This church has members that drive from 50 miles around to attend on a regular basis. There are people there from every age group though the 40 and under group out-weighs the 40 and over age group. That means that the church is STILL GROWING! I didn't blog about the church we traveled to the previous week but this church was a very welcomed change respectively! The event we were at was actually for teens. Chad spoke a sermon Sunday morning and every night just like normal. However, during the day, the teens had two teaching sessions in the morning and an afternoon activity following lunch. We went canoeing one day, bowling another, and the third day was a video scavenger hunt for all the teens. there were over 30 teens there each day. It was incredible!
We stayed with the sweetest family down there where Chad and I slept in a sweet camper and Cassidy slept inside on the littlest girls bed. They were extremely welcoming and had everything we could've asked for already out for us when we got there. God has blessed that family numerously because of their giving hearts. Needless to say, the week started out great! On top of that one of the ladies in the church decided she would have us over for supper one day (they don't do dinner in the south) and we ate some of the most incredible food I'd had in a very long time! So the hospitality down here was.... uh.... kind of..... well I guess you could say..... LIGHTS OUT!
I should've blogged every day about how the Spirit moved on this church but i'll give the highlight reel instead. Basically, the people of this church were hungry. In the youth sessions, the spirit broke everything from spirits of rebellion to those harboring grudges in their heart. The response across the whole church was very cool to be a part of. And then came the coolest sermon I've ever heard Chad speak. The root verse is out of Colossians 1:5 which says "the faith and love that spring from the hope that is stored up for you in heaven and that you have already heard about in the word of truth, the gospel..." Chad walked us through the beginning of the verse and how the faith and love actually spring like a diving board off of this idea of hope! Which is sweet right, but what exactly is Paul talking about by "hope". So Chad walks us through the concept of shekinah glory. The Old Testament concept is that God would "shakan" a "mishkan" and out of that would spill the shekinah glory! Don't worry I'll explain. The word "shakan" has the idea of God literally making his dwelling place. The word "mishkan" literally translates into tabernacle. Lastly, the shekinah glory is simply the spilling over of his glory and presence where he has come to dwell. So when you put it all together it means that God's presence comes down to dwell in a tabernacle and his glory spills out all over the place. That is OLD TESTAMENT glory. But God doesn't dwell in buildings anymore! He did a new thing when he sent his Son to Earth and then left the Holy Spirit behind. So we say things like "Isn't it good to be in the house of the Lord this morning". Which isn't necessarily a bad thing. When two or three are gathered in his name, there he will be also. But He isn't there cause it's 6:00 Sunday night and we woke him up from his bed on the back pew so that he could be with us for service. He's there because WE BROUGHT HIM. The dwelling place of the Lord is IN US! He has no residence in our churches or in our homes. His presence can only be where we bring him. If we want to have revival we have to first surrender ourselves to the Father and bring him with us to gather for a movement of the Holy Spirit in the place where we gather (which could be the grocery store for all intensive purposes).
That just really spoke to me this week and I hope that it blesses you and challenges you to be careful to take the Spirit with you wherever you go and let his glory spill out from you. Going back to the verse in Colossians, this means that YOU and I are the hope of his glory. We are the diving board from which faith and love spring forth! Crazy stuff.
I love you all!