Well I cannot say for certain that Rose doesn’t remember the anguish of our latest Gipplet’s birth, but his smile does begin to make it a distant memory. Ira Daniel Gipp was born on January 16th healthy, happy, well, healthy. He was supposed to be born in early/mid February, but God had different plans. Romans 8:28 was definitely in play during the week of his birth. Three days prior to Ira gracing this planet, another preemie-baby was born to a family in our church, Nevaeh Sydenham. Nevaeh was supposed to be born the same week as Ira in February. Both infants were roommates in the preemie unit for at least a week. The reason God did this was because the other father isn’t saved. This gave me time to “bond” with him over our babies and establish a relationship outside of the pulpit. I was able to be Nathan Gipp (‘nough said), not Pastor Gipp during those moments. All-in-all things went well and both babies have been in church since. Also, since then another newborn was added to our LCVBC family in late March, Miranda Tedder. Babies bring life to all ages in a church. What a blessing!!!
A special thanks goes out to my mother-in-law, Peggy Wolski, for coming to our aid during the month of February. Our church family provided us with meals for a couple of weeks until she came and then she did the rest. I love her dearly, but she makes it difficult to tell “mother-in-law jokes”, because she doesn’t fit the bill in any of them. It is a blessing to be married to your best friend, but also to like your in-laws. That isn’t always the case for most men.
Last year a man in my church walked into the Sunday service right off the street. He had been backslidden for 12 years. Well, like the prodigal, he “came to himself” and got right with God. Since then he has been through some trying times making him the witness that he is today. Because of his witness a number of people have gotten saved. This is the growth that I want to see in our church…inward then outward. The contacts he has through his state-based recovery group has led to Mel, Dan, Kiley, and Sam getting saved.
Often we preachers preach on being a witness to those around you at work, school, and play. This is great and expected of any child of God, but because of the position God has put us into, the people at work, school, and play for us are already saved. I minister to sheep, not wolves. This makes it hard to see people saved when I mostly deal with saved people. Don’t get me wrong…I witness…a lot, but it is usually spontaneous to a person I have just met. So I pray for a person who is willing to receive and believe. Luis Hernandez was that person. Recently I made a 20 hour trip by bus to Wyoming to pick up a bigger vehicle for our growing family. While on the way Luis boarded the bus 4 ½ hours into the trip and was on my buses all the way to Salt Lake City where I was able to give him a gospel tract. We separated when I boarded my bus to go into Wyoming only to be told we all were going to have to switch buses due to some “mechanical failure”. Luis came over to ask some questions about the church and myself. In five minutes the gospel was given and he prayed to get saved. As soon as he got done he said, “I feel different…I feel good”. Within minutes I was boarded onto another bus and gone. Luis has my card, but has not made contact. Please pray for him to find a good church family.
A salt water fish tank has been on my bucket-list for some time. In the last year I have been able to acquire some of the things needed to start one: a 55 gallon tank, a stand (made by a man in my church), and you guessed it…fish! Things are going swimmingly. You probably don’t care about my fish tank, which is fine, but God does. Let me explain. All was in place, but a canopy for the top of it. A wood canopy can cost up to $300+! One Saturday I was looking online at a canopy I wanted, but wasn’t about to spend money on, and I felt like God told me to go to Petco and look for one there. My first response was one that most Christians make, “Why would I spend your time Heavenly Father on something so small and inconspicuous, when souls are dying for want of thee? Blah, blah, blah…” After I realize it wasn’t “spirituality” but laziness that was stopping me I headed for Petco. Within minutes of arriving at Petco, the worker in the aquatic section told me that he was getting rid of his wood canopy from his 55 gallon aquarium and would give it to me for free! We serve a big God who cares about our little wants.
I almost missed out on a blessing because I thought it foolish to “Go to Petco” when God told me to. Imagine what blessings Christians miss out on all the time when we think it foolish to “Go” when God tells us to? Please study: Mt.28:19/Mk.5:19/16:15/Jn.15:16 with Ps.126:6 and GO!
Piano player/song leader---Still praying for God to answer this request.
New believers growth---Since we have been here we have seen a few people trust the Lord. Keep Mel, Dan, Kiley, Sam, Gary, and Skyler in prayer for growth.