This past week has been a huge week for NLDC, one of our directors Micah Thomas got married to alumni Bella Thomason! The wedding was an all hands on deck event with New Life aiding everyday we could. We celebrated a joining of two families and danced the night away. We were blessed as ministers to see this beautiful moment between two people who love each other deeply. Both Micah and Bella were bi-products of this ministry. Both their parents met in NLDC 20+ years ago, fell in love and married. New Life was blessed to be a part of this beautiful day that was set a long time ago by our heavenly father. Because of the wedding, the team didn’t have the normal time of preparation for tour. We had a choice. A choice to allow the tiniest of things to annoy us, to upset us and to make the next few weeks all about us. However that is not who we are. We do not allow tiredness to push away relationships. We don’t cater to the exhaustion that lies within, we choose to love one another in spite of ourselves. It is not always easy and we sometimes fail but it is important to know that as Christians we all have a choice.
Lets hear from a team member that got reminded how we face choices everyday even in the small ways.
I had the pleasure this week to be able to encourage a young girl, a true worshiper. Our third service this week was spur of the moment. A new youth pastor in the area who had heard about us, said he wanted to do something special for the kids to get to know them more. We were excited to come in and bring some new energy to the group. We showed up early, hung out with some kids and prepared for the service. To start service the youth led worship. It is always interesting to see how people enter into this intimate time with the Lord. One of the girls, wore an expression of humbleness and grace. She didn’t start dancing or jump up and down but her spirit was that of a worshippers. As she sang, the vulnerability on her face became more apparent. She was very soft and I was inclined to listen to her. After service, I wanted to pray for her. She didn’t say anything, she seemed tired and I knew she needed encouragement. Even though it seems so simple, more often than not, people need reassurance that God hears them and loves them. She was a young girl in leadership, and desired a comforting word or two. She received what she needed and so did our team. We were reminded that it is not for us, or about us, when we minister. It is not so we can receive a thanks, but so the Lord may be glorified. That girl left knowing that she could choose to listen to God; she left knowing each day she could wake up choosing to follow him even when her heart may not want to. Her softness was still there but now there was a fire within her. She told me she was touched and that was all she needed.
For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.
I’m sure all of us have read that verse. or have at least heard of it. The verse says the Lord “knows the plans I have for you.” It doesn’t say that we get to know everything. He often keeps us in the dark for his glory, all we can do is decide how we respond. How will you act when pain comes knocking at your door?
When you lose a loved one, will you resort to cursing God?
When you break your leg after sports season starts, as your life is just taking off, will you pull away from the Lord?
When you move away and loneliness becomes your neighbor and knocks on your door daily, will you answer it and allow it to tell you no one loves you?
Or will you see the truth? The Lord is always with you.
We can choose to be angry when someone we love hurts us, or we can choose to turn the other cheek.
We can choose to ignore the signs of depression and anxiety that is in our friends, or we can lend a helping hand.
We can choose to allow laziness and excuses to rule our lives, or we can take responsibility for ourselves.
It doesn’t matter what life holds; His mercies are new everyday. We had three services the first two days of tour and we were all exhausted from ministering. However God doesn’t call us when we feel like serving or when it’s convenient. The Lord is unchanging in all he does and Here are some more versus to encourage you through out your day.
Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God. More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.
Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.
Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.”
Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.
1 Corinthians 16:11
Seek the Lord and his strength; seek his presence continually