Ok, so it is actually Friday but I had planned all day to write this yesterday. Meetings with friends and family kept us busy all day so it is just a day off. Nevertheless, I will keep with Ashley's title instead of trying to be creative and make my own.
Ashley is the writer of the family so please forgive any shortcomings I may have when measured up to her (of which I am sure there are plenty :)
Today, I want to share something that we have been discussing in detail here recently. It is something that we are extremely thankful for - Our Church.
Calvary has been our home church since we were very young. We really have experienced life together through our church. We met in the youth group when we were about 12 and it was through that youth group that we began going on mission trips with SCORE. We grew up there, were married there, I will be ordained there and we will be comissioned there. Although God has allowed for Calvary to build and add on to our physical buildings, it is not the church building that we are thankful for - it is the people. So many of our church family supported us on our first mission trips that made it possible for God to open our eyes to the need. Many of the same members have donated sacrificially so that we could go to Bible and Language school just a few years later. And yet many still have followed up and support the effort that God has called us to. This is a church that has developed us and prayed for us, led us and gave for us. They have always been our home church. This church has taught us the love that Christ displays through people to accomplish his mission. I am convinced that the church exists for worship - worship, not just with music and a choir but with word, actions, giving, sending, encouraging, counseling, praying and loving....after all the Bible does teach that the church is to edify the body of believers.
It was by members of Calvary that I was introduced to aviation after the Holy Spirit gave me the desire. It is from Calvary that we have learned that the church is NOT based on any man but on the eternal God of the universe. We have been through a lot but the ministry that is going out of the church is uncommon in the world today.
We hold fast to the Biblical Doctrine that is taught by our church. I tell people all the time that I don't stand firmly on being an Independent Baptist - after all, Christ nor any of his disciples did. I stand firm on Christ and His Gospel, the reason I am a part of this Church is because they do to. I am asked often if in my ministry I will plant an Independent Baptist church....the answer is yes/no. I will only seek to found churches that based in the inmovable, undeniable truths that are found in Gods word but I will not have a denomination name in it.....there are many reasons why , namely because denominations have done much damage in the region where we are working and the truth is, the people we are ministering to need to understand that it is ALL about Christ, not an organization associated with Him.
We are proud to be members of Calvary Baptist Church, we are in no way perfect but I do feel as if we are a church that seeks to reach others and make disciples. There are many different types of people in our church and it is encouraging to see that although everyone may not agree on what Paul would label, "doubtful issues" we can all come together and serve, worship and encourage each other at the feet of Christ.
We thank God for our Church and for their influence in our life and we pray for it daily!