I keep intending, every day, to update this blog with something more than just a blurb every few days, but I keep finding other things to do that are more urgent! Lions Gate Baptist Church's first anniversary service is tomorrow! It's been a great first year; we are so thrilled with how God opened doors, supplied needs and direction, and brought folks in, and we're excited to see what He has planned for the next year. We have a great core group of people with whom our hearts are knit already. Who would have thought that such a diverse group of people, from all over the world, would come together to make a local assembly of believers? It's exciting! I hope to have some pictures to show you on Monday.
Wes, our kids, and 2 teens from our church have been at a youth conference at Greater Vancouver Baptist Church this weekend. They should be home early this afternoon, full of stories of funny things that happened, how late they stayed up, and how they can't wait for next year's conference (of course, there's camp in July and another youth conference in Oregon in November, too!). Many people have been burned by youth groups, because many times youth groups are simply a reflection of the world in their dress standards, music, and activities. They've let their children go to church youth activities and conferences, only to find that their children have been introduced to things they have shielded them from all of their lives. Or maybe the youth director or other teens have replaced a parent's God-given authority by causing teens to question their parents' standards and motives. We have been blessed to belong to churches whose youth groups are an extension of the family, not a replacement for it. We've always been very involved with the parents of the other teens and with the youth directors, and we've been aware of who our children are spending time with when they're not in our direct supervision. Believe me, we would have pulled them out of a youth group that undermined our authority or taught contrary to our personal beliefs and standards so fast that their heads would have been swimming! As a result of this close work together in the ministry, our children are having some wonderful experiences - not just fun, but real sermons and spiritual lessons from men whom we respect as godly leaders. I'm excited that our 2 teens from church got to go this weekend; I'm praying that they will hear the Lord speaking to their hearts, listen to Him, and let Him change their lives.
Well, now that I've written a small epistle, I have to get started baking desserts and getting other things ready for tomorrow!