Is there someone in your life full of hell? Or full of hellish behavior toward you? Or maybe they just are hard to love?
We have a motto at our church and it’s plastered all over tee shirts, banners and social media that says ~ Loving the HELL out of MOBTOWN!
We just got to do something we have wanted to do for two decades here in Mobile, AL…..have a float in the Joe Cain Day Parade during Mardi Gras. Nothing more edgy. Nothing more in the devil’s face. Nothing more like Jesus. It was all we had imagined it to be.
Oh and I’m not a true Mobilian if I don’t stop here and be sure you know Mardi Gras started in Mobile…not New Orleans! lol #truestory
Getting to be in the parade yesterday made me think of two things.
1- Loving the HELL out of people can actually be FUN!
2- Perfect LOVE casts out FEAR!
Ya know, for the most part, I was raised to not go to Mardi Gras, not participate in it because of all the ungodly activity that often surrounds it.
When I think about it, the only time I did go to Mardi Gras was when I was in college and partying, running from
the call of God on my life. I went down to New Orleans with a group of friends from college. We were in my brand new candy apple red 1990 Celica….the brand new body style. Sorry….got caught up in the walk down memory lane….loved that car.
It was my freshman year in college (when most of us good kids who made it through the 80s loving Jesus went nuts for a little while). There I was “knowing better” as a Christian teenager walking down the streets of NOLA so intoxicated that I got lost from my group of “friends”. I remember looking down with crocodile tears running down my face, realizing I was literally wading through trash up to my knees as I strolled down Bourbon Street at about 2 am…ALONE. It was then, when I began to FINALLY figure out these were NOT my friends and I was in a heap of trouble. It wasn’t long after this experience that I started making changes to come back to Jesus.
When we’ve had bad experiences, the tendency is to let fear cause us to not even want to go back into those environments even to be a light in the darkness. It was so special to me this weekend to get to go back into the wildest day of all of Mardi Gras and get to throw out cups, moon pies, stuffed animals and beads with invites to Harvest Church to give the devil a huge black eye for how he had deceived me in college and almost averted the call of God on my life. It was such a blast to let the love of God in us cast out fear of being right smack dab in the middle of the biggest drunken fest in our city of the year, shining the light of the gospel as our worship band was just ahead of us on a second float playing worship music, jamming in the spirit and throwing in a lil Sweet Home Alabama in there for fun!
Please join me in prayer that many who got the throws with QR codes printed on them that take them to get a FREE drink in our coffee shop inviting them to church…. That they will push past the fear of a life change and let love and peace and joy have her perfect work in their hearts, that thousands from our city will come to our church and will Join the FUN! Join the FAMILY!
Love in our Language. Kindness is our Accent.
& where …
No Perfect People are Allowed!
& where they will Experience Jesus, Get Connected to godly friends, Discover their destiny, & together Change the world!
Let God free you of fear of going into whatever space intimidates you. Trust in that verse that says Perfect love casts out fear.
Also realize when you love people, it casts out fear in them the enemy has been tormenting them with. I’m so grateful that believers in my home church were sooooo “arms open wide” when I decided to come back to Jesus. Many of you have heard me say this but I wept through the announcements at church and slid into the altar where I was greeted with such unconditional love from the beautiful Bride of Christ ~ His church ~ the hope of the world.
Get vitally connected to a church in your city and don’t join in with people who want to fault-find and Nit-pick every fault of the Church but jump in with both feet and be the change you hope to see and start loving the hell out of your city locked arms with a local church and watch how God moves in your heart to cast out fear in you so you can love the hell out of everyone in your world!
I’ll forever be thankful for my family, my friends, and my church family who continuously keep loving more and more of the hell out of me!
PS…. Register TODAY for Splendor ~ our Spring Happy Hour March 18th at AdrienneCooley.com