Home is where the heart is

This morning I was reflecting on the region where I've grown up. I was born in Washington D.C. and for the majority of my years I have really lived in and around that city. However, my heart really lies north of that city. For the past 20+ years I've predominately lived in what is termed "western Maryland" - but that is really a mis-representation. I will not go into that, but essentially if you are not from around Baltimore, or the shore, than you are from "western Maryland". Don't get me started... :D Anyway, one day when I was flying back from a National Guard AT (2 week training), the C-130 we were flying in landed in Frederick, MD. My unit was 'nestled' in the mountain range near Ft. Ritchie (a now closed army post) in a very dilapitated 'compound' (6 of 8 buldings were condemned, and the remaining 2 were considered 'essential, so...). Anyway, I digress. The bus headed north out of Frederick and I was just struck by how much this region felt like home. Not just the Frederick area, but Braddock Mountain, South Mountain, the Cumberland Gap, the Shanendoah Valley... it is like God has wrapped His arms around me through this region. I have enjoyed studying the history (predominantly the Civil War history), and I have learned that the paternal part of my family tree can trace it's migratory routes initiating from Jamestown, VA throughout Virginia (including a lot of what is now West Virginia), down into Kentucky and Tennessee, but even closer to my bloodline on up through what is the eastern panhandle of WV, Cumberland, on into Ohio. I have had the pleasure of some travel (usually through the Guard), but this region is where God has helped me feel like I am at home - at least until I am called to my permenant home. How my mind drifted to this point this morning was that I was thinking and praying about a church plant that is about to take place in Frederick, MD. I had lived in that city for six years, and I distinctly remember feeling called to that city to help plant a church there. There are a lot of churches already there, but I felt that God really wanted to bring a Sovereign Grace church to that area. S.G. ministries really has a heart for sharing the gospel, extolling Biblicval principles, and developing local churches. Well, two years ago I was still struglling to get more deeply involved with my church. My family was just too far away (at the time we were driving to Gaithersburg, MD - a 35 min. drive each way - for corporate meetings) and I wanted my children to be involved with me. I could not afford moving closer to the church - as anyone who lives in Montgomery County knows, housing is expensive. So I prayed about it and one thing led to another and I moved my family to where we are today. We no longer attend a Sovereign Grace church, but I know God is using the church where we are at now to develop us into the image of His Son. I rejoiced when I learned that S.G. ministries would be planting a local church in Frederick, MD. C.J. Mahaney, Robin Boisvert, John Loftness, Joe Lee, Kenneth Maresco, Gary Riccuci, Grant Laymen, Bob Kauflin, and Chris Silard have been men that have had a deep impact upon my life. As a brand new Christian I remember being introduced to C.J. and I felt kind of ackward (he was at lunch with his family, sorry C.J. for the interuption), but he was very kind. Grant and Kenneth were men who discipled me early on. Gary was the one who baptised me (what an awesome day that was!). I was just getting to know Joe and Chris when I moved away. Bob's worship and preaching moved me in many ways, and not just emotionally. It did not matter which man preached on any given Sunday - there was always word for me. I doubt many of these men would know my name if I were to walk up to them out of the blue. Though I am sure I would be surprised that more than I would have expected would know my name - but it is not because of me, it was because they each took their job as a pastor seriously and were geniuenly intrested in those that God had brought to them. If any of these men were to read this I would want them to know how deeply greatful I am to them for what God has done through them in my life. I am the man, husband, father, and small group leader because of their faithfulness in being men of God and godly examples. I doubt they will ever read this humble little blog, but thank you very much - words cannot fully express my greatfulness. I believe God is well pleased in what they have done, are doing, and will be about in the future. Verse for today: Psalm 139:1-12, esv O Lord, you have searched me and known me! You know when I sit down and when I rise up; you discern my thoughts from afar. You search out my path and my lying down and are acquainted with all my ways. Even before a word is on my tongue, behold, O Lord, you know it altogether. You hem me in, behind and before, and lay your hand upon me. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is high; I cannot attain it. Where shall I go from your Spirit? Or where shall I flee from your presence? If I ascend to heaven, you are there! If I make my bed in Sheol, you are there! If I take the wings of the morning and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, even there your hand shall lead me, and your right hand shall hold me. If I say, “Surely the darkness shall cover me, and the light about me be night,” even the darkness is not dark to you; the night is bright as the day, for darkness is as light with you.

1 comment:

Bob said...

I still have a bit of an attachment to the DC area. My son that I lost in an auto accident was living in Edgewater MD. We donated his organs through the Washington Regional Transplant Consortium. We received letters from some of the recipents of his organs and still get a yearly newletter from the Consortium.

I pray that God continues to use you in your local Church...............Bob