>We finally got to go to our local church this past Sunday after missing it for two straight weeks. We were out of town one week for a meeting and got to attend our home church, and the next week, my wife was recovering from having her wisdom teeth pulled. I was particularly excited about this service. A few weeks ago a friend of mine said that he and his girlfriend wanted to find a church to go to around here. He is from a couple hours south and she is from Ohio, and they have not gone to church since they lived in the area. So, of course, I was more than happy to invite them to our church.

Unfortunately we had to duck out a little early because my wife is working with a ministry that decided to get some of the young women involved in the church, and the designated meeting time was 11:00, which is when our regular service ends – more on this other service in a little bit. Because of this, my friend and I did not have a chance to really talk about Sunday’s service until yesterday.

He told me that he hadn’t been to church in about two years and the message was exactly what he needed to hear. The pastor spoke the previous week about forgiveness, and as a follow-up, this past week’s sermon was on forgetting. He made the point that when God forgives us, that is it. It is done. It is as if it never happened. “For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his love for those who fear him; 12 as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us” (Psalm 103:11-12 ).

The focus of the sermon was a verse in Philippians – “Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 3:13-14 ).

My friend wasn’t the only one that needed to hear that message. As I’ve said in a previous post, I’ve had a difficult time getting past some of my personal faults. If God can forgive and move on, what is stopping me? I semi-randomly choose the address of this blog as “growing day by day,” but maybe that wasn’t so random after all. I also needed to hear the message that we need to forget that for which we have been forgiven. It is a daily challenge sometimes, but isn’t that what life is all about? – Living day to day on the promises of the Almighty. As if that wasn’t enough for one day…..

At the other service, the sermon focused on anxiety. I personally do not have much of a problem with anxiety, but at times it certainly does flare up. However, my wife has sometimes struggled with anxiety – assuming that the worst might happen. This service was right up her alley, which was something that we talked about later in the day.

God is amazing! After two years of not going in church, my friend heard exactly what he needed to hear. After years and years of going to church, I heard what I needed to hear. And at a new church, my wife heard what she needed to hear. God is actively at work in this world. We can look at all the bad things that are happening on a grand scale and try to refute it, but God doesn’t always work on a grand scale. Sometimes God’s best work is done in the life of an individual who is willing and able to listen to what God has in store on one particular morning.

Just some musings from a traveling pilgrim.