Sunday, July 15, 2018

New Location, Same Holy Experience

living water church on the beach
This sign captured my attention every time I drove by it. I've driven by it at least 30 or more times in the last month. More than that, I read it every time I drove by telling myself I have to experience church on the beach. I purposed last week to worship with fellow believers at Sunset Park on Mexico Beach at 8 am. I anticipated a new location, same Holy experience.  Last Sunday morning I woke to rain pattering on the tin roof. I rolled over to sleep purposing to attend next Sunday. This Sunday I awakened to overcast skies that looked like impending rain. The time was 7:54 am.

The battle started. In 8.6 seconds, the devil gave me all kinds of excuses. It's too late.  You'll never make it in time. It's going to rain. I rolled over and went back to sleep for about 8.6 seconds. God woke me with a cha-ching on my phone. The cha-ching was an order from my Etsy business. That simple cha-ching reminded me God takes care of me every day! My heart desires to worship him for giving me life, not just life for today, but eternally. I threw my clothes on, my hair up, slid my prosthetics on and out the door I went to a new location, same Holy experience....
sand and church
I arrived in time to walk with two other people onto the beach and take my seat. The service had already began with about 20 to 25 people seated comfortably wearing shorts, t-shirts, sandals or flip flops and sunglasses. Shortly, I wished my sunglasses weren't safely in the glass holder in my car. New location, new sunshiny experience! The pastor played the guitar leading worship and then a gentleman read a scripture. The pastor delivered the message. Prayer requests were taken and prayed for. Then, we took communion right there on the beach in a new location, same Holy experience! The surfboard served as a table for the bread and wine. We walked up for a piece of torn bread to represent Christ's body, and was instructed to dip our bread into the wine representing Christ's blood.

Pastor Gieseking titled his message "Growing in Your Mission: Grow Team!" He spoke about spiritual gifts. I love the nuggets God always gives freely to those that seek him. I've heard spiritual gifts preached many times but the fresh idea delivered today went like this:

The pastor played sports in his youth. He was quite good. He admitted he can't play sports with 20-year-old guys now, he's approaching 60. Things he did when he was 20 are no longer within his physical abilities. Ideally, the gifts you used for God when you were 20 may not be the same ones you use when you are 60. God can develop a gift in you at any time. You are not born with spiritual gifts. Your gifts develop as you grow in grace and knowledge. His message resonated with me. Many people think they become useless when they grow older. Simply untrue.

My takeaway....Our gift may shift but the goal is still the soul! You may go from community visitation to stuffing packages for community visitation. All jobs are needful. The message encouraged me. God can always use a willing vessel no matter how many cracks are visible. Truly something to remember.

So, I'm glad I got my socks sandy in a new location, same Holy experience!
sandy socks

I loved they used a sand bucket to collect the offering. I also loved their driftwood cross.
driftwood cross and offering sand bucket
To support the ministries of Living Water Church at the Beach, please click here.

Communing with Jesus 365,

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