Thursday, February 20, 2020

Twenty Amazing Years

As our church celebrates its twentieth anniversary this Sunday, nostalgia pulls at my heart.
So much has changed in 20 years.

My heart is softer. I cry a lot more these days.
My children have grown and married, fully embracing adulthood.
Stokesdale is growing. There are many more homes and neighborhoods in our community.
While people are more digitally connected, many feel more relationally isolated.
The good news about Jesus still hits us right where we live, bringing us wholeness and well-being.
More people are more anxious. The good news is really good news for the anxious.
Anxiety plagues younger and younger people.
Technology has grown exponentially, and it is changing our lives more than we expected.
There are lots of new buildings, new roads, new businesses, new schools, new parks and trails.
Stokesdale has more than doubled its number of stoplights (from 2 to 5).
I count four new shopping centers in the NW Guilford area.
We moved to new house in Stokesdale.
Little pine trees along the road now tower over fields and highways.
Stokesdale now has a new town hall and town park.
Churches in the community work together more closely than ever.
Genuine love in the church lets people experience God's presence.
Worship music breaks through all the clutter of a hurried life, bringing us into Jesus' presence.
I really need reading glasses now.
I don't feel like I have to fix the world any more.
I believe that Jesus transforms us when we surrender to him.
I can trust him more now to use imperfect people (like me and you) for profound purposes.
I can now let go of a lot of attitudes and preferences that I thought defined me.
God is building his kingdom, and it's fun to step back and marvel at all he has done.