A place to start life over.

That’s what we say at Memorial Drive.  You can’t enter our building without reading those words.  A slogan?  Oh no- it’s the truth.  A place to start life over is a description and not a motto.  Our congregation is alive with the presence and power of the Holy Spirit.  We get to see Him minister to people in such a way no blogger in the world could capture in words.  It’s stunning.  Thrilling.  Captivating.  Healing.  Humbling.  Fun.

I am the luckiest man in the world.  I say that because I have a wife who’s amazing faith sustained me in dark, dark places.  For her the vows of the marriage coveneant were more than words- they were statements of faith.  “For better or worse” was a matter of conviction for Amy.  And she has loved me in the worse.

I am the luckiest man in the world.  I say that because I belong to a church that insisted on loving me when I was unresponsive to their care.  When I came back they gave me the room and grace to start over.  When I took the smallest of steps their words of encouragement would have led you to believe I was the fastest man in the world.  They have praised me into becoming the man I am today.  What a blessing!

My heart is full this Sunday.  Of gratefulness.  Of wonder.  Of grace.  Of joy.  Of the healing ministry of Jesus Christ as incarnated in the Memorial Drive church of Christ.

Can you tell we had a good day?  My brothers and sisters I wish you could have heard the singing.  Wow, wow and wow!  I sat near the front and was nearly knocked over by the surging tidal wave of praise coming from the heart’s of God’s people.  It had more in common with a volcanic eruption than mere singing. (An eruption of praise- I like that- gotta remember it)

Hands were being lifted throughout the building- shouts of praise came from different quarters- applause even broke out after one song.  The really cool thing- no one ever said let’s raise our hands, let’s shout amen or let’s clap our hands to show God how much we love Him.  Every one of these acts was spontaneous.  When you add that to the fact many, many people were literally singing/shouting at the top of their lungs then you can see how blessed I am to be a part of this wonderful family.

Thank you Shane.  Your humility and passion for the Lord Jesus are plucking the heart strings of God’s people.  The music you are writing with your service and ministry has given us a beautiful song to sing.

Thank you Terry.  Thank you elders.  So much of ministry is having the faith to get out of the way in order to let God do as He pleases.  Thanks for your humility.  Thanks for your vision.  The dream you dreamed for Memorial so many years ago is bearing fruit beyong measure.

Thank you Jesus.

I am the luckiest man in the world.

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9 Comments

  1. God is so good!
    It is wonderful to see that God is still active in works in our lives from day to day, month to month and year after year. Thank you for sharing how God is working in your life. I think your testimony is powerful. I know alot minister would not have acted and done what you have done. You have set for us the example of how to have the right attitude in doing ministry. I want you to know that you and your family will always be in thoughts and prayers.

    I am humbled by your words. And grateful for your blog-friendship. Thanks.

  2. I agree, Craig, Sunday was incredible! I haven’t cried that much in a long time but it was a good cry. To hear you tell your story again and hear the humbleness and greatfulness in your words was almost more than I could stand. To hear you say you wanted another chance to start over and be mentored by the very people who had to make that terrible decision 7 years ago…I think is shows just how much you’ve grown in your walk of forgiveness and grace! And I thank the elders and Terry for giving you that chance, for loving you through this growing period. I thank them for listening to the Spirit when it was time to make a decision about your future here at Memorial. When I spoke with each of them Sunday they ALL said “it was a God thing”. It makes me grateful that we have these kind of men leading us at Memorial and I’m thrilled you are becomeing an “official” part of that group once again! Rick and I are so happy to see you doing the kind of work we feel God meant for you to do. And dear, sweet Amy, words can’t express how much you mean to me and the example you show me of how a wife should be. Love you guys very much!!

  3. I listened to the sermon this morning.

    Wow!

    Thanks for being real Craig. You continue to inspire everyone that listens to you. God speaks huge through you.

  4. one more thing…

    I loved the part where you mentioned telling Dad you would one day share a stage telling your story. That is fun!

  5. WOW! Yesterday was so awesome! Thanks for sharing your story. It meant more to me than I could possibly put into words!

    I DO know Mike Rush! He is one of my dearest friends from college! We saw him a couple of weeks ago at York’s homecoming. He and his family still live in York. He is OK…It’s so sad though. When I saw him a couple of weeks ago, I asked him how he was doing. He said, “OK. But Danna, I hate being like this.” It broke my heart!

  6. We serve an AWESOME God! I can’t make an exclamation point large enough to show all the feeling that goes in that sentance. I love you, Craig. I am proud of you. We truly have a wonderful church family that I feel humbled yet priviledged to be a part of.

  7. This sounds like a neat story, man.

    I’m taking a trip in a couple of days, and I’ll burn a copy of the sermon to listen to in the van.

  8. There are times when I read yours and Terry’s blog that I wish I lived in Tulsa … or nearby.

  9. I thank Jesus with everything I am for the words you write here Craig. I am so humbled and awestruck by the beautiful man, you-my big brother, have become. Your blog is a ministry within itself and without a doubt is a blessing to me and my walk with the Lord. I love you so much Craig. I am proud, beyond words, to call you my brother. I love Jesus so much for blessing me with the honor of being your sister. I am so happy to see your “first love” fully restored to you through the blessing of your new job,the faithfulness of a loving wife and the respect of Godly men….I read of a similar Man with a similar story.. in the Book of Job.:)

    You are always in my heart, thoughts and prayers.

    Love,
    Michele (Hicks) Baker


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