Friday, November 30, 2007

Christmas Opportunity

FYI - Ephesus Baptist Church in Raleigh is hosting their 21st annual Living Nativity. This is a drive-through event where the Christmas story is displayed and told with live characters and animals. The event dates are December 14-16 from 7-9pm each evening. There is no cost and NO donations are accepted! It's free - enjoy! Click here for directions.

The Grinch!

Don't you love the Grinch? What a great story! And a story of life change! His heart grew 4 sizes! Our message series in the month of December will use the Grinch story as a jumping off point as we examine our heart condition and hope to grow it 4 sizes! Our central Bible verse that we will jump off from as well will be, "Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life."

Thrills my heart!

Too often I pray for people, ask God to help me in some way, etc., and forget to thank God when I see Him at work in my life and in the life of our church! Furthermore, I really need to write down when I see these small miracles happen! If you know me at all - you know I forget everything - so I really do need to make a record of these things.

Anyway...what thrills my heart. Three things this week. For one, I have been praying for and aksing for others to pray for the father of a friend who had a bladder infection that burst and was poisoning his body. The doctors more or less expected him to die. Well, this morning, Courtney calls me and tells me that this father is now come out of being in a coma and should be taken out of ICU soon, and healing up nicely! Awesome God! Keep praying for this father and his recovery.

#2 - I've been praying for a guy I've never met who is a substance abuser and is one of those who most people would say, "he's never gonna get it. He's too far gone." Long story short, as I've been praying, and others too, he called a friend this morning and asked to pray for him! The tables have been turned! Through AA, he has found a sponsor (who happens to be a Christ-follower) who has helped him to restore his relationship with God and gotten him to the place that he is praying for others now instead of him being the one prayed for. Wow. I know he still has a long way to go, but wow! God can and does change lives and prayer matters!

#3 - Someone else I know, who is a relatively young Christian, and generally uncomfortable with praying outloud in front of others, volunteered to pray at one of our recent Connection groups. I was thrilled. She'll probably kill me if she reads this blog, so please forgive me! Thanks for taking a step of faith and doing something way out of your comfort zone!

Whoever reads this blog - keep praying. Talk to God. Ask Him to help you. Pray to Him on the behalf of others. He's in the life-changing business.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Random Shirts

If you like random t-shirts, you need to go to and check out their new contest entries!


This past Sunday at church we watched an abbreviated version of the video "EE-taow." Check out the full version of the video here if you'd like to hear/see the who story. If you'd like to see the abbreviated version again, click here.

Experiencing God

My Connection Group with the church is going through a course called "Experiencing God." Part of our study this week had us go back and review some of what we had been learning from previous weeks. Throughout the course, Blackaby (the author) recounts stories of Christian missionaries and some of the things they have said and done as they have responded to God's work in their lives. Below are a couple that I really resonate with:

Oswald Smith (missionary to Canada) - "I want Thy plan, O God, for my life. May I be happy and contented whether in the homeland or on the foreign field; whether married or alone, in happiness or sorrow, health or sickness, prosperity or adversity-I want Thy plan, O God, for my life. I want it; oh, I want it!"

And, forgive the length of the text below, but it is worth it to me:

Hudson Taylor, a great man of prayer and faith, responded to God's call to go to China as a missionary. Because his father had already died, he had to leave his widowed mother to go to China. By the end of his life in 1905, he had been used by God to found the China Inland Mission...Hudson Taylor described something of the cost he and his mother experienced as he obeyed God's will to go to China as a missionary:

"My beloved now sainted, mother had come to see me off from Liverpool. Never shall I forget that day, nor how she went with me into that little cabin that was to be my home for nearly six months. With a mother's loving had sho smoothed the little bed. She sat by my side, and joined me in the last hymn that we should sing together before the long parting. We knelt down, and she prayed-the last mother's prayer I was to hear before starting to China. Then notice was given that we must separate, and we had to say good-bye, never expecting to meet on earth again."

"For my sake she restrained her feelings as much as possible. We parted; and she went on shore, giving me her blessing! I stood alone on deck, and she followed the ship as moved towards the dock gates. As we passed through the gates, and the separation really commenced, I shall never forget the cry of anguish wrung from my mother's heart. It went through me like a knife. I never really knew so fully, until then, what "God so loved the world" meant. And I am quite sure that my precious mother learned more of the love of God to the perishing in that hour
than in all her life before."

Following after God and responding to God's call on our lives can be costly to us and to others around us. I am so encouraged by these men of faith mentioned above (and a mother's faith). Following after God and truly wanting to live for His will is worth every sacrifice. I can only hope that I am truly up to such a task.