Bob Mayo, Stonepoint Member
I missed the message at church on August 16th due to being out of town. Pastor Brandon gave a little hint the week before and I was sad I would have to miss it. But I had the opportunity to listen to it online today. I must admit, it encouraged and excited my heart.
As Pastor Brandon started the message, all I could think of was Isaiah 41:10: “Do not fear, for I am with you; Do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, surely I will help you, surely I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.” I memorized this verse many years ago just after becoming a Christian. I had grown up to be fearful of many things and I really wanted to overcome that. But knowing a verse or passage of the Bible isn’t the same as living it. I must confess, while God has graciously allowed me to step out in some things, I still live in fear. One of my biggest fears is getting out there and sharing my faith. I sometimes feel like I live in a bubble here at the ministry I serve with, but God still gives me small opportunities to open up about my faith which I rarely take advantage of.
Listening to Pastor Brandon’s message today gave me a great hope for Stonepoint. In October, it will be a year since I have been attending here. I still remember that first time, where I sat in my car for 10 minutes so I would purposely be late. I remember writing about watching the cows in the field behind the church who quickly became my friends. The reason I wanted to be late? Fear. It is so hard for me to put myself into new situations. But the message I heard that day made me want to return and I have been doing so ever since. In the meantime I have had the privilege of serving as a greeter and have been given the opportunity to write on the church blog.
So what does all this have to do with Pastor Brandon‘s message? Everything. Gideon was a man of great fear. After all, he was pretty much hiding from the Midianites. But the angel greeted him with the words: “The LORD is with you, O valiant warrior.” And as Pastor Brandon pointed out, from that point on, the LORD used Gideon to defeat the idianites. Even in his fear, Gideon timidly walked by faith. He gave the LORD two tests and the LORD graciously went along with them to give Gideon the assurance he lacked. At the end, a small army of 300 men defeated a great army. God had Gideon’s back!
I believe the LORD can and will use Stonepoint to bring many to Himself in Van Zandt County. I knew in my mind that there would have to come a time when the church would have to make some decisions regarding church growth. But unlike other churches I have been in, the ideas of how and why to go about this were different. Most things about “doing church” here at Stonepoint seem different to me. That is main reason that I find attractive. It is hard to put my finger on why it is different here; it just seems that the heart and attitude of the pastors is always to reach out to the people in the area and they do practical things to bring that about.
My prayer for myself, and the rest of us is that we will, not just support, but will become participators in the plans for Stonepoint whatever that may be. Things will be different and we may wish that wouldn’t be so. But I am convinced that if we are to reach the people around us, we must be willing to participate in the changes. We also need to step out in faith both in our own lives and the lives of the church. A quote from the message last week was: “You cannot walk forward until you are ready to step out in faith.” May our LORD give us strength and boldness to step out in faith in our own lives and in the life of Stonepoint Church.