Stories from the Seats!

>> Monday, April 16, 2012

I love hearing the current teaching series that we call Stories from the Seats. This is our 4th or 5th year of doing stories and they have been so very well received by our congregation. We do this after Easter hoping that the stories will encourage our Easter visitors to come back the following Sundays. I saw some of our Easter visitors back yesterday. That's a great thing.

Yesterday Rick Schupback, Caleb Hamer, Laura Hoy and Bob Hennessey shared in our four different worship sites. We will add Jesse Brogan this week and that will complete the list of those who will be sharing their narratives and testimonies.

It takes so much courage and faith to stand in front of our large congregation and vulnerably share the brokeness, the lessons and the blessings of God throughout our lives. Many of these stories are powerful testimonies that relate the power of God's Spirit within a life. These folks share not because they have it all together. They share because God has it all together and it's His power that they depend upon.


This one's for you Jesus....Not in vain!

I've been thinking about this since Easter. In the Community Center services my teaching included the verses 1 Corinthians 15:57-58:

But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, my dear brothers, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.

Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord means that each of us must stop and think carefully about what assignments God has given to us in this era of our lives. We are called to raise children, invest in a marriage, walk with an aging parent, or serve the church or community in some major role, build a business or teach a classroom of students. What is our assignment? Whatever it is, we must do it fully!

And then the verse closes with the words, "not in vain." Our work counts for Christ. It matters. It really matters. God is watching. He is taking note of our hearts and our motivations and our actions. It matters to Him.

I hope you will see your life in these phrases and often repeat them as you face challenges in your day--"This one is for you Jesus!" And then right away remind yourself, "Not in vain!"


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