ACTS 1:8 – A Former LH Member Reflects
Memphis and Long Island are polar opposites geographically. The same is true for their culture and people. We have lived on Long Island almost 3 years now, but the discipleship, growth and maturity we received from God through Living Hope for 7 years, remains. It has guided us, even in this very different place. A particular sermon series Gib did on Acts 1:8 “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” seems to encapsulate what we learned and still carry from our time at Living Hope. The main take away was: show up and engage.
Show up in your Jerusalem (immediate close community). For us this affected, for example, how we made decisions about where to purchase a home as we moved. Engaging with Lauchlin’s coworkers at his place of work; realistically and regularly; meant that we needed to live close. So we prayed and found a home 4 miles away. My main ministry there is showing up with yummy baked goods. It seems to be effective. Getting to know and serve our neighbors is also a part of engaging with our Jerusalem.
Our engagement in Jerusalem also (maybe most importantly) impacts the way we participate in our local church.
As a result of our time at Living Hope, we learned the importance and value of showing up to church on Sunday morning to remind our souls of the gospel and be refreshed by being with the body of Christ in worship.
LHC often acknowledges that it is only a portion of the Body, this has freed us up to see other churches as allies and not enemies. We also learned the necessity of showing up for Small Group and how in the struggle of engaging in community at a closer, more intimate level, there is great blessing and growth.
Showing up in your Judea (city of residence). LHC solidified our desire to be ‘for’ whatever city we live in. That means simple things such as going to our town parade on Memorial Day and participating in our local homeschool group. Being there and being Christ’s ambassadors. Samaria and to the ends of the earth (country and beyond) means we seek ways we can give generously with our time and finances to mission and ministry that serve our country and the world.
Paul said to Timothy in 2 Timothy 1:14 “Guard the good deposit that was entrusted to you- guard it with the help of the Holy Spirit who lives in us.” We have moved to Long Island but carry the deposit that God through LHC has given us, we are guarding it. Happy 10th Anniversary dear church! We love you and are going ‘further up and further in’, keep the faith!
– written by Mackenzi Groff (for Lauchlin, Jude, Priscila, Providence and Eden).