June 17, 2010

Living From the Voice

by Nathan Edwardson, Lead Pastor

In the Gospel of Luke, one of the most significant stories is the baptism of Jesus. In fact, I believe this profound moment in Jesus’ life sets the stage for the rest of the story.

One day when the crowds were being baptized, Jesus himself was baptized. As Jesus was praying, the heavens opened, and the Holy Spirit, in bodily form, descended on him like a dove. And a voice from heaven said, “You are my dearly loved Son, and you bring me great joy.”
Luke 3.21, 22

While Jesus is baptized, the heavens are ripped open, the Holy Spirit comes upon His life, and the Father speaks, “You are my dearly loved Son.” Before Jesus does anything great, before He walks on water, before He calms the storm, before the crowds surround Him, before He drives our demons, before He heals the sick, before He raises the dead, and before Jesus does any great miracles, His Father speaks with great passion, “You are my dearly loved Son, and you bring me great joy.”

The Father loves Jesus, not because of what He has done, but because of who He is. Before Jesus has done anything great, He is enveloped in His Father’s love. Jesus is loved. Knowing this deep love, Jesus lives FROM the love of His Father. As Jesus lives out the call on His life, He is consumed with His Father’s love. Jesus lives FROM the love of His Father. Jesus has nothing to prove. Jesus is not living for His Father’s affection. Jesus is loved first. The Father is pleased. And from that place, Jesus lives to please His Father.

Through the years, I have found that many Christians are living FOR the voice of Father, and not FROM the voice of Father. So many Christians are working and striving FOR Father’s love, rather than enjoying and living FROM Father’s love. In these weeks to come, as we follow Jesus as a community through the Gospel of Luke, my prayer is this: may we encounter His love. May we know God’s burning love for us. May we know God’s jealous love for us. As Paul writes in Ephesians 3:18, “may we understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep His love is.” We are loved.

June 15, 2010

Community Spotlight: We Love Ethiopia

by Nicole Garbutt

We love Jesus. We love kids. We love t-shirts. And the Borgics love Ethiopia. It’s a perfect match!

You may have noticed several people wearing “Love Ethiopia” shirts lately (or maybe carrying a nifty reusable bag). You can thank Andrew and Rosetta Borgic for that. The Borgics have been part of the Stirring community since before it became it’s own church and were even a part of the Sunday morning church plant.

This last December, God gave them His dream for adoption. With two kids already, Myra and Liam, their hearts turned towards the children of Ethiopia, and they haven’t looked back.

Since then, they have selected an adoption agency, completed the formal application, finished their home study (they passed!) and are now working on the paperwork that will be sent to both the US and Ethiopian governments. From there, they wait to be matched up with the two children God has for them. They hope to have the paperwork submitted to both governments in 4-6 weeks. After that, it could take anywhere from a year to eighteen months to actually bring their children home. Of course the prayer is that this time next year, their babies will be here in the states with them.

Where do the shirts come in, you ask.

Between brilliant ideas and talented friends, Andrew and Rosetta decided to sell shirts and shopping bags to cover some of the adoption fees. I must say, the shirts do look pretty good on us Stirring peeps.

This Sunday, June 20th, shirts and reusable grocery bags will be available for purchase at all three services. Shirts cost $20 and a bag costs $10. All of the money raised goes straight to the costs of the adoption. The following Sunday, June 27th, is “Wear Your ‘Love Ethiopia’ Shirt Day.”

So, come on out and grab a shirt (or 2 or 3) and let’s inspire the Borgics with our support!