Monday, May 16, 2011

Spotlight: Unifour, NC

We enjoyed a wonderful weekend in areas of the Catawba Valley. Unifour covers 4 counties in North Carolina. Hickory in Catawba County is the largest city.

Providentially, David Fredrickson and Steve Crosby scheduled separate events in the region. Steve and I connected with friends associated with New Beginnings Church in Hildebran, NC, and met others who are on a similar journey.

On Saturday one couple hosted a cookout and fellowship at their home in Valdese (Burke County). My wife and I continue to marvel how we can meet people for the first time and enjoy such rich connections because of our union with Jesus Christ. This includes deep spiritual discussion, but also a lot of laughter… simply enjoying one another’s company. There was no question in our minds that we were among “kindred spirits”.

On Sunday morning, Steve and I tag-teamed a message on New Covenant Grace. Some of the highlights from Steve’s portion:

All too often in our church circles we communicate to people: “come and agree” instead of “taste and see”. If we are in Christ, people should able to “take a bite out of us and find the goodness of God”

Light in us must become life in us before it becomes light through us to become life for someone else. Very often we try to “push light” on people before God works that truth in us. Obviously this does not serve those around us.

Too many of us have a concept of grace rather than a life of grace

One of Steve’s great examples is the process of making coffee. He likens coffee grounds to biblical truth. If those grounds are not processed through heat and water, they will not be fit to serve to others. Similarly, unless that truth of God is processed through us, in the midst of brokenness and trials all we will offer people is very unpalatable “coffee grounds”.

He also spoke of the “grace meter”, our temptation to “measure” the reality of grace in other people’s lives. Steve posed the question, “why is someone else hypocritical while I’m simply misunderstood?

We appreciate the invitation of Paul David Kurts, the pastor who leads New Beginnings. He is a rare leader who has overcome a strong legalistic background and now swims in grace, and helps to lead others to freedom in Christ.

Like everywhere else around the world, the Lord is connecting members of his family in the Unifour region for his glory.

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