Colossians 1:6 (nlt) --- This same Good News that came to you is going out all over the world. It is bearing fruit everywhere by changing lives, just as it changed your lives from the day you first heard and understood the truth about God's wonderful grace.
A few stories ...
Stephanie and I were having a conversation last night. She and her husband DJ are part of the church that we partner with in Roanoke feeding the homeless. Not many weeks ago her dad was in an awful car wreck with a tremendous amount of trauma to his brain, but he is healing well. Pray for his salvation. The thing that touched me most was hearing Stephanie talk about how God's grace has radically changed her life. God has put her on a new path and given she and DJ shared truth that they are giving away every day to people who need Jesus. WOW! I'm blown away by the God's grace.
Since we moved to Virginia I have used the same bank, and there are some great people who have helped us (buy our first home, deal with issues, been friends and more). But it wasn't until our back2school outreach that I realized how great those relationships are. It began when I was doing a bit of banking and shared about helping 500 kids with shoes, backpacks and more. After the event one of the ladies found out we had more kids to buy shoes for and asked if she could help. Since that time five of her co-workers have stopped me or called and asked if they could help. None of them attend The Community. They know us, see our church packed with people since the bank is in the same parking lot as the church. But they step up to help those in need. I'm blown away by God's grace.
Walking through the school last Thursday meeting our daughter's teachers I had several people stop me and thank our church for the back2school outreach. One young lady caught my eye, Rebecca. Met her weeks before. Her mom thanked us for helping all 4 of her girls. That night there was a comment on our church blog from her. Simply read, "thanks community fellowship for helping my 3 sisters and me." The children have my heart and yours, I am sure. I'm blown away by God's grace.
The phone rang one day last week, and it was Butch. He is homeless, and we have been friends for sometime. Not long ago we helped him move to Roanoke where he could find work easier and places to stay since our community doesn't have a shelter or much help for homeless men (that is one of the things we believe God is going to do here at The Community). In this phone call Butch asked if we would help Arthur move back to Martinsville to reconnect with his family. To make a long story short, we met Arthur yesterday. Little hope. Lots to share. Loves God. But his life is wrecked and he has been rejected time and again by his family. Arthur's confidence in God and his humility hit my heart. I'm blown away by God's grace.
Those stories aren't the only ones I can tell as of late. There are hundreds of them. But one of the things that I am noticing more and more is how God is filling this community with Himself. All God is asking us to do is to be a vessel or a conduit that He can use.
The future is bright, but it is not always clear. God says be ready to be used. He won't always give us all the details up front. But He will always take us to places that will show us how awesome He is, and we will be blown away by God's grace.
2 Corinthians 4:15 (nlt) --- All of this is for your benefit. And as God's grace reaches more and more people, there will be great thanksgiving, and God will receive more and more glory.