Since we are in the middle of election season - one of my least favorite, I've been hearing a lot about "four years". One side is hoping for "four more years" while the other side is wondering if they could survive "four more years".
Today, I am thinking about "four years" in a very different context. September 25 marked four years of our Thursday night praise service and I'm marveling. When someone from the church I was attending approached me about starting a midweek praise service, I was immediately flattered. Once I started thinking about it and wondering if it was something I'd be interested in doing and praying to see if it was something God was saying "yes" to, I was overwhelmed. I remember saying to Tom - "I think I have about two messages in me." TWo messages were not going to go very far if I needed a message every week.
Then, on September 25, 2008, we kicked off our first service - complete with my beloved inneedofgrace praise band. A call to worship, five songs and some prayer, a Scripture reading, a short message, a time for the congregation to share their stories, thoughts, etc, a group prayer, a song, a blessing and we were done. It was a small group of people but it all went really well.
Four years later - and almost 200 services, I am astounded at how God works. It's still a small group and yet we have grown and shared our lives in a way that has made us family. We've encouraged one another to drop our "church faces" and share who we are in a way that's genuine - our joys, our struggles, our victories, our failures.
What amazes me most is the effect that planning and leading this service has had in my own life. My faith has grown, my own devotional life has stretched and I have met God in a way that brings me to my knees. I have been blessed and encouraged and the people of the congregation have shared their thoughts and stories and experiences with me. Thursday has become my favorite day of the week.
And so today, I am celebrating God's faithful love and grace. I am rejoicing that He supplies me with all I need. I am thankful for the opportunity to share in the lives of my Thursday night family and for the blessing they are to me.
Praying you have the opportunity to share your life, stories, and thoughts with people you care about. May God shower you with His love and grace as you do. Sending big hugs to all of you!