Monday, August 19, 2013
Church: What does it mean to me to be a part of a church? 1st, I think family. I grew up in my mom's families' church, so growing up it always felt like "home" and I loved that I had my aunts & uncles & cousins & more than that as the church grew & i grew up i already felt like i had a family before i even became a believer, but i learned about prayer & it's power especially when I spent Christmas 2002 in China & it was my friends & mostly my "family" (Wilkies Grove Baptist Church) who i knew & felt their prayers! It didnt take me long to become attached to Open Door Baptist church in Raleigh. God used my time there to teach me more about "church family" and Brad & learned a lot through our "care groups" time together & living life with others in the church. It's a big church so we didnt know everyone but it still felt like "home": a family among fellow believers! We are soooo thankful for Pastor Dwayne Milioni not only for his preaching & the staff that supported the church but also for the "pre-engagement/marriage" counseling we received! Brad & I were poured into by others who were also seeking to follow Christ! They lived out the Gospel before us! Now, it didnt take long for Dudley Shoals Baptist Church to feel like "home", even though i miss my other 2 homes, i know if we moved again, i would have 3 "homes" to miss! A few weeks ago, i had this overwhelming feeling that DSBC was "family" and it felt soo good, & that's what I told Brad on the way to church. It's sooo easy to get distracted or to be discouraged even with church but God is really showing me that i have to look past any of this & see HIM, because CHURCH is all about Him, it's all about His Glory! I have a dear friend i've encouraged for a long time to get back in church and recently I can see why it can be easy to fall away from church & maybe not desire to go back, but God is teaching me to look to Him, seek to bring Him glory & love on the church, His family, My family! WE are sooo thankful for everyone @ DSBC, for those who have reached out to us & for those who have loved on us & for those who have welcomed us, epecially our precious children! I know we dont know everyone yet (@least I dont) but i hope with time & opportunity that would change & I also pray that we would be reminded daily what CHURCH means and that it is not about "us". Tonight I read some of one of Brad's books & i was really encouraged as I was reminded that we do not take on church membership to be served and taken care of (like if we joined a club, etc.) but instead we join to serve, to love & even be willing to be last....." (I am a Church Member, Thom S. Rainer). So, what are you seeking from church? What does church mean to you? Do you know the ONE who is the cornerstone, the foundation--JESUS? Are we being "gospel-centered" churches/members? "Gospel" is highly talked about in SBC life right & it is not a fad, but I think many churches today have forgotten or lost the fact that the Gospel is not only the church's purpose & mission, it's what birthed the church--- that is the story of Jesus Christ! God didnt design church for man's glory but for His Glory. It's a place where we as believers work together & support & serve one another & our community in sharing the Gospel! I pray that our churches would all be "gospel-centered"! I pray we will not just be a people who knows God, but one who Loves God and our church family! Because you can know God, but not really "know Him." Romans 1
Wednesday, August 14, 2013
Just finished writing a letter for our 2 foster kids birth mom as tomorrow they go for their final visit. No doubt she is nervous, excited & sad. I can't imagine the vast emotions she is feeling. We've been looking forward to this day, as rights have been terminated, no, i dont mean I am excited for her, but it's been a long process for our kids, over 2.5 years (we've only had them 10 months now, but we hope to adopt them soon).... it's never easy on any kid to go through what they've been through. Have you ever stopped to think what it would be like for yourself as a child or as a parent to be seperated from your children. Sometimes I imagine what it would be like for our daughter who has been with us since she was born and who is so close in age to our two foster kids (3 kids with a 16 month age range).... It's heart breaking! Praying that their hearts will be mended & healed by the One True Healer--Our Heavenly Father! So thankful for the love they receive by our families & friends & especially our church family! Our kids have come a long ways in the last 10 months. Big day tomorrow! We are also in the midst of saying we will "miss you" to a dear friend who is going off to college on Friday! we are excited for her but going to miss her tons! She has blessed us sooo much, not just in her helping our family & especially helping me during the hardest times of having 3 little ones, but she has become a dear friend. & more than that, it's her joy, laugh, & excitment she has brought to our youth group at church, to our home as well! We will greatly miss Mandy Annas while she is off in college but sooo thankful for the time God has blessed us with her! God is soooo GOOD all the time!!!