I haven’t written in awhile…don’t quite know why that is…maybe because my goal was to blog once a week and anytime I set a goal, I manage to do the exact opposite and never meet it! (Maybe my goal should be to gain 50 pounds 🙂 ) Actually, an unexpected illness and subsequent stays in the hospital plus an expanded role at the church have made these first three months pretty crazy. But this week has been one of those pivotal weeks. It has been a week in which God reminded me of what is important, of the things that really matter.
It began Sunday morning…both services were incredible. I cannot explain it except to say that the presence of God was so strong. It was what our church needed. It was what our staff needed. It was what I needed. Sometimes life just wears us down and we need to have times of refreshing. Our souls get battered and bruised from just living life. Our souls need times of refreshing. God shows up just in time!
Sunday night I had the opportunity to attend the wake of a wonderful, godly woman who has been part of my church since it began years and years ago. The impact this quiet woman of God had on people in our community was demonstrated that evening. Several hundred people came through the line just to pay their respects to this lady known throughout the community. She fought cancer valiantly for ten years. It never got her down. You would see her continuing to work in yard even as she lost her hair. She did not have to talk about how godly or how strong she was…she lived it. May we all live out our faith and belief in God.
Monday we had the funeral. Our church family was amazing. Serving the meal, setting up, tearing down. Two days later, the same church family put on a meal for those who were baptized. They are the most giving and loving group of people I have ministered with (and in 48 hours, 75 of them will help at an all night teen dodge ball tournament…they are either really committed or crazy…) My friend, Carey (who blogs, too) was baptized tonight. She is the granddaughter of the lady who passed away. Her grandfather came to see her baptized. He had not been in church for a few months as he was with his wife constantly through the final stages of her illness. As he walked into the church, his church family spontaneously began to clap for him. It was the most moving thing I have ever seen. The love, care, and compassion that my church consistently shows really does demonstrate the love of God. We may not do a lot of things well, but one thing is for sure: we love very well!
Tonight at the baptismal service thirteen people were baptized. All different ages, genders, walks of life. It reminded me of what God has really called me to do; to make disciples, followers of Christ. One of my good friends was baptized tonight. I had the honor of helping baptize her. I baptized her in the same exact place I was baptized 26 years previously. I have known Amber most of my life. She is indescribable…larger than life…I have prayed for her for years and years. About seven months ago she gave her life to Christ. The change in her is amazing. She is growing. Her faith is contagious. I was like that 26 years ago. I want my faith to be contagious. I want to always remember that first love. Sometimes I just need to be reminded that life is not as complicated as we make it out to be. We are to love God and love people. And you love people by showing them how to love God and how much God loves them. Pretty simple.