This morning I experienced a nice little private blessing from the Lord. Well, I suppose it WAS private until I started writing this article! That is ok though, I don’t mind if you take a little peek into my mind.
After breakfast, I decided to go to visit with my Czech brothers at the Baptist church which is close to our apartment. It was a rainy morning and I made the 15 minute walk to their building, went upstairs and sat down. After a short bit, I discovered that they would not be translating the service today. They have a wonderful system set up for us English speaking “foreigners” where they have headphones to listen to a volunteer provide translating. Sometimes they do not have anyone in the translator’s booth and today was another of those days. Many days I have sat through Czech based services and have strained to listen to the language and catch a few phrases but honestly, today I just couldn’t do it. In my spirit, I needed to hear the word of God and understand what was being said in my language. This is one of the struggles for a missionary, to be in a different culture where you cannot feel comfortable with your surroundings in a spiritual sense. So, today I decided to slip out and go back home to my apartment and attempt to find an American pastor somewhere online to listen to.
Upon getting back to my apartment, I fixed another cup of coffee and went to the computer and the Lord prompted me to look at the Saddleback Church website. I have always enjoyed listening to their pastor, Rick Warren. He has a ministry / preaching style that I seem to relate to better than some. Anyway, on their site they have a tremendous amount of spiritual helps and multimedia content and a service which (I think) is prerecorded and then broadcast live at different hours of the day. In Southern California it would have been 1:00am at the time I started watching their “live” Internet service. The online video player actually allows you to select a very high bandwidth version which is extremely clear. By the way, the website is here: https://www.saddleback.com/blogs/internetcampus/
The pre-service music was very good. They have an orchestra with very talented people leading throughout. At the beginning of the service, pastor Rick Warren gave thanks and acknowledged the service of their worship pastor, Rick Muchow who has been a part of Saddleback since it’s beginning. Later, Rick Warren preached about their new campaign called 40 Days in the Word which I think I may start personally. It is a great idea. I was so blessed to hear his teaching and encouragement… in MY language. I really needed it. I am very thankful the Saddleback Church has invested in these types of resources. They will probably never know how many people they touch with their varied ministries. Below are a few screen captures of their streaming video service. I hope this will prompt you to check out their site.