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|Jennifer Shaw Ministries ||September, 2013 || |
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We've had a very exciting and incredibly busy summer having been in eleven US states in the Midwest and northeast and also to two Canadian provinces. I've done events in little country churches and big city churches and everywhere in between this summer and it's been wonderful to see God's people in action. And, my favorite part, I've gotten to do it all with my family! We also worked in a healthy amount of time just to look around, and it's pretty amazing what you can discover.
You can check out where we went on my blog - we've included plenty of pictures as well (if you ever want the picture to be larger, just click on it). We're starting the planning for a similar trip next summer, but this time out west, so if you have thoughts for us of churches or organizations in any of the western states, let us know!
For those of you who might have missed it this summer, you can also check out our amazing trip to the Dominican Republic this spring with World Vision. We were so encouraged to see all they have accomplished and also to meet one of our sponsored children, Melandia, in person. I am so blessed to be a part of their work! If you would like to change the life of a child through sponsorship, you can do that here.
Our little video for special needs families just keeps going - we are up past 34,000 views now on Youtube and are still hearing from so many families! We'd love to have you share it with the people in your life who need some encouragement. You can find that here.
Coming up, I have a relatively quiet fall and then a crazy winter and spring. We are still booking events for next year, so let us know if we can serve you in any way. Also, please let us know how you're doing - we love to pray with you and we love hearing from you!
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Last weekend, my husband Nathan and I attended a wedding. The groom was a young man from our church named Nate whom I had directed in many VBS plays. I really love Nate and his heart. After he graduated college, though, we kind of lost track, and I hadn't seen him in a couple of years. I had never met his fiancee and I was looking forward to seeing her for the first time!
The wedding was beautiful and clearly planned so that Nate would not see his bride until she was standing at the top of the aisle. I was torn! It would be my first glimpse of her too and I wanted to see what she looked like, but my favorite thing at weddings is actually to watch the groom when the bride is walking down the aisle. It's one of the few times you can really catch a guy's true emotions because they are usually written all over his face. It's very touching.
So I chose to watch Nate. He's a manly guy, and he doesn't show a lot of emotion (unless I'm telling him to in a play!) and yet, I knew the exact moment when his bride stepped into the doorway. The look on his face captured so many things - love, joy, longing, pride, and a sense of, "At last!" Here it was, the day was finally here, and she was walking toward him, ready to start their forever.
As I watched Nate, I had a thought that has never occurred to me before. I know that we as Christ's Church, people who follow Him, are called the bride of Christ, and that we will be gathered to Him when He comes again. Suddenly, I wondered, if Christ is the groom, will He be looking at us like that? Is He really waiting with that kind of anticipation, longing for the day when we will be united for eternity? Does He really love us like that? Will He look on His church with all that love and longing and pride and say, "At last! Here you are, and we can be together now at last!" I think so. And that thought takes my breath away.
Psalm 8:1a, 3-4
Lord, our Lord,
how majestic is your name in all the earth!
When I consider your heavens,
the work of your fingers,
the moon and the stars,
which you have set in place,
what is mankind that you are mindful of them,
human beings that you care for them?
And yet, the Bible describes us as His bride. Not someone He's willing to reluctantly admit into His company if we meet a series of demands, but His bride. Someone He cares deeply for. Someone He loves and longs to be with. How can that be? And yet it is. 1 John 3:1 says "See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!
I know I can hardly wait to be with Christ, but it's astounding to think that He might also feel that way about me. And about you. About all of us. Praise God, only He can have that kind of love!
Continue reading on Jennifer's blog...
| |About Jennifer Shaw Music
Jennifer Shaw is a speaker, author, singer, songwriter and worship leader. Her ministry has been featured by Focus on the Family, Insight for Living, FamilyLife Today, Autism Speaks, Joni and Friends, and many more. Her new book, Life Not Typical: How Special Needs Parenting Changed My Faith and My Song, has brought national attention to the issue of Sensory Processing Disorder. After being classically-trained as an opera singer at the prestigious Manhattan School of Music, Jennifer became a professor of music at Cedarville University before she felt led into her current role as a contemporary worship leader. Her testimony includes tragedy and triumph, being the parent of a special needs child, and losing her father to Lou Gehrig's disease. With the release of her fourth album, Someday, her songs, including five singles on Billboard's Top 40, offer hope in any circumstance and also reflect her recent experiences on the mission field in Asia, Africa, Central America and the UK.
Jennifer Shaw Music
P.O. Box 340773
Columbus, Ohio 43234