Friday, October 27 is the 40th Day in our church's "40 Days of Purpose" campaign. Together, about 500 members have read the 40 chapters of Rick Warren's book, The Purpose-Driven Life. Over 700 people have participated in Sunday school classes as we have discussed it. We have had 38 people join the church in the 40 days, including 15 by baptism, and we expect two more to be baptized on Sunday, which will make it 40 new members in 40 days!
I have received lots of testimonies. A lady has found her ministry as a cancer survivor helping other people with cancer. Another has found it in ministering to children with disabilities. A lady shared the book with a stranger on a cruise. I was able to share it on an airplane flight. This Sunday these and other stories will be shared in our Homecoming and Celebration Sunday. Let me share just one full testimony from a new church member:
"Day 14 was meant for me! I have been going through one of the
toughest times of my life and I have not thanked God at all during
this time. I do realize after reading Day 14's devotion that I
need to thank God for this trial, suffering and painful time in my
life. There is a message and purpose behind it. I do honestly
see that and realize it. There is much to be learned during a painful time
in your life.....one, appreciate what you have, not what you have
lost. The most beneficial thing I can take from this is God knows what he
is doing. I guess the hardest lesson to learn is he is never a million
miles away, that I have been the one who has become distant...
Yet, GOD is not going away quietly.......Last Saturday two friends of mine had
me meet them for breakfast in Savannah before I went to work. They pretty
much said be there or we will drag you kicking and screaming. So, I
went! WHO SITS down two tables from us...our church Secretary Ms.
Carol. At this point I am saying OK GOD, I hear you. Then I see
people in traffic that I do not know.....but know they go to our church.
OK GOD, I am still hearing you. I also listen to HIS radio daily in
my car to and from work. I like the music and I really like that Daniel
can sing along and not have to worry about the lyrics. Today, not once,
but twice........I heard you advertising some singing groups that are going to
be at church Sat. night. AGAIN, OK GOD, I can no longer say you don't talk
to me. There have also been several little messages on HIS Radio this
week that I feel were meant for me to listen to.......and I mean listen
to. So tonight....I am going to get on my knees and say take the
wheel GOD! Right now my driving record is a little reckless and
lacks direction. After reading Day 14's devotion I know what I have to
do.....only I can change my direction and that can not be done without me
allowing GOD to help guide me. NOW, I will not make dinner tomorrow night,
but I will be in church on Sunday. I am going to have make it without
working on Sunday. MY SON needs church as much as I do right now.
The 40 days message may have been just what some people in our church
needed....just so happens that I am one of those people...."