Devotional Classics, by Richard Foster. Excerpt from A Serious Call To A Devout And Holy Life, William Law (1686-1761)
"Rules for Daily Life: The simple point is this: either Christianity prescribes rules to live by in our daily lives, or it does not. If it does, then we must govern all our actions by those rules if we are to worship God. For if Christianity teaches anything about eating and drinking, spending our time and money, how we are to live in the world, what attitudes we are to have in daily life, how we are to be disposed toward all people, how we are to behave toward the sick, the poor, the old and the destitute, whom we are to treat with particular love, whom we are to regard with a particular esteem, how we are to treat our enemies, and how we are to deny ourselves, we would be foolish to think that these teachings are not to be observed with the same strictness as those teachings related to prayer."
And unless you read and recall the work of Christ in your life on a daily basis....you will never understand how to live this devout and Holy life in Christ.
In the past 3 weeks, Kelsi and I (and a couple times John) have made round trips to Indiana, St. Louis and Pennsylvania for different bridal/wedding/church camp events. It has been grueling but knowing our schedule for the month, we prayed ahead of time for the Lord's protection and most of all for stamina as a couple trips literally were 5 hours over and 5 hours back. God was faithful as usual to protect our trips. Though we saw deer in the dark of night, I sensed the Lord's presence in holding them back off our travel route. Though we did travel in construction zones and saw some roadside accidents, God was faithful to provide clear paths. If you can't tell, I am recalling the faithfulness of the Lord to make a point. (Hold that thought)
As I was just at church camp, (Mahaffey) last week, Monday through Thursday, I was sitting on our porch swing in awe of the beauty of the campground, the beauty of the landscape and basking in the beauty of the Lord. Down the path to my right, resounding from the main tabernacle was the hymn of old...."Blessed Assurance, Jesus is mine, oh what a foretaste of glory divine, heir of salvation, purchase of blood, born of His Spirit, washed in His blood....This is my story, this is my song, praising my Savior all the day long, this is my story, this is my song, praising my Savior all the day long." Fanny Crosby. Then, off to my left in the youth tabernacle I hear the praise songs of today that you and I are accustomed to singing. It was a mixture of the past with the present and an amazing example of the exact thing that the Lord has been drawing in my mind. "Rise to Recall!" On one of the trips while it was in the early "thirty" of the morning mist, while Kelsi slept I lowered the volume on the van cd player and played from my past collections a cd from Carmen - old hymns. I sang and sang each song while rehearsing thoughts, dreams and days of old. (I still concentrated on the travel road as I drove!) It was a blessed time in my Spirit. The Holy Spirit was testifying and ministering to me through each set of song and recall.
In this time of remembering, in case you have forgotten: In 2002 VGF started a fellowship called "Grace Fellowship" in the living room of Doug and Pam Sapp - 20 people attending. Six short weeks later and now 50 folks attending and too large for their living room and parking. We decided to move into The Owens Corning meeting place on Hollinder Street, first service gathering...about 100 folks. We saw the Lord's hand of mercy as each week we grew in number, we grew in theology, we grew in the Kingdom and in fellowship. For 4 years we packed and unpacked chairs, sound equipment, pot luck meals and sustained with two services on Sundays. All extra events were either at our home on Mt. Vernon Road or in the little Charles Street building. You know, children grew as well!!! Funny how that happens! I will always remember how old Joshua Large is because one week at the Sapp's home, Mona Large was sitting on the couch in the Sapp home, with child, enjoying the service and the next week, she was back there sitting again.....with Joshua in her arms. I remember as we gathered in the Sapp's home prior to collecting the original 20 people, we would pray and pray, visions were extended and confirmations were given; interpretations were imparted and tears flowed as the Lord ministered to that small contingency of folks seeking to do His will.
With a new name, "Vineyard Grace Fellowship," 250 people finally made the decision to purchase land, build and move into the current structure - that first Sunday in March of 2007, our first service gathering included 400 plus folks....and you know the rest of the story as you are living in it now. There are a little over 1300 attending VGF, 4 services per weekend and the fast approaching time to enter into the new building and another new phase of seeing how the Lord will provide, seeing His faithfulness and His grace over our fellowship.
This past weekend, Pastor Brad did a great job in his portion of "rise to recall" as he rehearsed the work of Jesus. It was so cool to see and hear how this totally fit into my thought pattern of late and how the Lord has really made this opportunity available for you and I to "remember" what Christ as done for us. I was fortunate to have a childhood that utilized this process on a daily basis as Jesus and His work in our life was always the topic of conversation in our home, whether it was in correction or in commendation of life choices or behavior. You too can start now within yourself, your children or your family....recalling the work of Christ on a daily basis. This whole concept is really quite simple....it starts with surrender and repentance; asking for forgiveness and following the Lord each day through reading and prayer. We make it complicated.
Recall the story of Jesus, live His grace gift of salvation in your daily life, talk about it, tell it to others, repent, surrender and pray for revival to flood our lives.....YOU WILL BE AMAZED! Your children and families will learn to recall Christ's work as well and they will tell their children and...... "The simple point is this: either Christianity prescribes rules to live by in our daily lives, or it does not. If it does, then we must govern all our actions by those rules if we are to worship God." You know this by reading the Word and praying and if you have questions, you join a community group, get connected to folks who can answer questions and lead by example the way of Christ. "Tell me the story of Jesus, write on my heart every word, tell me the story most precious, sweetest that ever was heard.....hymn by Fanny J. Crosby."