It was never about the church for me.
In fact, there was a lot about the church that served to push me away.
When my Mother took me and my brother to church as a child, I was at church, but the flannel-graphs didn't hold my attention. And compared to roaming the woods near our trailer home - please.
True, when I came to church to play basketball and met Bunny, I joined Bethesda Baptist Church and was baptized a believer in Jesus Christ. I've been a member of a local church ever since. Had some great times seeing God at work, and met some unforgettable people.
After all these years of working in the church, I still look back and know that for me...
It was Jesus.
Do I love the church I serve? Ask anyone who knows me or New Hope - even my (our) enemies.
I've given 12 years, forsaking all others, in good times and bad. I love her. Desperately.
But it's because of Jesus.
It's His story that drew me.
It's His love that provides the reason, the purpose and the power for me to go on.
Some people immerse themselves in prophecy. Others can't get enough of the Law.
For me, it's the gospels. Always the gospels.
I keep reading and rereading in amazement and wonder as Jesus rewrote what it means to live.
If I can just be a fraction of what He was...
I'll die satisfied.
Today I opened the Gospel of Mark to the folks at New Hope. I presented it as the gospel of second chances. Lord knows I've been blessed with a few.
I can't wait for next week. Can't get enough of Jesus.