Sunday, November 18, 2007

It's Not "Just" A List

This mornings service was unbelievable! It had was about being thankful. Mr. Dr. Pastor Sir (our pastor) focused on three things to be thankful for, Friends, Family and Faith.

First off let me explain how we (my family) came to call our Pastor by that name. Plain and simple, he's a Mr. he's got a doctorate, he's our senior pastor, and he's a Sir. That's a lot of titles for someone that's only in his early 30's! We are truly blessed to have him as our pastor.

Ok, back to this mornings service. Mr. Dr. Pastor Sir had us open our bibles to Romans 16. He spoke about how Paul listed some of his friends. He shared a little about them, how much they meant to him and the effect they had on his life. He then had us write the names of people who we were thankful for. People who had an effect on our lives. This list was about people in general, not family. I listed people who helped me in my spiritual walk. Cunningham was the first Christian I had ever met. He not only talk the talk, but he walked it too. He was my Knight's Army buddy. His light shined so brightly that others "wanted" to be around him. Even when he asked those around him not to use fowl language. They respected him for taking a stand. They honored his request. Carrie, a very young lady who worked in the department next to where I worked. We weren't really friends but we were acquaintances. She saw me hurting when my beloved brother died. Even though she was not attending church, she invited me to the church she grew up going to. My Knight, how can I not have him in my list. He's my accountability partner. He's my soul mate, he's my better half. Emily and Carlos, they answered all my questions and helped me realize that I needed Jesus Christ. My Knight and I asked Jesus Christ to be our Lord and Savior while sitting on Emily and Carlos' couch. Myrna was my neighbor and closest friend. I could share my heart with her and know that she would not gossip about it. Carol and Dave were our first Sunday School teachers. They ministered to my Knight, my family and I. For that, I will forever be grateful. Cheryl took me under her wing. She was my mentor without her even knowing it. She was and is what Proverbs 31 talks about. The Ladies of the HAUS are prayer warriors. They are wise and knowledgeable. They are my sisters in Christ.

After we wrote our list, Mr. Dr. Pastor Sir, went on to say how this list, our list, is not "just" a list. This list mattered. Where would we be without the people on this list? He shared about the impact, the Vietnam Wall in Washington had on him, but not just him, those around him too. The list of names was not "just" a list. They were someone's son, father, brother, nephew, cousin, friend, daughter, sister or niece. Those people mattered. I'm a visual person and when he mentioned the Vietnam Wall it brought it all in perspective to me. I've seen this wall. I do not know any of those names on the wall. But I couldn't help feeling a sense of loss. Those names mattered to someone.

Mr. Dr. Pastor Sir went on to say how important a family is. He asked us to turn to Ephesians 5:20-33. As Christians we are to submit to one another in fear of God. Now, the word fear in this passage, doesn't mean be scared, but it means: awe, reverence, respect, and devotion. He spoke of how we, as wives are to respect our husbands. He also spoke about how husbands are to love their wives. How they are to love their own wives as their own body. Talk about drying to self! All we, as wives have to do is, to our husbands as we submit unto the Lord. Our husbands have it much harder. They are to love us as they love themselves! Being that they are the head of their wives, just like Christ is the head of the church, the leadership falls on them. As wives if we stay under our husband's covering and our husbands are to stay under God covering. By doing this, we will be honoring God. I know that it's easier said than done. But if done, imagine the blessings! From there he went onto Ephesians 6:1-4. Children, no matter what age, meaning me of 44, are to honor our father and mother. Why? So that it may go well. Think about the peace and harmony that can be achieved if we obey God's word. I know that "when" I do obey God's word, I have a peace about what is happening. There is comfort in knowing that you are following Him. There is peace knowing that you are obeying.
Mr. Dr. Pastor Sir also spoke about, how we as parents are not to "provoke" our children. Without realizing it, I provoke my children. I don't realized until it's too late. The words have been said, the deed has been done. But our God is a mighty God. The word "sorry" is a mighty word. Asking for forgiveness is very cleansing. It helps to restore relationships. The key is to catch yourself before you provoke them. Lord, help me not to provoke my children.

The last thing Mr. Dr. Pastor Sir spoke about was faith. He asked us to turn to Ephesians 1. To tell you the truth, I was so into what he spoke about friends and family, that I didn't get to take notes on what he said about faith. I thought, no problem, I'll remember when I get home. Yeah, right! Then our evening service ROCKED so much, that it made me completely forget write down what he said about faith.

For the evening service. The youth theater group performed some skits. They were all great. Then Mr. Dr. Pastor Sir continued talking about "it's not 'just' a list". He mentioned how the Book of Life when mentioned in scripture is really more a Scroll of Life. He went into detail about that. It was very interesting. He's big on history, which we love, cause we are big into history too. Well from there we went into a business meeting. Towards the end of the meeting there were people who needed to be added as members to our church. He said that membership matters. It says, "you are committed". What he did at this time, to me, was beyond words. We got a glimpse of what it "might" be like, when we get to heaven and they'll look for our name in the Book of Life. He had all the names of the new members written in a scroll. He opened it up and started reading the names. After he read each name we would all quote a scripture. First one was, "Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord". Then we sang Victory in Jesus. The next scripture we could (after each name called) was, "Give thanks to the Lord, call on his name."-1 Chronicles 16:8, then we sang Amazing Grace. Next was, "Give thanks to the Lord for He is good. His love endures forever."-1 Chronicles 16:34 and we sang Bless The Lord Oh My soul. Then it was, "Oh Lord my God I will give you thanks forever."-Psalm 30:12. After that one we quoted, "Now our God we give you thanks and praise your glorious Name."-1 Chronicles 29:13 and we sang, Great Is Thy Faithfulness after the series of names. During this series of names, our children's names we called out. We quoted, "We give thanks to you O God, we give thanks for your name is near."-Psalm 75:1. For the next names we said, "We give thanks to you Lord God all mighty." -Revelation 11:7 and we sang Victory In Jesus. For the last group of names we said, "Thanks be to God for His incredible gifts."-2 Corinthians 9:15 and we sang the Doxology.

Today's services were AMAZING! What I've shared doesn't even do the service justice. It was certainly Spirit lead. I am a visual person. When Mr. Dr. Pastor Sir rolled out the scroll and started to read the names, it helped me to "see" just how important it is that our names be in the Book of Life. That list of names is not just a list, it's THE LIST. Every person matters to God. I know that my name is on that list... is yours? I pray it is. If you aren't sure, ask me how you too can have your name in the Book of Life.

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