It’s been a long time since I’ve blogged. November 2012 to be exact. Lots has been percolating and perhaps, some things are finally ready to be written!
OLD SKOOL – derived from “old is kool” becoming “old’s kool” and then becoming “old skool”
meaning old is cool.
What’s more I am with you and I will protect you wherever you go. One day, I will bring you back to this land. I will never leave you until I have given you everything I have promised you.
The Lord gave me this verse last summer. It has been one of those verses that I’ve hung on to and put side by side with the unfolding events in my life and the lessons God has been teaching me.
I will protect you wherever you go.
In 2012, Robert and I went down a seriously intense and full throttle path to become full-time missionaries to the urban poor. In February 2012 we both, individually, received a word from the Lord to not pursue this path. Then during the spring and early summer, many circumstances came together and we felt that the “no go” had turned into a “go”. So “go” we did. Then, by late summer and very early fall God was presenting us with huge stop signs and we finally obeyed.
Indeed, God did protect us from making a mistake of wanting so badly to serve Him that we would nearly go to a place He had said no to!
One day I will bring you back to this land
Since God gave me this verse in summer 2012, I never really understood that line. I remained puzzled until two weeks ago.
In 2012, I thought God may bring us back to the world we had left behind as we pursued the missionary life and then after we stopped pursuing missionary life, I thought it meant He would bring us back to some kind of missionary life.
On Sunday 3/3 I finally understood this line. See, Robert and I have been earnestly seeking and desiring a Church home and family. It’s been a long road since 2002 looking for and trying, without any long term success, to find our church family.
While in the midst of worship on Sunday 3/3 it became clear to me, That St. Mark’s United Methodist Church was the “land” that God was referring to in this verse! See, St. Mark’s brings me back to a time as a small child when my mom and I attended two very powerful churches. I was in these churches from infancy through 5th grade. I call these churches from my youth, Old Skool!! Do I remember much? No, not really. But I do know that they taught me that I was a sinner, God loved me, Christ died for me and rose again to defeat sin and death to pay the price for my sin, to bring me into right relationship with God and give me eternal life. Yep, good old skool Gospel.
At St. Marks, this Gospel truth IS the message, IS the power and it IS transformational and full of possibilities. My position as a sinner saved by grace and God’s position as Most High and Worthy is the “way of life”, the message and the heart of worship at St. Marks. I love, love, love this truth being clarified in my heart, body, mind and soul.
I’ve been reading Bonhoeffer by Eric Metaxas. In this book, Bonhoeffer nails some problems with the church, especially the American church during the 1930’s when he visited here. The issues Bonhoeffer refers to are the same issues that can be found in many churches today. Bonhoeffer writes, “ The Holy is to be protected from cheap surrender. The Gospel is protected by the preaching of repentance which calls sin sin and declares the sinner guilty. The key to loose is protected by the key to bind. The preaching of grace can only be protected by the preaching of repentance.”
Both repentance and grace need to be preached. Christ and His blood shed on the cross need to be known. See Christ’s blood is not anemic. There IS power in the blood. Without sin, I would have no need of the blood. Sin and Grace, they are two sides of the same coin. Sin and Grace. Not just Grace. Sin and Grace. Every coin has two sides!
At St. Mark’s Jesus’s Love is in the house and it’s contagious and I see the Power of Jesus in this body of believers and that’s what I’ve been praying and desperately waiting for!
So, God has brought me “back to this land”. Back to His land of old skool Gospel truth being preached with love, acceptance, humility, power and very importantly without subtraction or manipulation!!
Yes, in this “land” and church family of St. Mark’s, Robert and I will grow deep in our faith, our discipleship, our love for others, begin to find out and work out our given gifts so we can serve in His Kingdom, in our church family and spread the Gospel. Check out this Toby mac video – Love is in the house.
I will never leave you until I have given you everything I have promised you.
God promised to protect and He did.
God promised to bring me back to this land and He did.
These, are two huge promises fulfilled and countless more to be received as we follow and obey!
A little reminder, I’m not on facebook for the year of 2013..so please reply and comment via this blog ok?
Want to know more about the two sided coin of Sin and Grace? I would be happy to share with you the Gospel truth and God’s love for YOU.
Don’t have a church home or family? Want to explore a loving church family? Visit St. Mark’s…let me or Robert know, we’d love to meet you there.
God loves YOU!!!