Tomorrow I will head back to ATL for a few days highlighted by my youngest daughter's wedding. It is a most wonderful time for me as I also get to teach Sunday at Campus, lead a meeting Monday and see Logan's first baseball game of the year. Many blessings but much work to get to this point.
That verse of scripture "work out your salvation with fear and trembling" certainly comes to mind for me as I think about the events of the next few days. The first thought is how hard it is to behave like a Christian after so many years as an outsider heading down an opposite path. One can really love the Lord, be totally thankful and still have a hard time keeping it between the lines on a daily basis. I tremble some times at points when I should be stronger. But it is that trembling that makes me rely on Him to make me stronger.
Coming home again allows me to be surrounded by people who care for me and have loved me for a good while. It lessens the fear of facing the tasks of daily temptation as I think about how I must be strong for my blood family, church family and friends. There have been many days in these past few months of being away when I have longed for these days that are to come, watching my family grow, prosper, and love each other.
And then there is watching something else that is like a child to me, the ATB ministry grow and prosper without me. It is indeed an honor to serve the Lord but even greater to know that you followed His directions. His directions make it more about Him as time goes on and less about me. To hear the joy from last week's lesson taught by a man in grief for the loss of his wife, who courageously has served the Lord for over four decades gave me goosebumps thinking of the love and emotion in that room Sunday.
We have an incredible group of folks at ATB, I am blessed with a wonderful family at home and at Campus, and I always need to remember that if I don't work out my salvation, nothing usually works out. But if I do, it is amazing how God works out the rest of life. In the Aramaic Bible translated into plain English, the words come out "with awe and with trembling, do the service of your life." That is what I have tried to do even though the work has not been easy.
But you know what they say, "no pain, no gain." Coming home again with much joy and satisfaction in my heart!
Glenn is an ex-Marine Viet Nam vet who is also a recovering alcoholic, clean and sober for 30 years. He has been involved in start up and ongoing recovery ministry at North Atlanta Church and Campus for the last two decades. He has a passion for outreach and to spread the message that the answer to lasting and fulfilling recovery from addiction is in a relationship with Jesus Christ. He and the ATB team are available to assist in your questions or needs on an individual basis and will do so maintaining complete confidentiality. You may e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.