Bob Mayo, Stonepoint Member
I know in my blog posts I talk a lot about Stonepoint and the messages we hear. I thought I would expand upon that and talk about some of the things that brought me to Stonepoint and that I continue to learn here. I have been a Christian for some 44 years now. At least that is what I claim since I “accepted Jesus” and committed my life to Him on April 1, 1971 At the time, I knew nothing about what that commitment meant. I was raised Catholic and knew nothing about what a true Christian was. I did know however, that i was a sinner. I just didn’t know how to stop. After college, I moved to Denver and started attending church. Sadly, what had begun to be an exciting change in my life after that April 1st, quickly fell into a dull routine of attending Sunday school, church and Bible studies. Not that this was bad in itself. I just never seemed to fit into any church I went to. I always tried to serve and even felt that was my calling…to be a servant. But I continually had this sinking feeling that something was lacking and there had to be more to being a Christian than what I was experiencing.
Fast forward a little. In 1990 I became aware of a missionary agency called Gospel for Asia. I read a book called: Road to Reality and it brought a lot of things in my life and led me to believe that I was a lukewarm Christian at best. Little did I know that six years later, that I would be packing up all our belongings, and along with my wife and dog, moving to Texas to serve with GFA. It will be 20 years in March since I started serving here.
While the ministry was good and growing, I still did not know what it was like to be in a local church. In Carrollton, you couldn’t walk down the street without almost passing a church on every corner. I tried several of them out, but my mentality was that I was here for one reason, to reach as many people through the ministry as possible who have never heard the name of Jesus Christ. It gave little time to be involved in a local church.
Another jump forward. In August 2014 GFA moved out to the country in Wills Point. It was rather a strange move for a guy that had been living on air force bases and in large metropolitan cities for all his life. After a few months I heard about Stonepoint from some staff members who had started attending there. I had also met this guy named Archie at Brookshire’s Supermarket in Wills Point. He was always friendly and greeted me (and everyone else) when I came into the store. He also told me about Stonepoint and invited me to come.
So one Sunday morning in October 2014, I got my courage up and drove over to the church. I don’t think I will ever get over that day. I recounted my thoughts and experiences in a Facebook post, which I believe later became my first blog post for Stonepoint. i won’t waste time to recount that here but the message was so different from the hundreds I have heard all my life that I was challenged to come back. Over the next few months, I joined the church and started serving as a greeter and a blog writer. Both of these were, and are, out of my comfort zone. But I made a commitment that I would serve in this way.
So what does all this have to do with a Monday night at Stonepoint? Please bear with me for a little longer. Ever since I started coming here I could not understand why I liked it so much. I knew I was hungry to grow in the Lord and the church seemed to be an avenue to help me in that. I can honestly says that there has hardly been a Sunday where I was not convicted in some area of my walk with the Lord that I needed to bring to Jesus. This is not an exaggeration! Every time I came home I would spend time with the Lord about what I had just heard. Again in all honesty, I have not had this kind of experience before in my life. I kept trying to figure out, why was this happening in this strange church?
So what does all this have to do with a Monday night meeting at Stonepoint? Well, if you have been coming to church lately you know we are currently on a series called re:generation. In both meetings so far, Pastor Brandon has mentioned about a Regen group that meets on Monday nights. I was aware of the meeting, but figured it was not for me. Besides I was already involved full time with the ministry and figured I didn’t have time. But after the first time Pastor Brandon mentioned it I was strangely drawn to try it out. I had an obligation the first opportunity so I couldn’t attend. But I kept telling myself all the next week that I was going to attend the next Monday no matter what. Again, last Monday, I gathered up my courage and drove out on a cold and wet Monday. So I will close with my thoughts of that meeting.
I figured that the meeting was for those who had serious problems like alcoholism, drug abuse, pornography, etc. But Pastor Brandon brought out in the messages that it was not just for that. He said we all need regeneration in our lives over one thing or another. I already knew I had sin in my life. Things like anger, bitterness, lack of love, depression, self-pity and lust were all sins that I have been more than aware of in my life. But being aware of sin and getting victory over it are two different things. I came to the meeting hoping that I might learn from the Lord about getting victory over these and other sins.
When I got inside the church I was given a name tag and i sat down. We started out with singing a few songs and going over some of the points of the re:gen program. Then Pastor Brandon got up and gave a short message. After that we broke up into different level groups. I was in the new dude’s group. After a short introduction, we went around the circle and told some of the reasons we were at the meeting. As I listened to men explain their reasons, I was deeply moved with their openness and honesty. I found none of it surprising or distasteful, no matter what they said.
One more impression of the meeting, and of Stonepoint for that matter. I mentioned earlier I could not figure why I was so attracted to this church. After all, I’m not a country boy or a farmer. In fact, the only job I have ever got fired from was when I worked on a farm during college for two months. I don’t own a gun and have only fired one twice in my life (once in basic training–I qualified by some miracle, and once in the desert of Colorado when I was out with a friend firing at cans–I missed). Obviously, I am not a hunter. The only thing I know about cows is that I want to stop my car when I am driving by and pet them (I really want to pet the camels and zebra that hang out in the fields off of highway 47). Bottom line, at Stonepoint I am like a misplaced hippie in a group of cowboys and ranchers. But the funny thing as I looked around the circle the other night, I kept telling myself (and meaning it), “I belong with these guys. I’m one of them. I am a sinner who wants to have victory and be useful to God, whatever that may mean. I’m one of them! I may not be a drug addict but my hidden sins are no different or better than anything else. I am a sinner and falling short of God!!” I have never had such an experience in any church I have ever attended.
OK. Time to end this. So what am I going to do from here? Between my Lord and myself, I have made a commitment to go back to re:gen and allow the Lord to work in me and hopefully heal me. There is hurt and problems in my life that I have tried for years to get over. This is the first time in my life that I have hope and faith that God can heal me of my sins. No perfection anticipated. I believe it will be a long-term and difficult commitment. But I believe it is a worthwhile spiritual investment. So, anyone who reads this please pray for me!!! I will be happy to return the favor and return for you. May God be with us become the people He desires us to be. Amen!