Today I got a reminder of how thankful I am for my church family. Most people think of a church as a place or an event. But Lakeland Baptist Church is family. Family that loves and serves each other and the community. We get together on Sundays for our worship service and different times through the week for small group Bible studies and just to hang out.

The Biblical teaching and Christ centered worship on Sunday mornings with Lakeland is phenomenal. That doesn’t happen in every church body out there. We have expository preaching each Sunday, which means each sermon takes the main point of a passage of Scripture, makes it the main point of the sermon, and applies it to life today. It’s a beautiful, wonderful thing. God’s Word is what convicts, converts, builds up, and sanctifies God’s people. It makes the main point of the text the main point of the sermon, therefore God’s agenda rules the church, not the preacher’s.

Pastor Phil

The people of Lakeland are unlike most people I’ve met in my life. They don’t just say they love you–they show you they love you, in big and small ways. People who barely knew us offered to give us their furniture when we first moved here (we left behind most of our furniture to stage our house in Central IL). We were a bit shocked, but soon learned that the Acts 2:44-45 church is what LBC strives to be. I’ve seen countless acts of love and mercy and grace since coming here, I can’t even begin to write them all down.

And these people don’t pretend to be perfect or have it all together. In fact, they will tell you we are all a bunch of hypocrites: though we preach obedience to Christ, we fail at that constantly. But they (we) find that because we are so hypocritical and yet loved by God, that’s all the more reason to show grace and mercy to others. ❤

James on Easter Sunday, just a couple months after we became a part of Lakeland

There are so many more things about Lakeland that I love, one blog post can’t hold them all. So I’ll just say Thank You, God, for ordering our steps in such a way that we would be here, serving along with Lakeland at this season of life. Thank You for all the beautiful brothers and sisters who’ve cried with me, rejoiced with us, played with our children, encouraged us, challenged our thinking, fed us spiritual truths and are living life with us.