It’s been a few days since I have posted. Since I just got started I want to be sure I was posting pretty regularly and need to get in the routine of sharing. A very significant part of my story is Church. When I moved back to north Iowa over 10 years ago one of the things I was most excited about was finding a new church home. Interestingly enough, it was actually one of the hardest things. Thankfully after a number of years looking and visiting a number of different churches off and on it was suggested I check out First Baptist Church in Forest City. I remember it was missionary update Sunday. The music was fantastic, and the message – I was intrigued as the pastors interviewed the missionaries. It was as if I was sitting in a living room. On the stage was a couch and two comfy chairs. Not only did the setting portray a living room, I sensed that First Baptist was a family environment. First Baptist was also about to start a Bible reading plan; cover to cover in 90 days. Wow! But I was intrigued and admired that the church leadership had already done so. I was in! Although I was not successful in the 90 day completion, I was excited to begin to meet new people and consider how I would / could be a greater part of First B. As I wanted to connect with more people and this church family, I was drawn with a desire to move to Forest City. I wanted to live in the same community as my brothers/sisters in Christ. It happened! So thankful for God’s goodness in that move! Over the last several years I have grown to meet new people and build some great relationships. Relationships that have encouraged and challenged me. Relationships that walked with me in my struggle with sin; rather than shame or condemnation. Those relationships also kept me accountable to move toward Christ and a freedom from sin, sexual sin. I am so grateful for First Baptist Church and its steadfastness in standing for Biblical truth and loving people toward that truth. That is was I was looking for in a church. I found it at First B! I am also grateful for how the church leadership does not shy away from talking about the brokenness of people from the pulpit, whether it about sex, drugs, pornography, money, lying, cheating, idolatry – it is talked about and better yet the hope we have in Christ to be rescued from those sins.
First Baptist Church, Forest City: WE ARE a people with story being transformed by the gospel, finding our greatest joy in Jesus and helping others do the same.
Truly I see this mission being lived out by the people at First B. I hope you are able to find yourself in a church family like this. Recently this summer I was at a Restored Hope Conference in Minneapolis on a Friday and Saturday. I had reserved my room for Saturday night anticipating I might attend an event on Sunday afternoon in Minneapolis. As the conference was drawing to a close Saturday, I was being challenged and excited about my journey with Christ. Where did I want to be Sunday morning? At my home church with my family! So I stayed in Minneapolis that evening and but got myself up super early (I am not a fan of early mornings) and drove 2 hours to be in Forest City that morning, to be with my church family. I love them, they love me and they love Jesus.
The song posted below is one of my favorites – words that express how I feel about being in a relationship with Jesus and others at church!