Hey everybody! I said that I was going to write a recap from the This is Us series from our church over the last month. For the last six weeks, common folk from the congregation have graced the stage and shared their stories. It was so beautiful! Pastor B kicked it off by sharing about the church – our core values, who we are and what we seek to do. That was week 1.
Week 2 – Junior Humprhey & me
Junior went first & he shared his life verse which is 1 Thessalonians 5:18 which says “Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.” That word “all” throws a little kink in it doesn’t it? Junior is an overcomer and he shared his story of struggles and how he overcame time after time. My take away was don’t miss out on the good around you right now. It is our human nature and certainly our culture to constantly be searching or waiting on the next best thing or something more but if we are always in that state we are certain to miss the good all around us right now.
If you have known me for any length of time then you probably know my life verse is Ephesians 3:20 “Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we could ask or imagine, according to his power at work within us.” I started my message by talking about prayers – bold prayers vs. timid prayers. I shared about the book “The Circle Maker” by Mark Batterson because it changed my prayer life and I am betting it will be a game changer for anyone brave enough to pick it up. In that book, Mark says “Bold prayers honor God and God honors bold prayers If your prayers are not impossible to you, they are insulting to God.” Man, does that put it in perspective! Another fave quote I shared is by Charles Spurgeon and it encouraged me so much during a big trial in my life – it was a time when I couldn’t figure out how I ended up where I was or what God was up to, it felt like God wasn’t around at all. The quote says “God is too kind to be cruel, too wise to be mistaken. When you can’t trace His hand, trust His heart.” Those words spoke right to my soul the day I found them and they still do. There will be many times in our lives on this fallen earth that we are not going to understand why things happen like they do but the good news is we can always trust Him, no matter how painful our earthly circumstances seem. I talked about the power of hope and the importance of friends in our lives. We need lots of friends but make sure you have at least one friend in your life that will speak truth to you when you need to hear it. Also, always speak your truth because that is empowering. Whether you speak it or not, your reality is still the same so let the truth set you free whenever you can.
Week 3 – Jonica Anderton brought our message. She is Pastor B’s wife and pastors alongside him at CCC. Her verse is Romans 12:2. “Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.” Wow. Don’t we all want to know God’s will for us? Jonica talked about life change and shared her story of changes in different seasons of her life and what the Lord showed her. If we want change in our lives, we have to change. We lead the charge and God helps us all along the way. She said “Change changes things” and that is 100% accurate no matter what kind of change we are talking but let God transforms us and we will have a whole new view!
Week 4 – Rhett & Shannon Evans brought messages and this was really cool because they are husband and wife and it was so neat to see God use them and their individual stories to promote His kingdom. Rhett went first and his verse was Romans 8:28. “And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.” Rhett was the most surprising of all of our speakers because Rhett is such a quiet guy by nature. He doesn’t say much but turns out he is packed full of wisdom! God used Rhett in such a big way during this series. Rhett talked about the importance of relationships in life and how love is absolutely essential. He talked about Bob Goff and his book “Love Does” which is an all time faorite of mine. Rhett defined love through the lens of 1 Corinthians 13 & reminded us all that God does his best work in the broken places. My favorite part was when he quoted one of CCC’s middle schoolers, my very own Lawson. About brokeneness Lawson says, “If you allow it, God will put you back together even more beautiful than before.” AMEN.
Shannon was up next and she brought a beautiful message about perseverance. Shannon’s verse is Philippians 4:13 “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Shannon shared about times in her life when she was called to persevere and that through God’s strength it was and is possible. Shannon has survived alot in her life & she shared about a point last year where she felt as if she had been rejected by God. She found herself pleading with Him and asking “why are you doing this to me?” that is when she discovered that God doesn’t do it to you, He goes through it with you.
Week 5 brought Kylie Humphrey and Brad Sappe to the stage:)
Kylie shared a message on fear. She reminded us right in the beginning that the battle has already been won. We don’t fight for victory but FROM victory. Kylie shared her personal story of struggling with fear and anxiety that crippled her. She says that her life verse quite literally saved her life. “Such love has no fear, because perfect love expels all fear.” My favorite line from her message was “the amount of power we give to fearful thoughts determines the amount of control they have over us.” So true! We have to fix our minds on things above and remember that fear is not from Christ – He gives us peace.
My hunky hubby, Brad was up next to wrap it up. Brad’s verse is James 1:2 which says “Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance.” Easier said than done right? Brad shared about how we can find joy in our trials. He made us think about where we get our worth – is it from people, places and things or are we looking higher? My fave quote in his message was “Our most difficult trials can lead us to our most ridiculous faith.” YES, boy, YES! Beauty comes from the brokeness and you don’t get the beauty without the broken pieces. God has got you! He didn’t bring you this far to leave you now! Claim that today for your life.
Week 6 was a panel of Pastor B, Junior, Rhett, Brad, me, & Jonica. We had an opportunity to say just one more thing! My one more thing was centered around the idea of grace. If you want to check out all these messages you can view them on the Central City Church Youtube channel or see a couple of them on my FB page. It was a blessing to be a part of the series and a blessing to hear from my friends. You should check it out, I bet you wll be blessed too.
Until next time stay cool and enjoy your summer! (I am trying but this cast on my leg is approximately 400 degrees:))