I think I mentioned the last time I wrote that we were singing in a church meeting on Monday night. We were invited to sing Monday and Tuesday nights at Metro Baptist Church in Burnaby, BC, a suburb of Vancouver. It's another church started by a missionary 6 years ago. We're good friends with the pastor and his wife, and are getting to know their people well. After we got there on Monday night, the pastor asked if I'd play the piano, to give their pianist a break. I love to play, so I agreed. We sang three songs each night, and had a great time. The singing and playing were fun - I love it!
What I needed, though, was the preaching! Since I work with the children of our church on Sunday mornings and Wednesday nights, I only get to hear live preaching once a week. I listen to sermons online and on CD occasionally too, but it's not the same as live preaching, you know? So the preaching this week was a much-needed personal revival.
On Monday night, the preacher, Pastor Scott Postma of Las Vegas, NV, preached about Samson and the steps downward that he took that lead to his being bound, blind, and grinding at the end of his life - a great reminder to check up on myself and see where I am with my walk with the Lord. Tuesday night was even more convicting to me! Pastor Postma preached on being a bond-slave of the Lord. He explained how a slave in the Old Testament Jewish culture became a bond-slave: he would serve for six years, then he was offered his freedom. If he loved his master and/or had a wife and family that he loved and wanted to stay with, he declared publicly that he wanted to become a bond-slave to his master and received the mark of a bond-slave - piercing through his ear with an awl. This was a permanent mark, easily seen by everyone. The motive for becoming a bond-slave was love. Pastor Postma applied this to our lives by showing how our service for the Lord should come from our love for Him, not just a sense of duty. Boy, that smote my heart! Being a bond-slave was also a permanent decision - it couldn't be undone - and it was public. Our service to the Lord should be a lifetime choice, and it should be public. How many times have we made a "decision" for the Lord but not told anyone? Those decisions don't usually bear fruit. The ones that we've made public are the ones that usually make a difference, aren't they? They don't have to be public to be sincere, life-changing decisions, but publicly standing up and committing to the Lord gives a measure of accountability to our fellow church members and our pastor. During the invitation, three young boys and one lady came forward, committing their lives publicly to the Lord, and one young teen boy came forward to be saved! It was a sweet time! I'm so glad we went and so glad to have my heart refreshed once again!