Yesterday was a special Sunday. A couple times a year we step back and talk about our original vision we set out towards 13 years ago in a basement classroom: the vision of becoming an "Antiochan" church.
I've had several thoughts bumping around my head since then…
- The church at Antioch — Here are several facts about the ORIGINAL Antiochan church (of Acts 11:19-30) that I had to leave on the cutting room floor yesterday:
- Near modern Antakya, Turkey
- On the Orontes River & surrounded by mountains
- 12 miles from Syria & 14 miles from Mediterranean Sea
- Founded in 300 BC by a general of Alexander the Great
- Conquered in 64 BC by Rome
- A communications & commercial hub
- A center of Greek culture
- A place of tolerance to Jews
- The 3rd largest city in Roman empire
- Christianity in 40 AD arrived via Jerusalem refugees
- The church "ON" Antioch — I forgot to mention the irony that — after starting out wanting to become like the church AT Antioch — we ended up purchasing property ON Antioch Street. That's SO God…
- CNN Sunday Morning — If you were in 1st service, you saw someone pushed the wrong button in our tech booth, and this strange man appeared on our screens. That was CNN. 🙂
- 83 Years Old!!! — Now, don't get me wrong…EVERY baptism is way cool. But seeing Mick Sullivan baptized yesterday was off the chart! Mick gave his life to Jesus 2 years ago when he was 81. Then at 83, his neighbor encouraged him to start reading the Bible. So he did. He started reading the stories of Jesus in the gospels. And, because of that, he felt prompted by God's spirit to be baptised. AH-MAY-ZING!
- Holy Land Report — Ben & I had a blast updating the church on what God was doing among the various people groups in the Holy Land. Keep them all in prayer! (They asked specifically for it.) And you can check out more about Seeds of Hope here.
- Beyond — The next weeks & months at Grace church are all about having an "Acts 1:8 heart transplant," surrendering our hearts to the heart of Christ:
- Beyond Ourselves — Reaching our "Jerusalem" (our own city)
- Beyond our Community — Reaching our "Judea & Samaria" (greater KC area)
- Beyond Borders — Reaching the "end of the earth" (unreached people groups)
- Acts 1:8 — If you're interested about the "heart transplant" verse we're talking about its:
- "But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth."
Chuck Norris is Everywhere— I will say that one of the funniest moments Ben & I had while touring the ancient streets of
Old Jerusalem was coming across a boy with a a T-Shirt of Chuck Norris'
Next week, we dive into more about how we can get involved with what GOD is doing "Beyond"…