If you've been on the Journey very long you know there are mountain top experiences with God and there are also the times, often painful, when you go through the valley. Today we talked about how to get through those valleys by taking steps in the right direction via trust and obedience.
Next Sunday Andy will pick up where I left off. Then the following Sunday I'll bring a seasonal message on the Sunday before Christmas.
Nate chose Steven Curtis Chapman's song "The Mountain" to introduce the message today. If you know his family's story this year you have to appreciate the insights God gave him well in advance of the valley they would traverse with the tragic death of their daughter. Here are the words from the 2nd verse:
You bring me up here on this mountain
For me to rest and learn and grow
I see the truth up on the mountain And I carry it to the world far below
So as I go down to the valley
Knowing that You will go with me
This is my prayer, Lord
Help me to remember what You've shown me
Up on the mountain
They also plugged in some Christmas music including a rendition of "God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen" that sneaks in a lead guitar part from "Carol of the Bells" (with distortion, of course). It's fantastic. Can't wait for more.
Tina tells me our Lil K class (pre-schoolers) was maxed out today at 9AM. The place is crawling with young children.
Following the second worship gathering a lot of folks stayed around to get the place re-set and decorated for tonight's annual Christmas dinner. We don't have a separate "fellowship hall", so our worship space is multi-purpose. In came the tables and chairs for tonight's meal. We set up enough to handle 216, utilizing the lobby as well. Good thing!
Talk about a ton of food! Our Fellowship Team did a great job setting up the food lines, getting nearly 200 people through pretty quickly. Shawn P., who has been around a few years looked around and was remembering when things were much smaller. It's quite amazing to me, too.
The stack of coats donated to give away next week to the needy in the community is becoming a mountain! Keep it up! And I don't know what was given tonight to send Bibles to youth and children in countries where believers are under persecution, but it looked like a pretty healthy offering. Thanks for giving to Jesus' body like this in celebration of His Birth, especially when it's not so easy to give.
My Flashback next Sunday will not be about NHC. I'll be speaking in a church in Vero Beach, FL while visiting our daughter and son-in-law. Hope the weather's warm!