Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Tale of a Young GCC Family

So generally speaking...

Blogger-Anonymity is what appeals to some people about blogging. I think it’s this false sense of security that compells some people to share their most private and secret thoughts with the world and then ironically expect their readers to leave feedback-comments about them.

I might also fall victim to this, except that my picture is posted on my front page therefore keeping me honest and accountable for anything I will say here. (This is the same reason I have an icthus on the back of my SUV - to keep me from swearing or behaving badly towards other drivers. Try it, it works!)
If I do offend anyone, my only hope is that when you see me at church you won't recognize the much less RED version of me.

But just in case you do, I’ve decided to change the names in the following story to protect the innocent and prevent any further embarrassed or discomfort. I've also embellished in some areas, to further detract from your ability to guess who the story really refers to. Please refrain from speculation about who these people are. It's just a story, based slightly on actual events. Enjoy.

Some time ago, a young family attended a church for the first time. They were in the midst of some hardships and decided that church is where they needed to be in order to find help. Upon visiting for the first time they fall deeply in love with the church and its quirky yet incredibly gifted speaker, Pastor Forge. (Remember NO GUESSING- this is just a story!) Pastor Forge was different from any pastor the young family had ever heard before. He wore a hula skirt on stage, which oddly enough, had absolutely no effect on what he said or how he spoke it.

On the contrary, he had a way of speaking to his congregation of several thousand (this is my story, where, yes, there were several thousand) as if he were speaking directly to each member alone. "That was a really great service" said the lady to the husband on the car ride home. "I was JUST wrestling with that very problem" said the man. The young couple began to bring other friends and families with them to church, just to hear the captivating Pastor Forge speak. Week after week new messages were received by this young family and eventually their trials and tribulations resulted in praise and joy as refinement of their faith resulted.
(1 Peter 1:7)

The young family continued to attend through that year while the church began to grow in leaps and bounds, continually refreshing and satisfying the needs and spirits of this young family. (Proverbs 16:15) After a few months of attending, the family decided to attend a Saturday night service, where a self described “Astute, Humorous, and Good Looking” pastor had just begun teaching a new worship service. (I think a fictitious name might actually give away this man's identity) The new Saturday night service was called “Just starting Out- Village”.

(okay, I know that's a stretch...but sometimes there just aren’t enough synonyms for some words)

The family grew very fond of this pastor’s teaching style. He blended the perfect amount of theology, history, and life into lessons that the family grew to rely on.
One sermon he gave a very in-depth study sermon regarding a personal testimony that was both moving and stirring in the hearts of this young family.

Read that sermon here
The young mom turned to her husband and tearfully whispered “I really like this pastor, he is so heartfelt and sincere. You can feel his passion and loving spirit conveyed with every sermon he gives.” and the young dad turned to his wife and spoke “I like him too. His style is such that you can feel his love for each of us in this congregation with every word he speaks. Truly, Teaching, is this man’s spiritual gift” (Ephesians 4:11-13) and so the two left with an enthusiasm for learning about the bible and Jesus, more than they had ever had before. Month after month the family would alternate Sundays and Saturday services, flexing with the schedule that the father worked.

As time marched on, the family went through several more trials and tests of their faith. Sadly, worldly distractions separated the family from unity and devotion to their church. (
1 Peter 2:11) Several years were lost for the family during this time. The children of the young family started to grow and change and the young parents were faced with new challenges of their own.
“I’m too tired to go to church” the father would say after working many hours.
“I just don’t have time anymore and I’m disappointed with how snooty some of the people at the church are!” said the mother. “besides, I can just read the bible on my own. I really don’t need to attend church to get that.”
And so living as “Lone Ranger Christians” (as a famous pastor once put it) became their way of life for awhile.

But God, of course, is not satisfied with his flock when one wanders away (
Matthew 18:12) and He planted a seed that would lead to a complete redirection shift in this young family’s life again.

Late one afternoon the young lady’s phone rang.

“Why HELLO!” she greeted her friend Leanne. “I would love to help you with your new ministry group!” she said to her, and later that week they met for coffee to discuss Leanne’s vision for a new women's ministry called “Tea Chat”. The group would meet once a month at the church and help connect the women of the church while building fellowship between them all as well. The young mom begin to really take an active interest in this group. This chance encounter started a sequence of events that led to the young lady’s complete overflow of the Holy Spirit within her. (Luke 3:16) She was overjoyed so much in the following months, that she continued to spend night after night and morning after morning in bible study and prayer. She prayed aloud for the first time in a group setting and she began to feel comfort and confidence in Christ in a way that she never had before. She listened to sermons from her two favorite pastors online. She devoted time to loving and serving with the members of their church, rather than worrying about her frustrations over them. (1 Corin.13)

When her husband saw these changes in her, (1 Peter 3:1) her newfound devotion and stories of God’s wisdom that she was receiving, he too was won over and begin to change as well. Even the children were encouraged to spend time alone with God each day in bible study, the oldest daughter started with her mom a 41 day study- recommended by their pastor and church. (the title is not really important) Life, for this family, became Purpose Driven again.

And to this day the young family lives happily ever after, thanks in part to a church that nourished them all the days of their lives. (Psalms 27:4) Though they still face trials, disappointments, and suffering, now
they are faithful, obedient, and hopeful because they know what their future holds in Christ. (Ephesians 1:12)

The End.


Anonymous said...

Leanne huh? :) Thanks for not going with Lu Lu! :)

Steve Lucas said...

I've got to meet this good looking preacher. He sounds amazine ;)