Wednesday, January 19, 2011

A Baptism Story

Last Wednesday evening we had an impromptu baptism service after the teaching. I wanted to share with you this email that came in afterward:

For two years God has been encouraging me to be baptized. I would always say next time there is a night for baptism, I’m going to do it. Then the night would come and go and I’d make another excuse.

Last night Pastor Mark spoke on Luke 3, about John the Baptist and explained baptism in a new way which really convicted me. He explained baptism is a covenant between me and Christ to recognize what He did for me. It is like wearing a wedding ring after become married to someone. It shows a commitment.

I was one of the 25 people who was baptized last (Wednesday) night and thank God He is so faithful and loving and patient with me. I want to be obedient to everything He has for my life.

–from Susan B.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

A Wonderful Testimony

I wanted to share with you a great letter that came in to the testimony of God's grace:

November 10, 2010

Dear Pastor Mark,

Hello, my name is Ann Marie and I’ve been attending Calvary for a little less than a year. I love it! I truly enjoy listening to you and the other pastors teach. You all have a wonderful way of helping me personally understand the Bible and get to know as well as stay in touch with Jesus Christ, our Lord! Amen! ☺ Thank you.

My reason for this letter is just to share a wonderful short story with you involving the amazing staff at Calvary.

On November 8, Monday, I rode my daughter’s bike from my home to the church to volunteer for the clean team. I (naively thinking) put the bike unlocked behind a pillar in front of the atrium on the west side. It was early; I figured it would be fine. When I finished cleaning, I found the bike had been stolen and a few people heard of the news. I then walked home with a heavy heart not knowing how I’d break it to my 11-year old little girl.

I decided not to tell her right away (thankfully because) the next day, Tuesday, November 9, was the potluck for the last day of the study of Ruth. As I stood in line talking with a friend, one of the staff (Lynn) came and said, “We found your bike!” She grabbed me by the hand and escorted me to the kitchen where to my great surprise was a BRAND NEW beautiful girl’s bike…with a lock. I said, “On, no, Lynn, that’s not mine, mine was old.”

She says to me, “No, honey. That’s your bike.”

When I realized what was happening, I began to cry. Happy tears, of course, and hugged and thanked everyone around.

Now that’s a pretty sweet story, right? Well, I’m not done! ☺ It gets better.

So I leave the bike and make plans to retrieve it the following morning when I come in. So, Wednesday (today), November 10, I go to the church and clean and when I’m done I find Lynn so I can get the bike. She takes me to the garage and there’s not just the one girl’s bike but TWO bikes. An adult one and a children’s bike. Whoever it was passed the message that they were both for me so I didn’t have to ride my daughter’s anymore. I was shocked to say the least and ever so thankful!

I guess I just wanted to share with you because you’re always reminding us that God works through others and I got to see that right there at church. Furthermore, its an opportunity from God for me to show my young daughter how He surrounds us and will provide. Things are hard right now and this couldn’t have come at a better time.

I wanted to share with you because I know you’re super busy and don’t always get to hear all the wonderful things the staff truly does. They’re all so wonderful.

Thank you, Pastor Mark, for all you are and all you do. You’re a true inspiration and all who attend Calvary are blessed to have you as their pastor. Please tell Leslie hello. I just love her!

God bless you and your family!

Ann Marie and Haley Rose