A ministry of Stonegate Fellowship
Operating as usual
After Sunday, many have asked about Karen’s song “My child.” You can find this song and many other incredible songs written by Karen on both Apple Music and Spotify.
That would be my husband. Almost 20 years later and he still continues to display the love of Jesus through all our crazy in life. Next to Jesus, he is my favorite blessing! #hopehasasong #thegoodnessofgod
Our missionary friends in Guatemala! #hopehasasong
“Quiet. Home. Rest. This is the goodness of God. Resting tells God- I trust you, and I remember your goodness.” #hopehasasong #thegoodnessofgod
Today, The Goodness of God looks like: sitting on the couch reading books and singing The Itsy Bitsy Spider 100 times to a precious little girl. We are so grateful to be together, resting and soaking in His goodness. #thegoodnessofgod #hopehasasong
I’ve known you as a father and I’ve known you as a friend, And I have lived in the goodness of God. #hopehasasong #thegoodnessofgod
10 years this November 😍😍 #hopehasasong #thegoodnessofgod
All three of my kids are evidence of God’s goodness, but Eliza represents the goodness of God through redemption. She is a constant reminder that God still sees me. Before her we had to say goodbye to three babies, Gibson, and our identical twins Rowen and Gwen. The pain of that is beyond hard. Eliza was a surprise that turned into God revealing to me that he is good and is in every detail. All I have to do is trust. #thegoodnessofgod #hopehasasong
The goodness of God has been shown to me lately in the way of learning what love really looks like and understand the feeling of being willing to give and risk everything for the life of someone else as Jesus did for us. This pic was taken just minutes before I proposed to her.
Ok, so I know this is a weird picture... a pink monster sticker on my dirty car. First of all, how did it get on the outside? Secondly, how did it stay there all the way to Odessa? No one knows... but to see this after leading worship was a special reminder of the goodness of God in giving me my sweet Maddie.
This morning as I drove to Odessa to lead, I was not prepared for what I witnessed. Three cars along 42nd that were turned into crime scenes. Three cars that someone didn’t come back to. Three cars that didn’t go home. I wept. I wept for the absolute brokenness. I wept for the loss. But as I drove into the parking lot of Stonegate Odessa, this is what awaited me. A sky that was painted perfectly. Beauty for ashes. Mercy in the mourning. Him whisper “I’ll fix it.” I sat in the truck and the tears continued to flow but this time because of the goodness of God. #hopehasasong #thegoodnessofgod
“Early this morning my kids are running around the house like this, arms outstretched, being “super”. Any other day, their get-ups and enthusiasm would only be adorable. But to see them pretending to be brave super heroes at the the start of today seemed a little more profound. God is so good, and His people are good too. There is STILL so much hope in Jesus.” #hopehasasong #thegoodnessofgod
“Tonight at middle school sgy- (6-8). The goodness of God in these students coming and praying over our cities. Trusting God! “God doesn’t ask us to silence our sorrow in favor of Thanksgiving. Rather, he uses our sorrow to proclaim a type of Thanksgiving we wouldn’t be able to express otherwise.”
“These are the hands of a husband and wife whose marriage has been through hell and back. God redeems.” #hopehasasong #thegoodnessofgod
“Do you feel the world is broken? Do you feel the shadows deepen?” This song begins by asking questions that strike a chord in all of our hearts over the past few days. The brokenness that has settled in over the hearts of the Permian Basin has been heavy. Something has ached in a way that we are desperate for it to look different. In times like these, brokenness is so evident. It’s the most visible. We physically see brokenness and the effects of brokenness. We hear it in a family member’s weeping. We feel it in our hearts. A song like this reminds us that yes, we should come into agreement about the brokenness, but also tune in to the ever-present help in time of need. One of the most encouraging lines toward this thought is: “Is it good that we remind ourselves of this? (It is.)” Is He Worthy of our trust? Of course. Do we wish He would come down and just fix this whole mess? Always. But the next lines of this song declare that very heart: “Do you know that all the dark won't stop the light from getting through? Do you wish that you could see it all made new? (We do).” And He will. This song beautifully reminds us of who God is and what He has done. The Lion of Judah. David’s Root. He conquered the grave. Our discomfort in this life naturally draws us to Him. It reminds us that it isn’t supposed to be this way. This isn’t the world we were made to live in. The song ends with a reminder that while we wait for Heaven, He is still God with us. “Does the Father truly love us? Does the Spirit move among us? And does Jesus, our Messiah, hold forever those He loves? Does our God intend to dwell again with us? (He does).” He’s worthy of your trust in the meantime.
I think that we can agree that sometimes it’s really easy to find the goodness of God. You see it in the majesty of mountains or oceans. You can hear it in the laugh of a child. You can physically witness it in the birth of a baby, and you feel it at most weddings. The goodness of God is easy to recognize in happy or beautiful places... But what about in the every day? Where is the goodness of God in the face of a grim diagnosis, loss of a loved one, or just when life gets hard period? It’s still there. You’ve seen it before and you’ll see it again. His faithfulness doesn’t change. His goodness doesn’t change. Most importantly, His character doesn’t change. In Psalm 23:6, David writes “Surely Goodness and Mercy will follow me all of the days of my life.” Goodness follows and encompasses your path, whether you’re able to see it clearly or whether you have to look for it. Mercy and Lovingkindness cover you when you deserve them the least. You have lived and you are living in the goodness of God... yesterday, today, and forever. Look for it today. You’ll find it.
“I raise a Hallelujah in the presence of my enemies. I raise a Hallelujah louder than the unbelief.” These words paint a picture of 2 Chronicles 20. Jehoshaphat was facing an impossible battle. Things looked pretty dire. His people came to him and said “Um. We aren’t going to live to see tomorrow.” Jehoshaphat called out to the Lord, and the Lord answered: “Do not be afraid or discouraged because of this vast army. For the battle is not yours, but God’s. Tomorrow, march down against them. You will not have to fight this battle. Take up your positions; stand firm and see the deliverance the Lord will give you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged. Go out to face them tomorrow, and the Lord will be with you.” The posture was trust in the face of a battle that seemed too great. God said “Go out and face them and put the choir out front.” Can you imagine how insane that plan must have sounded? “You are vastly outnumbered, but I want you to fight. Send the singers out on the front lines.” They could have made a plan to try and defend the armies on their own. Perhaps sending someone familiar with battlefields as opposed to melodies. But they didn’t. They took a posture of trust and went out and faced the enemy, singing all the way. When they arrived to their battle, the Lord had already taken care of business. You can read about it. They put on their armor, showed up for the fight, completely unaware that the battle was already won. How can you apply that posture of trust to your current fight? #myweaponisamelody
Hymns are mediators. We have people from all stages of life walk through our doors on a Sunday morning. We could only begin to scratch the surface of the diversity and stories that enter the church each week. Sometimes, we sing over the church and hope that they join in. But not on hymns. On a hymn, we can put the microphones down, and the voices of all of these different people rise and infiltrate the walls of our church as one body. That’s what we love about bringing “Blessed Assurance” to the set list this Fall. It’s not a new song. These words have been around for 150 years. This song has been an anchor for the church. For some of us, this song is an anchor for our soul. This version of “Blessed Assurance” doesn’t change a single thing about the hymn, but adds a time for reflection and response at the end. “Oh, what a Savior. Wonderful Jesus. Death could not you. You are Victorious. Praise to the Risen King.” We have this assurance that regardless of what our story looks like right now, Jesus is our steadfast. And because of that steadfast, we have a song to sing.
That day, I repented with deep conviction and renewed hope. I know of no other way to describe it but to say that God brought Godly sorrow for my sin against Him and restored me to joy and genuine worship in a moment. I was instantly set free and transformed! I remember singing with great emotion, "Holy, Holy, Holy, though the darkness hide Thee." I could hardly stay upright with the weightiness of that truth. He is Faithful when I am prone to wander. He sees me, even when I am led astray. He is always sovereign, whether His goodness is obvious or hard to understand. I have experienced many hard trials since then, the hardest being the death of my husband in 2008. You can never prepare for something like that, but his death was sudden and unexpected. I still wear his wedding band on my hand. We took it off of him in the hospital because of the swelling, but I never expected it to remain on my hand forever. Wearing his ring is a reminder to me that I have made it my aim to worship Jesus in any case, through heaviness and confusion as well as great joy and times of abundance. At his service, one of my dear friends sang “Pure and Holy Passion.” The choir risers were full of wonderful friends, lifting my broken heart from the darkness with their voices. It was truly a taste of heaven. Through tears, I was able to worship with the body of Christ, all together in one accord. I'm grateful that God continues to inspire new songs to be written for His followers to sing the truth of who He is and to sing directly to Him. In this present season, when I am heavy hearted over circumstances or even sorrowful over my own sinfulness, the song that gives me words to express the lament of my soul and strength to continue fighting the good fight of faith is “Is He Worthy.” Often when I sing with other believers, I imagine that I'm singing with the myriads of believers and angels in heaven, which I'm pretty sure is not so very far away. Imagine singing directly to the One who is responsible for hope and redemption... I guess in reality, I am! #hopehasasong
I came to know Christ in the spring of 1973, when we attended a conference with friends. It was there that I first heard and understood the truth of the gospel, and how I could be assured a place in heaven and grow to know this wonderful Savior. I remember singing along with the several thousands in that convention center and experiencing for the first time the joy of connecting with God by singing about and to Him. I remember the days of worship choruses... “Majesty," "Hallelujah Chorus," and “O Lord You're Beautiful." For the next 15 years or so, we began to grow in the Lord through Bible study with friends, and little by little, seeing God untangle our very tangled lives. Eventually, however, we grew stagnant in the new life we were living, until the trials of life began to heat up again in the mid 1980's. A new set of troubles with young adult sons hit us with a vengeance, not the least of which was the sudden death of our infant grandson. Little by little I became terribly sad, disillusioned, and bitter against God, then eventually suicidal. Oh, but our faithful God does not leave His struggling children alone! After a number of years in that condition, God (through one of my younger sisters), began to draw me back to Him, and in 1998, she took me to a women's conference, where I heard a message on Isaiah 57:15. "I live in a high and holy place, but also with the one who is contrite and lowly in spirit, to revive the spirit of the lowly and to revive the heart of the contrite...”
I was 17 years old when I married my husband and had my son. His birth was hard and life threatening, and he was born with severely deformed feet. His first years were filled with casts, braces and a radical surgery. Within a few months of my becoming a mother, my mother-in-law passed away... and that was just the beginning of sorrows. In 1972, after a miscarriage and the healthy birth of our younger son, I gave birth to premature twin boys, who died just a few minutes after their birth. From there, we were headed on the fast track to destruction. Our marriage was on very shaky ground, foolish choices and medical bills had our finances in critical condition. I can't really think of anything that was working in our lives at that time. My heart longed for each of my children... I truly understand what it means to ache for heaven. Sometimes I could hardly bear the pain of their losses. I had heard somewhere that babies who die go to heaven, and suddenly I realized I didn't have a clue how to be assured that I would get there too. I wasn’t raised in church, but I remembered my dad (who was raised in church) singing hymns. The lyrics from "What a Friend We Have in Jesus" and “There is a Fountain Filled with Blood" were permanently stored in my brain. I realize now that God used those hymns as a foundation in the early days of my life. It’s amazing how He pursued me years before I ever pursued Him. Desperate to to experience the truth of those songs, I began to search for what those words looked like in my life... #hopehasasong
(3/3) I wish I could say that I snapped out of it and the world was good again, but it didn’t happen that fast. Thankfully, I can also say I watched him redeem my fight. This desolation made me aware that He was the only thing I had in this desert. I had to draw near to him again. I turned to worship. Old songs from church camp. New songs that began to infiltrate my heart. Words that spoke against the lies that were trying to distract me in the fight. Slowly, victories began to pop up. I watched God turn my husband (a former unbeliever) into a spiritual leader over our family. We started going to church as a family for the first time. Slowly, I began to recognize this beautiful imagery of being lifted from heavy clay and watching his masterpiece begin to take shape in front of me, and I began to see the good in the story. I could see that all of those years of praying for healing for my Mom had been answered in the most glorious and final of ways. It changed the way I Mother my own children. I recognize the fragility of time and it encourages me to breathe life into them by teaching them about the one who breathes life into me. I teach them songs to carry with them, so that they hear them in the back of their minds when troubles come. In the worst days of my life, I watched God take the sting of death and use it to give my husband eternal life, my family hope, and turn my sorrow into joy. The joy comes in the waiting. When I surrender to not being privy to all of the details, He grants perseverance. He bestows kindness. He loves extravagantly. He fights for me. If I know nothing else to be true, He is a friend. He’s always been a friend. He really did turn my darkness into light. And that gives this story (and any other one) everlasting hope.
(2/3) I had never known darkness like that before. I came to know Jesus at eight years old. I can’t remember a time in my life that I didn’t acknowledge and literally sing praises to Him. In hindsight, I see now that so much of my life was really just kind of scratching the surface of what life as a follower of Jesus looks like. I accepted Jesus because it was just the next step. Like a checkmark on a list. I got baptized because that was the next part of the process. Next stop, Heaven! Yay! I loved Jesus. I loved singing to Jesus. But I wouldn’t say I KNEW Jesus. When my Mom died, for the first time, I needed Jesus. I was so desperate for hope. For peace. For anything to make any sense. He was all I had to cling to. For the first time, it’s like He reached out His hand, and I hung onto it for dear life. In transparency, there were times I didn’t even know what to pray. I hurt so deeply and painfully that I couldn’t express it. One day, “Take Courage” by Bethel caught my attention. “So take Courage my heart. Stay Steadfast my soul. He’s in the waiting. He’s never failing.” And I clung to every word. In that desert, in that darkness, I lifted my hands to the heavens with nothing more to offer than my broken heart and His praises on my lips. I sang “Not Afraid,” by Jesus Culture. “Before me, Behind me, always beside me. No shadow, no valley, where you won’t find me.” And somewhere between my darkest place and my willingness to hope, he started lighting up shadows I didn’t even know were there. #hopehasasong
|Monday||08:30 - 16:30|
|Tuesday||08:30 - 16:30|
|Wednesday||08:30 - 04:30|
|Thursday||08:30 - 16:30|
|Sunday||09:00 - 13:00|
Description Edit St. Stephen's Catholic Church 4601 Neely Ave. Midland, tX. 79707 Tel. 432-520-7394 Fax. 432-520-7395 Website: www.ststephensmidland.com
The Midland Baptist CRISIS Center is a 501 (c) (3) in Midland, Texas. Our mission is to meet the basic needs of families and individuals, in Jesus' name.
Catholic Church ((Bilingual))
Religious Organization - Methodist Church
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a congregation of the evangelical lutheran church in america in midland, texas come worship with us @ 10:30 every Sunday morning!
Women's Bible study group.