It was truly a joyous thing to be in a place with Brothers & Sisters of like Faith. I believe I can sum up our experience like this- there's no doubt that God has HIS hand of blessing on this group of believers and just as I have experienced when worshiping with believers from other cultures- they're NOT AFRAID to voice (or show) their love for their Savior. It was refreshing to be a part of a gathering where people obviously knew how broken they were/are without Christ and that HE IS WORTHY of all our affection and praise! Honestly, it reminded us of our home over the last 10 years at Crosspointe and it solidified the desire within us to continue seeking God's will as it relates to Church/ministry in the next assignment of our lives as we move on from Chattanooga in the coming weeks. (That should not be news to most of you, but if so- please contact us directly if you'd like us to share more about that...in Sum- God.) Back to my point- we enjoyed a great time of Worship, then a beautiful baby dedication and then a great message by one of the staff Pastors. The essence of today's challenge was a reminder that God's agenda for our lives is singular- reaching those in our 'world' for Him. He put it like this- we're to 'repair' the world around us by sharing the love, hope & peace found in a genuine relationship with Jesus Christ. He ended his message with a challenge, reminding us that we can't effectively reach others when we're not IN THE WORD...such a simple, yet difficult concept for us (well, I'm assuming I'm not the only one) to grasp. In the end, it was a refreshing experience to have spent time corporately worshiping our Lord & Savior. Indeed, we were never meant to live our Christian faith as if we are alone...we MUST gather with other believers to both encourage and be encouraged.
Here's a few pictures...
|Baby Dedication (A great encouragement to see parents desiring to commit to raising their child in a godly fashion!)|
We are looking forward to a great week- for those familiar with 'adoption speak' it's "Gotcha week." We are becoming more positively anxious about the finalizing of the adoption and all that comes along with that. We are so ready to share pictures/video, etc with the WORLD as soon as we possibly can. C seems to be growing more and more excited about the coming days/weeks as well as she has been talking more and more about getting on a plane and flying to the US to her new home. What a humbling phenomenon- she is EXCITED and ANTICIPATING going to a place she's never been...with 4 people that she (for all intents and purposes) has just met. First of all, THAT is a God thing. Secondly, beyond that, how is it possible that she TRUSTS us enough to know that we will protect and provide for her in a place she's never known?! Wow! Yet again I'm reminded of my relationship with Christ in that no matter what lies ahead, God loves me too much to do anything less than provide and protect me as His child.
As I write, and reminisce on the message I heard earlier (referenced above), I'm convicted that I've missed too many opportunities to tell others about this God that loves everyone and that wants to have a relationship with anyone that places their trust in Him. Essentially we're to do for others what our family has done for C- befriend them, show them love, sacrifice, honor...BE REAL and just point them to a holy, righteous God that demands only one thing- a submissive, repentant heart. Who in your world needs 'repairing' today?
Thanks again for coming along on this awesome ride! Our prayer for you is that you have a tremendous week...and that as you go about, those you encounter are better off for having interacted with you.