Wednesday, May 31, 2006

In the Bag

The 75th Anniversary Big Weekend far surpassed my hopes and expecations. From top to bottom, the events of the weekend were God-honoring, excellent and characterized by sweet fellowship.

The Concert on Friday was unbelievable. Pastor Al just labors quietly and then pulls off the big one. Historical, passionate, excellent and Biblical.

The Banquet on Saturday was overwhelming and exciting. Packed house at the Madonna Expo. Food was tasty. Fellowship was flowing. Program was riveting.

Sunday's Worship Services were packed. It was a unique and different "Covenant Renewal Service." A big risk for me, but timely for us as we move ahead from here. (Listen here if you missed it!)

The Picnic on Sunday was rockin'. That ACE Team is amazing. 600+ served.

The Hymn Sing was a fitting and sweet capstone. It was hard to get up and go, but I was so glad I did. If you missed it, you missed out.

I've been thinking about this thing since before I got here, so it feels good to wrap it up and know that we did it well together. Many thanks to each and every one who came together to pull this thing off. The Lord was in it. We did it. Its in the bag and know one can take it away from us. It was a Celebration to remember and will serve as a lasting memorial to our great and faithful God.

Did you enjoy it as much as I did? Share your thoughts.

The Hymn Sing ended with a Men's Chorus singing this great song, called "Find Us Faithful." I thought the lyrics expressed my prayer this weekend well. . . .

We're pilgrims on the journey
Of the narrow road
And those who've gone before us line the way
Cheering on the faithful, encouraging the weary
Their lives a stirring testament to God's sustaining grace
Surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses
Let us run the race not only for the prize
But as those who've gone before us
Let us leave to those behind us
The heritage of faithfulness passed on through godly lives

Oh may all who come behind us find us faithful
May the fire of our devotion light their way
May the footprints that we leave
Lead them to believe
And the lives we live inspire them to obey
Oh may all who come behind us find us faithful
After all our hopes and dreams have come and gone
And our children sift though all we've left behind
May the clues that they discover and the memories they uncover
Become the light that leads them to the road we each must find

1 comment:

Suzette Lyons said...

This is some what belated because I have been off my computer for awhile. But I have to say that I really enjoyed the dinner and hearing from the pastors who have led our church in the past.

Also I have been just loving reading "A Tree of God's Planting". It is really not what I expected. I was hunting through it to see what it was about and got pulled into the story.

I loved this quote from Ch 7:

"Truly, the structure was a gift from God, something of His own doing. It was a work that He began and completed in His timing and in His own way. But more than providing His congregation with a beautiful building, God wanted to provide this little group of Christians with a faith that was pure; testing is God's choicest instrument in the refinement of the souls he loves."

I thought of this quote and the picture of the bare bones of the building in the back of the book as I was sitting in the building last Sunday. What a witness to God's transforming power in the building and in the people.

In catching up on the blog this question struck me: "Is Grace starting to feel too impersonal?” I thought of this quote from the book:

"Truly the roster of those who belonged to A Church reads like a cast of characters for some play set in a small rural town. But this was God's story, and God loves diversity. He enjoys playing with all of His children and watching them splash together in the water of his abundant grace that he so freely pours out from heaven."

Wow what a way of thinking about going to church. God’s playground for the saints. How could it feel impersonal if I think of it that way? If it begins to feel impersonal, I will keep reminding myself: God is sovereign and He brought me to this church for His own purposes. He is loving and playful and full of joy and care for me. He wants me to enjoy His presence and share His joy with other people.

Any way it is a great book with a captivating story that I can’t wait to finish. God has done some amazing things through and for the people of Grace Church. I appreciate all the work of the 75th Anniversary Committee. We learned a lot from the history of Grace Church. God has gifted Ruthie Peterson and I encourage anyone who has not had a chance yet to read the book.