There were a few things I wasn’t sure if I should dread or be excited for when we began to talk about moving home to St. Louis. One was looking for a house and the other was looking for a church. I was afraid that I would dread it because I was afraid to be disappointed. The verdict is still out on the house stuff. So far it is a mixture of dread and excitement, disappointment and joy. It still needs lots of prayer.But then again, any time that much money exchanges hands it freaks me out no matter what the situation!
Yet, there is a lovely light on the horizon of churches to worship with! It’s funny how it all has worked out and I thought I’d mention a few things here.
We linked up with Renovo, a church plant through the Kairos ministry, a few years ago. It changed our hearts about church along the way by opening our eyes to things we hadn’t noticed before. Like how important it is to be a light within your community. I love it when a church says, “hey, why create our own ministry with a logo, a name, a board, etc. when we could just partner with a local group that is already functioning like that in our own community?” The organization is already there. The clientele are already there. The systems necessary are in place. They just need help. So why not be salt and light to them AND the community by joining them? Work alongside them and be a light? I love that!
Renovo is where I first saw that in an up-close and personal way and I was so drawn in by it because it worked! We just joined up with the things that were already happening in our community and you know what happened? The church grew. People came. Hearts were renewed, encouraged and opened up. We got the opportunity and privilege to meet and become friends with some beautiful people as a result of just joining up and going to what was already happening all around us. It was so…refreshing!
Anyway, Renovo opened our hearts to some things that we simply hadn’t been a part of before and we were richly blessed as a result. When we decided to move, we wanted to be able to continue on the path that God had set our hearts on spiritually. We were hoping to find a church that had some similar priorities to Renovo. I decided to look on line at the Acts 29 network of churches. Now, technically speaking, Renovo isn’t an Acts 29 church. However, a lot of the things that they are doing are along that groove.
When I checked it out I found a few churches in St. Charles, which is where we knew we’d be at least for a while if not permanently. We found Mathias’ Lot and we found Refuge. Both sounded pretty similar, but Refuge sounded more like what we had experienced at Renovo, so we checked it out. The first week was great. I mean, small church plant of about (this is my guess) 150 people, it was pretty obvious that we were newbies. But everyone was extremely friendly and hospitable.
The things I liked best were the mixes of the old and new that I saw. I didn’t love the actual music the first week (it was all electric guitars, full drum kit and piano, which was a bit rockin’ for me) but the songs I recognized as some old hymns with a new flavor. The message was thought provoking and there was even a time of reflection with journals! WHOA! I loved that he had us sit in silence, no music for almost 10 minutes as we thought about some questions he asked us. It was deeply encouraging. And the thing that made my heart swoon was the benediction. I dunno how you feel, but there is something so loving and beautiful about a pastor who prays a blessing over you straight from Scripture before you leave the room. Then this week the music side of worship was so, so, so, beautiful. A girl with a lovely voice was singing with the previous week’s drummer who was now on acoustic guitar. We sang, “This is my Father’s World” and I just gushed with emotion. I love the words to that song and it brought our whole journey front and center for me. Here are the words by the way, in case you don’t know it.
1. This is my Father's world, and to my listening ears all nature sings, and round me rings the music of the spheres. This is my Father's world: I rest me in the thought of rocks and trees, of skies and seas; his hand the wonders wrought. 2. This is my Father's world, the birds their carols raise, the morning light, the lily white, declare their maker's praise. This is my Father's world: he shines in all that's fair; in the rustling grass I hear him pass; he speaks to me everywhere. 3. This is my Father's world. O let me ne'er forget that though the wrong seems oft so strong, God is the ruler yet. This is my Father's world: why should my heart be sad? The Lord is King; let the heavens ring! God reigns; let the earth be glad!
Ah! My heart just soared worshiping the Lord to this beautiful song. It reminded me that He is in control and on His throne. That He deeply loves and cares for me and is setting us on His path he has designed for us. “Why should my heart be sad? The Lord is KING! Let the heavens ring! GOD REIGNS! Let the earth be glad!”
Whew! Amen girl!
Anyway, I loved it! And to top it all off, Chase was having a bit of a rough morning (ahem…like always) and the kiddos class had to come and fetch me. However, I was not told to take him away. No, no. She ASKED me if there were any tricks they could try on him. Isn’t that amazing? She could have told me to get the dude out of there but no. She asked what she could do to help him in the transition of mom to teachers. HA! My heart swooned. And you know what, they didn’t need me again. The tricks worked and he was happy. 😀 Happy child = happy mommy.
So, I am so extremely excited to continue to go to this church and consider what God would have for us there. We signed up for a newbies class that starts next week and I am very interested to learn more about them and maybe get even further involved.
Sigh. Guys, God is so good. I hate how much I forget it. I hate how much I need tender reminders of His abundant love. I get it when Paul says he wants all the believers in Ephesus to know and grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ. It DOES take power to know that. It doesn’t just come to you. It’s something I hope I will be able to grasp even better as I grow. And it’s something I need to hold onto while we journey through the other scary thing…house hunting.