Monday, January 30, 2017

Going Back To My Roots


Psalm 40:3
And he has put a new song in my mouth, even praise unto our God.......

A funny thing happened on this journey we call life.
Last October, I received a call from John Ritchey, a good friend and co-worker when I was at Rapha. John has been a pastor for a number of years, and was pastor at Northside Baptist Church. He told me that it was time for him to retire, and asked if I would fill in and teach for the month of December.


I had spoken there on several occasions, filling in for John, so I knew the people and the church very well. "Sure I will John. It would be an honor," I told him. So I went ready to fill in for the month. You need to understand that my particular way of teaching is not the standard "3-point" sermon or lesson. I was brought up in the school of speaking and hearing God on the fly, so to speak. In other words, all my years at Rapha  teaching Bible studies 4 and 5 times a week taught me to follow the Spirit at the drop of a hat. I don't consider myself to be an outstanding teacher, but I do teach the word.

Well, December turned into January....
And January is turning into February....
And I am having a blast.....
The folks who attend Northside are like family.
In some ways, this whole thing of teaching there reminds me of the church I grew up at Gallant.
There is a strong love for each other, as well as the other churches in the area.

And a over whelming love for God, to carry out the kingdom call that rests on Northside.

Last night I attended a community sing at Northside.
Every 5th Sunday, the churches in the area gather and have a praise service. Last night was Northsides time to host. The church was packed.....lot's of hugs and handshakes to go around....room full of "Hi ya'll doing!" and "Good to see ya!". 

As I sat there waiting for the service to begin, I thought to myself, "God, you sure do have a sense of humor." You see, I felt as though had brought me full-circle back to where my roots were......A small country church. The faces were different, but I could see Mr. Whisenant in the bass section....big booming, empty voice that could reach notes that didn't exist on sheet music. There was Mrs. Chandler....equal in volume to Mr. Whisenant, but following the Alto.  Being there last night was like coming home.

The music ranged from Gaither tunes to bluegrass, and there was even a blues number.
There were some contemporary praise tunes sung by several young folks....
And hymns.....oh how there were hymns....
"How Great Thou Art"......
"I shall not be moved".....

"He touched me"........
Each one taking us deeper and deeper into God's presence.

The room was thick with His presence.

I'm not sure, but I believe that there were 4 or 5 churches that were represented there last night. No one-up-man-ship in that room. Just a common love for God and His church.
How can you argue with such...
I saw unity of the body of Christ for the first time in a long time.
I came away encouraged by the whole evening.

I am, and always will be, a Vineyard pastor.
I will (at least I think I will) always be tied to recovery....
But for this season, I am grateful that God has connected to, and with, Northside Baptist Church.
God's ways really are mysterious.....
Aren't they?

God on you...

mbb

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