It's hard to believe, but this past Sunday, October 12th, marked four years since my dad passed away. And even though the pain and grief is not nearly as sharp as it has been in years past, it still seems so unreal at times. But nonetheless, I am so thankful for God's healing in mine and my family's lives. God has been good to us.
Of course, it's almost impossible to remember my dad and not be reminded of how The Orchard's story is not just a story about God changing a church - but also one about God changing my dad. In fact, this past weekend at The Orchard, I shared something my dad wrote in one of his journals back in November of 2003. God used this to touch a lot of hearts so I wanted to share it here with you. It's a rather beautiful reflection of what God was doing deep in his heart towards the end of his life.
I do not know how to describe what has happened to me. I only know that deep within me, I mean really deep, it seems that something, connected to an understanding of God’s love, has changed me.
I sense that this change is a forever thing. It seems that God never goes back on what He does.
I have been captured by His love.
It is something that I must admit, I never knew existed like I am now experiencing. It is like I have stepped into a new dimension where the height and depth are beyond my comprehension.
I am consumed with a passion to tell people about what I have experienced for the sole purpose of helping them to know that they can have it too.
This love relationship offered to me and everyone by the Father is beyond anything I could ever imagine. I am overwhelmed that I have been privileged to experience it. I know that everyone else can experience it too....
Love is powerless unless it is consented to.
I must confess that I am coming to understand this, and am so grateful for the honor of being loved by the Most High God, and yet I understand that since he is love he can do nothing else but love us.
We were created to be the objects of his love.
When He is invited inside a person, and is allowed to bring their spirit to life, he will love them forever.
• He offers them forgiveness for all sin, past, present and future
• He offers them leadership into the paths of righteousness
• He gives them everything they need, and
• He encourages them to ask Him for anything else they want
The Father delights in answering the requests of those who belong to the Son.
I have a glimpse of what the institutional church has allowed to happen. It has presented a picture of God and Christ that is inconsistent with who they are. As a product of that church, I desire to liberate those who are caught up in it; to save others from it.
I have a passion to take people who are turned off by religion or to religion and turn them on to Jesus Christ and turn them in to devoted followers of Christ.