Starbucks Lovers

When Taylor Swift released Blank Space, I immediately loved the song.  One of the lines really had my curiosity: “Get along with Starbucks Lovers, they’ll tell you I’m insane.”  Five years later I discovered that the real lyrics were “Got a long list of ex-lovers.

They’ll tell you I’m insane.”  Even Taylor Swift’s own mother thought Taylor was saying “Starbucks lovers.”  “Starbucks lovers” has become code for when I realize that what I once thought is not exactly true.  I always thought Genesis 1 was about the creation but after a full examination have come to believe (Starbucks Lovers moment) that Genesis 1 is about God our Creator.  I always thought the Book of Acts was about the birth of the church until (Starbucks Lovers moment) I have come to believe it is really about the activity of the Holy Spirit.  Certainly creation and the birth of the church are stories that are contained in Genesis and Acts, but the main character is God. 

In the fall of 2018, I looked at the calendar and saw 2020.  I decided to make the theme of 2020 “20/20 vision.”  I thought it was perfect and the only opportunity for such a time as this.  I prepared sermon series and titles for the year.  “Blurred vision” from 1 Corinthians 13 and “cross-eyed” from Revelation were just a couple of the creative topics.  I was very excited.  After I was finished there was a nagging in my spirit.  I believe that God was complimenting me on what I had come up with.  I also felt God was prompting me to trash the whole plan because God had a different plan.  I surrendered my plan to God and asked for a new plan.  Weeks of prayer and Scripture reading ensued always searching for what God’s plan might be for Wesley Chapel in 2020. 

I was reading Ephesians 3:14-21.  It is one of my favorite passages.  On a wall in my office hangs a beautiful piece of artwork by Connie Newbanks that includes this passage.  In 2015, Wesley Chapel used this passage to form the first half of our mission phrase, “Rooted in Christ, Growing in Grace.”  I have quoted pieces of it over and over again in sermons.  I have literally read it or quoted it hundreds of times.  Each time I read the passage in my regular Bible reading I get excited.  In early 2019, I was reading this passage and a phrase jumped off the page: “through your Spirit.”  It was a “Starbucks Lovers” moment.  Even though the phrase had been there the whole time, I passed over it as if it had not even been there.  I read it again in context, “He may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being.”  I read it again, this time reading all seven verses.  I was convicted.  I had neglected the Holy Spirit when speaking of this passage.  I thought about my ten years at Wesley Chapel and realized how little emphasis I had given to the Holy Spirit.  I sensed the Holy Spirit was guiding me to focus the sermons of 2020 on the power of the Holy Spirit.  As I continued to read more Scripture I saw the Holy Spirit mentioned over and over again.  Within a few weeks I had finished the series and titles of 2020.  After two months of sermons, you as the members of Wesley Chapel, have given Pastor Peter and me an overwhelming affirmation for the messages and the topic.  I believe that when we are obedient to the Holy Spirit, it really opens all of us to growing in faith. 

The month of March, we are turning to Forgotten God, a sermon series based on the book by Francis Chan.  We are including opportunities to study Forgotten God in Sunday Schools and small groups.  We believe that the combination of sermon, book, and discussion will bring us closer to the Holy Spirit and deepen our faith in God.  In April, we turn our attention back to Jesus as we remember the death and resurrection of our Savior.  We want you to stay connected to God and to Wesley Chapel as we walk this journey of faith together.

 

Grace and peace,

Pastor Tony


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