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A Family, a First Birthday, A Fruition of Prayer

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Its been sitting there on that page of that tattered prayer journal for years now.

Long before we moved into this place, long before we even met a face, long before we were walking in this season of friendship and fun and mission together, those words and those verses were being prayed over us.

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Even on those mornings when the soul felt dull, and the prayers seemed rote, the Spirit kept prompting,

“Be the persistent widow.”

“Be the persistent widow.”

So I, and we,  kept praying those years, and months leading up to this time,

And now we are experiencing and walking into the blessed fruit of the promises scribbled on the top of that page,

“Ask and you will receive.”

 

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We are a messy bunch. ┬áVery imperfect. And very “in awe” that God would be using us and growing us, even in our very weak and messy state.

Amongst the Followers of Jesus that have gathered here in this place, we experience a lot of….

fun. and sharing. and hardships. and jokes. and laughter. and sin. and repentance. and apologies. and restitution. and care. and interdependence. and labors. and hearts burning to know the Living Jesus more fully.

We have truly become a cross cultural, cross racial, cross generational,

FAMILY.

We are experiencing a oneness and unity that only God could bring

So when one of “us” was about to have his 39th birthday, his girlfriend and a few of us planned a surprise birthday party at his house after one of our Shalom Night Gatherings….

which ended up being his very first birthday party. EVER.

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I guess it’s easy to surprise someone who has never expected a birthday party…ever.

For when you have a story like Chris’s, and a childhood which was less than ideal, sometimes it takes experiencing the family of Christ and the love and unity that He creates in us, to recreate what “should” have happened in childhood.

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Chris and his stellar girlfriend, Charity, who thought of the idea to celebrate Chris’s birthday as a family.

So that night, as words of love and affirmation were spoken, and a life was celebrated, and laughter echoed, and tears were shed, this heart of mine was overwhelmed with awe over the privilege of experiencing the sweetness of these moments.

Pastor Danny shares some words of blessing over Chris's life

Pastor Danny shares some words of blessing over Chris’s life

 

Words of affirmation from Chris's "family", around a picture of him giving his testimony at a Grove Park Celebration.

Words of affirmation from Chris’s “family”, around a picture of him giving his testimony at a Grove Park Celebration.

And what was intended to bless a man we have grown to love dearly, ended up blessing us far more deeply.

Singing Happy Birthday

Singing Happy Birthday

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Those prayers prayed in faith are leading us into many firsts and new beginnings.

first birthday parties

new births, as people enter into the family of God

new families, as a diverse array of color and background come together to be united around the common desire to know Jesus, and make Him known.

a new era of time for this neighborhood, one whose history has been ridden with segregation, prejudice, hurt and betrayal, and is now witnessing Black and White and Asian and Middle Eastern people experiencing the joys and hardships of life together.

And it is Christ’s love, first poured out to us, and then poured out through us, which creates this

FAMILY.

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