Yesterday we celebrated our 7th Anniversary as Laurel Baptist Church. It’s always a special time to stop and reflect on what God has done in building His church. Yesterday’s services were no different. As we reflect on seven years and begin year eight, I want to share with you a few “anniversary thoughts.”
We are still passionate about this being God’s House. This is not our house, but God’s house. It is His work. A work in which He said He would build and not even hell could stop it. What happens at LBC is not the ingenuity of man, but rather the blessings of God’s Spirit. It’s not about achieving a ministry status or a church record. It’s about honoring this place as God’s house. “Lord, this is YOUR house!”
We are still an imperfect church. If you’re waiting for us to reach perfection, you’ll be waiting until Jesus comes. Laurel is not a perfect church (and never will be), but we are Christ’s church. As Christ’s church, we are accepted just as we are and are humbled by His grace. We’re not trying to be like anyone, but Jesus Christ. He is the standard by which are church is measured, not man nor organizations.
A few weeks ago I wrote a post expressing great appreciation to my dad (and mom) for how they prepared me for ministry as I grew up in a pastor’s home. Today, on Mother’s Day, I want to take a moment to just express, once again, gratitude for my wonderful mother.
- Thank you for loving me unconditionally.
- Thank you for pushing me to do my best.
- Thank you for disciplining me when I didn’t give my best in school. The constant challenge finally “clicked” when I went to college.
- Thank for cheering loud for me at my ball games (even when I was prone to strikeout).
- Thank you for loving my dad and being faithful to him in your marriage.
- Thank you for knowing how to “put stuff together” when dad had no clue. Many toys through the years I would’ve never played with if we depended on dad to put it together.
- Thank you for every meal you ever cooked. You are an outstanding cook!
- Thank you for teaching me how to be organized and structured. I value greatly this skill you modeled for me.
- Thank you for being yourself and not getting caught up in comparison and competition with other women.
- Thank you for the balance of being an involved mother without being an overbearing mother.
- Thank you for not being one of those pastor’s wives that loves to “preach.” (I cringe when I see other women who are married to pastors flaunt their pulpit opportunities)
- Thank you for being real and genuine. There was never a mask you put on at church or home. I appreciate that today more than ever.
- Thank you for working those extra hours at Belk during the holidays, when we were young, to provide us a good Christmas.
- Thank you for working as a Christian School teacher to put me through Christian School.
- Thank you for talking dad into letting me skip Wednesday church that ONE time to be a ball-boy for the Hornets (and for skipping church to take me to the game). :)
- Thank you for being there the day I got saved, the night I preached my first sermon, my graduation from High School and College, the day I was married, and each day my children were born.
- Thank you for being an incredible Nana to my kids. My kids absolutely adore you. The cry when you leave, and they cry when I come to pick them up.
- Thank you for loving my wife and for not being a “monster-in-law.” You love Kathleen as if she were your own. I can’t express enough how much I appreciate that.
- Thank you for accepting and loving my in-laws. Ricky and Gwen have always held high respect for you.
- Thank you for staying faithful as a Christian. Your walk with God has been just as impactful in my life as dad’s walk with God.
Mom, I love you. I’m grateful for everything you have ever done and continue to do. When I’m accused of being a “mama’s boy,” I just smile. For though my manliness will not allow me to admit it, my heart acknowledges it. Happy Mother’s Day!
Yesterday we distributed a new resource in the church bulletin to enhance our ability to systematically pray for one another. We are simply calling it The Monthly Prayer Guide. On the first Sunday of every month you’ll receive this Prayer Guide that will have assigned members of the church to a corresponding day of the month. Uniquely, it will enable you to pray for certain members of the church every day of the month. Think about it – if you are faithful to follow the guide, there’s not a day that will go by that our church family will not be prayed for. I’m really excited about this tool!
But how do we pray for our church family, especially the ones we are not able to get close to due to the steady growth of our ministry? Let me suggest ten areas for you to consider when praying daily for our church family through the monthly prayer guide.