This past weekend our family attended a purity retreat put on by our church’s Student Ministry. We had about 80 young people participate, including my two teenagers, Kyler and Kimber. Paul Abner, from Worth the Wait, did the speaking. Some of the parents I talked with loved how they were included as a part of the programming and looked forward to using the weekend as a springboard to talk to their student about sexual issues. During the final session, students made a committment to sexual purity. Many were given rings by their parents as a symbol of that commitment. It was a powerful weekend. And one I hope we can do again in a couple of years. Parents, let’s keep praying for our kids to remain pure.
Archive for April, 2008
Okay, I’ve had enough spring weather makers this year. And tornadoes have been the least of our worries. Early last week, it was large hail. Strong winds and widespread flooding (Grand Lake was about 8 feet above normal) finished out the week. This week was an mid-April freeze warning followed by a several-county fire alert. Enough!
I’m still surveying the damage around our place from last week’s hail storm. I don’t think i’ve ever heard hail coming down that hard. I wasn’t sure if I had any roof damage…that is until I came home Thursday afternoon from work to find a front yard full of shingles. Evidently my house doesn’t respond well to hail storms followed by strong wind gusts. I still don’t know if I have damage or not. I called my insurance company. They’re sending out an adjustor on Thursday to remind me how high my deductible is. I’ll keep you posted.
We had our first Celebrate Recovery Celebration Service tonight. We had been praying and planning for this for over a year. And I have to say – it was a great service. I don’t know if it was because it was communicated, “this is a safe environment” or if it was because the worship band was cranked up or if it was the anticipation of something new. No, on second thought, it was just the unashamed celebration and victory of true life change. That’s what I really love about Celebrate Recovery – life transformation happens! And it happens through the powerful name of Jesus Christ.
I have to tell you, I loved the worship. I loved the testimonies, but I think most of all I loved the “chip ceremony.” I don’t know if that’s what you call it, but toward the end of the service, chips were presented to those who had reach some milestone in their recovery. As people come forward, the audience applauded favorably. The blue chip was given to those who wanted to newly surrender an area of their life or had experienced a relapse and wanted to re-surrender. Tonight there was an amazing response of those desiring the blue chip. It was moving. I thought, “this is the church at it’s finest; believers trusting God to work miraculously in their lives, all with the support of other believers encouraging them on.” It doesn’t get any better than that.
It has been fun to watch out church move in this direction. It has been a joy to see our church leadership embrace Celebrate Recovery (and they were noticably present and involved tonight). It’s been exciting to see our Celebrate Recovery leadership team put it all together. Thanks guys! You did a great job.
I was proud of our church tonight; proud of our admission that even believers have hurts, habits and hangups; proud that we chose to be inclusive and to reach out to those who don’t “have their act all together”; and proud that we took another step toward fulfilling our vision of creating safe environments where anyone can come to Christ, everyone can experience community, and you can make a difference.