What an exciting time of ministry! Our church attendance has been climbing steadily and we are now having to question to reality of multiple services in the near future. As we pull out more chairs every week, I continue to be so impressed by the people of our church. They are friendly, flexible, welcoming, and genuine. We get comments weekly about how our church, as a whole, really goes out of their way to care about people and get into their world. I am most grateful for that! Church should be the warmest, safest place possible where you really feel like you can enjoy yourself.
The interesting balance is that you always get back what you give. I watch as those people who are bending over backwards to welcome people also feel the most loved and included. It’s God’s way of saying, keep pouring out, I’ll keep filling you up! And He always does.
I look forward to the future! Every person who walks through our doors changes the DNA of who we are. It keeps it interesting! And although I love the DNA that we have had, I look forward to molding and shaping to include more people in the love of Christ.
I love our church and I love our people!
I’m finishing up my sermon this week and it’s been a war to write it. I’m speaking on sexual purity and I find myself wondering how to even define purity in our culture. It’s a word that we don’t even hear on a regular basis. Let alone the idea of having a high standard of sexual purity!
I still believe that America can embrace once again the idea of marriage between a man and a woman. I still believe that we can embrace healthy sex lives within our marriages, while refraining from it outside of marriage. I still believe that Christians can throw out the trash that the world gives us and raise up to a new standard. I know that we are constantly told exactly the opposite of what I believe, but I hold tight to the words in my Bible. I hold tight to the fact that the right way produces fruit in our lives that is worth the cost.
Sexual obedience is a defining issue for the church! God speaks clearly and strongly about this area in our lives and although it is so easy to fail, that does not hold us faultless. We must raise up a new generation of teenagers and kids who will fight for purity. My generation has done a poor job and I’m not impressed by the results. We have downgraded sex and purity to a level that is pathetic and purposeless.
As I sit here staring at my computer, I can think of a million easier sermons, but I can’t think of a more important one. For those of you who are struggling with sexual purity, I implore you to keep fighting. Move out of that boyfriends house, get internet software and break free from pornography, don’t entertain the idea of an affair for one more minute…fight. Fight. FIGHT.
There is no greater push on my spirit than to see God’s people walk before Him with pure and blameless hearts. I still believe it’s possible.
I love caramel apples. They are my favorite treat, especially from the Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory. So, on Valentine’s Day, my husband hit a home run with $4.95. It really doesn’t seem like that big of a deal, but he knows what I like and he went out of his way to bless me. It made my whole day and everytime I walked past my yummy caramel apple, I couldn’t help but smile. I smiled even more when I got to eat it later that evening!
On a spiritual note, I think God is just as easily pleased with our life when we do the little things. From what I read in Scripture, it seems as though God is pretty happy when we choose not to gossip or to choose to forgive that person that cut us off in traffic. Sometimes I think it’s easy to gauge our lives on the bigger picture…”Well, I’m a nice person. I don’t steal and I haven’t murdered anybody.” But integrity is based much more on the quiet decisions…the decisions that people may or may not ever see us making.
I’m really happy that Mark is a good husband on the big picture. I’m glad he’s faithful to me and a good dad to my kids. But there’s just something about a silly apple covered in sugar that tells me that he’s not jut committed to this thing called marriage. He’s in love with ME.
My hope is that everytime God passes by me, He smiles. Not because I’ve nailed the Ten Commandments, but also because we’re in a real relationship where I’m concerned about the little things. I want God to smile and say, “She’s in love with ME!”
We have a great event at our church on February 21. It’s called MarriedLife Live and it’s basically a night to remember how important marriage is. We have awesome entertainment, giveaways, yummy desserts and lots of laughs! Our theme this time is Hurry Home. It’s all about making your time with your spouse a quality experience.
Marriage is a tricky adventure to be on and I pray a lot for the people of North Creek. It is my desire to see the marriages at our church healthy and strong. There are so many ups and downs, but a lot of it just boils down to being committed to grow and change together. That sounds so much easier than it ever is.
I hope that you will join us for MarriedLife Live. Tickets are available at www.coffeechurch.com. It will be a great time to share in hilariousness of life and love.