This post comes from Calvary Chapel Pastors
“Then Joshua called the twelve men whom he had appointed from the children of Israel, one man from every tribe; and Joshua said to them:“Cross over before the ark of the Lord your God into the midst of the Jordan, and each one of you take up a stone on his shoulder, according to the number of the tribes of the children of Israel, that this maybe a sign among you when your children ask in time to come, saying, ‘What do these stones mean to you?’ Then you shall answer them that the waters of the Jordan were cut off before the ark of the covenantof the Lord; when it crossed over the Jordan, the waters of the Jordan were cut off. And these stones shall be for a memorial to the childrenof Israel forever” (Joshua 4:4-7).
Every year at Calvary Everett (CE) I take a week to share a message about the miraculous works God has done in our church since we began in 2008. Every year God is doing something new in the life of our church, so I entitle these true stories “Memorial Stones.” To me a memorial stone is best defined as a work that God accomplished in our lives which only He can get the credit for. A person may have taken a step of faith by God’s prompting, but then God came and did what only He could do. Let me share just a few of the memorial stones from our first couple of years as a new church.
Back in 2008, Lynn and I sold everything that wouldn’t fit in the back of our Nissan Quest before we made our move to Everett. We were literally starting over. We planned on spending a few months at my parents’ vacant home (two hours away) and homeschooling our kids. It wasn’t a great plan but it was our only plan. Just a few days before we left California though, my dad sent me an email with a link to a fully furnished lake house near Everett. It was the $900 a month that caught our eye. We drove the van straight there and the owners handed us the keys. It was really that simple. We enrolled our kids in a nearby Christian school a week later and they even offered us a pastor’s discount! Talk about rolling out the red carpet.
In the summer of 2008 before we moved to Everett from Costa Mesa, I saw a picture of what looked to be a great facility online and called the leasing agent. This was my very first call. It turns out that the agent who answered the phone had attended a men’s retreat that I had spoken at many years before. He asked me on the phone, “Is this Ken Sutton?” I didn’t even have to make another call because Calvary Everett began in that building four months later.
After three months of meeting on Sunday evenings, we decided to move to Sunday mornings which required a whole new location. I had seen that a Christian college had just moved into the downtown area of Everett, so I gave them a call. The lady that was responsible for the facilities rental took my information and then at the end of the conversation said “we have been praying for you for months Ken; I attend a nearby Calvary Chapel”! We moved in 60 days later.
The move to Sunday mornings was going to be a financial step of faith. We needed thousands of dollars just for the deposit and first month’s rent among other things. God was going to have to provide very quickly but based on what I perceived to be an open door, we prayerfully moved ahead. It was just a few weeks before our move that I got a call from a man I cannot remember having ever met. He needed to meet that night and said it was urgent, so we agreed to meet at a Costco, of all places. An hour later as I stood outside looking for a man that fit his description, he walked up to me, shook my hand and handed me a check … for $10,000. He said that he felt prompted by God to help the church with our move and then he left, we didn’t even have a hot dog and soda together. I only saw him a few more times after that but God used that brother in a wonderful way.
These are just a few (of many) of the memorial stones in the life of our little church. But I realize that they are multiplied over and over again in the lives of every individual who knows Christ. Just like our own history with God … You have a miraculous history with God. This last Easter, Calvary Everett showed a video of a few testimonies by people in our church. They were stories of God’s redemption from the aftermath of abortion, drug abuse, and even imprisonment. It was the highlight of our service! You can watch the video at www.pluckedfromthefire.com.
Here’s my question to you though; what are your memorial stones? In your personal lives and in the life of your church? I would love it if you would share them with me right here on Calvarychapel.com. What has God done in your life that only He could get the credit for? I look forward to hearing from you and being blessed by what God has done!
continue reading the views expressed in this post do not necessarily reflect the views of Calvary Southampton