This year in Seattle, WA there was an enormous Easter church service held at a sports stadium. God is doing great things in what was once the most "unchurched" city in America. I have a few ties to that city. I married a man that grew up near Seattle. He and I spent 3 years living in the Pacific Northwest. Our first son was born and died in Federal Way, WA. My husband's only sister lives in Seattle and last year she began attending Mars hill down town campus church. Since then, I have been actively following sermons, events and the work being done in and through this church. God has done an incredible work in my sister in law and he used this loving, bold, truth speaking body of believers to breath life and faith into her. Needless to say , I'm a fan.
I conspired, wished and dreamed of attending this event with her but alas it was not to be. Maybe another year. Fortunately for us we can watch it online. If you're curious about who Jesus is and what all the fuss is about 2000 years later...or if you just want to be encouraged by around 18,000 other Christ followers celebrating Easter Sunday take a look. It's pretty sweet. Click on the link above.
The first part of the video shows a little clip of some kids talking about Easter. After that the singing, sermon and nearly 700 baptisms begins. I loved the old school music! Don't miss the "resurrection/baptism" party at the end.
I can't post about this service without also bragging about my dear bsff ( "Best sister friend forever" I know that's totally cheesy but it's kind of our inside joke...well not so much "inside" anymore). She is one of my very dearest friends as well as a sister. I am so blessed to have her in my life.
If you watch three row up behind the drummer ,in the golden robed choir, you might catch a glimpse of her.
There is a moment that absolutely made me cry...and I'm not a crier.
"How Great Thou Art" transitions into "How Great is Our God" (quite possibly two of my fav. songs) and you can see my sister with her hand raised belting it out, knowing and believing every word she is singing.
Our God is great!
It is a painful, tragic and stunningly beautiful redemptive story that God continues to write in her life. I mentioned our long lost sister here briefly before when she spent a few weeks with us last July. God brought her into our lives 2 1/2 years ago after more than 2 decades of no contact. My husband hadn't seen her since they were children, and I had never met her. To know where she came from, what God brought her through and where she is standing now...in this video....leaves me speechless. I can't help but share with you one of the dearest people in my life.
I am looking forward to spending another month this summer with her and her adorably goofy son. We have so much fun together! She is hilarious.
She is an inspiration to me and one of the most genuine people I've ever known. A beautiful example of extreme forgiveness, grace in the midst of persecution, and unselfish love even towards those who could not show her love in return. She exudes a quiet trust that God is her defender, her Father and her partner.
She lives an inner city life as a single mama. She spent most of her life without a family (which makes me wish we didn't live 1000 miles away!). Her own life is still not easy , but she is a blessing to all those who know her. Her apartment is always open to those in need, she usually has a few extra kids around, she has been a surrogate mom to abandoned babies, and she sews quilts for prostitutes...just to brag on her a little. She will be embarrassed. She is learning, growing, and passionate about her new faith in Jesus. You really can't even shut her up about it...she'll tell anyone she can how much Christ has done for her.
My blog friends, TODAY is her birthday. She will be celebrating it by riding city buses with her son, being a mama, plugging coins into a machine at the laundry mat, and getting ready for her son's big birthday party tomorrow. This special lady's birthday may just come and go like any other day. I wish so badly that we could spoil her, make her a cake and have a big old family party...but she's there and her family is here. She does have a lot of really great friends in Seattle and a fantastic church family.
If you have a minute pop on over to her knew blog "We are more than" browse a little, follow, and wish her a happy birthday.
I love her title "We are more than.."
Maybe you've heard that song from 10th Avenue North "You are more than" ?
She is so much more than...
Brook, you are a beautiful woman, a beloved daughter of the most high God, a warrior mama, and a faithful servant of Christ. (even if you're sink is always full of dirty dishes)
Today we celebrate you and all that you are in the eyes of God!