Last month my wife’s older sister had a stroke that paralyzed the left half of her body. We, her extended family saw God’s mercies in various forms: an amazing recovery of partial mobility in the affected leg and arm, the kindness of people from her church who visited her and how much that meant to her, the activation of our own compassion, the answered prayers some of you prayed. We also had opportunity to feel frustrated: medical complications including an infection that required a hospital move and a second surgery, facility transfers that were delayed because of an ambulance not arriving, insurance not being as cooperative as we had hoped, and the general disruptions to our lives. In this world we have trouble. A small reminder (some people have lots more trouble than this) of two truths: This world is broken, and God’s grace shines through it.
Two weeks ago we had our Alpha Retreat weekend in Lloyd Harbor where 53 people attended. Alpha is a class for those seeking the Lord, for those who want to move closer to the Lord, or for those who have questions about the Lord or their faith. It is open to anyone. Shelter Rock Church has been running Alpha classes now for several years, and I have been involved in many of those classes. As I reflect back on all the classes I have been at part of, I can honestly say this program never, ever gets old. It is an honor to be used by the Lord to show others a path that leads to the Kingdom, to Jesus and eternal life. As Christians we are called to be in community with other believers, to lift each other up. Proverbs 27:17 tells us, "As Iron sharpens Iron, so one person sharpens another." There is no better way to share the grace that God put on my life than by giving it away and helping those that are searching to find their answers in Jesus Christ. Amen. Amen.