You gotta know I love this church where I get to attend. Of all things industriously exciting on earth, I never dreamed it could possibly be church! Who would have guessed? If one were to ask what best characterizes this family, variations of strengths could be offered: the Spirit, the warmth, the generosty. Maybe the worship experience?
My estimation is our heartfelt theme of A Place to Start Life Over. We live it, love it, and believe it. Richard came after experiencing a divorce and being away from God for over 20 years. He was invited and when he stepped toward the welcome mat at the door his very first Sunday he read, A Place to Start Life Over, and wondered if this might be for him. He is now one of our best Bible class teachers. Bill and his wife visited us on a Sunday morning and when he saw the sign printed across the canopy, A Place to Start Life Over, it struck him he was home. They have been with us ever since that first visit.
Gail was headed for another congregation. She had gone through some challenges and decided she needed to return to her roots and see if it wasn't about time to reconnect with God. She was on her way to another church and made a wrong turn. She passed by our drive and saw the sign, A Place to Start Life Over. She thought that sign was just for her and came on in. We were explaining we would be having baptism Sunday in three weeks and those interested were invited to a special class. She attended. She learned. She found we were truly A Place to Start Life Over as she was baptized into Christ that special Sunday and will celebrate her first year anniversary in a few weeks.
On and on the stories warm our hearts as broken and wounded ones enter in to His perfect joy of finding A Place to Start Life Over. When any of our lambs experience heavy difficulty and sin, we know what (and Who) we are about. We know that 70 x 7 backs this great theme. No one can be so broken in the sight of God they cannot be refurbished by the love of Christ. We are his body and we hope that when any come across us they get a sense they, too, can start life over....and over.....and over.
In a time when so many are broken down, disjointed, and disconnected, the church is in a perfect position to help our friends, neighbors, and even our enemies get a shot at starting life all over. Nicodemus thought it to be a strange concept. But it remains most needed.
That's my observation for where I attend. What's the striking trait for where you are?