irst Friday, March 3rd was, in my mind, a total barn-burner!! The worship team knocked it out of the park, and with the added anointing of “For His Name’s Sake” dance team from Minnesota…well I’m still looking for the right words to capture it all!
We posted the entire service, well over two hours, on Facebook Live. Just after the meeting closed I saw the numbers; the reach was nearly 500,000 and the views were more than 36,000! If you weren’t able to tune in live, I highly recommend you watch it on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/PaulWilbur/
People logged into Facebook from all over the western hemisphere to see what we were up to that night. Amazing! Our service teams did an outstanding job of welcoming, parking cars, ushering and security with two paid JSO officers on duty here.
Our special guest was Brig. Gen. Gal Hirsch (retired) of the I.D.F. Special Forces in Israel, along with his wife Donna and their 14-year-old daughter Nir. BGH, as we affectionately call him, spoke for nearly an hour to a captivated audience about his service to the nation of Israel, his devastating life-threatening injuries after a well-executed ambush by Palestinian terrorists in Judea, and his miraculous recovery and return to duty. (We are posting his talk in its entirety soon, so check the website at https://www.wilburministries.com// for details.)
Over and over again he repeated the theme of his life, and the reason for his remarkable success…”the mission must be accomplished!” Whether he was speaking about his pursuit of the 19-year-old girl in the army he would eventually marry, or the dangerous adventures in the defense of his beloved Israel, the theme was the same, “the mission must be accomplished.”
So let me ask you: What is your mission? What sacrifices are you willing to make for the mission? What are you securing and protecting?
I wrote these few words down, and I plan to implement them as the watchwords of my life as well. There is much more to say about his time with us, but I will have to refer you to the video to hear it for yourself.
BGH ended his sharing by calling me to the platform for a surprise presentation. He held high a large book that looks like it is wrapped in a tallit (Jewish prayer shawl). The large volume has no writing on the outside, although the name of it is inscribed on the inside jacket. The book is titled, “Each of Them Has a Name,” and inside, written six million times is the word “JEW.”
He held up the book again before handing it to me, and he made the declaration that he was willing to give his own life in service to his country, to assure that there would NEVER be a volume two.
The congregation agreed by standing to their feet and the applause lasted for some time. We will cherish this book and place it on display from time to time so that all may see and appreciate what this ledger is saying so powerfully.
Thank you to all our volunteers, staff, to Celebration Church for the use of the sanctuary, “For His name Sake” dancers, and especially to my friend BGH and his family for a Shabbat that we will not soon forget!
Join us for the next installment of First Friday on April 7th at 7:00 p.m. as we discover “The Mystery of the Matzoh” and a special Passover Shabbat. We will also be launching my new book, “A King is Coming!” Directions and a map are available on line at WilburMinistries/FirstFridays