(Blue= Bill speaking) Today was a great day! You already know from below that Laura's birthday was today and we had a little party planned. So we woke up a little earlier than usual and got things going. Sunday School starts at 9:30 and we were a little late. That's only a concern for Will's elementary assembly that starts promptly at 9:30. Our class doesn't seem to get going until @ 9:50 or so! We were all in a good mood all through the morning wishing Laura a "Happy Birthday!" over and over.
Sunday school was very good. One of our Elders is leading a study on Joel. It is very interesting how Joel illustrates the locust invasion and the reason for it! We were blessed to see some people back in class that have been ill or absent for some time. We have been praying for each of them and I felt it was an answered prayer.
On to church. Today we had a special service that gave recognition to the anniversary of the beginning of the Reformation on 10/31. All of our Pastors went over each of the reformer's five solas; Sola Scriptura (Scripture Alone), Sola Fide (Faith Alone), Sola Gratia (Grace Alone), Sola Deo Gloria (Glory to God Alone), and Sola Christus (Christ Alone). Each subject section began with Scripture that emphasized that point, then the Pastor gave a homily on it and then we sang a hymn or song that emphasized the point. All of them were great and it made for an intriguing Sunday worship service.
Now, on to why I'm posting in the first place: the fifth point, Sola Christus (Christ Alone). We covered this near the end of the service so the song we sang was our closing song. We sang "In Christ Alone" (of course!) which was written by Stuart Townsend and Keith Getty. If you've listened to Contemporary Christian music in the past few years, you've probably heard the version I have on the playlist to the left sung by the Newsboys.
I have to tell you, this is one of the most powerful songs EVER written to me! I know a lot of Christian songs and hymns, but to me none of them speak the whole gospel so well and succinctly as this song. It's not the most powerful music or melody, it is the words. Listen to it. Please!! Misty and I were clutching each other near the end where it says, "Jesus commands my destiny.". Tears streamed down my face as I sang of Jesus standing in victory after taking on my sin. Me, my sin. Why? How? How could He? Why would He? Because He loves me (+you) that much! How awesome! How humbling. How can I not devote everything I do to His glory? Because I am a sinner. I want to write out the lyrics for you, but that would be a lot of space here. PLEASE, I don't think you get the full effect by listening. Do a search for the lyrics and read them as you hear/sing.
In the afternoon we had Laura's party. We were expecting many that couldn't make it. That's OK, some folks that we hadn't expected came. My Dad and Mom came from LA (Lower Alabama) and my brother and nephew came from Auburn, AL. One church friend and her daughter and one neighbor stopped by. It was great! Laura had a blast! Everyone was clapping with and for her! She was laughing and smiling the whole time! Will loved seeing his sister enjoy herself. The weather was wonderful to top it all off. Will got to throw his football with his "Pa", Uncle Jack and cousin John Cooper.
Lately I have questioned God as to why I am where (geographically) I am. I made a prayerful decision a couple of years ago to move my family back to the Atlanta area. Since then I have not seen the clear acknowledgement that what I did is what He wanted me to do. Maybe He will never give me that clarity. Today fortified a truth to me that gives me peace: if I pray to do the correct things and act on what I feel I am led to do, God will honor my prayers. That no matter where I am or what I do, "No power of hell, no scheme of man, can ever pluck me from His hand". That God will prosper me and make me grow in Him no matter where (geographically) I am. I have two healthy, beautiful children, a healthy, beautiful, loving, forgiving, wife that cares for those two children and I am healthy and have a job that I love. We live in a very nice neighborhood and attend a healthy church with other believers that wish to give God the glory He deserves.
Now let's remember all these things this week. Praise the Lord!