Sometimes saying yes changes everything

Baptisms always get me. You don’t want to sit next to me at a baptism service. I may have to wipe my nose or eyes on your shirt sleeve. Last Sunday morning at the Timberline FC 8:30 service, the waterworks cranked up to a new level.  Every baptism represents a miraculous story of God’s redemption in somebody’s life.  Eleven-year-old Jill lit up the screen with her beaming smile and simple account of how she knew God had called her to take this step today. It hit me that this is not only what God called Jill to do, but her miracle story is a beautiful picture of what God calls the church to do.

Jill was an infant born to a mother who could not take care of her. Unfortunately, in many cases like Jill, a child ends up at some point becoming one of almost a half-million children trapped in our country’s foster care system.  Eleven years ago a family “knew that God was calling them” to do something big.  Every once in a while God asks us to do something that changes everything. This was one of those moments. Contrast the dark reality of children caught in the foster care system with the miracle of a family and a church that have truly connected with God’s heart for fatherless children:  abandonment, neglect, hopelessness, anger, the firm grip of generational darkness versus passionate acceptance, loving care, a place to dream, tenderness, an eternal legacy.  A willing response to what God was calling this family to do truly changed everything for Jill. You can read Jill’s story written by her mother here.

At the baptism, as a church, we reaped the benefits and celebrated a miracle that brought all of those “God-is-calling” moments together to change everything for one little girl. But not just for her—for her children and generations to follow. They were all saved from what all too often becomes a chain of generational despair. Let’s continue to become a church that hears more and more what God is calling us to do for the sake of fatherless children.

-Pastor Mark

Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world.

James 1:27

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