

Bishop Herley Montes exhorting us before we received communion together (CLC’ers note Erik at far left in the red pants, still shredding the guitar!)

After I ministered about prayer today, Pastor Herley gave the altar invitation and these precious people came forward for salvation. (What God is doing in the Philippines is AMAZING - our campus in Davao has grown from less than 500 to more than 2,000 in just the past 7 years!)

After I ministered about prayer today, Pastor Herley gave the altar invitation and these precious people came forward for salvation.

Pastor Herley led the prayer for all those who responded.

Pastor Herley led the prayer for all those who responded.(What God is doing in the Philippines is AMAZING – our campus in Davao has grown from less than 500 to more than 2,000 in just the past 7 years!)

Chris preached at CLC-Tagum this morning, but returned in time to preach the 3rd Sunday service in Davao this afternoon.

Chris preached at CLC-Tagum this morning, but returned in time to preach the 3rd Sunday service in Davao this afternoon.

and she was quite proud of herself when the balloon trick worked!

and she was quite proud of herself when the balloon trick worked!

Tonight was another FIRST - the fan blew my notes so much this morning that I decided to go hi-tech & preach from my laptop! (Don't expect to see that at home)

Tonight was the 4th Sunday service at CLC-Davao and another FIRST for me – the fan blew my notes so much this morning that I decided to go hi-tech & preach from my laptop! (Don’t expect to see this at home)

At least 18 people came forward afterwards to receive Jesus!  I'll say it again: what God is doing in the Philippines is AMAZING!

At least 18 people came forward afterwards to receive Jesus! I’ll say it again: what God is doing in the Philippines is AMAZING!

Now it’s time for some sleep before we begin the FIRST-EVER CLC-Philippines Convention tomorrow morning with all 11 of our campuses – pray for great anointing on all our meetings!

Sunday reflections

Love the fact that our worship ministry is a TEAM effort!  Kudos to Kara May on today's opening song-

Love the fact that our worship ministry is a TEAM effort! Kudos to Kara May on today’s opener-

And Tiffany Hines was terrific on "Spirit, Come Down"

And Tiffany Hines was terrific on “Spirit, Come Down”

Chris and I had more fun than should be legal in church - but what I'm grateful for is the Word has power of its own fulfillment, and lives were changed today!

Chris and I had more fun than should be legal in church – but what I’m grateful for is the Word has power of its own fulfillment, and lives were changed today!

Kudos to the Praise Team at NWI, too - today led by Taneisha Aranda & Danielle Stringfellow

Kudos to the Praise Team at NWI, too – today led by Taneisha Aranda & Danielle Stringfellow!

Pastors Sam & Taylor team-taught at NWI and so many couples came forward for prayer that they were still praying 30 minutes after dismissal today!  Family Matters!!!

Pastors Sam & Taylor team-taught at NWI and so many couples came forward for prayer that they were still praying 30 minutes after dismissal today! Family Matters!!!

Our Blue Island campus enjoyed "Praise in the Park" today

Our Blue Island campus enjoyed “Praise in the Park” today, along with the Police & Fire Chiefs and the Mayor of Blue Island!

Len Stallworth led a prayer over Blue Island Police (with Cesar Giron translating)

Len Stallworth led a prayer over Blue Island Police (with Cesar Giron translating)

Charity Freeman led a prayer for Blue Island firemen (with Rocio Arevalo translating)

Charity Freeman led a prayer for Blue Island firemen (with Rocio Arevalo translating)

 

Mayor Domingo Vargas greeted everyone and thanked us for praying for him and the city.  All of the city officials, firemen & policemen were given a CLC "I AM for Blue Island" t-shirt, too!

Mayor Domingo Vargas greeted everyone and thanked us for praying for him and the city. All of the city officials, firemen & policemen were given a CLC “I AM for Blue Island” t-shirt, too!

I’d call that a good day at CLC’s Chicagoland campuses!

Finally, several people asked me today for a copy of the letter I read at the close of service in Tinley Park, so here it is – just click on the link: Dear Daddy

Sunday reflections

This guy right here?  LOVE him!  In fact, I love our entire worship team & band, because they're all ANOINTED!

This guy right here? LOVE him! In fact, I love our entire worship team & band, because they’re all ANOINTED! 

It's always FUN team-teaching with this lady, and today was no exception!

It’s always FUN team-teaching with this lady, and today was no exception!

Know what I liked best about week 2 of "Family Matters"? Married couples holding hands & praying together!

Know what I liked best about week 2 of “Family Matters”? Married couples holding hands & praying together!

Know what I liked best about week 2 of "Family Matters"? Married couples holding hands & praying together! (Even in the soft seating area, while children wondered what was going on)

Know what I liked best about week 2 of “Family Matters”? Married couples holding hands & praying together! (Even in the soft seating area, while children wondered what was going on)

Know what I liked best about week 2 of "Family Matters"? Married couples holding hands & praying together - all over the auditorium!

Know what I liked best about week 2 of “Family Matters”? Married couples holding hands & praying together – all over the auditorium!

Love how our Blue Island campus prays over the children each Sunday before sending them to their KidsLife class.

Love how our Blue Island campus prays over the children each Sunday before sending them to their KidsLife class.

Love KidsLife at EVERY CLC campus - our children are our priority!

Love KidsLife at EVERY CLC campus – our children are our priority!

Pastors Brent & Sol brought today's "Laying the Foundation" message in Blue Island in both English & Spanish

Pastors Brent & Sol brought today’s “Laying the Foundation” message in Blue Island in both English & Spanish!

 

And it was just a beautiful to see couples praying together in Blue Island!

And it was just a beautiful to see couples praying together in Blue Island!

Christian Washington "killin' it" as service host at our NWI campus

Christian Washington “killin’ it” as service host at our NWI campus

KC Mahoney has been attending CLC since he was 3, and part of the NWI campus since it started.  He was baptized August 7 at the beach & shared his testimony today!  Love our KidsLife kids!!!

KC Mahoney has been attending CLC since he was 3, and part of the NWI campus since it started. He was baptized August 7 at the beach & shared his testimony today (with Mom Karen at his side)! Love our KidsLife kids!!!

Best of all, we had folks making salvation decisions AND more folks agreeing to host a Family Matters group and still others getting connected to a Family Matters group today at each campus!

It’s NOT too late – find a group that fits you here, or join our online group here!

Sunday reflections

Our new series is finally off & running! Here's a few thoughts from today at CLC:

Our new series is finally off & running! Here’s a few thoughts from today at CLC:

Not quite as many as the 34 baptisms last week at NWI, but we did baptize 3 people today at the Tinley campus, including Miles Adams!

Not quite as many as the 34 baptisms last week at NWI, but we did baptize 3 people today at the Tinley campus, including Miles Adams pictured here! (Thanks, Pastor Josh)

Loved this shot of the congregation in worship!

Loved this shot of the congregation in worship!

Prayer for all our teachers & educators as they return to the classroom this week - CLC has a TON of educators, which means we have influence w/the next generation!

Prayer for all our teachers & educators as they return to the classroom this week – CLC has a TON of educators, which means we have influence w/the next generation, because “Teachers touch many hearts!”

I actually heard from Singles AND Marrieds that the Word helped them today, so I'm grateful for anointing, especially since I didn't have Chris to lean on!

I actually heard from Singles AND Marrieds that the Word helped them today, so I’m grateful for anointing, especially since I didn’t have Chris to lean on!

  • We added at least 11 more host homes for ‘Family Matters’ today – it’s NOT TOO LATE for you to volunteer – whether you want to meet in your home, at your workplace, a coffee shop or wherever!  Remember, you and a couple of friends makes a great group! Volunteer by clicking this link now!
At our NWI campus we prayed over all our children and educators as they return to school - powerful!

At our NWI campus we prayed over all our children and educators as they return to school – powerful!

 

 Daisy Esparza gave an awesome testimony of how her thyroid was healed after 2 years!

Daisy Esparza gave an awesome testimony of how her thyroid was healed after 2 years!

  • Best of all, there were 4 salvation decisions after the message at NWI!
Our Blue Island worship team is SO faithful in leading us into God's Presence!

Our Blue Island worship team is SO faithful in leading us into God’s Presence!

Our Blue Island campus pastors were back in town after vacation to preach the opening message of 'Family Matters'

Our Blue Island campus pastors were back in town after vacation to preach the opening message of ‘Family Matters’

ATTENTION: if you have not yet joinedFamily Matters group, please find the one most suitable for you here at our website.  Don’t miss out!

Sunday reflections (on Monday morning)

Yesterday was one of those days so jam-packed I didn’t have time to post my thoughts – so here goes this morning:

Our NWI camp had "Church at the Beach" yesterday with 340 people, one of their best attendances ever!

Our NWI camp had “Church at the Beach” yesterday with 340 people, one of their best attendances ever!

Even more importantly, they baptized 34 people!  KUDOS Pastors Sam & Taylor & the whole NWI team!

Even more importantly, they baptized 34 people! KUDOS Pastors Sam & Taylor & the whole NWI team!

Meanwhile at TP, Joe McGee may have been the most ENTERTAINING speaker in our history, as he kept our attention on parenting God's way through all 5 sessions on Saturday and Sunday!

Meanwhile at TP, Joe McGee may have been the most ENTERTAINING speaker in our history, as he kept our attention on parenting God’s way through all 5 sessions on Saturday and Sunday!

Pastor Jon & the Blue Island worship team led everyone into the Presence of God.

Pastor Jon & the Blue Island worship team led everyone into the Presence of God.

Praise God for the work of the Holy Spirit at our Blue Island campus after Pastor Ben ministered the Word!

Praise God for the work of the Holy Spirit at our Blue Island campus after Pastor Ben ministered the Word!

After sleeping on it overnight, I’d call that a GREAT weekend at CLC!

Can’t wait for the start of our “Family Matters” series – WHO are YOU inviting to your small group?

Sunday reflections

“At the Movies” 2016 ended today on a high note:

Worship in Tinley Park seemed to build service by service, and overflow at noon - thanks Harmony, for being sensitive to the Presence!

Worship in Tinley Park seemed to build service by service, and overflow at noon – thanks Harmony, for being sensitive to the Presence!

It was also great to have our Executive Pastor back in service after his 2-week vacation!

It was also great to have our Executive Pastor back in service after his 2-week vacation!

 

Ok - I admit: 7 life lessons is a little much for one sermon - but we persevered and you endured! "Inside Out" really was a FUN movie, too!

Ok – I admit: 7 life lessons is a little much for one sermon – but we persevered and you endured! “Inside Out” really was a FUN movie, too!

  • Best of all was several people (adults & children) who prayed to receive Christ at 10am and 12noon (probably should have given an invitation at 8:30am, too) AND I’m thankful for at least 18 more hosts for “Family Matters”, including some who were watching online today!  Love that technology keeps us connected even during summer vacations or whatever!
On each baby dedication Sunday we schedule some time with the families beforehand - great to share today with Zion and her parents, Darius & Gabrielle

On each baby dedication Sunday we schedule some time with the families beforehand – it was great to share today with Zion and her parents, Darius & Gabrielle!

Rodney, Jr. & Nikki Young with Rodney III after the dedication.

Rodney, Jr. & Nikki Young with Rodney III after the dedication.

  • Congrats to ALL our CLC graduates, many of whom are headed to college this week.
Our NWI campus has a FULL house today as Christian Washington & Pastor Moy joined Pastor Sam to team teach 'Inside Out'

Our NWI campus has a FULL house today as Christian Washington & Pastor Moy joined Pastor Sam to team teach ‘Inside Out’

But the real praise report was a miraculous healing this weekend - little Grayson Ostrom has a blood issue that caused large bruises on her legs. During Saturday corporate prayer in NWI our team prayed for her healing, and the bruises disappeared rapidly. This is the "before prayer" picture-

But the real praise report was a miraculous healing this weekend – little Grayson Ostrom has a blood issue that caused large bruises on her legs. During Saturday corporate prayer in NWI our team prayed for her healing, and the bruises disappeared rapidly. This is the “before prayer” picture-

and this is the "after prayer" picture! No denying that Jesus is a miracle worker!

and this is the “after prayer” picture! No denying that Jesus is a miracle worker!

  • Also rejoicing with Pastors Sam & Taylor that baby D’s birth mom visited NWI today and was greatly touched by the Holy Spirit during worship!  God is at work in NWI!
  • AND I’m rejoicing that we have at least 25 hosts for “Family Matters” in NWI!!!
Creative photography in Blue Island today-

Creative photography in Blue Island today-

FINALLY! the Blue Island campus pastor preached at this own pulpit today for the first time in JULY!

FINALLY! the Blue Island campus pastor preached at his own pulpit today for the first time in JULY!

And that's a wrap for 'At the Movies' 2016!

And that’s a wrap for ‘At the Movies’ 2016!

Sunday reflections

Here’s my thoughts on one of the muggiest days of 2016 (it’s HOT out there, folks!):

The Blue Island praise team's dedication is amazing - these English speakers learn EVERY song in Spanish so they can minister to this bilingual campus!

The Blue Island praise team’s dedication is amazing – these English speakers learn EVERY song in Spanish so they can minister to this bilingual campus!

Unexpected fringe benefit of preaching in Blue Island - I got to pray for my oldest 2 grandsons, Jaeden & Bennett!

Unexpected fringe benefit of preaching in Blue Island – I got to pray for my oldest 2 grandsons, Jaeden & Bennett before they went to class.

I enjoyed teaching in Blue Island for the FIRST time on a Sunday - great to see familiar faces & especially good to see NEW faces at CLC-BI today!

I enjoyed teaching in Blue Island for the FIRST time on a Sunday – great to see familiar faces & especially good to see NEW faces at CLC-BI today!

Great worship today at our NWI campus - thanks, Linelle & team!

Great worship today at our NWI campus – thanks, Linelle & team!

Not only is reaching children a MAJOR emphasis at CLC, we have some CUTE kids at each campus, including these guys from NWI!

Not only is reaching children a MAJOR emphasis at CLC, we have some CUTE kids at each campus, including these guys from NWI!

Our BI campus pastor preached 'AntMan' today at the NWI campus, and Pastor Sam said it really connected. My favorite report was that the audio tech from our previous location came to help today because of vacation absences on our team - and HE PRAYED TO RECEIVE CHRIST after the message! I love #ATM!

Our BI campus pastor, Brent McQuay preached ‘AntMan’ today at the NWI campus, and Pastor Sam said it really connected and several responded to the salvation invitation. My favorite report was that the audio tech from our previous location came to help today because of vacation absences on our team – and HE PRAYED TO RECEIVE CHRIST after the message! I love #ATM!

We're SO blessed with worshippers on our Praise team!

We’re SO blessed with worshippers on our Praise team – this pic from Tinley Park today.

Today was Erik's last Sunday before returning to the Davao, Philippines campus - we're gonna miss him in the band!

Today was Erik’s last Sunday before returning to the Davao, Philippines campus – we’re gonna miss him in the band!

Pastor Wookie....I mean, Chris, preached a great message on 'Star Wars' today and Tinley Park enjoyed a great touch of the Holy Spirit afterwards, especially in the last 2 services.  Kudos, babe!

Pastor Wookie….I mean, Chris, preached a great message on ‘Star Wars’ today and Tinley Park enjoyed a great touch of the Holy Spirit afterwards, especially in the last 2 services. Kudos, babe!

Join the conversation – what was YOUR favorite moment at the campus you attended today?  Leave your comments below-

 

Sunday reflections

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Our favorite summer series continued today with ‘RACE’ in Tinley Park and ‘Star Wars’ at our other campuses.  Here’s my thoughts on this busy day:

One thing is for certain: this team leads us into His Presence week after week! Thanks, Harmony LaBeff & Servants of Praise!

One thing is for certain: this team leads us into His Presence week after week, even if it takes ‘feeling after Him’ as we did today! Thanks, Harmony LaBeff & Servants of Praise!

the Jesse Owens story in 'RACE' made for some tense moments as we addressed racism in America - but it felt like the message was well received, so I'm grateful

the Jesse Owens story in ‘RACE’ made for some tense moments as we addressed racism in America – but it felt like the message was well received, so I’m grateful – love preaching to this congregation!

  • I only made a salvation invitation in the noon service, when we saw 6 precious men & women give their lives to Christ!  (Dunno whether to kick myself for not making an altar call at the other services OR thank God for nudging me at noon – but I know I’m praising HIM for drawing those six to Himself today!)
A visiting Storm Trooper made the photo booth at NWI more popular today-

A guest appearance by a Storm Trooper made the photo booth at NWI more popular today-

Pastor Sam said my wife hit it out of the park today with "Star Wars", and the altars were full afterward!

Pastor Sam said my wife hit it out of the park today with “Star Wars”, and the altars were full!

The new cafe in the lobby at NWI has already become the favorite hangout after services!

The new cafe in the lobby at NWI has already become the favorite hangout after services!

Pastor Josh preached the 'Star Wars' message in Blue Island as Jorge Arevalo translated.

Pastor Josh preached the ‘Star Wars’ message in Blue Island as Jorge Arevalo translated.

 

Star Wars fans are everywhere, including the Island!

Star Wars fans are everywhere, including the Island!

 

and one more Mother & daughter Star Wars fans!

and one more Mother & daughter Star Wars fans!

Here’s the schedule next Sunday:

Star Wars: Tinley Park (Pastor Chris)

Ant Man: NWI (Pastor Brent)

Race: Blue Island (Pastor Jerry)

Tell a friend!

Sunday reflections

At the Movies continued today with "Ant Man" in Tinley Park; "Creed" in Blue Island; and "Race" at NWI.

At the Movies continued today with “Ant Man” in Tinley Park; “Creed” in Blue Island; and “Race” at NWI.

Amanda Edwards helped lead us into His Presence in Tinley Park

Amanda Edwards helped lead us into His Presence in Tinley Park

At each campus today, a CLC pastor led the congregation in prayer after this week's horrific events - 'Lord, heal our land!'

At each campus today, a CLC pastor led the congregation in prayer after this week’s horrific events – ‘Lord, heal our land!’

 

Pastor Brent preached the Gospel of Redemption from the Ant Man movie

Pastor Brent preached the Gospel of Redemption from the Ant Man movie

Worship in Blue Island

Worship in Blue Island

Pastor Ben preached with illustrations from CREED, and Jorge translated into Spanish

Pastor Ben preached with illustrations from CREED, and Jorge translated into Spanish

Arreck Stewart donned the gloves in honor of the movie, 'Creed'

Arreck Stewart donned the gloves in honor of the movie, ‘Creed’

Love our Blue Island family!

Love our Blue Island family!

Candice Frazier helped us praise Him at NWI

Candice Frazier helped us praise Him at NWI, along with the NWI band

My message from the true story of Jesse Owens ("Race") was planned & prepared before this week's events - I'm hoping it was helpful

My message from the true story of Jesse Owens (“Race”) was planned & prepared before this week’s events – I’m hoping it was helpful

Most important of all, PRAISE GOD for people who were water-baptized and others who gave their lives to Christ today!  Good things happening even in the summertime!!!

Sunday reflections

Much of my Sunday was spent here at the pool in my in-law's backyard near Detroit

Much of my Sunday was spent here at the pool in my in-law’s backyard near Detroit

I did pull myself away from the pool long enough to join the ONLINE 10am service in Tinley Park, but as always, I’m still curious when I’m physically absent – so here’s my question:

if you attended any service at any CLC campus today, what are your thoughts?  What was your favorite moment in the service?                                                  What point from ‘At the Movies’ spoke to your life today?

C’mon, let your pastor know by leaving your comments below-

Sunday reflections

Well, the first half of 2016 Sundays is now history, and today was a good one:

 

This man can PREACH! (Pastor Jason Bentley from Seattle, WA)

This man can PREACH! (Pastor Jason Bentley from Seattle, WA)

  • Pastor Jason won our hearts, actually even before today’s services, with two terrific messages at our “GREATER” Men’s Conference on Saturday – but if you didn’t hear  “Fail Forward” today in Tinley Park, you really owe it to yourself to go to our website later this week – such a practical, life-giving word for those of us who ever fail!
  • Lots of people praying to receive Christ after he preached – that NEVER gets old!
As usual, Harmony LaBeff and the Servants of Praise created an atmosphere of worship that brought His PRESENCE!

As usual, Harmony LaBeff and the Servants of Praise created an atmosphere of worship that brought His PRESENCE!

So did Linell Muse and his team at NWI - and I heard that Pastor Sam preached the paint off the walls today!

So did Linell Muse and his team at NWI – and I heard that Pastor Sam preached the paint off the walls today!

  • Pastor Sam said they had one person who gave their life to Christ today, and LOTS of folks receiving prayer at the altar after the message!
Kudos to CLC'ers - your Facebook check-in's are helping needy people in so many ways - hopefully over 150 impoverished folks will soon have a new pair of shoes because of you!

Kudos to CLC’ers – your Facebook check-in’s are helping needy people in so many ways – hopefully over 150 impoverished folks will soon have a new pair of shoes because of you!

Pastor Chris preached part 4 of our "You Make Me Brave in the Storms of Life" at Blue Island, with Pastor Sol interpreting into Spanish

Pastor Chris preached part 4 of our “You Make Me Brave in the Storms of Life” at Blue Island, with Pastor Sol interpreting into Spanish…..

.....and the altars were FULL afterwards!

…..and the altars were FULL afterwards!

Who will you invite to “At the Movies” as we begin the second half of 2016 next Sunday?

Sunday reflections

Getting ready to celebrate Father’s Day at the McQuay house with 67% of my children and 60% of my grandkids, so I’ll keep this brief:

Our Blue Island campus is known for its CUTE kids (now that I think about it, that's a staple at EACH CLC campus!)

Our Blue Island campus is known for its CUTE kids (now that I think about it, that’s a staple at EACH CLC campus!)

Another staple at CLC on Father's Day is ROOT BEER FLOATS for all the dads! (This was a hit at each campus today)

Another staple at CLC on Father’s Day is ROOT BEER FLOATS for all the dads! (This was a hit at each campus today)

Pastor Brent's t-shirt was a double-announcement: God is our Father AND "At the Movies" (including Star Wars) is coming soon!

Pastor Brent’s t-shirt was a double-announcement: God is our Father AND “At the Movies” (including Star Wars) is coming soon!

NWI featured an all-female worship team for Father's Day, too!

NWI featured an all-female worship team for Father’s Day, too!

In fact, at NWI it was an all-female cast, as Pastor Taylor gave Pastor Sam a day off for Father's Day by ministering on "The Heart of the Father"

In fact, at NWI it was an all-female cast, as Pastor Taylor gave Pastor Sam a day off for Father’s Day by ministering on “The Heart of the Father”

I was able to find this Facebook pic of our all-women's worship team at the Tinley campus today (thanks Tony Powell!)

I was able to find this Facebook pic of our all-women’s worship team at the Tinley campus today (thanks Tony Powell!)

None of the other pics from TP worked today, but let me just say ‘thanks’ for supporting the testosterone preacher today, and PRAISE GOD for about 20 people who went to the Fresh Start table after service, having prayed to receive Christ today!  (Never, ever gets old)

 

Sunday reflections

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Ok…by now you know that Chris & I are on vacation in the Smokies, so we weren’t at any campus of CLC today.

And, as always when we’re aware, we’re curious as to how things went.

SO, if YOU were at any campus of CLC today (including online), please leave your comments below as to:

1.  How the Holy Spirit ministered to you in the service-

2. Your favorite moment in worship-

3. What you received from the teaching-

4. Or any other thoughts about today at CLC that you’d like to share.

THANKS!

Sunday reflections

My thoughts on this first Sunday of June (where has this year gone?):

Don't you love the Servants of Praise?  Worship brings His Presence!

Don’t you love the Servants of Praise? Worship brings His Presence!

I hadn't preached in Tinley Park in a month, so I tried to make up for it today!

I hadn’t preached in Tinley Park in a month, so I tried to make up for it today!

  • I’m especially grateful for about 12 or more  people who prayed to receive Christ today! (I didn’t receive an ‘official’ count of those who picked up the New Believer packets at our Fresh Start table, but I know it was a bunch of people) – may we never take this for granted!
Today was EnTheos School of Ministry Graduation - from L to R, congrats to Bianca Medina, MeyChen Pham, and Erik Lumagsao (with Director Jen McQuay behind them all the way!)

Today was EnTheos School of Ministry Graduation – from L to R, congrats to Bianca Medina, MeyChen Pham, and Erik Lumagsao (with Director Jen McQuay behind them all the way!)

Pastor Brent encouraged everyone in a crisis to "remember who is in your boat!" (with Jorge Arevalo interpreting)

Pastor Brent encouraged everyone in a crisis to “remember who is in your boat!” (with Jorge Arevalo interpreting)

Today was a community event in the City of Blue Island, and our campus made a BIG hit with their T-shirts (so much so that some Aldermen were begging to get their own!)

Today was a community event in the City of Blue Island, and our campus made a BIG hit with their T-shirts (so much so that some Aldermen were begging to get their own!)

former CLC pastor, Tony Gilmore brought the word at NWI today (to a host of friends that resulted in a near-record attendance!)

former CLC pastor, Tony Gilmore brought the word at NWI today (to a host of friends that resulted in a near-record attendance!)

Afterward, it was a "Grill & Chill" for everyone, with lots of fun for the kids, too!

Afterward, it was a “Grill & Chill” for everyone, with lots of fun for the kids, too!

 

Sunday reflections

Pastors Micah & Jen gave one of these 'clappers' to each kid in attendance today for Family Sunday. It's of the devil!

Pastors Micah & Jen gave one of these ‘clappers’ to each kid in attendance today for Family Sunday. It’s of the devilCLC parents will be confiscating the gifts all week, to keep their kids from driving them crazy!  (This is all tongue-in-cheek; the clapper definitely kept the kids attention, listening for the “Holy Spirit” throughout the message)

But everything else about this FAMILY SUNDAY was great:

Ch'vez & the SoP (with several youth joining them today) led us into His Presence!

Ch’vez & the SoP (with several youth joining them today) led us into God’s Presence!

We dedicated ed 3 children to the Lord in Tinley Park this afternoon.

We dedicated ed 3 children to the Lord in Tinley Park this afternoon.

Youth Pastors Micah & Jen Remington taught us how the Holy Spirit is our supernatural HELPER, and lots of children (and others) came forward to receive!

Youth Pastors Micah & Jen Remington taught us how the Holy Spirit is our supernatural HELPER, and lots of children (and others) came forward to receive!

  • At NWI, Pastor Sam says it was a really good day, with strong holiday weekend attendance, first-time guests, a message that connected with people, and a great time of prayer with families at the close!
Pastor Taylor gave a word to close out the worship set at NWI today.

Pastor Taylor gave a word to close out the worship set at NWI today.

The Kids Dance team at NWI was GREAT!

The Kids Dance team at NWI was GREAT!

On this Family Sunday, our Youth led worship in Blue Island

On this Family Sunday, our Youth led worship in Blue Island

  • At our Blue Island campus, Pastors Ben & Nili had planned to team-teach but Nili suffered an eye injury yesterday that sent her to the ER today (she’s better now) so she was unable to speak.  However, the Lord showed her a picture of a woman and gave her a word.  Pastor Ben described the woman she saw, who was present, and she was greatly blessed by the spot-on word from God!
At our Blue Island campus, Bianca Medina came back home to testify of her experience at En-Theos this year.

At our Blue Island campus, Bianca Medina came back home to testify of her experience at En-Theos this year (Pastor Sol was interpreting into Spanish)

I'm guessing Pastor Ben illustrated that His Yoke is light???

I’m guessing Pastor Ben illustrated that His Yoke is light???

Even more importantly, Pastor Ben invited parents to come forward to pray with their children to be filled with the Holy Spirit, and about 12-15 children were baptized in the Spirit and received their prayer language!  One of our elders said it was the most powerful altar response he had ever seen at the Blue Island campus!

Most importantly, Pastor Ben invited parents to come forward to pray with their children to be filled with the Holy Spirit, and about 12-15 children were baptized in the Spirit and received their prayer language!  One of our elders said it was the most powerful altar response he had ever seen at the Blue Island campus!

3 new families completed the Next Steps Growth Track at CLC-Blue Island today!

3 new families completed the Next Steps Growth Track at CLC-Blue Island today!

That’s what I call a GREAT Family Sunday.  It’s almost time to head back to KidsLife FX –  hope you all have a GREAT Memorial Day holiday!

 

Sunday reflections

First, a few reflections from Siberia after our final service here:

I sensed a strong anointing again tonight as I preached on prayer & the altar was filled afterwards with Siberians who wanted to pray!

I sensed a strong anointing again tonight as I preached on prayer & the altar was filled afterwards with Siberians who wanted to pray!

3 men gave their lives to Jesus tonight! (Pastor Ilya is leading them in a sinner's prayer)

3 men gave their lives to Jesus tonight! (Pastor Ilya is leading them in a sinner’s prayer)

After service we had dinner with 15 church planters, plus the recent missions school graduates (future planters) AND the Teen Challenge workers.  Dr. Shibley challenged them with a word from the Lord.

After service we had dinner with 15 church planters, plus the recent missions school graduates (future planters) AND the Teen Challenge workers. Dr. Shibley challenged them with a word from the Lord as Pastor Ilya translated.

These precious church planters serve in the Republic of Tuva, which is primarily Buddhist (sits near the Mongolian border)

These precious church planters serve in the Republic of Tuva, which is primarily Buddhist (sits near the Mongolian border)  Pray for them in that very difficult area.

I couldn't be more impressed with Pastors Ilya & Janet Bantseev and all they've accomplished here in Siberia already.  I hope you'll remember their faces when you pray.

I couldn’t be more impressed with Pastors Ilya & Janet Bantseev and all they’ve accomplished here in Siberia already. I hope you’ll remember their faces when you pray.

Our driver, Ruslan & his wife Maria, just planted a church a few weeks ago & have already seen 7 Siberians pray to receive Christ!

Our driver, Ruslan & his wife Maria, just planted a church a few weeks ago & have already seen 7 Siberians pray to receive Christ!

Now that this wonderful time of ministry is over, I’m wondering about this Sunday at CLC.  If you attended any campus of CLC today (or online), please leave a comment below to let me know:

  • what was your favorite part of the service today?
  • how did the Holy Spirit minister to you personally?
  • any other comments you’d like to share?

I’ll board my first of three flights about 7pm Sunday (Chicago time) and get into O’Hare about 3pm Monday, the Lord willing.  Looking forward to seeing you soon-

PENTECOST Sunday reflections

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I have a group of pastor friends in my phone that I regularly text with some encouragement early on Sundays, and today my text was simply, “Gentlemen, it’s Pentecost Sunday.  Let’s have a repeat performance!” (alluding to Acts 2:1-4, of course)

Well, in Tinley Park, we almost did!

Bible teacher Andrew Wommack was our guest for all 3 services today.

Bible teacher Andrew Wommack was our guest for all 3 services today.

At the conclusion of each service, he invited all those who wanted to be baptized in the Holy Spirit to come forward, and our estimate is that over 120 people responded.  While I don’t have an accurate report of how many of them received their prayer language today, my best guesstimate is that over 50 of them did so!  Our altars, especially at the noon service, reminded me of the best of my Pentecostal days, with whole families being filled, along with men & women who were powerfully baptized in the Spirit!  It was awesome!

NWI worship team leading people into His Presence!

NWI worship team leading people into His Presence!

Despite some technical issues with the video live stream of Andrew’s teaching (Pastor Sam said it was like watching a bad Chinese movie), the altars still filled with people responding to the message, and at least 2 people were baptized in the Holy Spirit!

At our Blue Island campus, Pastors Brent & Sol used the day of Pentecost as an example of the power of UNITY, as they shared the vision of CLC-Blue Island

At our Blue Island campus, Pastors Brent & Sol used the day of Pentecost as an example of the power of UNITY, as they shared the vision of CLC-Blue Island

They announced today that our vision includes:

  • Creation of the South Suburban DREAM CENTER
  • operating a Food pantry
  • offering free ESL (English as a Second Language) classes
  • after-school Education programs, beginning with “Tech Kids”
  • Celebrate Recovery ministry to help people with hurts & habits & hang-ups
  • Music programs
  • Adult Education programs (job prep & placement, apprenticeships, etc.)
  • and a new Spanish Ministry led by CLC’ers Gustavo & Nancy Villacorta, to meet the needs of our Spanish-speaking members & engage the Spanish-speaking community around Blue Island
The theme of our vision is "I AM for Blue Island" (not only are WE for Blue Island, but so is the Great I Am of Scripture!)

The theme of our vision is “I AM for Blue Island” (not only are WE for Blue Island, but so is the Great I Am of Scripture!)

EVERYONE wanted to get their "I Am for Blue Island" t-shirt afterwards!

EVERYONE wanted to get their “I Am for Blue Island” t-shirt afterwards!

I’d call that a GOOD Pentecost Sunday at CLC!

Mother’s Day reflections

Mother’s Day at CLC is always special and today was no exception:

At NWI, our MEN chose to serve all the mom's at a special reception in their honor!

At NWI, our MEN chose to serve all the mom’s at a special reception in their honor!

(and it was a lovely reception, I might add)

(and it was a lovely reception, I might add)

Worship at NWI featured an ALL-MALE band, as we gave all the mom's a day off!

Worship at NWI featured an ALL-MALE band, as we gave all the mom’s a day off!

Worship is passionate at our Blue Island campus!

Worship is passionate at our Blue Island campus!

Sol gave her first sermon as a Campus Pastor in Blue Island, with Rocio translating into Spanish.

Sol gave her first sermon as a Campus Pastor in Blue Island, with Rocio translating into Spanish.

If you're gonna preach, you hafta know how to PRAY!

If you’re gonna preach, you hafta know how to PRAY!

The CUTEST kids in the world attend CLC, even on Mother's Day!

The CUTEST kids in the world attend CLC, even on Mother’s Day!

Every MOM in attendance today received a gift from CLC, and in Blue Island, it was delivered by the youth.

Every MOM in attendance today received a gift, and in Blue Island, it was delivered by the youth.

And at Tinley Park (like NWI), we gave all the moms a day off & an ALL-MALE team led worship!

And at Tinley Park (like NWI), we gave all the moms a day off & an ALL-MALE team led worship!

The Queen of object lessons showed us that (with the help of the anointing) you CAN do the 'impossible' (piercing a balloon w/a sharp stick)

The Queen of object lessons showed us that (with the help of the anointing) you CAN do the ‘impossible’ (piercing a balloon w/a sharp stick)

You had to see it to believe it!  Kudos, babe!

You had to see it to believe it! Kudos, babe!

Best of all, we baptized four men and had full altars at each service with people who want MORE of the Holy Spirit’s power!

Hope you enjoyed your Mother’s Day – looking forward to Andrew Wommack’s visit next Sunday already!

Sunday reflections

Today was the kickoff of our new series, “The GIFT” at each campus of CLC:

May we never take HIS PRESENCE for granted during our worship!

May we never take HIS PRESENCE for granted during our worship!

Did you notice we had an ALL-GIRL guitar section today? Yup! Kudos to Amaryah, Tiffany & Nikki!

Did you notice we had an ALL-GIRL guitar section today? Yup! Kudos to Amaryah, Tiffany & Nikki!

I managed to get thru all 3 services despite the cold/sore throat that robbed me my voice - more importantly, I believe several CLC'ers received HEALING and I know some were baptized in the Holy Spirit today!

I managed to get thru all 3 services despite the cold/sore throat that robbed me my voice – more importantly, I believe several CLC’ers received HEALING and I know some were baptized in the Holy Spirit today!

Pastor Chris preached about the 'Power for Life" at our Blue Island campus (Sol translated into Spanish)

Pastor Chris preached about the ‘Power for Life” at our Blue Island campus (Pastor Sol translated into Spanish & even did the motions!)

Altars were full in BI as people responded to the message with a desire for MORE of the Holy Spirit!

Altars were full in Blue Island as people responded to the message from Pastor Chris with a desire for MORE of the Holy Spirit in their lives!

The hunger for MORE is real, and God answers prayer!

The hunger for MORE is real, and God answers prayer!

At NWI, Pastor Sam welcomed 3 new families into MEMBERSHIP at CLC!

At NWI, Pastor Sam welcomed 3 new families into MEMBERSHIP at CLC!

Our NWI campus also dedicated 3 babies to the Lord today-

Our NWI campus also dedicated 3 babies to the Lord today, saw 4 salvation decisions (2 were first-time guests!) and several people came forward to be baptized in the Holy Spirit!  That’s what I’d call a very FULL, very GOOD day!

In Davao City, Pastor Joel Montes organized a "Davao Youth Fest" which attracted over 30,000 youth, and thousands of them received the Lord. This afternoon 700 of these new Christians attended our Davao City campus!

In Davao City, Pastor Joel Montes organized a “Davao Youth Fest” which attracted over 30,000 youth, and thousands of them received the Lord. This afternoon 700 of these new Christians attended our Davao City campus!

Now it’s a little couch time to rest up for the big b’day party for Bennett (4 years) and Kelsey (1 year old)!

When she hears a song, Kelsey raises her hand in worship!

When she hears a song, Kelsey raises her hand in worship!

Sunday reflections

I just made it home after a 15-hour workday (after our 3 services at Tinley Park and a quick bite to eat, I shuttled our Board of Directors from O’Hare to their hotel in Oak Brook, where we’ll have our annual meeting tomorrow) – so here are my thoughts about today at CLC:

With Harmony forced to play drums & Pastor Jon leading worship at NWI, Tiffany & team stepped up to not only lead us into His Presence in worship, they also set the atmosphere for a powerful time of prayer to close the message!

With Harmony forced to play drums & Pastor Jon leading worship at NWI, Tiffany & team stepped up to not only lead us into His Presence in worship, they also set the atmosphere for a powerful time of prayer to close the message!

Jen was anointed on the perfect song to complement the message (KUDOS to Harmony for suggesting "None But Jesus" from Hillsong)

Jen was anointed on the perfect song to complement the message (KUDOS to Harmony for suggesting “None But Jesus” from Hillsong)

Pastor Ben helped with the altar singing & the anointing was A-MAZING, especially at 10am!

Pastor Ben helped with the altar singing & the anointing was A-MAZING, especially at 10am!

Praying for CLC'ers at the close today was even more enjoyable than preaching!

Praying for CLC’ers at the close today was even more enjoyable than preaching – AND we saw at least 12 people give their lives to Jesus, and that’s what it’s all about!

Pastor Jon Jones led worship at NWI with Linell, and Pastor Sam said "worship was soooooo good!"

Pastor Jon Jones led worship at NWI with Linell, and Pastor Sam said “worship was soooooo good!”

And just One Month after opening our building in Hammond, Pastor Sam conducted the first wedding there today!

And just One Month after opening our building in Hammond, Pastor Sam conducted the first wedding there today!

A near-record attendance came to our Blue Island campus to say goodbye to Pastors William & Melek

A near-record attendance came to our Blue Island campus to say goodbye to Pastors William & Melek

Pastor William led worship one last time....

Pastor William led worship one last time….

...then he & Melek passed the baton in prayer to Pastors Brent & Sol

…then he & Melek passed the baton in prayer to Pastors Brent & Sol

Sunday reflections

Here’s my thoughts on this beautiful Spring Sunday at CLC:

Pastors William & Melek did an amazing job in sharing their farewell message at Tinley Park

Pastors William & Melek did an amazing job in sharing their farewell message at Tinley Park

Don't follow circumstances unless you have HIS PEACE! (gonna miss these folks)

Don’t follow circumstances unless you have HIS PEACE! (gonna miss these folks)

It was a special moment when our pastors, elders & congregation prayed over the Arevalo's and Brent & Sol during this pastoral transition

It was a special moment when our pastors, elders & congregation prayed over the Arevalo’s and Brent & Sol during this pastoral transition!

I'm thankful for VOLUNTEERS behind the scenes that few people even know about, yet their service enables the ministry you see onstage!

I’m thankful for VOLUNTEERS behind the scenes that few people even know about, yet their service enables the ministry you see onstage!

Most of all, I'm thankful that even on this day when we said goodbye to people we love, we saw several new folks pray to receive Christ, and that never gets old!

Most of all, I’m thankful that even on this day when we said goodbye to people we love, we saw several new folks pray to receive Christ, and that never gets old!

And I'm thankful for worship leaders who truly have the heart of worship!  (Thanks for all you do at NWI, Linell!)

And I’m thankful for worship leaders who truly have the heart of worship! (Thanks for all you do at NWI, Linell!)

Now that's a good looking Campus Pastor!

Now that’s a good looking Campus Pastor!

My wife preached in the new building at NWI for her first time today!

My wife preached in the new building at NWI for her first time today!

I have no idea what she said, but it looks like NWI knows how to have fun in church!

I have no idea what Pastor Chris said, but it looks like NWI knows how to have fun in church!

Our Blue Island campus auditorium is FESTIVE - which sets the right tone for worshiping God!

Our Blue Island campus auditorium is FESTIVE – which sets the right tone for worshiping God!

Pastor Ben brought the Word (with Jorge Arevalo translating into Spanish) at Blue Island (since we had their outgoing & incoming pastors in Tinley Park today)

Pastor Ben brought the Word (with Jorge Arevalo translating into Spanish) at Blue Island (since we had their outgoing & incoming pastors in Tinley Park today)

 

Our Youth Ministry in Blue Island is GROWING!

Our Youth Ministry in Blue Island is GROWING!

that concludes another good day at CLC!

Sunday reflections

It’s been a long time since I had as much FUN teaching the Word as I did today:

as always, the 'Servants of Praise' led us into the Presence of God!

as always, the ‘Servants of Praise’ led us into the Presence of God!

We baptized 4 adults today, including Peace Omeje! (Loved hearing each testimony, too!)

We baptized 4 adults today, including Peace Omeje! (Loved hearing each testimony, too!)

The Word was 'flowing' for me today, which is what made it FUN!

The Word was ‘flowing’ for me today, which is what made it FUN!

Love our NWI praise team!

Love our NWI praise team!

Pastor Sam 'brought it' at NWI, to help us hear God thru other people!

Pastor Sam ‘brought it’ at NWI, to help us hear God thru other people!

Our NWI campus is all about impacting CHILDREN and young families!

Our NWI campus is all about impacting CHILDREN and young families!

Feel the passion of our Blue Island worship team?

Feel the passion of our Blue Island worship team?  YES!

Pastors William & Melek preached their farewell message at Blue Island today. Next Sunday they'll be in Tinley Park to share the Word with us before they depart for South Carolina.

Pastors William & Melek preached their farewell message at Blue Island today. Next Sunday they’ll be in Tinley Park to share the Word with us before they depart for South Carolina.

Pastor William introduced Pastors Brent & Sol as the NEW campus pastors for Blue Island

Pastor William introduced Pastors Brent & Sol as the NEW campus pastors for Blue Island

We’re half-way through this series on ‘Hearing God’s Voice’ – can’t wait for next Sunday when we look at hearing from God through circumstances – you don’t want to miss this!

If you attended online or at any CLC campus today, join the conversation by telling us below how the Holy Spirit ministered to you or your favorite ‘moment’ today:

 

Sunday reflections

Yesterday was such a full day that I didn’t get to post on Sunday afternoon as usual, so here are my ‘Monday’ reflections on the first Sunday of April at CLC:

I can't say enough how much I appreciate the musicians, singers & leaders who serve us all EVERY week at CLC - these folks know how to usher us into the Presence of the Lord!

I can’t say enough how much I appreciate the musicians, singers & leaders who serve us all EVERY week at CLC – these folks know how to usher us into the Presence of the Lord!

Our new Youth Pastor, Micah Remington, made his debut today - excited to welcome Jen and their children this week!

Our new Youth Pastor, Micah Remington, made his debut today by receiving the offering (all preachers hafta know how to do that!) – excited to welcome Jen and their children this week!

Brent & I used the same notes & preached the same message (him at TP; me at NWI) and he did the better job (this time!) - GREAT kickoff to our series on hearing God's voice for ourselves!

Brent & I used the same notes & preached the same message (him at TP; me at NWI) and he did the better job (this time!) – GREAT kickoff to our series on hearing God’s voice for ourselves!

I LOVED being at our NWI campus in their NEW building today - what a welcome sight!

I LOVED being at our NWI campus in their NEW building today – what a welcome sight!

To see the building today after knowing what it looked like a short 5 weeks ago was nothing short of a miracle!

To see the building today after knowing what it looked like a short 5 weeks ago was nothing short of a miracle! And I’ve got a feeling we’ll have to go to two Sunday services in no time!

But as we all know, the church is NOT a building; the church is PEOPLE - people like these new families who officially joined NWI today!

But as we all know, the church is NOT a building; the church is PEOPLE – people like these new families who officially joined NWI today! (in addition to 3 people who came forward to receive Christ today at the close of service!)

At our Blue Island campus, two precious women met the Lord in the waters of baptism

At our Blue Island campus, two precious women met the Lord in the waters of baptism

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Pastor William preached the opening message of our new series, with Pastor Melek interpreting

Pastor William preached the opening message of our new series, with Pastor Melek interpreting

At the close of service, he announced that God has called his family to open a church in South Carolina.  Our leaders than gathered around to pray over them.  Pastors William & Melek are greatly loved and will be greatly missed as they move - but "once a CLC'er, always a CLC'er"!

At the close of service, he announced that God has called his family to open a church in South Carolina. Our leaders than gathered around to pray over them. Pastors William & Melek are greatly loved and will be greatly missed as they move – but “once a CLC’er, always a CLC’er”!

Why You Should TRUST the Bible is truly God’s Word

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Today we kicked off a new series at CLC, “Is That Really You, God?” and each Sunday in April we’re looking at how we can hear the voice of God for ourselves.  In today’s message about hearing God’s voice through the Bible, we simply didn’t have time to address an underlying question that many people have asked: “How can I know the Bible is reliable?” 

So, as promised, here are some links to help answer that question, and give you confidence that the Bible truly is God’s Word (1Thess. 2:13):

If apologetics is a study that piques your interest, let me know – there are definitely some great Christian scholars who do a superb job of defending the faith.

And for those of you who would like to have some study helps, here are a few our pastoral staff recommends:

Join the conversation: what other online sites have you found helpful in reading & understanding Scripture?

P.S. For those who have asked, you can register for the day sessions of the National Prayer Summit led by Bishop Tudor Bismark here.

Stories from Easter

I’ve already reported the numbers surrounding our Easter celebration at CLC: new record attendances at each Chicagoland campus; new record total attendance of more than 3,300; new record number of salvation decisions.

But someone smarter than me has said that behind every number is a name and behind every name is a story.  I know that’s true, and I also know that stories encourage & challenge us, and stories can be used by the Lord to reach others.

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So today I’m asking for your stories:

  • if someone you invited this past weekend received Jesus, please share your story-
  • if someone from your ‘oikos’ (a relative, friend, or co-worker) came to visit & received Jesus this weekend, please tell us the story-
  • I’m especially interested in hearing from those who make the “second effort” after Scott Camp’s first altar call response, when he then asked CLC’ers to turn to someone nearby and offer to ‘come with them’ to the altar – if you led someone forward for salvation, I want to hear about it-
  • our ultimate goal is to capture some of these stories on video, so we can share them with the world, and help others come to faith in Christ!

You can tell your story by simply leaving a comment below, OR you can email it to me here – either way, I know that many people will be touched, challenged & encouraged by the story behind the numbers!

Sunday reflections

I don’t know how to describe this weekend.

Or even where to start.

But I’m sure we’ve never had a weekend quite like this in our 26 years (this weekend was CLC’s anniversary, by the way!)  Here’s the highlights:

A new record in Tinley Park of 2,514 people in attendance over our 5 weekend services, with over 1,400 of those in the last 2 services today!

A new record in Tinley Park of 2,514 people in attendance over our 5 weekend services, with over 1,400 of those in the last 2 services today!

Evangelist Scott Camp was COMPELLING in each service, and the result was 149 salvation cards already turned in, plus perhaps over 50 children & others that we're still collecting - all in all, more than 200 salvation decisions & possibly as many as 250!

Evangelist Scott Camp was COMPELLING in each service, and the result was 149 salvation cards already turned in, plus perhaps over 50 children & others that we’re still collecting – all in all, more than 200 salvation decisions & possibly as many as 250!

The numbers don't tell the story of entire families coming forward to receive Christ - unsaved husbands, boyfriends, children, nieces, nephews - it was an incredible display of OIKOS evangelism!

The numbers don’t tell the story of entire families coming forward to receive Christ – unsaved husbands, boyfriends, children, nieces, nephews – it was an incredible display of OIKOS evangelism!  I was especially moved by the “second-call” when CLC’ers reached out to those who hadn’t responded initially, but came at the second invitation, weeping as they came to the altar!

 

These guys planned the PERFECT worship set & the SoP set the atmosphere in all 5 services - such anointing was in the room!

These guys planned the PERFECT worship set & the SoP set the atmosphere in all 5 services – such anointing was in the room!

 

Quite a welcome at NWI as we opened our OWN building on Hohman Ave!

Quite a welcome at NWI as we opened our OWN building on Hohman Ave!

And what an OPENING it was, with an OVERFLOW crowd of 578 people in the 2 services at NWI!

And what an OPENING it was, with an OVERFLOW crowd of 578 people in the 2 services at NWI!

Pastor Sam preached and 12 people prayed to receive Christ!

Pastor Sam preached and 12 people prayed to receive Christ!

Not to be outdone, our Blue Island campus also set a new record, with 239 in attendance in their 2 services!

Finally, our Blue Island campus also set a new record, with 239 in attendance in their 2 services!

The worship was anointed, too!

The worship was anointed, too!

Evangelist James Miller (part of Scott Camp's ministry team) preached both services (Jorge Arevalo is interpreting) - and 12 people came forward to receive Christ!  (That's in addition to 9 who made salvation commitments at the Saturday Easter Egg Hunt outreach, so 21 people came to the Lord this weekend at CLC-Blue Island!)

Evangelist James Miller (part of Scott Camp’s ministry team) preached both services (Jorge Arevalo is interpreting) – and 12 people came forward to receive Christ! (That’s in addition to 9 who made salvation commitments at the Saturday Easter Egg Hunt outreach, so 21 people came to the Lord this weekend at CLC-Blue Island!)

So if you’re counting, that means 3,331 people worshipped at a Chicagoland campus of CLC this weekend, smashing our previous record of 2,890 at our OneFamily 25th Anniversary service last year!  To God be all the glory!

Sunday reflections

Well, our first ever #DonkeyDayCLC was a success at each campus:

I decided to get my picture with the donkey, too.  (The donkey is in front)

I decided to get my picture with the donkey, too. (The donkey is in front)

We are BLESSED at CLC with a great team of musicians, including the "barefoot violinist", Regina Williams!

We are BLESSED at CLC with a great team of musicians, including the “barefoot violinist”, Regina Williams!

The ANOINTING on Jon & the whole team as they sang "Worthy" was tangible!

The ANOINTING on Jon & the whole team as they sang “Worthy” was tangible!

It was no surprise; I LOVE this new song & am excited that we’ll sing it again Easter weekend to let everyone know:

When the Donkey first arrived in TP this morning, I was still preaching.  He brayed in the lobby, but I didn't hear him so I had no idea why everyone was laughing at a serious moment in the message-

When the Donkey first arrived in TP this morning, I was still preaching. He brayed in the lobby, but I didn’t hear him so I had no idea why everyone was laughing at a serious moment in the message-

It was no problem….and more importantly, we saw about a dozen people pray to receive Christ today!  (That never gets old)

But it was no problem, because the Donkey was a BIG hit with both little people & big people alike!

For sure, the Donkey was a BIG hit with both little people & big people alike!

Pastor Sam says "our NWI campus started 2.5 years ago with a prayer meeting, and ended today with praying around the altar for our new city.  This pic is our KidsLife team praying together before service!

Pastor Sam says “our NWI campus started 2.5 years ago with a prayer meeting, and ended today with praying around the altar for our new city. This pic is our KidsLife team praying together before service!

After the final NWI service at the community theater in Munster, volunteers helped move all our equipment to the new location in Hammond, where we'll open next Sunday!

After the final NWI service at the community theater in Munster, volunteers helped move all our equipment to the new location in Hammond, where we’ll open next Sunday!

Pastors Brent & Sol ministered at our Blue Island campus in the absence of Pastors William & Melek.

Pastors Brent & Sol ministered at our Blue Island campus in the absence of Pastors William & Melek.

Hmmm, the Blue Island campus Donkey looked like a horse to me - but he was a BIG hit with everyone nonetheless!

Hmmm, the Blue Island campus Donkey looked like a horse to me – but he was a BIG hit with everyone nonetheless!

So Palm Sunday 2016 is history and now we look forward to EASTER weekend!

WHO will YOU invite this week?

Sunday reflections

The opening day of our “Oikos” series was wonderful:

Nothing like heartfelt, passionate worship to bring the Presence of God into the room!  (Thanks, Jon & Harmony, for leading the way!)

Nothing like heartfelt, passionate worship to bring the Presence of God into the room! (Thanks, Jon & Harmony, for leading the way!)

I'm determined to create a "culture of inviting" at CLC, and today was just the first step!

I’m determined to create a “culture of inviting” at CLC, and today was just the first step!

I was touched to see our CLC family bringing the names of their "oikos" to the altar at the close of service.

So touching to see our CLC family bringing the names of their “oikos” to the altar at the close of service, and lifting their family, friends & associates to the Lord!

Will you PRAY this week for the Holy Spirit to draw your 'oikos' to Jesus?

Will you PRAY this week for the Holy Spirit to draw your ‘oikos’ to Jesus?

Pastor Sam reports that our NWI campus had another strong attendance & that people responded well to Pastor Ben's message as momentum is building for their opening services in Hammond on EASTER Sunday!

Pastor Sam reports that our NWI campus had another strong attendance & that people responded well to Pastor Ben’s message as momentum is building for their opening services in Hammond on EASTER Sunday!  Here the congregation is praying for their ‘oikos’-

At Blue Island today, my wife preached about 'oikos' while Pastor Melek interpreted into Spanish

At Blue Island today, my wife preached about ‘oikos’ while Pastor Melek interpreted into Spanish

Afterwards, BI CLC'ers brought their 'oikos' to the altar & cried out for their salvation!

Afterwards, BI CLC’ers brought their ‘oikos’ to the altar & cried out for their salvation!

Pastor Herley Montes from our Davao City, Philippines campus baptized 250 new converts this weekend!

Pastor Herley Montes from our Davao City, Philippines campus baptized 250 new converts this weekend!

(Couldn't fit them all in one picture!) - Do it again, Lord - at our Chicagoland CLC's!

(Couldn’t fit them all in one picture!) – Do it again, Lord – at our Chicagoland CLC’s!

How did the Lord minister to you at CLC today?  Please share your thoughts below-

Sunday reflections

What a day at CLC with special guest, Joe Sangl today:

When Jon sang 'Jehovah Jireh, my Provider', you could sense the anointing throughout the room!  There's NOTHING like the Presence of God!!

When Pastor Jon sang ‘Jehovah Jireh, my Provider’, you could sense the anointing throughout the room! There’s NOTHING like the Presence of God!!

Joe Sangl has become one of my FAVORITE guest speakers at CLC.  He's not only FIRED-UP; he has an anointing to help OTHERS get financially free!

Joe Sangl has become one of my FAVORITE guest speakers at CLC. He’s not only FIRED-UP; he has an anointing to help OTHERS get financially free!

Pastor Sam reports a good day at NWI with one salvation and EVERYONE connected with Joe's teaching.

Pastor Sam reports a good day at NWI with one salvation and EVERYONE connected with Joe’s teaching.

At our Blue Island campus, one first-time guest prayed to receive Jesus, and the congregation is really motivated about reaching people this Easter!

At our Blue Island campus, one first-time guest prayed to receive Jesus, and the congregation is really motivated about reaching people this Easter!

If you hurry, you can still attend tonight’s “Financial Learning Experience” at any campus – starts at 5pm sharp!

 

Sunday reflections

Here’s my recap of today at CLC:

The 10am service was the LONGEST sermon I've preached in years - I was having TOO much fun!

The 10am service was the LONGEST sermon I’ve preached in years – I was having TOO much fun!

  • I made a ‘deal’ with the Lord several years ago: I would preach on money as long as He would still draw people to salvation afterwards.  Today I counted at least 4 people who prayed to receive Christ!
Pastor Sam said worship at our NWI campus today was  GREAT (thanks, Pastor Jon, for your help!)  Growing MOMENTUM at NWI!

Pastor Sam said worship at our NWI campus today was GREAT (thanks, Pastor Jon, for your help!) Growing MOMENTUM at NWI!

Sam also said "Pastor Ben brought it home today" with the Word!

Sam also said “Pastor Ben brought it home today” with the Word!

At Blue Island, 1 newcomer prayed to receive Christ after Pastor William's message, and several CLC'ers accepted the 90-day Tithe Challenge!

At Blue Island, 1 newcomer prayed to receive Christ after Pastor William’s message, and several CLC’ers accepted the 90-day Tithe Challenge!

Can't wait for Joe Sangl to close "My 2 Cents" NEXT Sunday, and especially his Financial Learning Experience at 5pm!

Can’t wait for Joe Sangl to close “My 2 Cents” NEXT Sunday, and especially his Financial Learning Experience at 5pm!

  • if you attended any campus OR online today, what are your thoughts about the service?  Join the conversation below-

Croatia, day 1 / Sunday reflections

We're staying at the Best Western Astoria in downtown Zagreb, which reminds me of some of the old, classic Chicago hotels.  I caught Chris doing some last-minute study in the lobby with this pic.

We’re staying at the Best Western Astoria in downtown Zagreb, which reminds me of some of the old, classic Chicago hotels. I caught Chris doing some last-minute study in the lobby with this pic.

When we walked into the building, worship had already begun and they were singing (in Croatian, of course), “I’m No Longer a Slave to Fear” – and I immediately felt at home!  In fact, the Presence of God was as strong today as anywhere I’ve been in the world!

The praise & worship PRESENCE was off the charts at Word of Life Church this morning!

The praise & worship PRESENCE was off the charts at Word of Life Church this morning!   (Pastor Sicko’s wife is leading at the far left in this pic)

Chris & I ministered about the differences in men and women today to kick-off the marriage conference for the next 3 evenings – and the response of people who wanted prayer was amazing.  We must have prayed personally for well over 100 men & women today!  By the time we had finished, I was sweating profusely and physically wiped out, but the Holy Spirit was so obviously at work – it was one of the highlights of international ministry for us.

The praise band consisted of keys, 3 guitars & drums - and they were great!

The praise band consisted of keys, 3 guitars & drums – and they were great!

We are SO impressed from this first exposure to the work of Pastor Sicko Alic at Word of Life Christian Center in Zagreb, and looking forward to the next 3 evenings here.

However, like each time we’re away from CLC on a Sunday, we’re anxious to know how things are at home.  So if YOU attended any campus of CLC today, in person or online, please leave us your comments belowhow did the Holy Spirit minister to you?  What was your favorite part of the service?  Was the teaching relevant to your life?  Curious pastors want to know!

Super Bowl Sunday Reflections

Ok, I get it – the game will be starting soon and people are coming and the food isn’t ready, so you don’t have time to read a long reflection from me about today at CLC.  So here’s the highlights:

It's been a long time since I've been laughed at as much as today (but I guess that's what happens when you eat the last ice cream sandwich)

It’s been a long time since I’ve been laughed at as much as today (but I guess that’s what happens when you eat the last ice cream sandwich)

  • Most important from Tinley Park is that we counted thirty-nine people who raised their hand for prayer to receive Christ today!  Now, that’s a SUPER Sunday!
We also had 26 people in Step 1 class - prospective NEW MEMBERS! (Thanks to the team that makes our Growth Track work all year!)

We also had 26 people in Step 1 class – prospective NEW MEMBERS! (Thanks to the team that makes our Growth Track work all year!)

Pastor Sam is excited about 7 people who officially joined CLC-NWI today (one couple not pictured) - along with a great response to the message there!

Pastor Sam is excited about 7 people who officially joined CLC-NWI today (one couple not pictured) – along with a great response to the message there!

Pastors William & Melek made a Dynamic Duo to teach the 'Priorities' message in bilingual Blue Island!

Pastors William & Melek made a Dynamic Duo to teach the ‘Priorities’ message in Blue Island!

Alright – back to what you were doing.

Sunday reflections

The first month of 2016 was a great start for CLC in the ‘year of harvest”:

Great PRESENCE in all 3 services on this Family Sunday!

Great PRESENCE in all 3 services on this Family Sunday!

Pastor Matt led us in dedicating 5 babies to the Lord (that's one way to grow a church!)

Pastor Matt led us in dedicating 5 babies to the Lord (that’s one way to grow a church!)

My oldest granddaughter encouraged EVERY CLC'er to join a Life Group!

My oldest granddaughter encouraged EVERY CLC’er to join a Life Group! [pic by Jen McQuay]

My wife was a BIG help with the message, including her illustration of sowing & reaping for the kids (and big kids, too) on this Family Sunday!

My wife was a BIG help with the message, including her illustration of sowing & reaping for the kids (and big kids, too) on this Family Sunday!

  • I’m especially grateful for numbers of people who prayed to receive Christ in each service at Tinley Park!  (The harvest has already begun at CLC!)
At our NWI campus, Pastor Sam reports a strong attendance, jam-packed altars, 3 babies dedicated and a water baptism!  Now, that's how to have church!

At our NWI campus, Pastor Sam reports a strong attendance, jam-packed altars, 3 babies dedicated (pictured with their families here) & a water baptism! Now, that’s how to have church!

Love this story from our Blue Island campus: the young man in center is Ricky; he has been raised by his mother & grandmother & realized that he had not been dedicated as a baby, so HE asked if he could be dedicated!  Pastors William & Melek led the prayer over him-

Love this story from our Blue Island campus: the young man in center is Ricky; he has been raised by his mother & grandmother & realized that he had not been dedicated as a baby, so HE asked if he could be dedicated! Pastors William & Melek led the prayer over him-

Passionate worship is a hallmark of CLC, at every campus! (Blue Island gets it!)

Passionate worship is a hallmark of CLC, at every campus! (Blue Island gets it!)

Pastors Brent & Sol preached.....

Pastors Brent & Sol preached…..

 

.....to a PACKED HOUSE in Blue Island

…..to a PACKED HOUSE in Blue Island

  • Don’t forget that February 1, 2 and 3 are days of FASTING & PRAYER, with each campus offering a corporate prayer opportunity each day.  

 

Sunday reflections

I think today at CLC was an afterglow of last weekend’s “First Love Conference”:

Creative shot of Ch'vez - you could see the passion in our worship today!

Creative shot of Ch’vez – you could see the passion in our worship today!

Can't tell it from this pic where I was leading some in a prayer of salvation, but I was FEELING what I preached today!

Can’t tell it from this pic where I was leading some in a prayer of salvation, but I was FEELING what I preached today!  Praise God for people who prayed to receive Jesus each service!

Pastor Sam said the MOMENTUM keeps building at NWI, with several new people attending week after week.  Their Life Group kickoff today featured 15 groups!

Pastor Sam said the MOMENTUM keeps building at NWI, with several new people attending week after week. Their Life Group kickoff today featured 15 groups!

Chris was on FIRE with today's message at NWI, too!

Chris was on FIRE with today’s message at NWI, too!

 

Pastor Matt did a great job delivering the message at Blue Island today, with Jorge Arevalo interpreting into Spanish.  Pastor William also reports some very encouraging developments for community outreach!

Pastor Matt did a great job delivering the message at Blue Island today, with Jorge Arevalo interpreting into Spanish. Pastor William also reports some very encouraging developments for community outreach!

  • If you haven’t heard, our annual Business Meeting is in Tinley Park this Wednesday, January 27 at 7pm!

Now it’s couch time and the NFL Conference championships-

 

Sunday reflections

I say it so often it may not have meaning to you, but today was a GOOD day at CLC:

Love the SoP who lead us into His Presence every week!

Love the SoP who lead us into His Presence every week!

Week 2 of our "Harvest" series felt extra-well received!  I know it's 2-3 weeks away, but I honestly think the 3rd and 4th message in the series will be the BEST, as we deal with "Delayed Harvests" and "Consistent Harvests".

Week 2 of our “Harvest” series felt extra-well received!  I know it’s 2-3 weeks away, but I honestly think the 3rd and 4th message in the series will be the BEST, as we deal with “Delayed Harvests” and “Consistent Harvests”.

  • I was overwhelmed at the numbers of people who stood for prayer at the close, and best of all, for the dozen or so who prayed to receive Christ today!
Pastors & Elders praying over Bob Contino-

Pastors & Elders praying over Bob Contino-

  • Of course, it was also a bittersweet day as we said goodbye to Bob Contino, who was the only person at CLC longer than my family.  It was sweet to honor him for all he’s done at CLC through the years (Youth Ministry, Worship Ministry, Drama Ministry, and the brains behind most of our Christmas productions), but certainly sad to see him go.  I especially honor him for the reason he’s leaving us: his relocation to the city combined with his job responsibilities have limited his involvement here for the last several years, so he’s joining a church close to home so he can be more involved!  No surprise for those who know & love him; it’s the kind of guy he is!
Bob greeting the congregation afterwards-

Bob greeting the congregation afterwards-

  • Pastor Sam was ecstatic about today at NWI – not only because of good service & several new Life Group leaders trained, but because their pre-service prayer meeting that was scheduled for 8am-9am continued until 9:40, with people prophesying to each other, laid out in the floor, etc. – just amazing momentum going into 1st Love!
The new prayer wall at our NWI campus.

The new prayer wall at our NWI campus.

  • Finally, Pastor William reports a great response to the message in Blue Island, with one salvation and much excitement about Pastor Sergio De La Mora coming there next Sunday at a special NOON service!

Now it’s couch time with my fingers crossed that Washington can beat the Packers!

 

Sunday reflections

It was SO good to be back at CLC today after being home in bed for 3 consecutive Sundays.

It was SO good to be back at CLC today after being home in bed for 3 consecutive Sundays.

If you attended the noon service, it was awful to know that the video failed & I should have given my best one more time. Please accept our apologies for the video glitches.

More than anything else in this report, I just want to say that I really believe 2016 is a Year of Harvest for CLC, and I hope you will share my expectation for the next 10 days of Prayer & Fasting.

In case you haven’t heard or we weren’t clear in our communication, we’re asking every CLC’er to join us for a 24-hour chain of prayer tomorrow, January 4 online.  You don’t have to leave your home to participate – just choose the hour(s) that work for you and go to www.clc.tv/prayer and login to participate in the chat (basically it means you’ll pray with others by typing your prayer in the chat room)

In addition to that, from 6-7am and 6-7pm each day of the 10 days (January 4-13) at both Tinley Park and Blue Island campuses, we will have LIVE prayer gatherings in the auditorium for anyone who is physically able to join us.  The same thing is true at NWI from 6-7pm for each of the 10 days.  You don’t need to sign up; just show up & pray with us!

At NWI, Pastor Sam reports that folks are expectant & excited about 10 Days of Prayer AND about Harvest!

At NWI, Pastor Sam reports that folks are expectant & excited about 10 Days of Prayer AND about Harvest!

At our Blue Island campus, Pastor William called on a real farmer (Francisco Simental was a farmer in Mexico before moving to Chicago) to help explain the process of planting & waiting for the harvest!

At our Blue Island campus, Pastor William called on a real farmer (Francisco Simental was a farmer in Mexico before moving to Chicago) to help explain the process of planting & waiting for the harvest!

Of course, don’t forget to choose YOUR fast from the three we’re suggesting:

  • water/juice fast – no food for 10 days
  • Daniel fast – no meats, no sweets for 10 days
  • partial fast – one meal a day after 4pm

I’m expecting a Harvest in 2016!

 

Sunday reflections

I should have posted before watching the Bears game…now I’m in a bad mood 😉             But at least it wasn’t a bad day at CLC:

  • Great Presence during worship in Tinley Park as Pastor Jon and Harmony and the SoP led us in “You Make Me Brave” and “No Longer Slaves”, which really fit our current “Fear Not” series!
  • Several people prayed to receive Christ, which is the greatest ‘Fear Not’ decision anyone can make!
  • Special THANKS to ALL the CLC volunteers who helped us pack enough boxes of food at the Thornton Township Food Pantry to feed 1,000 needy families!
After great worship time at NWI, people prayed for each other to be brave in doing what God is calling them to do.

After great worship time at NWI, people prayed for each other to be brave in doing what God is calling them to do.

Highlight of the weekend in Blue Island was the Christmas Parade yesterday, where our campus entered a live float of singers & musicians.

Highlight of the weekend in Blue Island was the Christmas Parade yesterday, where our campus entered a live float of singers & musicians.  Here are some of those who represented CLC-

Nikeva Lawrence & others from the BI worship team during the parade

Nikeva Lawrence & others from the BI worship team sang during the parade

Kudos to Daniel & Veronica Rodriguez who coordinated the parade activities for our BI campus

Kudos to Daniel & Veronica Rodriguez who coordinated the parade activities for our BI campus

Now I’m gonna go nurse my wounds from the Bears game….

Sunday reflections

I can’t speak for each campus since I was only in Tinley today, but there was such a sweet anointing in each service this Thanksgiving weekend:

On this Family Sunday, our Consumed Student Ministry led worship-

On this Family Sunday, our Consumed Student Ministry led worship-

Baby dedications always contribute to a sweet Spirit: David & Latthaniah Wells presented Ahlena today.

Baby dedications always contribute to a sweet Spirit: David & Latthaniah Wells presented Ahlena.

Baby dedication: Rob & Evisha Sills with Nolan (in Rob's arms)

Rob & Evisha Sills presented Nolan (in Rob’s arms) to the Lord today.

Pastors Brent & Sol presented Kelsey to the Lord today

and Pastors Brent & Sol presented Kelsey to the Lord (with Jaeden & Bennet looking on)

The first week of "Fear Not" seemed to connect.....

The first week of “Fear Not” seemed to connect…..

...but the solo of "Be Born in Me" by Amanda Edwards REALLY brought the message home!  Thanks for being such an instrument in God's Hands today, Amanda!

…but the solo of “Be Born in Me” by Amanda Edwards REALLY brought the message home! Thanks for being such an instrument in God’s Hands today, Amanda!

The Presence in the altar afterwards was indescribable!  (Kudos to Pastor Jon for leading that very special time)

The Presence in the altar afterwards was indescribable! (Thanks to Pastor Jon for leading that very special time)

At NWI today, a combined youth/adult team led worship.

At NWI today, a combined youth/adult team led worship for Family Sunday.

  • AND our KidsLife students raised $125 for “Feed My Starving Children”, so they got to throw a pie in the face of their leaders, Jenny & Ben Gonzales (sorry, no pic) 
  • Kudos also to Mike Usher and Antonio Aranda as they stepped up to lead our CSM ministry there.
Pastor Matt DeLaTorre did a great job bringing the Word in Pastor William's absence today at our Blue Island campus.

Pastor Matt DeLaTorre did a great job bringing the Word in Pastor William’s absence today at our Blue Island campus.

  • In addition to volunteers for the “Christmas Hope Project”, our Blue Island campus is also taking a big role in the Christmas Parade there this coming Saturday.

The only thing that’ll make this day any better is some Thanksgiving leftovers….think I’ll have some now-

Sunday reflections

Well, the first snow of this winter is history, along with it’s affect on our attendance this Sunday at CLC:

The Praise Team wasn't affected by the snow & ice - they still brought the Presence!

The Praise Team wasn’t affected by the snow & ice – they still brought the Presence!

Today was the last time we're talking about Faith Promise commitments for 2016 - but it's not too late for you to make one!

Today was the last time we’re talking about Faith Promise commitments for 2016 – but it’s not too late for you to make one!

Pastor Sam brought a WORD today: "my time is limited, so I must limit how I spend my time" / "we are busy but barren" / "let's focus on what's unique to us"

Pastor Sam brought a WORD today: “my time is limited, so I must limit how I spend my time” / “we are busy but barren” / “let’s focus on what’s unique to us” / KUDOS, Sam!!!

With her hubby preaching the lights out at Tinley Park, Pastor Taylor Hamstra was holding the fort at NWI.

With her hubby preaching the lights out at Tinley Park, Pastor Taylor Hamstra was holding the fort at NWI.

With Pastor William on vacation, Pastor Matt DeLaTorre closed the "Choose Life" series at Blue Island, with Jorge Arevalo interpreting.

With Pastor William on vacation, Pastor Matt DeLaTorre closed the “Choose Life” series at Blue Island, with Jorge Arevalo interpreting.

In spite of the snowy attendance AND a disappointing Bears loss, I’m still praising the Lord this Sunday afternoon (hope you are, too!)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sunday reflections

sunday

By the time you read this, we’ll either be asleep in Singapore or onboard a plane for Tokyo – but I promise you that my pastoral heart will be wanting to know how was everything at CLC today?

We’ve got a great staff, so I don’t worry about things when we’re away on missions, but I just like to hear about the services and how the Holy Spirit may have ministered to YOU.

So, if you attended any service at any campus of CLC today (even online), please let me know what you received from the Lord today.  What was your favorite part of the service?

Leave your comment below and make this pastor’s heart glad.  Thanks!

Sunday reflections

This has been the most interesting Sunday I ever recall.  (I’ve been taught to use the word “interesting” when you don’t want to grumble or complain)

  • I feel I owe an apology to everyone who attended the 8:30am service in Tinley Park (and everyone from our NWI campus, since that’s the video feed they received) – it’s been a LOOOONG time since I just dropped the ball with the message that badly.

    Although Harmony was forced to play drums today, Tiffany Hines & the team led us into God's Presence without a hitch.

    Although Harmony was forced to play drums today, Tiffany Hines & the team led us into God’s Presence without a hitch.

KidsLife is in great hands with these STARS: (L to R) Marque Couser, Stacy Hunter & Joel Johnson!

KidsLife is in great hands with these STARS: (L to R) Marque Couser, Stacy Hunter & Joel Johnson!

Thankfully, the Word 'came alive' at 10 and 12!

Thankfully, the Word ‘came alive’ at 10 and 12!

I’m also excited for ALL the CLC’ers who are going to join us in reading the Word daily for the next 30 days, using “The Word of God” Bible reading plan.  (If you haven’t already, download the Bible App to your phone and then choose this reading plan)

I love the fact that Sam & Taylor aren't just Campus Pastors at NWI; they're worshippers, too!

I love the fact that Sam & Taylor aren’t just Campus Pastors at NWI; they’re worshippers, too!

Talk about 'receiving God's Word' - look at these faces in rapt attention!  Didn't Jesus say "a little child will lead them"?

Talk about ‘receiving God’s Word’ – look at these faces in rapt attention! Didn’t Jesus say “a little child will lead them”?

Perhaps best of all, our NWI campus served 95 volunteer hours in their community this past week!

Perhaps best of all, our NWI campus served 95 volunteer hours in their community this past week!

There was a real touch of the Holy Spirit at our Blue Island campus, and 2 people prayed to receive Christ!

There was a real touch of the Holy Spirit at our Blue Island campus, and 2 people prayed to receive Christ!

  • After the 3rd service, we grabbed a quick sandwich enroute to O’Hare to catch our first flight that will eventually get us to Cambodia by Tuesday morning – and it took us over an hour to check-in because of a glitch that prevents us from checking our bags thru to Phnom Penh.
  • Then my carry-on triggered the most (cough) thorough body search I’ve ever experienced before I was approved to go beyond security to our gate.  All of these are what Andy Stanley calls “rich people” problems, since the vast majority of our world never sees the inside of an airport.

BUT God is good, all the time!

I’ll check in with you from Cambodia.  Bye for now-