Unbelievable Journey
2016-02-28
In the late 1980's I left everything I knew because my parents were leaving everything they knew. I had grown up in my dad's church and the school that he began. My entire world was wrapped up in that church. I was too young to realize that the departure was due to church conflict. I just knew everything was changing. My dad began to pastor at a new church that was meeting in a school cafeteria. The church would be portable for only a short time before they broke ground on their new building. I remember moving into that new building and not really thinking much about it. It hasn't really been until recently that I have begun to realize what many of those people sacrificed in the late 1980's. 

As a child it was easy to take things for granted. But now, as a lead pastor, it has been amazing to watch God work through His people to do something very similar to what my spiritual mothers and fathers (and some of your actual mothers and fathers!) had done. God started this work called Stone's Throw Church from scratch to begin a new work in our community. Many of you left buildings that you helped construct and with them the promise of stability and a sure thing in order to start this new work. You decided to take a risk. Because the church has been faithful we will soon break ground on our new home and headquarters for our Gospel mission - to be the church of Christ. 

Two weeks ago today, the church was presented with a challenge. One of our goals in this land and building project has always been to pay off the mortgage we have on our land before we break ground. We didn't want to simply wrap up remaining land debt into our construction loan, because quite honestly, we are going to need every bit of margin available to us in order to complete this first phase of our new building. We shared with the congregation that we owed about $75,000 dollars on our land. We asked everyone to prayerfully consider giving toward this amount. 

Today, two weeks after the challenge, we took a special offering to pay for the remaining debt on the land. It was unbelievable to see God work in the way that He worked this morning. Brothers and sisters, write it down. You were there! You saw it happen and you were a part of what happened. Savor this blessing and remember the faithfulness of God. 

The congregation of Stone's Throw Church gave over $91,000 dollars to pay off our remaining balance! We are now free and clear land owners! Our dream and vision to construct the first new Protestant Church building within the town limits of Middletown within the last 40-50 years is becoming a reality! God has done a great thing today!

It was moving to be a part of worship this morning with this church family. You have been incredibly faithful to the mission to which God has called us. There is still much work to be done but today we made it into one of the end zones - let's dance and give God the praise!  

If all goes well, we will hold a ground breaking service this May on our land. Before that time we will share all of the current construction plans with the entire congregation, we will show you the phases of our building project and what you can expect to happen with the first phase. A time will come for us to carry on one last campaign to help us reach the next end zone. The journey to the days that lie ahead promises to be just as mind-blowing as this first journey. 

Today, I have experienced a part of what my spiritual mothers and fathers experienced all those years ago. They were a people who felt like that had wandered. They believed in what they were doing and desired to serve Jesus in his Church. Today, we understand the corporate sacrifice that our brothers and sisters had made together. And here is the best part - even greater days are head of us. 

Let's give God all of the glory. Look what He has done! 

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