Friday, April 23, 2010

Times of refreshing

I am so thankful to be a part of such a great family. My parents are simply amazing, wonderful people. I have a sister who has been through so much in her young life, but still smiles and is generous to all. My kids are the joy of my, funny, loving. And I am truly married to my hero and my best friend.

And then there's my extended family...

It’s been said that friends are the family you choose. And that is so true. I am truly blessed with great friends. Friends that will not only baby-sit your kids and treat them as their own and send you birthday greetings, but friends who esteem you and value you and pray for you, which is a beautiful expression of your value to them. And for all of you precious people, I am so thankful you are my family.

And now my even more extended family that I had the privilege and pleasure to spend time with this week…the ministers, spouses, and children of the Alabama District of the Assemblies of God. We all have a bond through virtue of the fact that we all have similar callings and lives and schedules…ministry. These are the people you can discuss church life with, without using disclaimers, “don’t get me wrong, I love my job, but…” It is so freeing to talk with those who have the same issues/people/situations that you deal with. They are just like you—they love the ministry and their calling and the people they serve, but we all need a pressure release and these are your safe people. They let you vent without judging. You gotta have these people in your life. But even more so, they encourage you with their stories of victory, their testimonies of triumph over issues you are facing. These are the people who sit down with you, look you in the eye, tell you their story and convince you that through the help of Jesus and His Spirit you can do this. And that leads me to the biggest extension of my family…

These are the people you bond with simply because of who you are, or maybe more accurately, Whose you are. Just like any family, you don’t agree on every single thing, but you have a common bond that links you on such a level that you can’t even explain it in words. This is what should cause us to be a force for such amazing good in the earth that nothing could stop us. When your common bond is the Creator of the universe, you would think that would break down some serious walls, but sadly, it makes us put them up all the higher at times. May we come to the point and place that we remember Whose we are and why that makes us a family.

Wow, I diverted there and I don’t even know why…

Anyway, back to my point, and I do have one…I just wanted to convey how thankful I was for the time of refreshing I was allowed to experience at District Council last week. Amazing speakers, dynamic worship, reconnecting with friends…I couldn’t have asked for more. It took awhile but that is really what I wanted to say. The rest was free, enjoy!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Thank you, Church at Brook Hills

Not only did you minister to someone dear to me this Easter, I got to share in the blessing.

I was privileged to listen to the soundtrack to your Easter production, "Love Story--God's Epic Tale of Redemption." Wow...the story of Ruth brought to song. Having not seen the live production, I know I cannot grasp the full impact, but I was deeply moved by the 3rd track, "I Already Know." What amazing words...I just had to share them.

I'm closer than you can see
My love is greater than you know
feel the weight of My mercy
My arms are open

I already know Who's gonna save you
I already wrote the end of the story
You were made for Me and I'll never leave you
And in the end it's all for My glory

Your life is My melody
Part of a song that I am singing
In the dark it's hard to see
But there will be redemption
In the morning

Cling to Me and wait
As I cover you with My garments
Can't you see you are My clay
And I'm the Potter and you're carrying
My fingerprints

And in the end you will be happy
And in the end you will be with Me
And in the end it's all for My glory

Simply beautiful...thank you, Mandy Mapes and Church at Brook Hills for your ministry.