Sunday, June 26, 2011

14... in 2 weeks!  

Putting on Love
With next week being 4th of July weekend, we won't have regular church services, but will have a church family picnic instead and the Sunday after that is when they leave for Mozambique, so today we commissioned Ed, Kay, and Brooke for their trip.  It was an emotional, powerful, wonderful day!

The message was based on some of Heidi Baker's teaching from VOA.  It was all about loving The One and loving the one.  It was a wonderful reminder that we can only truly love others when our heart is overflowing with God's love.  
In true "Nest style", we had a skit to illustrate this truth.  First a little girl's kitty was stuck up in a tree.  Along came Super Girl to the rescue, but for some reason she wasn't able to use her powers, so she went along to the next citizen - a little old lady who had a tree fall on her leg.  Once again Super Girl's strength failed her and she was unable to help.  Finally, she came to a lady (played by yours truly!) who had been tied to a railroad track, but she was unable to "hey-elp" her either.  Disheartened, Super Girl goes through her "super hero checklist" to see what she's forgotten, only to discover that she had forgotten to "put on" her super hero cape.  She puts it on, then proceeds to rescue the little girl's kitty, lift the tree from the the little old lady, and free the other lady from the train track just in the nick of time!  The point was to give a visual for Col. 3:14, which says above all else, put on love.  Love is the source of the power.  God is the source of love.  In fact, He IS love!

As we moved into a time of prayer for Ed, Kay, and Brooke, we surprised them by playing video messages/blessings/prayers from Ed and Kay's daughters and son-inlaw, and Brooke's cousin Jill.

Several of The Nest kids got pictures and words from the Lord, which they wrote down or drew and gave to them and we took turns speaking prayers and blessings over them as the Spirit led, anointing them with the power of the Holy Spirit to go and tell all about Him in Franklin, in Tennessee, in Mozambique, and all around the world!

God had a special surprise just for me today, which I'm not sure I can articulate, but I will attempt to.  You see, while those of us in the skit were waiting in the foyer for our cue to go on, a visiting family arrived, which was quite comical given the fact Venita was standing there in her Super Girl costume!  We introduced ourselves and realized that this is a family who recently moved here from Brandon, MS, where we lived for 4 years in the '90's and met David and Amy Lancaster.  They were introduced to Rachel Jones of The Nest through a mutual friend and we couldn't believe what a small world it is when we realized they had been members at Crossgates Baptist, which is where we went when we lived there and where God did such an amazing work in Eddy's and my lives. 

Well, as we prayed over Ed, Kay, and Brooke this morning, I was suddenly overwhelmed as I realized that this sweet family could have visited any number of other times, yet this particular Sunday was when they chose to.  You see, God reminded me that as an infant we dedicated Brooke to the Lord's service at Crossgates 17 years ago.  God knew then that this day would come, when we'd be commissioning her to go on this trip and He arranged it so that this family from that very same church would be there this morning!  Brooke and Jonathan Lancaster played together in the church nursery and God knew back then that in 2011 the two of them would be part of the same team going to Mozambique.  We moved to TN and in the 6th grade, Brooke was in Ed and Kay's Bible Drill class.  God knew back then that the three of them would be going on this trip together.  

As I reflected on all these moments...all these puzzle pieces...I stood amazed in the presence of my great big God who established these events long ago.  What He establishes is firm, unshakable, and true.  Although it's hard as a momma to let my girl go across the world with little to no communication, I can rest in The One Who had this planned long, long ago.  His plans are good because He is good.  And for that reason, I can trust Him.

14th book of the OT: 2 Chronicles
Chapter 1, verse 4:  Now David had brought up the ark of God from Kiriath Jearim to the place he had prepared for it, because he had pitched a tent for it in Jerusalem.
The Ark was where God's presence rested. David prepared a place for the ark. He prepared a place for God's presence.  I pray that each member of the team prepares a resting place in their hearts for God's presence and that Hid presence goes with them to Mozambique and that they return with hearts even more full of His presence than when they left.

14th book of NT: 2 Thessalonians
Chapter 1, verse 4: Therefore, among God's churches we boast about your perseverance and faith in all the persecutions and trials you are enduring.
While we certainly don't like thinking about it, the enemy will try to trip us up with persecutions and trials, but I pray that each team member will persevere and keep the faith as those times come.  I pray that they will each remember that LOVE WINS!

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