Monday, April 5, 2010

Jonas Bros. , Rick Warren give hope on Easter + Nick's Speech

ANAHEIM – Comparing life to baseball, Saddleback Church Pastor Rick Warren preached of hope and miracles during an Easter service at Angel Stadium Sunday.
"Life is like baseball," Warren said. "We all get a few errors, we get some hits and definitely a lot of strikeouts."

Warren told the nearly 30,000 attendees – who applauded and loudly praised Jesus Christ – that in life it is never too late for a miracle and it is never too late to start over.
Easter worshippers stood and applauded in song and praise as Warren took the pitcher's mound to lead the nearly two-hour service. His sermon was accompanied by songs from Saddleback's worship leader Rick Muchow and the 2010 Dove Award nominated New Artist of the Year, Kari Jobe.
A special three-song session by the Jonas Brothers – Nick, Kevin and Joe – at the end of the service drew screams and cheers from the crowd.
The trio sang "Hold On," A Little Bit Longer" and "Gotta Find You," a song written by Saddleback Church member Adam Watts.
During "A Little Bit Longer," Nick Jonas shared a personal testimony

"About four and a half years ago I was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes," he said. "It happened quickly, but on my way to the hospital that night, I made a commitment to myself that I wouldn’t let it slow me down. And I asked myself the question, 'Why me?' But I do believe there was a turning point when I realized, “Why not me?
"Now I’ve been able to share my story and encourage other young people who are dealing with some of the same things. And I know we’re all going through some hard things in our lives but it’s how we persevere, how we get through those hard moments in our lives. I encourage you when those moments come to make that commitment I made and don’t let it slow you down."

Jenna Slipp, 18, of Tustin screamed when she found out they were going to be part of the service. She screamed even louder as they walked out on to the field past third base.
"It was great to see them live," she said clutching her boyfriend Anthony Trinh's hand. "They were heartfelt. Normally, they're really upbeat, but today they were mellower, more respectful for the occasion."
The service also celebrated Saddleback Church's 30th anniversary. Rick and Kay Warren founded the church with seven people in their apartment in 1980, and 205 people gathered for their first public worship service on Easter that year at Laguna Hills High School. Now the church has more than 22,000 members across five campuses and more than 4,000 Saddleback small groups meet weekly.
Another Saturday night Easter service hosted by Saddleback Church at Angel Stadium drew an estimated 15,000 people and featured Latin Grammy-winning artist Marcos Witt and Jobe. A missions offering – with proceeds going to Haiti – was collected during both services. Easter worshippers were also encouraged to bring food for the church's food bank. About 65,000 pounds of food were left at four food collection sites in the stadium parking lot.
Before the 10 a.m. service Sunday, worshippers tailgated in the parking lot. There were food, coffee and songs of praise.
Alejandra Ross, of Portola Hills got up at 5 a.m. just to make frittatas with spinach and sundried tomatoes for a group of 17. Lynn MacFarlane, from Ladera Ranch made blueberry, lemon, orange zest and lemon-poppy seed breads.
Both belong to one of Saddleback's small groups.
"I'm excited. This is so much fun to be here with my family and my church family," Ross said. "We all looked forward to coming anyhow, but when I found out the Jonas Brothers were coming, I thought it was a good opportunity to attract who would not normally have gone."
And that was exactly what Warren wanted –- a relevant Easter service that would draw many who had not yet made their commitment to God.
"You can exist for weeks without food, you can exist several days without water and you can exist a few seconds without air," Warren said, opening the service. "But you can't live without hope. Optimism is what you think you can do. Hope is what you think God can do."
Warren closed the service bare-footed and in surf shorts welcoming guests to be baptized in one of three temporary pools outside the stadium.



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