Welcome to the Greene Street Letters. It has become my venue for sharing what is going on at Vineyard Recovery Church. Don't let the word Church scare you. The Greene Street Letters is a daily posting to simply say that there is more to life than what you see. More to life than "stuff". My simple take of 60+ years of following Jesus. Some days were good days...some days I managed to get off in the ditch. He is worthy of the pursuit, so that is what I do........I pursue Jesus in everything I do. Not the Jesus of the church. Not the Jesus of the denomination. Nothing wrong with those things, but Jesus is so much more. Thanks for dropping by and I hope you return from time to time to stop and ponder your own relationship with Jesus. God on you....mb

Saturday, December 24, 2016

It Was A Good Night

The night was dark....The road stretched out in front of me....Tunes were streaming from my radio....and I had a joy that just washed over me. I was headed to Centre, Alabama to speak at Celebrate Recovery. Been traveling this road for 12 years now. They keep asking me to come back, and I keep going.

Donnie and Shelly George head up this meeting, and you won't find two better people who have a heart and a love for people who are trapped in addiction. This group meets every Friday night no matter what. If Christmas falls on a Friday...you can count on Centre Celebrate Recovery being open and ready to receive anyone and everyone who needs a meeting. 

Randy and the band were working through the usual sound/tech problems that accompany trying to get everyone and every thing (equipment) on the same page. You won't find frustration in such an exercise as this...these guys have been "rockin'" with Jesus for a long time, so they take it all in stride. The room feels warm and inviting. Kind of draws you out of any isolation you may tried to hide in, to be a part of a loving spiritual family. Everyone is invited to join....everyone is loved and it is very evident with this group.

Last nights meeting was filled with silliness. Silliness of the season, so to speak...there was an ugly sweater contest.....the Centre CR leadership did a stirring rendition of the "Twelve Days Of CR". 

"On the first day of CR this is what I got...
One Bluuuue Chip!"
On the second day of CR this is what I got...
Two mints from Donnie!
On the third day of CR this is what  got...
Three prayer warriors..."
You get the picture....and Kim Black stole the show with her "One Blue Chip"....
Kim just bubbles with the love of Jesus pouring out of her....

It was the silliness that caught my attention last night....
The simple joy of being together, singing and worshiping....
And the underlying thought and reality that it would be very easy to have spent the evening in darkness and death. But here we were in this room....singing at the top of our lungs. Smiles everywhere! It was Christmas and we were all sober, loving each other, filled with gratitude of what Jesus had done for us all.

My message was "THE CHRISTMAS CROSS".... 
At this time of year when Christmas trees are decorated and lit up with all manner of colored lights...there was a special tree that we all needed to see.
IT was the cross of Christ....illuminated by the Lamb of God, there are all manner of presents under this tree. Each one of them has a name of someone written on it. It is a gift from God to each of us, and all we have to do is receive it. What is the gift? God himself. Ephesians 2:8 - For by grace are you saved through faith; and not of yourselves. It is the GIFT OF GOD!" Notice that the verse did not say "It is a gift FROM God"...but rather that God is the gift. We get His fullness deposited into our life...our hearts...our soul and mind when we open His gift of Salvation.

Several came to the front to pray and receive from God at the end of the service. Always special to me when you see folks slip out of their chairs and come down to get on their knees. Many tears, and the core leaders of Centre CR came forward to be with those who were asking for prayer. 

Afterwards, many hand shakes and hugs as I made way to the door. I walked out into the night a grateful man.
Grateful that such a place as Centre CR had been created by God for those who are hurting.
Grateful that God had created a leadership that truly loved the ones who came through that front door every Friday night to be at the meeting.
And grateful that God had given me a place there to be a part of this movement.

Thank you, Donnie and Shelly for being obedient to the call of God.
Thank you Randy and the band for allowing God to fill your rock and roll hearts so that you can rock out to the One and Only Rock...Jesus.
To everyone who stacks chairs, serves the meal, takes up the offering, runs the sound gear, all the cord leadership...thank you for your servant heart.
It was a good night....

Merry Christmas from the "B's" in Attalla.

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