This weekend review is much different than normal for me, but for me it’s different in a very good way! I’m recovering from Saturday’s Mission:Run, and although I’m sore, I’m still feeling the excitement of it all! My plan was to run from Poplar Bluff to Liberty Hill in order to raise funds for our family mission trip to Honduras, and with God’s help and the support of outstanding people, I did it! I left Poplar Bluff shortly after 8:00 AM, and stepped onto the Liberty Hill parking lot 5 and a half hours later. From start to finish, I was supported, encouraged, and ultimately surrounded by such a great group of people! With their encouragement, there was no way I was going to quit! I am overwhelmed by all of the kind words and support I have received. But this was not my run, this was our run, just as the mission trip will be our trip, and not mine. Being a part of the body of Christ means that we are connected together, and that means whether we weep or rejoice, we do so together. We use our different gifts and different roles to together accomplish God’s purpose. He accomplishes His plans through the many, not the one, and this upcoming short-term mission trip is a good example of this concept. Together, we are going to change someone’s eternity, and that’s something worth running for!

Moving on, Sunday gave us another great opportunity to come together and celebrate what God is doing at Liberty Hill, and above that, to simply celebrate who He is. Pastor Phil had the tough task of talking about a subject that most want to avoid: hell. In his message, “Is Hell Real,” Phil pointed out that if we accept heaven as a reality, it is just as logical to believe that there is an alternative. Hell is not what God desires for any human being, but it is a required consequence for a life that chooses to reject God. We are eternal beings, and the ultimate question for us is where will we spend that eternity? Hell is the one place where there will be no presence of God, and so will be the one place for those who have chosen to avoid Him. It is the goodness of God that provides us with a saving grace, an unearned means of spending eternity with God. Through Christ, our lives do not have to be spent in dread of hell, but rather in celebration of life and in what is to come. For the Christian, the best is always yet to come!

Grace Received,                                                                                      Pastor Joe