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Kingdom Love, Christmas Love
As I write this, a whole team of folks are preparing the building for Saturday’s Christmas Store. As you know, the store will be twice as large this year as ever before, and will actually be two stores running simultaneously as we utilize the Family Life Center for the first time as the site for both stores. Prayer and relationship building are key as parents come to choose three gifts per child—at a greatly reduced price. A food box will also be given to each family.
As you may well know, all this happened NOT because we were trying to “outdo” previous years; it happened as the Lord opened the floodgates—much to our surprise and not without a little fear that it would be too big to pull off!
Now with hundreds of gifts purchased, dozens of folks signed up to serve, and the building being prepared, it is clear that the Lord wanted us to see that He is truly “able to do exceedingly, abundantly above all that ask or think, according to the power that works in us!”
According to the power that works in us… There is a new sense of purpose and a clarity in our Church Family that did not exist a year ago—or even just a few months ago. God is focusing the power of His Presence and Purpose in us in exciting ways!
I preached earlier this year for several months about King David and his wilderness years. David went through a time of extended testing (5-10 years!) until his heart and character were able to handle the purpose for which God had called him—to be the King of Israel.
As a church family, we endured—and grew from—a wilderness season. Like David, we discovered that the wilderness is often very uncomfortable and painful, yet it is also necessary preparation for God’s greater vision.
It seems to me that the Lord is rapidly and powerfully releasing His vision for us upon us! With clarity and conformation, we feel the Lord leading us into a place in His Kingdom that honors and connects what He is doing around the world with a passion to see the same Kingdom planting and harvest taking place in some of the poorest and most rural places here in the USA.
We are ideally suited for this by both our geographical location and by the 25 years of Holy Spirit sifting and maturing that has gone on here. The Father has brought and raised up leaders in this church connected to the best mission movements in the world. He has opened our hearts to a greater vision. He is providing opportunities, like Thanksgiving on the Mountain and the Christmas Store to remind us that HE does exceedingly and abundantly more…
As we walk from one miracle into another, we can celebrate not only the clarity of where we are going but also the wilderness struggles it took to clarify and prepare us for the King’s Vision.