I love the atmosphere - the feeling of anticipation... the joy of singing songs of celebration led by our Worship Team at FFM. I love the overwhelming presence of the Holy Spirit that fills the room... I love knowing that it's not just Erin... or it' not just Mike that have a story of Redemption.
I love knowing that this thing called REDEMPTION is for ANYONE!!
Already, I have more ideas in the works for future redemption stories, and I'll let you know when they start. In the meantime, let me tell you about the real Mike and Rachel. I read these words before introducing them yesterday:
"A pearl is the symbol for purity and innocence. They are beautiful and rare – and not easily broken. Its value is great and many seek to possess them. This is who Rachel is. Her real name is one that means “pearl” and in her life we’ve seen the rare beauty of a woman who saw the value of innocence and purity. Like a pearl, she proved to be unbreakable. She knew her worth and for that, she held fast. In the end, her value to her husband became priceless, for had she wavered in the face of temptation, I firmly believe we would not be celebrating their lives today.
Mike in this story was searching for power and might. Should it be any surprise that the answer was given to him each time someone called his name? God is my strength! God is my might! This is the meaning of the name his parent’s gave him on the day he was born. And though it took years for him to discover where to find true power and might, Mike now embraces the truth of where his strength comes from – it is found in the blood of Jesus!
I see it as an beautiful reminder to all of us each time we say their names. Now I invite you celebrate Mike's redemption with me! Please welcome Gabe and his precious pearl, Rita!"
His name is Gabe. Gabe Taylor.
He works the sound board at our church - and does a fabulous job with it! He and his wife, Rita, have been a part of FFM since before they were married and, yes, that is where Gabe got saved all those years ago. (The Doug in the story is Doug Schwartz - one of the elders) Gabe also runs the sound for the Schwartz Family - yes, he's Erin Eve's brother-in-law. (I promised their mother-in-law, Sandy, that I'd leave her family alone now!) :)
Gabe and Rita have two handsome little boys named Morgan and Owen. As a family, they are passionate about building relationships within their family. Gabe and Rita have made it their goal to get involved in their boys' lives - to spend quality time with them, to talk with them about anything and everything, in an effort to keep their boys from traveling down the same road Gabe had been on for so long.
Yesterday, Gabe's voice was full of passion as he spoke about the fact that one day every knee will bow before God. Rita also spoke and encouraged us to be people of integrity. (As soon as the video is uploaded, I'll link up so you can watch it!) After the service, the altar was flooded with people - some to be released from their own chains of bondage and some who are parent's, longing for their children to have a story of redemption to tell.
I'm excited as I watch people realizing through the stories of both Gabe and Erin that they are not alone.
There is redemption!
There is hope!
Peace can be found - no matter who we are or what we've done - through a relationship with Jesus!