Monday, August 10, 2009

Grace Chapel- Oregon 09

On Sunday, we woke up at my Dad's house and went with everyone to church at Grape Chapel. I have to be honest ,although I love visiting other churches, I wasn't thrilled about going this day because I knew what would happen. You see, we are moving soon to Austin and will be leaving our home church: Northwood. We have loved being members of Northwood for the past 5 years. It was the first church we visited the day after we moved to Texas. We loved it so much and felt like God could really use us that we never visited another church. It's where we met all of our friends and went from couples in our 20's with no kids to a family of 5! All of my closest friends have been pregnant with me and our kiddos are all the best of friends. We are excited about what God has for planned for our family in Austin, but if there is one thing that makes me sad it is leaving our awesome church family. So when we drove up to Grace Chapel with our family I had one thought, "Oh crap this is what it is going to be like when we have to start looking for a new church." Walking to the door smiling at complete strangers, awkwardly looking for the kid's check-in, trying to put on a happy face as we drop our kids off to complete strangers, walking into a sanctuary of nameless smiling faces, finding seats by ourselves, etc... We sat down with our family and I began thinking, "Man, Northwood's worship center is the bomb and so much better than this lame-o room. Oooh and look at the band, how cute it is so small. Hmm Northwood plays this song much better. The feel of this church is so different from Northwood....blah blah blah" Suddenly, a song that I had never heard started playing and the words "glory to God" go up on the screens(the little tiny screens compared to Northwood's fabulusily awesome huge screens). And then it happened; God broke my heart and snapped me out of my little pity party. I was quickly reminded that it wasn't about what I was making it about. Finding a new place to worship was simply about finding a place where we can bring glory to God. I was ashamed that I had been a "my church is better than this church" snob. Moments later I found myself on my knees confessing that my heart needed to be changed and my prayer was answered. A few tears later I was up on my feet praising a God who doesn't show up only at my beloved Northwood, and I was filled with a new attitude.
Then something very special happened, almost a little something extra God gave me. My heart about leaving Northwood and finding a new church had been changed and now God was going to give me a little "cherry on top." Up stepped a youth pastor eager to get his "preach on," and I was blessed to listen to one of the best messages I had heard all year. I am posting it below because it was that good.
After service was over we picked up our kids who also had a fantastic time. (Bryce didn't even cry when we dropped him off and he does that all the time at Northwood.) I jumped into the car with Adam and instantly began to tell him what happened to me and my heart. The funny thing is that Adam had the same journey and came to the same conclusion, which is that God has some awesome things planned for us in Austin. Thank you Grace Chapel for welcoming our family so wonderfully. Thank you God the Father for gently reminding me that it's about glorifying YOU!
Click here to listen to the message by Jon Furman.
Boys woke up at 6:30am so we had a long morning before church. This is very unusual for us, most Sundays we have to wake the boys up and end up eating breakfast in the car. Dad and Shanni's little dogs were a great distraction while we waited.
Bryce loved getting everyone to read his favorite book. (Shanni added some interesting plot points to the story.)
Uncle Mark and Alexis ready for church.

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