April 12, 2007
Next Thursday at this time, the big yellow truck should be in front of our home and several young men with strong backs (plus your father) will be loading it up for the move out to Kansas City, Missouri. Mommy and I were just out there this past weekend. I taught the teens (and a few others) of our new church at a retreat that took place on Friday night and Saturday morning. I taught through 1 Timothy 1:12-17, Mark 9:43-48, and Jude 24-25--the theme was "When God's Grace Happens to Bad People." I don't often say this about events like this that I've been privileged to participate in, but I don't think the retreat could have gone much better (other than the constant need for your daddy to be a better teacher!). The young people nearly sang the roof off of the house, and they were quite engaged during the teaching times. I'm praying for long-term fruit.
This past Sunday, I had the privilege of preaching for the people who make up Christ Fellowship of Kansas City. The meeting started with a pancake breakfast which looked so good, but I didn't eat much (I rarely eat much before I preach, as you probably know by now). Then the gathering began with some of the teens and children singing. Eventually, the entire church was singing praises to our risen Lord. When I got up before the people to preach (Mark 16:1-8, especially verses 6-8), I mentioned that I was particularly emotional that morning, and I told them I thought it was for two reasons: (1) Retreats are tiring, and tired people are often emotional! (2) The Truth we sang together was quite moving! I was especially helped to delight in the redeeming work of Christ by singing "In Christ Alone" by Keith Getty and Stuart Townend.
While in Kansas City, your mother and I stayed with Mr. and Mrs. Eppler. What a gracious, Christ-loving, welcoming couple! We will be staying in their apartment for a little while once we get out to Missouri. They see our use of their apartment as an answer to prayer. We also spent many hours with Mr. and Mrs. Elliff. It was a year ago this past weekend that Mr. Elliff came out to Athens to preach. We have really grown to love the entire Elliff family. Time with the Elliff's always includes Godward discussion and many laughs (often at my expense!).
While Mommy and I were away, you stayed with Granddad and Grandma. You were waiting for us at the baggage claim at the airport, and what a reunion to grasp both of you in my arms (this time it was Luke first, then Katie)! That feeling is simply indescribable.
God is So Good,