Some years back I had the opportunity to spend the Christmas holiday in London. It was not my first trip to this city rich in history, but it was special because it was my son’s first visit and I was able to experience the sights and sounds through his eyes, and with a newness that comes from sharing an adventure with your family – there’s just something about being with those you love most!
We saw lots of historical places: Shakespeare’s Theatre, the Tower of London, Sherlock Holmes’ place at 121 Baker St., Tower Bridge, St. Paul’s Cathedral for Evensong (the most beautiful music I have ever heard), Parliament, the London Eye, Greenwich, where we stood on the Prime Meridian of the world, and of course Harrods – you have to!
In the midst of great fun and discovery, we made our way to Westminster Abbey, the famous Anglican abbey, established in 960 – the coronation church of the Royals. It houses in its floors the graves of some of the most well known and influential people in the history of England: George Handel and Isaac Watts, whose music the choirs of the church still sing; Sir Winston Churchill, the stalwart leader who changed the outcome of World War II; William Wilberforce, the abolitionist, philanthropist, and compassionate public servant.
At 12:30 each day in the nave of the Abbey, Holy Communion is celebrated. The service is piped throughout the Abbey through speakers so that the throngs of people visiting the Abbey can hear the service … if they are listening. On that day we were part of the masses of people walking through the Abbey reading placards and locating graves of famous people, when all of a sudden my attention was turned to the words being spoken over the speakers … Christ has died, Christ is risen, Christ is coming again … Christ has died, Christ is risen, Christ is coming again … Christ has died, Christ is risen, Christ is coming again! The Gospel: above the talking and shuffling and chattering of the crowd came the message of salvation. Suddenly my heart was overwhelmed and I was moved to tears. How many times has the message of Christ been shared in the midst of the chaos and busyness of life and missed by the masses, – but if it were not spoken, no one would have the opportunity to respond.
The apostle Paul, while exhorting the church in Rome, asked: How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching? (Romans 10:14, ESV).
I have often wondered who else on that day suddenly heard those words and responded to the Gospel? So I leave you with this … be faithful to share the Gospel in the midst and in spite of the busyness and seeming inattention of those around you. We are here to be a light and a witness, and today is the day!
If you have never responded to the Gospel’s call to salvation – today is the day!
**Please contact us at the Women’s Ministry Department at 239-596-8600 ext. 240. We would be honored to pray with you and share the Good News of Jesus Christ!
Surrendering the Secret, an 8-week Bible study that addresses the healing process for post-abortive women, is a lifeline for women suffering from Post Abortion Syndrome. If you’re experiencing symptoms such as severe anxiety, depression, suicidal thoughts, deadened emotions and have not connected them to a past abortion, please watch this video testimony to find out how you can be set free and forgiven from the guilt and shame of your past.
To contact Cindy Case, facilitator of Surrendering the Secret, please call 239-596-8600 X 284 or email email@example.com. This is a confidential and secure communication.
Please listen to the testimony below:
On Friday, May 1st, we want to invite ladies and young ladies (ages 11-111) to join us for a special one- night event with Rachel Lovingood and Jennifer Mills, nationally known authors and speakers who will challenge us to refuse the lies that have held us back from experiencing the abundant life God calls us to. Included will be specific breakout sessions for our ladies and young ladies, in addition to praise and worship, give-aways, pizza and snacks. It’s time to allow the truth of God’s Word to renew our thinking and encourage us to live the lives God intended for us! This will require a generation of women and girls to be transformed by the truth of Scripture … because we were meant for more!
For more information about Rachel go to: http://www.rachellovingood.com
Jennifer is wife to Brian Mills, mom to McKenna & Parker, speaker and Co-author of “Salvaging My Identity” and currently writing a second book for girls and young women, “Even More” which is set to be released Fall 2015. She is actively serving at Englewood Baptist Church in Jackson, TN where her husband Brian serves as the Executive Pastor and she is involved with the girls & women’s ministry. Jennifer is passionate about studying and teaching God’s Word and her prayer is that through His Word, girls & women will find their true value and identity in Jesus Christ & for them to discover a passion for their God who has pursued & redeemed them.
noun ex·pec·ta·tion \ˌek-ˌspek-ˈtā-shən, ik-\
: a belief that something will happen or is likely to happen : a feeling or belief about how successful, good, etc., someone or something will be
(2015, January 1). Retrieved March 12, 2015, from http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/expectation
Last weekend afforded me the opportunity to consider expectation and its ability to rob us of the NOW in a unique way…
It had been several months since I have seen my “one and only son” (just that statement should tip you off that I had front-loaded expectation into my trip). The plan was to fly into Richmond, VA and spend the evening with dear friends, get up the next morning (Saturday) and head to Washington, D.C. to watch C.J. play lacrosse, then off to a parent-athlete post-game fellowship, then a drive back to Lynchburg, VA that would include Starbucks and deep, insightful conversation…culminating with an introduction over coffee with a lovely young woman my son recently started dating. Sunday would be a great day of worship, lunch, hiking or antiquing followed by dinner at a hipster joint downtown…this time would be filled with laughter, theological conversation, etc. When I say I front-loaded my weekend with expectation I wasn’t kidding.
So I boarded my plane in Ft. Myers and somewhere between buckling my seatbelt and taking off the expectation train began to derail…you knew it was coming!
My flights to Richmond were delayed, making my meaningful time with friends sweet but bleary conversation because it was 1:30 in the morning.
I woke up Saturday ready for my 2-½ hours drive to D.C. to watch my #1 son play lacrosse. Two exits into my trip an accident closed down all four lanes of I-95. 5-½ hours later I arrived at the field to watch the teams shake hands as they concluded the game. One brave mother attempted to engage me with conversation and I had to say, “Please excuse me, I just need a minute”…that was an understatement. I wanted to scream and cry, and no one’s sympathy was going to diffuse it!
We got back in the car and headed to the “fellowship”. Normally I would have enjoyed this, but now I had already lost time and was ready for the meaningful drive back to Lynchburg. After hours of driving and sitting, I was not on my conversational “A” game. My son, after playing lacrosse and being up since the early hours of the morning could barely connect his thoughts with the words coming out of his mouth. Instead of deep and meaningful conversation, we played “don’t step on the land mine”…a.k.a. avoid talking or asking questions that seem redundant, nagging, or probing. I was now entering the un-met expectation vortex.
After winding through 100 plus miles of pitch-black mountain roads, we picked up C.J.’s new friend, a lovely girl who I struggled to communicate with due to exhaustion, both physical and emotional (she was great, by the way).
The night ended on a low note when I arrived at the hotel. As soon as I got in my car alone the tears started flowing. My expectations were dashed and self-pity took over.
The next morning, we forgot it was daylight savings time and missed the first church service. We made it to the 12:30 and were blessed by an amazing morning of worship, testimonies, and baptism celebrations.
A little lunch, a nap and an evening hike rounded out the rest of the day…again, I was struggling.
Dinner was our last time together. By then I had let go of what hadn’t been and chose to savor what I had…precious few hours to enjoy my son and appreciate God’s work in his life, to enjoy his sense of humor, and to thank God for the gift of motherhood.
It breaks my heart to consider the number of times I have sucked the joy out of life before it ever occurred, creating a scenario and determining roles for those I love most, who never asked to be cast in my “expectation play”.
It would be difficult to find someone who has lived on the earth for any length of time who has not pondered the questions “Why is there suffering in the world” or, in more personal terms, “Why do I suffer”? … Continue reading