New Brighton Christian Assembly
God had prepared for us to be here today and spoke to both of us through the worship service. We arrived with little time to look around. We found the restrooms near the sanctuary but had to get within a few inches to read the door signs due to poor contrast. I noticed the same when it was time to sing as the words were projected in white on a yellow background. I couldn’t find a cross, but there was one projected on the side of the screen. Maybe there is a cross on the stained glass behind the screen.
I was greeted by a Marine coming in and another on the way out, and an usher thanked me for my service. I noticed a veterans’ appreciation board with photos of those actively serving.
We got to speak to two women who had missionary experience in Africa, so Jan was very happy.
There was a time of anointing and healing prayer early, a personal reminder from God that He still plans to use me in this area. I was so thankful that the prayer offered was with conviction of the healing that was occurring.
The sermon, “The Way of the Generous, ” was part of a series on generosity. Today’s message was on Paul offering up the example of the Macedonian church’s generous giving while their resources were depleted, how they gave beyond their means and relied on God’s grace.
I thought it a powerful point that when we are stripped of our natural resources is a great place for God. As Marines we were often called to give that 110% and maybe now a realization that the phrase “super-human strength” was more accurate than we knew or wanted to admit. When our need is the greatest, when we are giving from our poverty, is when we leave room for God to bless us.
I was reminded of a story from one of my devotionals this morning about a woman who was in need who gave for a church expense that would keep them from having a worship space. She had been saving to buy a stove but gave the several hundred dollars to the church instead. When they realized that her needs were greater than the church’s, they tried to return it to her. She refused the money she had been saving for years, figuring she could continue to cook on a hot plate but had to have a place where she could worship with her church family.
With all our concerns over money, we are some of the richest people on Earth, but our giving doesn’t reflect it. We were told that with their tithes and offerings, Israel was giving at 25% and we struggle to average 3%.
There has never been anyone who was struggling financially to whom I recommended tithing who came back and complained. Don’t take my word for it, take God’s promise.
I usually have plenty of time during a service to pray for the church and pastor and seldom have trouble taking notes. Today the pastor’s passion and message development held my attention. I am thankful he would let Christ use him to deliver His message.
The singing was loud and boisterous for me, but it did give me time to pray. I look forward to seeing how God will use today’s message in our lives.
Jan’s thoughts: A gentleman held the door open and greeted us as we entered the building and we were greeted warmly by a number of folks.
Several areas held both plusses and minuses…
1 – It was a plus that the restrooms were easily identified and bore beautifully engraved signs indicating which was which, but a minus that the signs were directly on the front of the doors and it was impossible to read the sign unless you stood at a particular angle.