Monday, April 18, 2016

It Truly Was A Great Weekend

Ephesians 4:16
He (Jesus) makes the whole body fit together perfectly. As each part does its own special work, it helps the other parts grow, so that the whole body is healthy and growing and full of love.

Deb Hooks snapped the photo of me at our 3rd Anniversary hoo-ha last Saturday night. Scary, ain't it?
It was a meeting for the books. Incredible worship, courtesy of one Todd Bagley. Todd has developed a style and sound that is unique when it comes to worship. Todd has begun to write songs that seem to hit the mark when it comes to a life of recovery. Of course that life is found in Christ, and Todd's lyrics and chords resonate with hearts that are present when he leads. Songs such as "Answer My Prayer" and "Farther On" all point to Jesus as the One and Only True Higher POWER.

The message came from the book of Hosea, and was about God's path that each of us are called to walk in this relationship we have given ourselves to. The Path is actually hidden from our sight until we make the commitment to leave our old life to embrace His life for us. My goal each week is that those present for the teaching receive at least one thing in their hearts that will spark a hunger to know God better. I guess you could say that VRC is all about planting "Jesus" seeds every Saturday night. 

This being our 3rd anniversary, we had our "Sandwich Supper" after the meeting. We had tables set up with all manner of sandwich fixings. There were soups, chips, and desserts that would make your tongue come out of your mouth and slap your brains. I enjoy these suppers that we have once a month. I love walking from table to table, sitting down and getting to know people who haven't come to VRC before. One person who'd never been with us, told me that God had directed them to our meeting. Their personal life has been one of turmoil, mistrust, and rejection by family. They shared with me that it was a new feeling for them to be in the middle of a crowd of people and not feel like the outcast. I got a chance to pray for her. She didn't make a commitment to God on Saturday night, as she told me that she felt unworthy to ask God to save her. But I know that God touched her and we will be praying that she make that decision to turn from her old life, and embrace this new one that Jesus has for her.  She was very grateful for the entire evening.
To me, that one event is why we do VRC every Saturday night. To reach the one with the message that you don't have to live the lies that addiction/sin tells you.

Last night, I got to attend Catalyst Recovery. I wasn't speaking, but simply wanted to go and receive for myself. It's nice to be able to attend a meeting, hang out with folks, and just be a part of the crowd.
The entire evening was one of worship and family.
Seth Barber and his core leadership have followed God in crafting a place where people feel welcomed. I saw several familiar faces, and each one came up to talk, to let me know what was going on in their lives.

The speaker last night was Jessica Haney, and what a speaker she was.
Incredible story of how God delivered her from her self-created darkness of addiction and rebellion. Sometimes it's hard to match up the story you're hearing with the person you looking at telling the story. To me that is a testimony of the restoration power of Christ. Jessica glowed with the presence of God as she shared her history of drug abuse. One more life snatched out of the darkness to shine for Jesus. 

I saw Amy Brown at the meeting. Amy heads up "THRIVING" recovery meeting that meets every Monday evening at the Vineyard. Amy is another of those incredible individuals who have a heart for recovery and those who are still trapped in the bondage of addiction. She shared with me some things she's got cooking that will be pretty incredible. God is laying on her heart some ideas that will benefit all the recovery meetings that take place at Gadsden Vineyard Church. As they say on TV, "Stay tuned for an important announcement."

So, as I sit here on Monday morning, I rest in the knowledge that we serve a good God. One whose heart is for the down and out. Those who stand on the edge of society, tossed aside on scrap heap of humanity. God sees the value of each life, as only He can, and is reaching down to take up from that garbage heap and reclaim them for His own.

Now that's what I'm talking about!
God on you...


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