Jill Jarrell Newsome
About a year after my husband, Mike, started our business, we knew he needed to hire someone to answer the phone, take orders, order inventory, etc. We were petrified! Now we would be responsible for another person and maybe their family! Each time we had growing pains I would ask God to open the doors for us to know that it was His will. Or, if it was not His will, I would ask Him to please slam that door shut and bolt it so we would not mess up! God guided us for twenty years - blessing us beyond belief. Praying about things takes the stress out of the decision. It doesn’t always make it easy on us but we can know we are doing the right thing! Looking back we can see that those growing “pains” were actually growing “gains” for our business and our life. We gained so much more than we would have ever imagined by trusting God!
One thing I have learned at my church is that the decisions are prayerfully made. We seek to connect hearts to Christ and one another through excellence in worship, engaging Spiritual formation, expressive faith sharing and extra-mile caring. We have a wonderful problem of being beyond capacity in our 11:15 service in the sanctuary! While we have a heart for each other’s preferences and thoughts and know this is hard, we have to make room for what Jesus has coming! He tells us to make disciples. Matthew 28: 19-20, “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.
Last years budget was greatly increased and we received well over that! That did not include the Capital Funds raised that paid for our Sanctuary Renovations and Elevator Replacement! Worship attendance increased 11%! I think that tells us we are doing the right thing and Jesus is blessing us! Jesus is showing us growing gains! Luke 11: 28, “He replied, “Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and obey it.
While all of this was going on at our church, a corrections center had received substantial damage to their chapel during Hurricane Florence in 2018. The chapel had reopened but the seating was limited due to a number of damaged pews. They were able to use our pews in their facility and as they said in a recent letter, they are “overjoyed with the outpouring of kindness and thoughtfulness to ensure the Word of God can continue to be spread at the facility.” I am always amazed at God’s multitasking!
Peter demonstrates his faith when he answers God in Luke 5: 5, “Simon answered, “Master, we’ve worked hard all night and haven’t caught anything. But because you say so, I will let down the nets.” He chose to obey God and trust Him. Jesus demonstrated his power and sovereignty. Peter and the others were totally amazed when they pulled in not one but two overflowing boatloads of fish. Luke 5: 7, “So they signaled their partners in the other boat to come and help them, and they came and filled both boats so full that they began to sink.” Saying yes to Jesus’ request resulted in a miracle that transformed lives. Let’s expect great gains as we prepare for what Jesus has coming in our lives and our churches!