This past weekend, Jon and I went to Mark and Grace Driscoll's Real Marriage Conference. (Mark Driscoll is the pastor of Mars Hill Church in Seattle, Washington). We were super excited earlier this year when we found out that Pastor Mark's marriage conference was coming to Indy. He and his wife Grace wrote a book called Real Marriage that came out this past January (2012), and I have to say, out of every marriage book we've read, this is by far, the best one. They've been doing a conference tour across the U.S. and landed in Indianapolis last weekend. Their book reached #1 on NY Times best selling list. Pretty cool.
It was so neat to meet Mark and be able to tell him how his book, his honesty, and his wife's honesty, has been monumental in our life this year.
All that to say, we are incredibly thankful for the church body and the pastors at Harvest Bible Chapel where we attend church. Our pastors and godly leaders do not at all fit into the category of "silent." They are genuine, heartfelt, and most of all, real. So thank you to our pastors and elders for the godly example of reality and walking out our faith that you display. Not only are they doing that, but they are encouraging the church body to do the same in each other's lives...to disciple.
For years, we have prayed for a godly couple to walk beside us in life, speaking into our marriage, and encouraging us to live out God's plan for families. God answered when he brought Joe and Julie Wendel into our lives. They have given so much of their time, energy, and love into seeing God's best for us. Having someone like them, one on one, and couple to couple, is one of the most invaluable blessings to a young and growing family. I've really never met anyone like them... who speak in love, who are loyal and steadfast, even when it's hard and painful, in pursuing us and God's best for us.
Joe and Julie went to the Real Marriage conference with us. The conference was Friday and Saturday and we all spent the night at a hotel, without children!! :) Yes! haha. So thankful we could share this weekend together.
Even now we pray, that one day, we can turn around and provide the same kind of discipleship to others.
"Oh the inexpressible comfort of feeling safe with a person -- having neither to weigh thoughts nor measure words, but pouring them all right out, just as they are, chaff and grain together, certain that a faithful friend will take and sift them, keep what is worth keeping, and then with the breath of kindness blow the rest away." (Dinah Craik).
Here are some great sermon series by Mark Driscoll, totally worth your time. Load em' up on your iPod and listen on your way to work!
Real Marriage series
Song of Solomon- The Peasant Princess series