One thing we realized is the importance of us to be out in public eating together. Last month, as we ate our bacon, egg, and cheese biscuits, we became acutely aware that we were being watched. Halfway into our meal, it became obvious that others (men and women, black and white) were observing us like we were in a fish tank. We both knew what it was -- people could not figure out what this young white guy and older black guy were doing and talking about. (Though I haven't seen much overt racism here, interracial friendships are mostly superficial.) And how much more confused they must have been when we HUGGED as we said good-bye! We agree that it is good that people see us in fellowship.
I learn a lot from him, about this area and about what it looks like to follow Christ and lead my family. He gave me the analogy of Pouring in Good, Clear Water, that helped me focus on the positive things that are happening. And during one of our meals, we discussed ideas that led me to write about Why Christians Should Serve Outside of the Church.
And we have been attending his church, Vision Ministries, for most of this past month. Though the service is quite a bit longer than we're used to, we've always felt loved and welcomed there. Here are some notes that I have written from his sermons:
- Genesis 32:22-32. The perfect place, even in a struggle, is wherever God is. God's purpose isn't to change the place, but to change the person.
- Philippians 3:13-14. I need to take myself out of the picture; only by the cross do I get the crown.
- Genesis 1:26-27. God has a purpose for each of us, and it is best accomplished in the family, with a man and woman unified. This was great for us, as our family has been On a Mission.
- Deuteronomy 8:10. If I stop blessing God, He might take away the food (blessing me), to get my attention back to Him.
Looking forward to learning much more from him!