Ghosts

Mark Johnston, Connections Pastor

My parents were married and childless for almost 15 years before i was born. They had gone through several ‘lives’ by the time i came around, and early in their marriage they were farmers. The first little place they had was north of Barry, Texas, and during their time there, they became close friends with the people who owned the larger place next to them.
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Their names were Henry Ray and Ethylene, and my parents remained great friends with them throughout the years, even after they gave up farming and moved to Dallas. Every few months, we’d  go and spend a Saturday with them on their farm, hanging out and listening to stories from their past. I’d fish and play with their grandkids, Tim and Sheila, who i thought were my cousins until i was probably 10 or 12.

I loved them and loved going there. The problem with going to visit them, was that we had to drive home at night.

There were two or three ways to get there, and my dad, since he missed living in the country, didn’t necessarily take the shortest distance home. In fact, he’d usually take the pooh bear way both directions, so he could look at crops and land and trees and cows, and generally not see houses every few feet.

The main way we’d come home had this hard 90 degree curve. Now, i liked scary stories growing up. I loved The Twilight Zone, Night Gallery, and this short-lived 70’s show called Ghost Story, which was basically, well…stories about ghosts.

On the way home, as we approached the curve, i’d lean forward from my un-seatbelted spot in the back seat. The headlights of our Oldsmobile would hit this rusted out, smashed up 1950s station wagon sitting by the bar ditch in front of the house of a man they had known during their time living there.

Every single time we drove by, my mother, like it was scripted, would say the exact same phrase upon seeing the brown, mangled remains of the car: “I don’t know why Herschel keeps that old car that Ruthelle got killed in…” and as her voice trailed off, my eyes would widen as this ‘death car’ came into full view on the side of the two lane road, under the eerie glow of a nearby light pole. It scared me out of my mind, but i couldn’t look away! I would envision old Ruthelle’s ghost climbing out of it, or worse, imagine seeing her out of the corner of my eye sitting next to me in the back seat like a scene from one of those TV shows. My heart would race a thousand miles an hour until we’d gotten a safe distance away and my mind would finally start to focus on the Southwest Conference football game or country music on the AM radio in the car.

Apparently Herschel’s wife had died in some horrific car accident many years before, and in his grief, he’d had someone tow the vehicle back to his house where it came to rest in it’s scary spot by the side of the road. I don’t know the details of the story—if he’d been in the car with her and survived, if she’d gone out alone one rainy night and he thought if he’d been there the outcome would have been different…and i was afraid to ask my folks the particulars. All i know is that she died and the car she died in sat there scaring the bejabbers out of me every time we drove by it. That and we never drove by it in the daylight.

As i got older, i came to see the inherent sadness in the story, how he’d been unable to ‘let go’ of his beloved and kept her reminder sitting there for some twenty years. There’s no such thing as ghosts, but in this man’s life he held on to an imaginary one instead of letting go, as if somehow, the car kept her around in a strange way. (In case you’re wondering, he finally remarried when i was teenager and i’m guessing the new wife gave him a ‘me or the car’ ultimatum as part of accepting the proposal, so the wreckage went away and he did move on at some point.)

So, why am i reliving a childhood trauma in the Stonepoint Blog? As far as i know, none of you have your spouse’s deathmobile sitting in your yard.

But is there something from your past that you can’t let go of? Is there some sin that you think is too big for God to forgive, so it keeps sitting there in the weeds as a reminder of your past life? Is there wreckage that you keep around as a reminder of something that you just can’t seem to get rid of? Have you lost something or someone valuable, and you feel so much sadness that you keep reminders of them—mementos that, instead of bringing back happy memories, simply point out the void?

Are there ghosts in your past that you can’t, or won’t face and tell that you don’t believe in them anymore?

There’s hope in Jesus. Stonepoint offers re:generation on Monday nights where other believers who are fighting their own ghosts gather to encourage, admonish and share with one another how hard it is to have someone take away the rusty remains, but how God fills the void when you do. What would it look like to have a life free from those things that have haunted you, to get rid of the junk and wreckage of past relationships and hurts that don’t seem to have an end?

Don’t let twenty years pass by before you let someone drag your old car away.

The Prayer Life of a Struggling Christian

Bob Mayo, Stonepoint Member

I’ve had this stirring within me ever since I attended “Secret Church” on April 21st. The meeting was very good and I have been trying to get back into the booklet we received and go through it again. But that hasn’t happened as yet. Instead, a word has been stirring in my mind over and over again. That word, PRAY. I’d like to write about that and tell you a little of my journey in this.

Just a few words to fill you in on my prayer life. It has always been a struggle and sometimes non-existent. I set aside time for prayer nearly every day, but almost always struggle with my thoughts wandering off someplace. Sometimes I take walks just to keep me from being distracted. That works somewhat. But there is another problem that I’m a bit ashamed to confess. That is the lack of belief that prayer does any good. I continue to fight this and pray for a stronger faith. God, in His mercy has been teaching me in this area for a couple of years now. It has been slow and hard, but growing nonetheless.

My new prayer life actually started a while ago. In my latest job at GFA, I have been working with a group of people who support the ministry. Basically, I write emails, notes and sometimes call them to thank them for gifts that they have sent in to us and asking if I can pray for them. As I started out in this new position, I noticed that when I would send an email out to a person I would often get a return email sharing some prayer requests. Some of the requests are heartbreaking. One of the downsides of having a sensitive personality is that my heart breaks and I struggle not to get down about the requests. After all, all I can do about it is to pray. But later I began to be impressed to with the thought that praying is the best thing I can do. After a while I started to compile these requests into a prayer list. I would always write back and assure the person that I would pray. So, I make sure I do. This has grown over the past year and a half and now I try to follow-up with some of them to check in to see how they are doing. In all honesty, this has turned into a small prayer ministry for me and is becoming a joyous part of my work here.

The second thing that has begun to change my prayer life is some emails I receive and things in the news. The most recent news item is the bombings in the UK. We have friends in the UK. By God’s grace, they are all safe. But the threat of more bombings continues. Then there are other ministries I receive emails from. Two of them are Voice of the Martyrs and Open Doors. Both these ministries work in very difficult areas of the world. Again, it is heartbreaking to receive their emails and hear about the struggles of our brothers and sisters in these countries. Recently, I have been impressed that I need to look at these emails a little closer and prayer seriously over them.

The third thing that made me think and change my prayer times was re-reading David Platt’s book Radical. I just finished the book a few days ago. The last chapter talks about a year-long challenge. While I didn’t commit to doing the whole challenge, there are some parts I am already doing and some I want to start. One of the points was to read through the Bible in a year. I have already started that, but told God I was not going to restrict myself to finishing in a year. You see, I am a project oriented person, to a fault. If I set myself a goal to complete something in a year I will do everything I can to make that happen. But the results have always been disappointing. When I have read the Bible in a year, that’s about all I accomplished. I took no time to think about or pray over what I had read. So now I read the Bible nearly every day but I also ask God to teach me what I need to know and soften my heart.

But there was another part of the challenge I haven’t ever seriously thought about. That was to pray for the whole world in a year. Again, I am not limiting myself to a year, but I took a book I have on my bookshelf, called Operation World, and dusted it off (shameful on my part). I have used this book before, but until I read this in Pastor Platt’s book it never dawned on me to just pray for the world. So, I now I am praying for the world from A to Z (the book covers every country in the world and gives a description and how to pray for each country).

Well, there you have it. I’m not telling you all this to make you think how cool I am (or how not so cool I am, either). Nor am I bragging about these changes in my life. In fact, I struggle with shame that they are coming to me at this point in my life. But I do want to tell you this because I think we are in an urgent time. I don’t think it will get easier. I believe for myself, at a minimum, I need to read God’s Word for all it’s worth. And I need to pray. But not just pray like I always have. I think I need to have “focused prayer.” I read or heard somewhere that all revivals we have heard about in the history of Christianity happened because a group of people somewhere started focused prayer for their town, village, state or nation. Can that be what we need here in East Texas, focused prayer? How could that ever happen? It won’t happen by wishing that we were better at prayer. It will happen by us praying with focus, by fighting against our chief enemy as he whispers how foolish we are to think this will change things, and fighting our flesh that wants to not commit to this. May God forgive us our prayerlessness and give us His grace to PRAY!! God bless you!

Tired of Fighting

Bob Mayo, Stonepoint Member

We all have them. Sometimes they just make us angry, short tempered, feeling like we are worthless, feeling that we are displeasing God, and they make us just to want to give up. What are these things? Basically, at least for this blog post, they are tough days and tough weeks. Times where we just seem to be fighting negative thoughts and discouragement.

It’s Thursday as I write this and each day of this week has compounded upon the day before it and it has just been a struggle. First, there is just general and “normal” pain. I seem to be in physical pain all the time. Those of you who experience this know how tiring that can be. Then there is just are just people I talk to and things I read that make me sad or angry. Just hearing of the problems of others can bring us down. Then there is my work itself. I basically enjoy my work at the ministry, but there are times where I just can’t do another note or send another email when it seems like I have already done a thousand of them in one day. Then I think that my problems this week are not nearly as significant as some I have heard or read about. So why am I complaining? Then, the guilt and shame set it. It’s a vicious cycle. And what’s the end result? EMPTINESS AND DISCOURAGEMENT!!  That’s pretty much me, this past week.

What are some of the causes of my discouragement? I’ve listed them above but let me go into a little detail. First, was just being exhausted physically. Pain, lack of sleep, health problems can all wear us down. That is what happened to me this week. While I am aware that pain is a part of my life, sometimes to be constantly fighting it to keep going just gets to be too much. Then, there is people I talk with and things I read. We all have struggles at time, but most of the time, we don’t want to talk about them. But in my job, I get prayer requests from people and a lot of them go from sad to heart-wrenching. Being a sensitive type, I tend to take them to heart. But when that gets too heavy, it drains our strength and energy. Finally, there is “hitting the wall.” That is what happened on my job this week. For some reason, what is usually no big deal, became something that I am just sick and tired of doing. Even though I could see a few results from my work, the process of working to get there was getting to be a problem to me. Like I said, I couldn’t write one more note card or email. My thoughts came in and I started thinking, “what a drag, man” (I guess that’s left over from my living in the hippie days). I got to the place where it seemed impossible to keep going, yet knowing that I had to.

So, before you all start thinking that I’m just moaning and complaining (OK, so I guess I am), I have a purpose for writing all this. Discouragement, is something we all face at one time or another. The question is, how do we handle it? The answer to that question can set the course to the rest of our lives. I just want to end today with a few thoughts of what I have been doing this week to overcome being discouraged. I take no claim to these; they are just things I have been doing to battle this time of discouragement.

First, I keep remembering that God is in control. All I know is that times of trial and struggle are a part of this life. Sometimes they come to us because of our selfishness and sometimes they come just to help us to grow closer to the Lord. Remembering what our Lord went through helps me. I read recently that we don’t realize how much Jesus went through in the garden of Gethsemane. He was in absolute agony! But he still submitted Himself to the Father and went through with suffering and dying on the Cross of Calvary. He knew that when it was over He would be gloriously reunited with His Father. We have the same thing in our future. We will be united with Jesus Christ forever. It’s important to see past the present

Second, I have been fighting against my thoughts. While in times past I can remember just giving into my negative thoughts, this time, by God’s grace, I did my best to fight against them. Proverbs 4:23 says: “Watch over your heart with all diligence, for from it flow the springs of life.” I wonder if another way to say this is, “we are what we think.” Guarding our hearts from negative thinking help us come out of discouragement.

Third and last, we need to remember we have an enemy. Satan, is our mortal enemy. He wants to do everything he can to take us out of the battle. Discouragement is one of his best weapons in his arsenal. And he will not hesitate to use it. We need to remember that there is a spiritual, unseen war going on around us. We don’t understand it and we can’t see it. But it’s there. But we fight from a place of victory, “greater is He that is in you than he that is in the world.”

I feel somewhat silly telling you about my little problems this week. If you read this, you may think that I’m just a wimp. I’ll take that chance. We are all different and we all have different breaking points. Personally, I have been through a lot worse than I am going through right now. It really doesn’t matter how big or small the problems are. What matters is that we handle the problems through faith in our Lord, through the power of our Lord who is in us, and by trusting His Word. God bless you!

Working in the Dark

Bob Mayo, Stonepoint Member

I had a strange thing happen to me this morning. At least it was strange to me. I’ve been praying off and on for a week or so, for God to give me an idea to write about, but I was getting nothing. Today, I got up about five minutes before my alarm went off. As I was getting ready for work, my radio alarm came on as usual. Most of the time I just turn it off but since I was already up and starting to get ready, I just let it go. As I was getting ready, one of the morning show people told a story about the Secretary of State. It wasn’t really about her; it was about her speech writer. You see, the Secretary was supposed to speak at a college graduation ceremony. But because she couldn’t make it, she sent the speech writer who had actually written her speech. When he started speaking, he mentioned the usual about how he knew the audience would be disappointed that the Secretary couldn’t make it. And he also said he was as surprised as any of them that he was given the assignment. But his reasoning wasn’t just because he got the assignment. He admitted to the audience that this would probably be the first and last time he ever was out “in front” like he was on that day. He went on to explain and said that he is one of those people who “works in the dark,” behind the scenes. Then he said something that really hit me. He said, for people who work in the dark, their achievements go unseen. In other words, the average person in an audience is not even aware of them or of what they achieve.

This got me to thinking about things. How much do we (or for that matter, I) just take the service of God’s people for granted? I was trying to keep myself out of this blog but I need to give you a little background. For about 18 years of my time here at the ministry, I have been what we call a Department Coordinator. I had varied responsibilities and most of what I did was visible to our leaders. Then a couple years ago, because of a need, I was asked take another job that I had been helping with on a part-time basis. I worked there for just about a year then was asked to move again to another department. In both these changes the first thing I had to adjust to was that I was now an unseen person here in the ministry. Few people knew what I did and what my “accomplishments” were. For the first time in most of my 40 year work career, I became a person who works in the dark. To be honest, for a while my pride got in the way and I struggled with this. I was used of having a lot of varied responsibilities and in all honesty worked in a lot of chaos at times. Now my job seemed dull and routine. But during this time, I was also in the middle of going through re:generation and by God’s grace, I began to see my problem. Yes, it was nothing more than that my pride was hurt. Over time God showed me my sin. I was able, again by His grace, to confess it and my attitude slowly changed.

Now, back to what I want to write about. As I think about this, there are many people who work in the dark. They aren’t less important than those who “get all the glory.” In fact, they actually make things happen that allows other people can get the glory. Just in our ministry I think of people like Mark, Shareen and Savannah who have important jobs but rarely get in the light. The same is true for many who serve here at Stonepoint. People who serve the coffee and work in the children’s ministry or work in the audio-visual area (I think the AV people only get noticed when they make a mistake during the church service). But there can be a problem that many people who work in the dark can have. And the problem can go unnoticed unless God makes us aware of it. That problem is pride and it can make us angry and bitter over our situation. Even though we have surrendered our lives to Christ and want to humbly serve Him, our flesh is still with us. That’s what happened to me and for some time, I struggled with it. But because of our “new life in Christ” we don’t have to let our pride rule us. We have the power of the Gospel that can overcome that. We can repent and humble ourselves to God as it says in the book of James: “But He gives more grace. Therefore it says, ‘God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.’” (James 4:6). And, “Humble yourselves before the Lord, and He will exalt you. (James 4:10). Over time, God brought me to the point of repentance and humility in my life over my situation. I began to see that God had reasons for putting me where I am. Who am I to question that? I am honestly grateful for what God did and the glory of all that goes to Him alone.

So, this is my tribute to those many unnamed people who humbly serve our Lord with little or no recognition. You are so valuable to the Body of Christ! Thank you so much for your humble and service to our Lord. Let us throw off our pride and just serve Him with all our hearts. If you work in the kitchen of some ministry, do it with all your heart. If you make coffee and serve donuts (didn’t that used to be doughnuts?) serve them to the glory of our Lord. He will be pleased and he will exalt you in His time. So, serve on, brothers and sisters of the dark, our Lord is with you and is pleased with your service to Him!! God bless you all!

 

DNA: Who Are You?

Mark Johnston, Connections Pastor

My wife recently did a DNA test. Ancestry.com was running a special, and since she doesn’t buy jack squat at regular price, she decided to go for it.

dreamstime_salivaAll of her life she’d heard that someone back in her lineage was Native American, and was told that was the genetic reason for her high cheekbones and dark complexion. Her dad was a big red-faced man, that she described to me before i met him as looking like Chief Wahoo on the Cleveland Indians’ baseball caps, and that fit into the story arc, even though both of her sisters were much lighter skinned. Everyone reasoned that she must’ve sucked all of the Cherokee blood out of the family roots and left her poor siblings to suffer lives of perpetual sunburns.

So she decided to check it out for herself. She sent in a little tube of saliva and anxiously awaited the results, hoping that enough Native American would show up that we could ‘Elizabeth Warren’ our kids into some great scholarship offers.

The results? English, Scotch and German, with a little Western European mixed in for good measure. ZERO Indian blood. Not a trace. She had been misled about her roots her whole life. In fact, she had more African and Asian than Native American in her DNA.

Community college, make some spots for the Johnston kids!

Some family member has already traced my dad’s lineage back to England in the 1600s. I remember reading through it when i was a kid at all the unrecognizable names since a Mr. Johnston didn’t come into the picture until 1800something, but it was never anything i was all that interested in, personally.

I always had a hard time realizing that those names on the paper were actual living, breathing people at one time. That they lived lives in color, not in black and white like old pictures, and were now lost to history. I had a tough time wrapping my mind around the fact that i would one day just be a name on a paper, or nowadays, a website. Just a born date and a death date for the generations to come.

The late, great singer-songwriter Steve Goodman said it this way:

The day you’re born they sign a piece of paper
That will certify the date of your birth
And the day you die they sign another
Just to prove you’ve gone back to the earth
And between those two pieces of paper
There is the truth that is so hard to find
And the story of your life is written  
But you must read in between the lines

A couple of years ago, Stonepoint did a sermon series called “Leave a Legacy” that talked about family trees and how God could change them. So many people say ‘my family is just this way’ or think that because grandpa was an alcoholic, and dad was an alcoholic that it’s somehow their fate to become one as well.

The Bible, however, tells a different story. In fact, it tells multiple stories of folks walking one road in life, meeting Jesus and completely changing their life because of it. In the Apostle Paul’s case, history itself changed because of the encounter.

And Stonepoint Church is full of those kinds of stories, too…people who found Christ and realized that it’s not their destiny to be who the world, or even their own families say they are. That maybe even the way they have always seen themselves is not at all how God sees them, or who He has called them to be. Folks who were a mess and now see themselves as children of God and have a greater calling on their lives are present at every service. In fact, it’s all of us.

We see that family trees can be uprooted by the One who created us and calls us according to His purpose.

Romans 8:28 and 29 says “And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers.”

So how about you? Do you see yourself as simply the product of your DNA, some collection of chromosomes that determine who you are going to be in this world from the time of your arrival until the day someone lays you in the ground?

Or have you accepted Jesus’ call on your life and see your purpose as something greater?  Do you see your children and grandchildren as blank canvases for Christ’s words to be written on daily, by you, not by teachers, professors or friends at school, who may not have God’s eternal purpose in their thoughts as they are writing?

Unfortunately, as human beings, we have to constantly remind each other to look at things from an eternal perspective. This world dulls our senses, and numbs our minds to the fact that there is a world greater than our own that awaits us someday.

As a follower of Jesus, you are a child of the most high God, and that’s something a little spit in a tube can’t begin to tell you.

Church, let’s start living like it.

Being the Church

Bob Mayo, Stonepoint Member

So, as you all know we had quite a weekend the past few days. Power outages, heavy rain storms, and most damaging, tornados. Sadly, some lives were taken by these. Last night, after the power came on, I wrote a Facebook post about some of my impressions. Surprisingly, it got way more attention than it deserved and several more comments than usual. My part was minimal but the weekend gave me cause to think and reflect. So, I thought I would use the Facebook post as a base and expand on it some.

It all started Saturday night. About 5:30 or so our power suddenly went out. That has happened before and I assumed the power would be on before too long. We have had power outages here before but they have usually been short lived. So, I sat around in the dark that evening. It was actually quite pleasant. Instead of wasting the evening sitting around watching TV or whatever, I spent some time in prayer and reading the Word. I thought, “I could get used to this.”

On Sunday, I got up and started with my time with the Lord. I turned on my cell phone for a short time and checked for emails, etc. I knew that church had been cancelled but I also saw that the church building was a distribution center for supplies for those who were in need. I drove to Stonepoint and found what they needed for supplies. I jumped into my car and drove over to Brookshire’s. I rushed into the water aisle and grabbed some and got a few other items. As I walked around the store, I realized there were several other people who were doing the same thing. I didn’t know any of them but I knew that they were not just buying all these things for themselves. That gave me a lot of joy. I drove back to Stonepoint to drop my items off and I figured unless they needed me at the church, that would be the end of it. Soon, I saw Megan McGarrah and Hope Harlacher from GFA come in and we started talking. They talked to Pastor Brandon and found out there might be a need in Fruitvale. I checked with Pastor Brandon and he suggested I just follow him out to the town. So, Megan, Hope and I followed pastor B out to Fruitvale.

As we approached Fruitvale on highway 80, the first signs of the tornado I saw were two houses, one on each side of the highway. Both were heavily damaged and collapsed in. While I have been around, and even watched tornados before, but this was the first time I had seen tornado damage up-close and personal. It was rather sobering (Emily Hart from GFA used that word). My first inclination was to stop and get some pictures, but there were cars and people all over the area. Besides, I couldn’t lose Pastor Brandon whom I was following. So, I just prayed and kept moving. We arrived at what I guess was a gathering and supply distribution area. I figured I would be working a table or something like that. There seemed to be a lot of chaos trying to organize things but Pastor Brandon got things started.

Megan, Hope and I waited around for a while and soon were told get into our cars and follow some other vehicles. The house we went to was off the main highway and in an isolated area. The house was not too badly damaged, at least compared to the other houses I had just seen, but there were a lot of large trees broken down and we were there to help with removing the debris. I knew the work would be hard and physical for me but I was there and wanted to help. The tree limbs were huge for the most part but we dragged them over to an area where there was a wood chipper. As we were working, I saw a small plaque over the front door of the house that said “The Lord is my Shepherd.” That made me smile but still, it reminded me that life is so fragile. Unfortunately, I could only work a couple of hours. I don’t like being 70 at times. While I keep thinking I’m 25 and can do whatever I want, that just isn’t the case. Especially when it comes to helping at something like this. So, disappointed, I told Hope I needed to leave and headed home. Hope and Megan stayed on and worked a couple of other houses beside.

When I got home I cleaned up and then laid down and read the Word and prayed again. Soon neighbors came over to check on me. I was invited to dinner by my next-door neighbor as they had a generator and a camp stove. So, I had a nice dinner with them and we spent the evening watching a movie.

Monday morning arrived and we were still without power. I got up and again read the Word and prayed. Then about 10:30 I headed up to Wills Point to an appointment. Since I was in already town, I also took care of my chiropractor appointment that was scheduled for Wednesday. I thought that worked out just groovy!!! I came home and started the “no-power for two days cleanup.” I ended out throwing out some frozen food and think I still have more that I might need to throw out. But compared to others, my problems are minimal. I also learned that trying to melt dry ice is really cool (no pun intended)!!! I put it in my sink and when I let water run on it this white cloud rose from the sink! This gave me a lot of entertainment, but then again, I’m easily entertained. About 2PM I laid down on the bed and read my Bible. Soon, I heard a knock on the door and realized I had fallen asleep for a couple hours. That was weird as I never intentionally take naps (I don’t know why). But in this case, the nap took me. After answering the door, I laid back down and started reading again. I thought about having to sit around in the dark again and what to do with the time when the lights suddenly flashed on!! Our time of dark nights was over!

It’s funny. For the most part, I thoroughly enjoyed the darkness and solitude. Over the time, I spent more time in the Word and prayer than I had in a long time. I went over to neighbors for fellowship and had fellow staff stop by here to check on me. I read a lot from the book Radical. Ever since attending Secret Church a little while ago, I had wanted to re-read it. And I didn’t have any coffee for two days! Whoever would have thought I could do that? Anyway, I enjoyed the break from my “normal life” and in some regards, was a little sad to see it come back to “normal.” These past few days reminded me of how life was in the past and should be today. I saw the Church and community come alive and sacrifice time and money to help those in need. Many people caught in the tornados had stories of miracle escapes with their lives. I heard one of them today and it amazing to hear of the grace and mercy of our LORD. So, there is much joy that went along with all the tragedy. But there is also hurting for those who didn’t make it through the tornadoes.

So, what’s the bottom line? Here are a few thoughts I had during this time. God is in control, even of nature. God is still good, no matter what some people might think. These things have nothing to do with His love for His people. His love is still perfect. I saw the Church come together like I haven’t seen in some time. It wasn’t just Stonepoint, although I saw a lot of people from there helping. But there were also people from other churches, from GFA, and just people helping anyway they could. I believe the LORD was pleased. On a personal note, the weekend made me think about how I spend my time. I do seek to spend time daily, both in Bible study and prayer. But having all this time with nothing to do made me think of the time I waste just hanging out and doing whatever. I pray that the Lord will change that in my life. The weekend also made me think about small ways that I could just help or encourage people.

So, thank you to all who sacrificed time, money and labor to help those in need. I witnessed Galatians 6:10 lived out is so many ways this weekend: “So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith.” Thank you again and God bless you.