Category Archives: July 2021

Sock Dilemmas (Again)

Sock Dilemmas (Again)

I don’t know why socks are such a big thing at our house. They are literally EVERYWHERE like… all the time. I think my family walks in and slowly sheds a sock as they pass through the door, through the kitchen, down a hallway and into the living room. The simple trek is lined with dirty socks. Socks that have gotten wet, socks that stink, socks that have gotten dragged through the yard, socks that made someone’s feet too hot in the heat. I think they get shed for all sorts of reasons.

And their match is always missing. Does your household have a place for socks that have lost their match? I have a small bin on the folding table in my laundry area where socks go to hopefully one day be reunited with their match. Some socks have been in this bin for *shudder* years. But I leave them in there with the high hopes that some day, some how their match might appear. (Of course, as soon as I throw one away, the match always does appear!)

But oh that day! Oh that celebration! Oh that moment when a long-lost sockie appears and finds its match! It melts my heart in a deep move of satisfaction and enjoyment. I smile, I jump for joy, and happily fold the two socks together and return them to their rightful owner. Safe, secure, and happy.

If I can find such silly but real enjoyment in a lost sock restored to its partner, imagine the even greater joy, the unsurpassed life-changed-forever-and-eternal joy that God feels when one of his lost children finds HIM and is restored to HIM.

His pursuit of us has always been about a restored relationship that we were MADE for. We weren’t created to be separate from Him, but were created for eternal fellowship with a real God, a real Abba Father—a relationship unlike any other. Without Him, we are just a lost sock in a bin, completely missing our true and created purpose.

And the beautiful thing? It is He who is searching out us, waiting and anticipating that beautiful moment of restored joy.

Leah Carolan
Director of Worship & Media


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    The Return of the Visitors

    The Return  of the Visitors

    In the fall of 2019 a new couple walked through the church doors. They had kids about the same age as mine and I invited them to the Parenting Together class. It felt like a connection had been made. They seemed to recognize that connection was important to one’s faith. They never came to class but they did come back for a few weeks. Then, we never saw them again.

    Situations like these make me wonder if there was something we could have done differently as a church body. My article from last month’s newsletter on shouldering ministry failures flows from these types of encounters.

    Fast forward to earlier this year. This family walked through the door, again. Again, several people invited them to Parenting Together and they started coming and chose to dive into relationship with those in class. I was blown away by this change in behavior.

    Currently, they are in the Saturate Leadership class where

    they are doing life together with others in our church body. This Saturate class teaches how to live out life (eating, celebrating, resting, and blessing) with others while doing ministry all along.

    My husband and I have the privilege of getting to know this couple. And our kids are thrilled to have new friends to play with. We are continuing on our sanctification journey alongside this family, as we try to live out our faith in this world.

    God knows the big picture and He is restoring all things.

    Lindsey Ungs
    Connection & Communication Architect

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      Celebrate Beauty

      Celebrate Beauty

      Last week Mary showed me a video of the singer Nightbirde. The singer told about her recent struggles with cancer and then she shared an original song, “It’s Okay,” about her experience. As I watched her sing, tears welled up in me. Her beautiful voice and authentic performance struck a chord. It was beautiful.

      This is not the first time I’ve cried while enjoying a performance, or reading a book, or watching a movie. (Or a commercial.) I used to think that my tears were in response to sadness. But I’m starting to wonder if they are more likely tears of joy and hope.

      The writer Alain de Botton noted, “The moment we cry in a film is not when things are sad but when they turn out to be more beautiful than we expected them to be.” Alain is on to something.

      We are the kind of people who believe that God fixes broken things. When God sets right what is wrong we call that restoration. We believe in restoration. We pray for restoration. We fight for restoration. We celebrate restoration.

      Ecclesiastes 3:1 says, “God makes all things beautiful in his time.” When I see something ugly or painful or damaged become more beautiful than I expected – it makes me cry. Tears of joy and hope.

      The theologian Cornelius Plantinga wrote a book about sin entitled Not the Way It’s Supposed to Be. The world is not supposed to be ugly or painful or damaged – it is supposed to be beautiful. We are the kind of people who celebrate every time God makes the world a better place.

      Here is the video of Nightbirde if you want to celebrate with me!

      Celebrating the beauty of restoration,

      Kent Landhuis
      Pastor of Teaching & Leadership

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