What a crazy day @ The Ridge! Well, Sunday was special in a lot of ways. There were several highlights:
- We wrapped up our GodQuest series with a second look at John 14:1-7 . SignPost # 6 says “The Path you follow on your spiritual journey will determine your destination.”
- Your GodQuest is not just about a decision. Yes. We all must choose what path to follow. Yes, we must decide if we will follow Jesus, but we make the decision the destination. We think that just because we’ve decided to put our faith in Jesus, we’re good. Got my ticket to heaven punched. “I have decided to follow Jesus.” Then we don’t really follow Him, because we think the decision is the destination. We don’t walk with Him each day, because we are waiting for a day out there somewhere where we’ll be going to heaven.
- Our GodQuest is about a destination. We want to make the destination about us. We want to make the destination about getting us out of hell. It’s not about us, it’s about GOD. We think that salvation is all about us. It isn’t it’s about God. The destination is to be like Christ and to spend eternity with GOD. Romans 8:29 says that we were pre-destined to be conformed to the likeness of Christ. That was God’s intent from the beginning. You see, heaven is all about a relationship. It is US, undeserving as we are, by His grace and mercy, spending eternity with the Creator and with our Savior. Everything else will pale in comparison.
- We gave away several “Ridgie” awards to people who have served God @ The Ridge by volunteering their time and talents and gifts. Thanks to Shane & Erin Crider, Kendall Adamson & Kerry Drew for your faithful service to God @ The Ridge! You all have impacted many people for the Kingdom!
- Sunday evening about 75 Ridgers went to see the new movie Courageous. It was great!
Then there was the only thing that most people are going to remember from yesterday! At the end of our Worship Gathering, I had a couple of announcements, then I said I had one final announcement that I needed some help with. So, I called my two oldest daughters up on stage. My oldest, Aly, was home from college for the weekend. She was thinking I was going to embarrass her in some way. I told her and her sister (who was in on the whole thing) to stand there while I stepped offstage to grab a prop for the announcement. Then her boyfriend Cris (whom she thought was back at school at Toccoa Falls College) came out.
A little background:
Cris had been our summer intern at The Ridge summer before last. He and Aly had been friends at college and she had suggested that we talk to him about possibly working as an intern. So our staff did and we hired Cris for the summer. It was during that summer that they began to think their relationship might move beyond a good friendship. He asked me about entering into a courtship with Aly. In our family we don’t “date” in the cultural sense. We have taught our kids that courtship is a preparation for marriage, so I spoke with Cris about courtship and he agreed that he would be interested in pursuing a relationship with Aly to see if God would have them to marry one another in the future. Well, that was about 14-15 months ago. They have grown closer together and have felt that God brought them together to be life partners. After meeting with me last week and asking for my permission and blessing, Cris wanted to propose at The Ridge on Sunday, because this is where their courtship began and where they first began to fall in love. I asked if he was sure that he wanted to do that in front of the whole church and he said yes, because that is a special place to both of them.
Well, coordinating this and trying to figure out how to make it happen and keep it a surprise were a little challenging, but we came up with the plan and that’s what brought us to this past Sunday morning. We had asked Aly to come home this weekend because we were trying to get some family pictures done. She had come home thinking that Cris would be back at Toccoa Falls. When Cris walked out, needless to say, Aly was shocked. She had no idea that he had driven down from TFC along with her roomate and his sister and had snuck in the back door and was waiting backstage.
I walked off the stage to “get my prop” for her to hold for this special announcement. Little did she know what that “prop” was! 🙂 That was when Cris asked her to marry him. The whole church was as shocked as she was! We had even surprised Cris by telling him that his parents had snuck in the back of our worship service and were there. He had no idea they were coming. So there was a lot of coordinating and a lot of surprises all around. Both sets of parents came up and we had a prayer of blessing over them before dismissing the gathering. So that’s the story!
I don’t think anyone even remembers anything about the sermon though. 🙂