Rachel posted this on her Blog. Take a read. It really told our story! Click Below.
On October 3, 2014 my daughter married an amazing guy, Justin Isacson. It was one of the most amazing days of my life. The feelings I had, some unexperienced before, were amazing. Here are a few things I learned.
1. I learned that I had not experienced all the depths of God’s love. When I went down the hill to get Abigail and walk her down the aisle and the sun came out, after raining most all day, I believe it was the closest to God I had ever felt. I can’t explain the rush of emotions at that moment.
2. I learned that my love for my family is much deeper than I comprehended. We worked for weeks, months, on the wedding together. That day, was a proud day for me as a dad. Pride in a great way and a godly way.
3. I learned my wife Wendy can coordinate an amazing wedding. Her talents, gifts, love, and patience were awesome. Her love for Abby came out in every detail. She is such a gift to me and I love her so much. The wedding was sure great and her work, and Abby’s made it happen. They are awesome.
4. I experienced life accomplishment. I can’t explain it, but, to know my daughter and new son, love the Lord, and are making great choices. It’s hard to explain, but it was euphoric to experience these feelings.
5. I learned our greatest efforts in our life toward our children have the greatest payoff and is a parents greatest responsibility and calling. Parenting our kids is a mission, not a hobby. It’s all worth it. Loving Christ and having a godly home, teaching your kids the ways of Christ, is so worth it.
6. I learned that family is so important and my love for them is so deep. Thankful to all Randy and Carol, Eric and Rachel did for us, and how we all worked, talked, and coordinated everything. They expressed their love for us in all their help.
7. I learned joy is so real, and we need to experience it more. The reception was full of joy, eating, laughing, smiles, love, relationships, and rejoicing with dancing. You don’t need booze at a wedding reception. We experienced pure joy, happiness, and goodness. It was so holy, and the joy was sacred.
8.I learned living for God is worth it because our kids benefit the most. I learned that Randy and Carol’s faith, passed down a legacy that my kids have benefited from, as I have, because of their love for God as they raised their children. Their lives emulate Christ and shines on their grandchildren. Walking with Jesus is worth it, living for the world, and self, wrecks families and futures. Live for God, and your children, grandchildren, and beyond will reap the blessing. Thank you Randy and Carol! Your fingerprints and legacy are on our lives, and the lives of all your grandchildren!
9. I re-learned how precious my kids are to us. Abby blessed me beyond words. My boys continue to exceed my greatest expectations. Praying for their future mates is worth it. God answered our prayers and will continue to I am confident. I love Justin so much and I am so excited that he is in our family. He is a great guy, and God’s hand is on his life.
10. I learned that Gabe can sing. He did awesome. And Levi can dance and do the splits. Watching them throughout the event blessed me and moved me. We are a close family and will continue to be. Their love for their sister again, blessed me deeply. It’s part of that feeling of life’s accomplishment feelings. They are close and get along so well.
11. I learned I am blessed by friendships. What great friends we have. The feelings of seeing so many friends and I know we could not invite everyone, and some could not make it, but relationships and friendship go deep. Some of our friends worked so hard to help us. What a blessing. I was blessed to know how much we are loved. It was humbling and I know it’s because of Christ. Thank you all.
Abby called her wedding “The Best Day Ever”. And it was!! I learned so much and loved every minute of it!
Sometimes I see Christ in people. It is a blessing. I often hear about Christ and I celebrate His love and life in others.
- I heard a lady in our church has made 71 dresses to take with her to Haiti, and still is making more.
- I heard that a group of people care so much for those in the county jail, they want to help them make it when they get out.
- I heard the praises of men, who are well aware, they would be hopeless without Christ.
- I heard that some men, are camping with some boys this weekend to disciple them into being men of God.
- I heard a godly Grandma give verbal praise to Christ and her daughter and grandaughter, for their lives.
- I heard a guy gave a car away cheap to bless a young man’s life.
- I heard the coo of a newborn and saw Christ in his carseat.
- I heard laughter from tired moms, and joy from friendships.
- I heard prayers for someone’s friend, who is fighting cancer.
- I heard a prayer offered up in thanksgiving for the hope that only comes in Christ as they turn their heart to Him.
- I heard an old friend, prayed beside the bedside of his friend, who is fighting for his life.
- I heard a family dropped off some groceries to a family going through a tough time.
- I heard a wife, express unconditional love for her husband.
- I heard a friend encourage another to not give up.
- I heard a former drug addict,encourage another, that he can live free forever.
- I heard a speaker baptized his father, and forgave him for years of abuse.
I heard this with my ears, but listened with my heart.
I heard a lot of Jesus. Are you listening too?
“For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name, that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with power through His Spirit in the inner man, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; and that you, being rooted and grounded in love”
As I awake this morning to Happy Birthdays from Wendy and the boys and sit and read Ephesians this is my wish for my birthday. It is more than a traditional birthday with, but a prayer of agreement with the Apostle Paul. As I read his prayer and desire for the Ephesians I pray it for myself, my wife, and my kids. I pray it for Compelled Church and the Body of Christ.
I pray we would tap into the underestimated power of Christ who dwells (lives) in us. I pray today we would be strengthened in our inner man, by the power of His Spirit. (Ephesians 3.16). This is so important for the life and victory of the follower of Christ.
The inner man (our spirit)
- Needs redeemed, saved, and cleanse from sin to Christ.
- Needs cleared daily and filled with Christ’s Spirit.
- Our inner man is where our thoughts, motives, and attitudes come from.
- Is the center of our will.
- If our inner man is not obedient to the way of Christ, we will make terrible choices.
- When we are filled with Christ our inner man, is not selfish, and we are giving love, because the reality of being established in love is sensed and lived out.
How strong in Christ is your inner man? My Birthday prayer is that today it will be stronger, and so will mine.
Steps to get our Small groups study questions from the previous weekend teaching
You can also use the live event for personal study and family devotions. Here is how to do it.
Let me know what you think. We are nubes at this so we will be refining it all.
1. Download “YouVersion” from your app store
2. Push menu lines in the upper left-hand corner off the screen (looks like 3 horizontal lines).
3. Select “Live” from the drop down menu.
4. Select “search for a live event”
5. Find name of series “Life Apps” and select it.
Read study guide from message notes and discussion questions.
I have been thinking about those that no longer go to church anymore. Some leaders call this growing group of people the “dechurched”. Some say there are 12 million and I have heard up to 30 million followers of Jesus in the United States, people who love God, and they no longer are part of a faith community. I know there are many reasons for this, but I want to express my encouragement to those that have walked away.
Why do people leave their church or faith community
1. They don’t believe it is relevent anymore.
2. Their favorite pastor moved on and the new pastor is not the same.
3. The busyness of life. Church just fell of the map.
4. The high expectations put on them, and the only way to avoid that is to leave.
5. People put high expectations on the church, and when the church/pastor/ministries can’t meet them they walk.
6. Some people offend easily and have left for very petty things.
7. Some people have been deeply hurt by the church and leadership mistakes and their pain is real.
8. Many are barely connected, don’t get involved much, and no relationships keep them there.
10. People are sometimes just lazy, and look at the church and involvement as a burden. They would rather do other things.
11. Culture has immersed people, through media TV, and more things in life gain importance than being involved in a Faith Community.
12. A good church will confront people with the real realities of life, sin, family, healing and wholeness, and some do not want to be confronted with their mistakes or their pain caused by others.
13. Tragedy. Some have walked because they have encountered deep tragedy and loss in life and believe God should not have allowed it, is responsible, and the pain of that seems like it can’t be overcome.
So here is my open letter for those that have left the Body of Christ and still love Him.
I know you have walked away from the church, but not your faith. You still believe and love God. You have called upon Christ to save you and you have been forgiven, yet you find yourself in life, not part of your church. You have walked away. I know some have many reasons, and many confess to me they need to get their faith more active and return to their place of worship. Let me appeal to you to return.
I believe the church is imperfect. It is filled with people, and we are all imperfect, striving to do our best, but falling short at times. Please consider the humanity of the attenders and leaders. You may have walked away because of being hurt, offended, overlooked, or passed over. People, all people usually disappoint at one time or another. Internal pain is real. I can only encourage you to do the right thing for you. That is to forgive, don’t hold grudges and bitterness. You are suffering more than who or what upset you into walking away.Let it go, and return.
You may be out of the a local fellowship because life just got so busy, and slowly the involvement just lost priority. You are losing out on a lot.
Before you stay out of a faith community forever let me encourage you to return for the following possible reasons.
1. We need to worship our God through Christ. God is seeking worshippers. We do need to gather together as the Body of Christ and lift Him up. It is encouraging and we connect with our Lord.
2. You don’t have to go to a faith community to be a Christian, but to be a growing one, I believe you do.
3. Your family is being greatly impacted. Most families that walk away, talk openly with kids present, why, and the bitterness can be passed down to children/students/young adults who take on your offense, thus they live a life void of church and probably void of God too.
4. One can’t be moved, touched, encouraged, taught by the Spirit if you are not present.
5. Your absence is a loss for the Body of Christ. Everyone is a minister. Everyone has gifts. With you not being part the ministry of your church is hampered. You can’t teach anyone, encourage anyone, pray for anyone. You lose touch with the heart of God and the heart for people.
6. The enemy loves believers that are disconnected with the strength of the Body of Christ. You can fall prey to sin, return to your life before salvation, allow old habits that are hurtful to resurface. Active faith combats that. Unbelief incubates better and grow faster when there is not much exposure to the light or the sun (Son).
7. All churches and all pastors/leaders are not like the one(s) that hurt you, so don’t paint Christianity with too wide of a brush. Maybe you need to forgive and pray about a new local church to be part of.
8. He loves you and his people do. Sorry if they were mean to you. Christians say and do stupid, imperfect, and insensitive things too. Many have hurt me also. I have to keep my eyes on Jesus. I have to have the love of God in my heart for all people. Most don’t mean to hurt anyone, they talk before they think, not weighing the impact of words, being void of wisdom. It might happen again if you return to be honest. We both have also been guilty of this too, so lets receive grace and most importantly, let’s give it.
I know these can all be rebutted, especially by a hurt person. But I just want to encourage you to do what you once loved to do. I know it might be very hard, take courage, and more love and forgiveness than you think you have. But you still love the Lord and He will help you. He needs you active, present, and there. You have more to offer, more to give, more to learn, and more to influence for Jesus.
Thanks for reading. Don’t give up on the local church yet. Give it another go. We need you.
My Pastor’s Heart,