The Gospel Family

 

AFrica 7

Different languages and accents.  Various colors of skin.  Diverse worship styles. Different college backgrounds.  Varied cultural differences.

Africa 4

That’s what I saw in South Africa and Malawi among the natives, the missionaries, the transplants and the travelers.

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Whether it was on a plane, in a mission compound, in a Sunday morning service, at a café for breakfast, in the middle of a bunch of teens, or gathered at a camp, I saw something that touched my heart in some very special ways.  It was a foretaste of Revelation 5:8-9 which reads,

Now when He had taken the scroll, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb, each having a harp, and golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints. 9 And they sang a new song, saying:

“You are worthy to take the scroll,

And to open its seals;

For You were slain,

And have redeemed us to God by Your blood

Out of every tribe and tongue and people and nation.

For sixteen days I had the blessed privilege to experience the multi-faceted family of God all radically changed by the gospel of Jesus Christ; people from varying tribes and tongues and people and nations.

Africa 6  Africa 3

The family of God needs no introductions; our spirit bears witness with each other (Romans 8:16).

The family of God doesn’t see race but grace (Ephesians 2:8-9).

The family of God loves one another (John 13:35).

The family of God honors one another (Romans 12:10).

The family of God rejoices and weeps together (Romans 12:15).

The family of God serves one another in love (Galatians 5:13).

The family of God encourages each other (1 Thessalonians 5:11).

Why? Because of the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ!! (1 Corinthians 15:3-4; 2 Corinthians 5:17; 2 Peter 3:9).  What an awesome family around the world from every tribe, tongue, people and nation that will one day gather around the Throne in Heaven!!

From a Pastor’s Heart,

dale

Sabbatical Journey #4 – Away

Well, summer is over.  What did you do for your vacation with family or just your spouse or with some friends?  Disney?  The beach?  The mountains? Did you take any day trips?  How about a recreational excursion?  What planning went into your time away?   What was the result of your vacation?  Any take-aways?

Vacations can be a huge refreshment that can leave many wonderful memories, provide a break from your daily routine, and give some much needed rest. Interesting enough, sometimes when you return home, you need another week to just recoup from your vacation (Lol).

Question:  When was the last time you took a spiritual vacation?  No, I do not mean running away or taking a vacation from the Lord, but a planned set of days and location where you and/or family go to grow your relationship with Jesus Christ?  Have you ever taken such a trip?

This sabbatical was so extremely helpful spiritually.  My wife and I spent most of our mornings at home, on the front or back porch, reading, praying, studying, journaling, and listening.  Some days I would travel to the lake, or a secluded mountain top, or a quiet stream and spend my time letting God teach me and whittle away at my heart.

Perhaps you could spend one day a quarter at a place like Fairhaven Ministries, Roan Mountain, TN, and give that whole day to just meeting with the Lord.  Pack your lunch, take your books, and go hide away with the Lord. You, too, could find that lake, stream, mountain top or other secluded area.

Another great opportunity would be to attend Family Camp at a place like The Wilds in Brevard, NC.  There you would have time to get alone with the Lord; time for just you and your spouse to study and pray together; and opportunities to meet together as a family.  The preaching services, music, and workshops would draw you and your whole family closer to the Lord.  And a side note, I promise you would not spend as much on this vacation as you would for the same amount time, motel, and meals as you would at Disney.  And, your whole family will come home stronger in their walk with Christ than if they had spent a week at Disney. (By the way, I’m not hatin’ on Disney. Just sayin’. . .)

So, when you plan for your vacations and get-aways for the months ahead, how about planning some time to get alone with the Lord?  You will never regret it.

Mark 1:35 – And rising very early in the morning, while it was still dark, he departed and went out to a desolate place, and there he prayed.

Luke 6:12 – In these days he went out to the mountain to pray, and all night he continued in prayer to God.

Friday’s Findings

Being Content with Saying No to Truly Good Opportunities –Here is an excellent read from Randy Alcorn that would help all of us who struggle with saying “no” to good things in our lives, especially those of us who are perpetual “doers.”

Four Stewardship Habits to Teach Your ChildrenParents, please read and apply!  In a “give me, give me, take, take, entitlement world,” your children need to know God’s plans and priorities.

A Word About Men & Marriage – “Gentlemen: You are not boys. Women are not objects. Christ is most assuredly King.”

One of the Reasons I Have Always Loved Coming Home for Over 33 Years – My wife’s blog post from yesterday.

The WildsOne of the best ministries on the planet since 1969!!

The Joy of Summer!

THE WILDS Sign

Since the summer of 1971, I have attended camp at the Wilds located near Brevard, NC (The Wilds Camp and Conference Center).  God has used this ministry to greatly impact my life for all these years as well as my family and church.  So, needless to say, I am excited for our juniors and teens to be going next week, July 21-24!!

The Wilds camp verse, Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God (1 Corinthians 10:31), is quoted at every meal and fleshed-out in every facet of camp life.  The camp’s mission statement is so intertwined through their programs and staff:  Using the unique benefits of Christian camping, we serve people by presenting the Truth of God with the love of God so lives can be changed to the glory of God.

This coming Sunday, we will be receiving a special love offering to be a blessing to our campers who attend.  We believe so strongly in the ministry opportunity of summer camping that we want to do whatever we can to help our young people not just turn our good but to be godly.

The following link (Teen Camp Video) will give you a 7-minute glimpse into last week’s Teen Camp.  Watch it, pray for the kids who are going next week along with sponsors, Andrew and Alli Isbell. Adults, after watching the video, you need to plan on attending an adult camp in the near future. You will come away changed because you have gotten away from all the distractions and have been presented the Truth of God with the love of God so your life can be changed for the glory of God.

 

The Waterfalls of THE WILDS