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Being Sent

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It’s spring break 2017 for Noblesville Schools and a group of 22 have headed south to New Orleans from White River to serve on the mission field with Crossroads Missions. This is the 13th group from the church to visit NOLA and about half of the group are making a return visit to the Crescent City.

As has become a part of the tradition of the trip, the group stopped in the Jackson, Mississippi area on Saturday night to worship with The Bridge Church. The Bridge is led by husband and wife pastors Jamane and Alecia Williams. This group of worshippers have embraced the WRCC family and the church has become a second home After a home-cooked meal from members of the church, the WRCC crew loaded up and finished our journey to New Orleans. The trip was, thankfully, uneventful and we were able to go through orientation, visit a local restaurant and settle in for a night of rest heading into our first day in the field.

One of several people on their first mission trip is Arianna Doeden. She wasn’t sure what to expect on the trip, but has been pleasantly surprised at what she has experienced. “I was kind of nervous when we were leaving about coming down in the vans with all of these people, but it was super fun. We played games and chilled out,” Doeden said. “It was cool how the people at The Bridge invited us to join them like we were family with open arms, even though they don’t know many people from WRCC. Today, was kind of cool because we met the people we’re doing the work for and they were really thankful. They gave us sunscreen to make sure we didn’t get burned.”

Monday, our crew was split into three groups, with one group staying behind at Camp Hope, our home for the week. A second group went to a local park to begin construction on a very large deck and a third group visited a family in the upper ninth ward to begin a painting project.

“I was ready to go do something, but I was nervous because I’ve never been on a trip,” Carter Dubson said. “Overall, it’s been really fun. I wish we’d have gotten more done today, but we’ll get more done tomorrow and work really hard.”

One of those returning on the New Orleans trip is Hannah Thompson. She knew some of what to expect, but also had a goal in mind. “When we left Saturday, I was excited and ready to find a new experience out of the trip, since I’ve been on it before,” Thompson said. “What I thought was really cool was we went out and started to eat our lunch on the deck and the owner of the house, Evelyn, came out and started cleaning off the table and chairs so we could sit on them.”

There is more to come in the days in front and we’ll keep you up to date. Keep an eye on social media outlets and look for #WRCCNONA17.

Posted by Ross Wellman with

#greatestlovestory

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Love.  Most people’s thoughts on love sort of irk me. (I know that sounds ornery, but hear me out)  It would seem that we’ve come to base our belief about love on two major ideas; shows like the Bachelor (Again ornery, I am probably the only female on the planet who refuses to watch that show, but be my friend and hang on) and our feelings.  This should concern you because this lack of knowledge is destroying marriages, families, churches and communities.  Paul’s words in 1 Corinthians 13 reminds us that Christian love is different from worldly love.

If we are to become more and more like Jesus, who is the exact imprint of God, and less like our old nature, then 1 Corinthians 13 serves us well in that journey.  This passage might seem so common to some that it feels almost breezy.  But when we attempt to put these ideas into practice, it is anything but breezy.  In fact, this kind of love leads to a peculiar kind of death.  John 3:16 makes clear the death this kind of love demands.  “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only son…” This Holy love led a divine man to endure the ultimate suffering for the sake of others.  The suffering of Christ tore the veil and the love of God was no longer hidden. We meet this great love at the brutal cross.   The cross represents the self-sacrificing point at which Jesus laid everything down in bloody horror for our sake and here we are invited into community with him.  To enter his death is to enter his love. We will find no greater friendship than that of Jesus, but that friendship came at a cost.  “There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” I am sure that Jesus didn’t feel like loving us as he hung in agony while so many he came to save mocked and denied him.  But he made the choice to stay and love us into community with him.  And that is the greatest love story ever told.   I don’t see that kind of depth in the popular love of the day that is self-serving rather than self-sacrificing.

If we identify with Christ, then we cannot stop at simply receiving this love and move on unchanged.  Christ’s love begins a sanctifying work in our hearts and beckons us to begin to love others in the same way. The 1 Corinthians call to love is one that consistently dies to self for the sake of another.  This kind of love is patient when wronged, it is kind when insulted.  This kind of love celebrates another, instead of seeking attention for itself.  This love causes one to lay down his rights and standards for the benefit of another.   It’s a love that might not always “feel” easy but we love out of obedience despite the difficulty.

Jesus brought a paradigm shift to a very homogenous religion and taught that God’s love is so intense, so passionate, so consuming that it was never intended to be contained within one people but was meant to move through His people to transform the world.  The plan was for his love to reach every tribe, nation and tongue.  The plan was that His love would transcend all cultures, social class systems, and political associations.  That plan is still in place and it is this great love that is advancing His Kingdom.   Love is a powerful weapon but it is also a choice.  We can choose to love freely and wildly and allow that love to build God’s Kingdom or we can be stingy with our love by only loving those who agree with us or those who look like us and build our own kingdoms.  God gives you the choice.  But one of those kingdoms will crumble and one will remain.  What kingdom will your love build?  Let’s challenge each other to build wisely.

Blessings,

Tracy

Posted by Tracy Edwards with

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