Thankful for Family and Friends

Saturday's work crew from West Cannon, Northpointe, Toledo and Pittsburgh
We are very thankful for friends and family who came out to help us move.  Our new apartment is about 15 minutes away from where we were living.  FIFTEEN MINUTES closer to the kids' school.
  • Krista's mom and dad
  • My mom and Bill
  • a friend from the Dominican Republic
  • a friend from Baptist Bible Seminary
  • a friend from Northpointe Christian School (a friend of mine was there on Saturday and four of Joel's friends helped pack up on Friday)
  • a lot of friends from West Cannon Baptist Church.

Friday's work crew from Northpointe
During this transition time in our lives, one of the challenges is not having a church "home."
At the same time, individuals from West Cannon Baptist Church and Northpointe Christian School have been extremely helpful.  We also appreciate people from Emmanuel Baptist Church who have asked about how to pray and looked for ways to help from afar.
We have visited several different churches in the Grand Rapids area the last two months.  While we are very much looking forward to settling into a church, it has been an encouragement to visit several different Bible-teaching churches.

Recently we were talking with the kids about how they respond to the question of what church are you attending.
One of the kids answered, "No where."
Another one answered "Everywhere."
And the third one answered, "I don't know."

While prayerfully looking forward to where God will have us I am also amazed at how God has used people from West Cannon Baptist and Emmanuel Baptist Church.  I am very thankful for people who "understand what it really looks like to represent the grace of the Redeemer in the lives of the people whom he puts in our paths."  (New Morning Mercies, October 11)

Actually, today's New Morning Mercies devotional is a great reminder of who the church is.
So many people who attend evangelical churches on Sunday have little life commitment to the work of those churches.  Most pastors would be thrilled if the vast majority of their people were every-Sunday attenders and committed to financially supporting the work of the churches.  But all this sadly falls far below God's wise design for his church.   Think about it:  you will simply never be able to hire enough professional ministry people to cover all the ministry needs in a given week, no matter what size your church is.  It is no wonder problems are left to grow until they reach intense levels of complication.
All God's children have been called to the same position.  We've all been called to be his ambassadors.  Remember, the only thing an ambassador does is represent.  God's plan is to make his invisible presence and his invisible grace visible through his people, who incarnate his presence and carry that grace to others.  That's God's call to every one of his children.  There are to be no self-satisfied recipients, no consumers.  The body of Christ is designed by God to be an organic, constantly ministering community.