Some thoughts from the last week of 2007
We were encouraged at the youth meeting in Mt. Carmel. There were many good things said but three speakers stand out to me.
Brother Steve Wilkinson (Bourbonnais, Illinois) did a masterful job explaining the kind of music that is destructive to our spiritual life and the kind of music that will edify and glorify God in worship.
Brother Brad Ratliff (new pastor in Kansas City) very aptly showed how the things we learn to do in church are equipping us with skills that will help us succeed in every area of our life. Here are a few areas he brought out…testifying/singing specials help you overcome the fear of public speaking which btw is the #1 fear of Americans (didn’t know that before)…team work within a church teaches how to work with others on committees and such…the principles and commandments of the Bible we hear preached help us understand how to have a happy marriage/home.
A young woman, Aleeta, from Benton Harbor, Michigan shared her testimony of how she slipped from church little by little into doing things she never dreamed she would do. She was so grateful for God’s faithfulness to her and His mercy in her life. She sang a song she had written. I’ll share the chorus…
Lord, I want to be single-hearted, single-minded
For a double minded man is unstable in all his ways
For there’s no greater honor than to be a servant for You, Lord
Help me walk the path that’s right and I’ll give my life to You and You alone
On Sunday we were honored to have dinner with the Shah family from Owensboro (Rajen, Stephanie, Jessica, Jacob, Joseph, and Jonathan). What precious friends they have become. They shared how they were preparing to write their family mission statement (as well as individual ones) for the new year. They have such a vision for a godly home. I hope someday if God blesses me with a family we’ll be sitting down doing that! It made me think, though, of how I should make one for myself right now.
Sunday night at church Bro. Phil Wright from Jerseyville, Illinois spoke and his message was so captivating and encouraging. Talk about experiencing God…this man has done it. He was just so honest and sincere before the Lord…no pretense or fancy show…and God performed miracles in his life. There were many times when He trusted God and God answered his prayers miraculously but the one that sticks out the most to me is of how the Lord sent an angel to his home to tell him to go to the Body of Christ church he had been hearing about but wouldn’t go to until the Lord let him know for sure. He told him for sure! It was incredible.
The Lord moved in a great way and I got such a good blessing that night.
New Year’s Eve service at church was so good. The Linder family (my youngest brother’s fiance’s family) was here visiting and Sis. Lisa Linder gave her testimony of how the Lord saved her and her husband. At the time their marriage was on the rocks and she was getting ready to go out to a bar one night to get even with her husband. While in the bathroom applying her makeup she heard a voice singing into her ear the song “Softly and tenderly Jesus is calling. Calling for you and for me.” She cried but shook herself and tried to put on her makeup again. Finally her mother-in-law called and she told her what was happening. She said, “Lisa, that’s God calling you out!” Lisa shouting rather loudly said, “What’s He want me for?” She heard the song a third time and then went and put on the only dress she had, went downstairs and announced she was going to church. She went to church and cried and cried and didn’t want to leave because she felt so safe there. Seven years later her husband (who had been backslidden for years) got saved and is in church now, too. It was a marvellous testimony of God having His hand on your life.
After the service was over several of us gathered together to sing and worship. It was a precious time of sharing.
I am thankful for all of the Lord’s blessing on my family and my own life this past year. Sometimes when we kneel as a family at night to pray I thank Him that we’re “all together in one place”. I know it won’t be that way forever but I am thankful it has been this long. He has been very good to us.