Tonight was our final Merge meeting. Saturday night our team is heading out for Chicago...a direct flight so all should be smooth in the way of travel. :-)
Steve and Sara Novak did the lessons tonight on "Your Story" and "God's Story." In a nut shell, who is God and what did he do for us? God sent his son Jesus, as a human sacrifice to bridge the gap between us and God by dying on the cross paying the price for our sin. Because of Jesus' sacrifice we don't have to pay a price. We don't have to earn merit, pray a ton, read our bibles every day, do a bunch of good works to try and earn our way to heaven or a better place "enlightenment." Some of those things are GOOD, but not necessary to get to heaven. We need to recognize that the price has been paid IN FULL and ask for forgiveness for our sins that we can engage in a personal relationship with God. It's not a high mucky heirarchy of people you have to work through or go through, just a recognition that God is who he says he is and that Jesus is his son and he paid the price for our sins so we could be connected to God...back in the love relationship he always intended us to have with him. God LONGS for us to have a relationship with Him!! God is crazy in love with us, messy lives and all. I don't get it in my little finite mind, but I know it is true b/c of the bible and have experienced his love and grace poured out over my life time and time again. If you've never experienced it, you're missing out!! God is CRAZY IN LOVE with YOU!!!
So that wasn't such a nut shell version, but I don't think we are reminded often enough of how deep God's love is for us and the incredible relationship we can have with him.
All that to say...God loves us, our meeting went well, and I am pumped about this upcoming trip. I'm excited to get to spend time with this group of teens and leaders. I'm excited to see how God is going to move and work in these student's lives and my own. For those of you praying for us, please pray for wide open teachable hearts...me included. There is a lot of great content that will be given and it can sometimes get bogged down with the fullness of the week. I'll try to update my blog when I get back. This next transition is going to be a quick one...24 hour change over before I head out to Africa. More on that later! See you SOON James and Ella!