As followers of Christ, we know that we should be joyously celebrating each day, even when we are walking through trials and challenges that the Lord sends our way. However, there are rare days that come along where a confluence of factors roll up to present us with a day that is glorious.
Such was the day of the groundbreaking for our new church location. As each family pulled into the parking area and disembarked from the car, it was immediately clear that the Lord had provided weather for us that was perfect for the occasion. As they walked into the event area, the huge trees set the stage for a stroll down the hill toward the stage and shovels. The sun was held in place in such a way that the light and heat were perfectly balanced as we arrived in front of the stage. Surely, the glory of God was on clear display through His creation.
Surveying the faces of the gathered, there was a happy anticipation of what was to come. Many simply stood silent, observing the setting, the people, and the fellowship that was all around them. It was also apparent that FCC is made up of people of all ages from all walks of life. Some were elderly who came in wheelchairs or using other physical aids; some were the gray headed; some were younger with several children, and some were even younger. Clearly, FCC is blessed with such a varied group of Christian families and singles!
Then, just prior to the actual groundbreaking ceremony, we sang, “All glory be to Christ, our King, All glory be to Christ.” There could not have been a more appropriate song for the moment. Many people have been used by God in the process of building a new location for worship and ministry, but it is God who has sovereignly directed the steps and provided the needed funds. How prone we are to grasp for glory and how needful it was to remind us of the God who gets it all!
Everyone sang out in worship and the faces of those who have been on the FCC journey for many years told the memories of God’s faithfulness along the way. As our church has grown, we’ve had to endure changing buildings, changing routines, and changing schedules. But God has faithfully kept us together as a body and brought us to a time of celebration. Soaking it all up, it was almost as if the Lord peeled back a small corner of heaven and allowed us to peek in.
After singing, Pastor Shane Koehler reminded us that the way we came to this property was through the goodness of our Lord. He gave us the property at a price we could afford in an area where we could not have purchased property without God’s provision.
Pastor Koehler also reminded us of how God has glorified Himself through the entire process because it was all beyond our capacity to make this happen. God continues to show us that He is still in charge of the process. He is still sovereign over the seemingly massive numbers. And He will remain in control of the timing for our move. And for this, we can be so very thankful!
Trunk or Treat Steals the Kids’ Attention
The fun actually started Sunday morning when Pastor Koehler boasted about his Trunk or Treat. Everyone wanted to know if the Tyndale Bible Smugglers game would deliver. And did it ever. Those who got caught were in deep trouble. Fortunately, no one was harmed in the making of this true horror show. Of course, the hilarious skit that went with the masterful Trunk theme was an absolute delight.
The other Trunks weren’t about to be outdone by their pastor. So the children were well rewarded for daring to venture through the parking lot in their costumes. The games and treats made for great fun for all.
Of course, no church get-together is complete without the food. Food trucks provided barbecue and tacos to nourish the body and keep the fellowship rolling.
As the sun faded and the chill began to set in, we enjoyed the heat of a blazing bonfire and music led by Brian and Kenzie Irby. The praises to our Lord warmed our hearts and made us all feel like we were back at youth camp. It was a fitting end to a day where fellowship, celebration, and great fun brought us all together to thank the Lord for where He has brought our church and to praise Him for what is about to come.
Weighty and Waiting Thanksgiving
In addition to all of the excitement surrounding the progress to build a new church location, we should take note of the massive stewardship we have of the gospel in our community. That’s why it was so appropriate to celebrate Reformation Day at the same time we celebrate our groundbreaking.
501 years ago, the courageous actions of Martin Luther kicked off what became known as the Reformation. God used that man (and others) to bring out truths that had been buried by the Roman Catholic Church.
Those Five Solas were not negotiable then nor are they today, yet the war for truth continues.
As we thank God for the Reformation, we must continue to ask for God’s help so we may stay true to these foundational doctrines through vigilance and determination. This is a weighty responsibility. We must think beyond our generation to the generation of our children and their children. How important is it for us to faithfully study and teach the scriptures daily? We must also think about what FCC’s role might be in a community that has churches who are ignoring the plain precepts of the Bible, or even teaching in ways that denigrates the veracity of the Bible itself.
Finally, as the heavy equipment begins to arrive on the property, we have a lot to be thankful for – and the day of celebration brought all of that together. Now we have the privilege to see the building come to life. As Richard Goff and Shane Koehler indicated on our BuildingFaith podcast, there’s a lot of site work to be done before we’ll actually see a building go up. So if you drive by the property and it doesn’t look like we’re making a lot of progress, don’t be disappointed. The project is moving forward as it should be and we’ll soon begin to see a foundation poured and walls erected. Yes, that’s waiting on the Lord while we give Him thanks for what He has already done!