Wednesday, June 10, 2009
SALT Challenge - Community of Faith
This week it was Lythan's turn to issue the SALT challenge and she chose "Community of Faith." You can read her write up on the SALT blog. First, what a wonderful challenge! It's been delightful to think about my beloved friends from our close knit church for the past two weeks. We have been blessed to be members of a Reformed Baptist church for the past 10 years and the following verse came to mind when Lythan announced this week's challenge: "For where two or three are gathered together in my Name, I am there in the midst of them." Matthew 18:20 This week, the topic was especially dear to my heart. As many of your know, we recently moved and the backyard of our old house overlooked the parking lot of our church. Our Pastor's house was also clearly seen from our back porch. We are close friends with our Pastor and his family and I am especially close to his wife. When we were showing our house, some prospective buyers commented that they wouldn't want to sit on their porch and look at a church or the parking lot of a church and yet that has always been a precious sight to me. Being so close to church allowed our family to be an extension of the church, to be more intimately involved in the ministry at church, and to be a help to our Pastor and his family and them, an even greater help, to our family. Over the past five years, we've enjoyed many meals together, talks at our fence and many, many phone calls, hours of stamping, a whole lot of babysitting help, assistance with late night runs to the emergency room (for kids and a dog), housing in an ice storm, sharing missing recipe ingredients, and lots of emotional and spiritual support. One of the hardest things about moving was leaving our Pastor's wife, my friend, who has become like a sister to me. I know she's not that far away now but living so physically close was an extra special blessing and not only further deepened our friendship but gave us a true experience of being a part of a community of faith. It seems that there is a uniquely special bond that God gives to those who have all experienced the changing power of God's grace. My family is rather scattered; living in different states, etc. and it's been an incredible blessing to have my church family not only close but also always ready to lend a helping hand, to offer support, to listen and advice, and to pray with. I will be forever grateful that God lead our family to such an amazing church and provided us with the unique opportunity, if only for a short season, to live so close to not only our church home but also to our dear friends. If you haven't guessed, my card is geared towards my friend (isn't that a cute stamp!) as I feel that we really are kindred spirits and she was the first person I thought of for our challenge! We have very similar personalities and it seems that God uses each of us, at different times, to encourage the other when needed....perhaps having a greater understanding of our challenges since we tend to react in a similar way to life's circumstances. It's a good thing our down times don't happen at the same time! LOL! Love you girlfriend and I miss you!! :-) I'm using all Stampin' Up! products on my card, with the exception of the darling main image, which is from Unity Stamps (my new favorite stamp manufacturer!!) Enjoy!