I hate to think about how many details I’ll forget with time. I’m looking out my window at the city of LA. The view is spectacular. I am at the pinnacle of my life. It’s like I want to die right here, because I want to freeze yesterday for all eternity. But then God says, you don’t have to live in this moment forever, because you will have a thousand more!
This is a photo we captured from the roof of the LA Dream Center.
We arrived in LA on Wednesday. The Omni Hotel found out I was speaking at Angelus Temple and they upgraded us to the Presidential Suite. Besides, this is one of the finest hotel properties in LA! God bless Alex, Toi, and Mia for making that happen for us. If I lived in this town, I would invite them to our leadership team.
Yesterday, my family went on a tour of LA. They ran into Mike Tyson and returned to me with laughter and stories. I stayed back at the hotel, and I worked on my message outline. I rehearsed my complete message out loud 3 times. I had never been more prepared for anything in my life.
At 5pm we had a personal tour of the LA Dream Center, with Pastor Matthew Barnett. We stood on the roof looking as far as the eye could see in every direction. This is the place where Nightmare On Elm Street was filmed.
Today, nightmares are turning into dreams in this city for thousands of destitute people because of the Dream Center!
They have 700 residents living there each night. There is no place in the world that is more inspirational than the LA Dream Center. Forget the Grand Canyon, everyone should come here at some point in their lives.
Each time we entered a new wing of their hospital, people were lined down the sides cheering and high fiveing us as we walked through. Then someone stood forward and shared an unforgettable story. One lady was a recovering prostitute. A man held his two children close, and he thanked God for putting him in the Dream Center last week so he could have his children back.
In the women’s substance addiction wing, we walked through their bedrooms. I noticed the photo’s on their walls were a constant reminder of why they were there. God, please help them to hold on. Give them the lives they cry for.
At 6:45pm, we were driven 1/2 mile to the Angelus Temple. I’ll never forget what it felt like to see that place all lit up, with lines of people going in.
At 7:03pm, we were brought into the sanctuary. Worship was as #wow. I kept looking around, and thinking who am I to be here speaking tonight? Emily leaned in to me and said, “I’m so proud of you Charlie. You are the greatest man I know, and you deserve this moment.” I promise you, I’ve never fought so hard to keep my tears from bursting out.
Then, I was introduced and invited to the platform. I had chills at times, as God moved in my heart. The message was clear. It was well recieved. In the end, a few hundred people packed into the front for salvation and prayer. I signed books for an hour before I had to leave.
Some people cried as we shook hands. They held tight and thanked me for changing their lives. Many of them said that last night was a matter of life and death for them, and God used me to save them.
Then, we spent quality time with Pastor Matthew & Caroline Barnett afterwards. They are the most beautiful couple! At least ten times, I thought, “I can’t believe we’re sitting here laughing and living life with these amazing people.” It’s rare to see that much kindness and humility in people who have succeeded like they have.
At the dinner table, they personally invited our son Coree to go with their human trafficking team tomorrow night from 1-5am. This is the opportunity of a lifetime for him. I can’t imagine how this will change his life!
On Sunday, I’m running the LA marathon with Emily. Then we might go seal watching. Disney Land on Monday!
This is one of the greatest weeks of my life. Thank you for sharing it with me. I hope you are inspired to reach for your own dreams. It’s amazing how far your life can go in 23 years of following Jesus. I owe everything to Him.