Wednesday, August 3, 2011

10 years in the making....

This Thursday, August 4th, 2011, marks our 10 year wedding anniversary.

God has protected us, guided us, and kept us and we are closer, stronger, and more in love now then ever before.  Thank you, to all of you, for sharing these years (and the next 90 years to come!) with us.

Our 10 year anniversary slide show video:

It's awesome to see these pictures of us married 10 years ago in the very building where we now get to serve!

P.S. it's also funny, as Erin just pointed out, to think about the fact that many of our current youth members were probably sitting in the audience... and would have been 2-8 years old at the time!

Monday, August 1, 2011

"They will know you by...."

The Bible, contrary to the world's popular opinion, is not a book of thousands of pages of rules; page after page of "thou shalt"s and "thou shalt not"s.  The best summary of the "rules" of the Bible can be summed up as simply (and directly) Love God.  Love Others. (L1/L2).

We are called, commanded to love and love in abundance.  In fact, Jesus, after first commanding us to love others as we love ourselves (the "Golden Rule"), said love one another "As I have loved you".  WOW!  Talk about high standards!  We aren't even just called to love others as we love ourselves (which we already aren't very good at), we're called to love others (ALL others: strangers, those different then us, those we don't like, those who directly hate us) as Christ loved us...  we are commanded to love others like Christ loved the world.  Christ, who died on the cross, willingly, Christ who left His eternal throne in Heaven with angels praising him for all of time, to be born into poverty, walk the earth as a lowly man, be tempted by Satan, ridiculed by all, tortured, heart broken, and murdered in cold blood just so that He could have the chance at spending eternity with us - all so we could have the option of Living!  THAT'S how we are called to love others!?  Yes.  Commanded.

And so that "By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”

that's how we stand out.  That's how we are "rebels" in this world, that's how we get noticed, that's what causes other people to look at us and say... "that does not make sense/how they responded to that person is Crazy/how could they respond like that in such a circumstance/They have something that I don't!" and That's how we Point to God.  

Christians are not, and should not be known by the crosses on our necks or the fish sticker on our cars-the world should recognize us as different by our deep love, abundant grace, and unending forgiveness for others