I know that some people are gearing up for another Super Sunday this coming weekend, but I had my own a week early: a Super Spiritual Sunday!
This past Sunday morning, our youth pastor filled in for our regular pastor, who was on sabbatical this month, and involved the teenagers in the service. Our youth praise team, Praz B2 God, performed a moving liturgical dance to “We Are the Body” by Casting Crowns (I hope to provide a link to the video of the performance as soon as it appears on our church’s website). Then, in the Children’s Sermon, they explained to the little ones what it meant to take part in Harvest of Hope, a mission trip which helps to glean fields and provide food for the hungry. They also led two responsive readings, which were so meaningful in their simplicity. I was so impressed by the teenagers' sincerity, faith, and obedience, and I prayed that my little ones would become youth like these.
Our youth pastor’s sermon dealt with what it means to be under the influence of the Holy Spirit. If we are under the influence of the Spirit, We do not think more highly of ourselves than we ought. We recognize that we have been given gifts for the common good. We do something with those gifts. She then ended with the thought-provoking question: “How can I be the body of Christ today?”
Our youth pastor also announced that Candace Cameron Bure (“D. J.” of Full House fame) would be speaking at another local church that afternoon. I had heard that she would be speaking and had wanted to attend but forgot that the appearance was coming up this soon.
My sweet in-laws, who were visiting for the weekend, purchased tickets for me and my husband and offered to keep the children so that we could go see Candace! I was so excited!
I was not disappointed. Candace was down-to-earth and impressed both me and my husband with her sincerity. Her testimony was wonderful and included information about her life during Full House, her early days as a Christian, and how her brother Kirk helped her along the Christian road with the books Left Behind and The Way of the Master. Most moving to me, though, was her story of being a stay-at-home-mom.
She told of receiving a part-time opportunity that, at one time, she would have jumped at. She said that she struggled with understanding whether this was a blessing from God for her faithfulness in staying home or a test. She ultimately decided to forego the opportunity. Her decision was based on the question, “What would please God on Judgment Day?” She asked herself, “Would God say to you, ‘Candace, I’m so proud that you accepted a job that took you away from your children and husband. I’m so proud that you made more money and added a credit to your resume.’?” She then realized that, for her, her greatest work for God was at home.
In November I had struggled with a part-time job offer that came out of the blue. After talking with my husband and praying over the matter, I declined. On the heels of my refusal, came another part-time teaching position. I, too, wondered, “God, are you trying to tell me that I should be teaching, or is this a test of my obedience?” Candace’s testimony struck such a chord with me, and confirmed for me that I had made the right decision for my family in declining both opportunities.
Candace went on to tell another moving story about her baptism and then concluded her testimony with a reading of the Ten Commandments to confirm that we are,indeed, all sinners and in need of God’s grace through Christ’s sacrifice on the cross.
After her testimony, Candace signed autographs, and we were one of the first ones in line. The ushers announced that Candace would be available for photographs only after all autographs were signed. We waited around for an hour or so, and I noticed that Candace really and truly gave her full attention to each person in line. Once the autographs were all signed, everyone moved into the sanctuary for pictures. Candace picked my husband and me out, pointed to us, and said, “You have been waiting so long!”
If you ever get the chance to see Candace in person, I would urge you to do so. In the meantime, visit her website, and an interview with her from Christian Women Online Magazine.
A former high-school English teacher for nine years, I am now a stay-at-home-mom to two children--DD, 7, and DS, 5. We are entering our fourth year of homeschooling and are looking forward to this year's adventure.