With one word from the lips of the Creator the fabric of the cosmos comes pouring into existence as each star spontaneously combusts; each bursting into its own place in glorious anticipation of The Father’s Will. From His Voice a song is lifted up in the depths of both lung and heart. Like a melody all of creation is born, and in the deepest expression of love there has ever been He becomes known by His creation, and by us, as Abba Father.
This amazing spectacle is the beginning of a story, HIS story, but God, in all of His goodness, chose to make this my story as well, and your story, and OUR story. This is how God has led me to the church that I affectionally call “V3”, and also, how I am often reminded of the amazing love God has for us when I look at His creation. When I gaze at the stars, or hear a beautiful melody; when I laugh the night away with friends and family after putting in a hard day’s work, or even just simply when I take a breath, I realize that, truly, I am blessed, and that God is alive in my life.
When I came to Christ I was in my early teens attending the Vineyard Church of Virginia Beach, VA. It wasn’t too long after coming that I began my walk with God, and left a path full of fear and death to follow Christ, The Way, The Truth, and The Life. I saw the purpose driven life that Jesus offered, and I was sold. I served wherever and whenever I could, and was involved in many different ministries. In this time the leadership offered an internship for discipleship and an opportunity opened for me, so, I took it.
The contents of the internship included several weekly commitments. Each week I would memorize a verse, discuss it, and pray with a leader. I would also serve one service, and attend one service a week, write devotionals, as well as participate, with a group of interns and volunteers, in a rotation to teach, preach, and pray.
The internship lasted a year and was intense. It sharpened my character, and instilled within me a deep love for God and His people. I ended up going through the internship several times, as well as several other classes through the church there, but more importantly, the friends I found there, and the family I was a part of made it my church home.
At 18 years old I felt God was moving me out of all I had known to cause within me a deeper growth and understanding of who He is. It was a long, and difficult process moving from Virginia to Illinois, and there were many mountains, and valleys. On that journey I found that God, and His family can be found wherever I go, and that He is using us to change communities, impact lives, and make a difference all over the world.
While working for a custodial company I came to another Vineyard church that was then the Danville Vineyard, a satellite church of the Urbana Vineyard Church. After attending for a little while I readily began playing guitar, and occasionally singing on the worship team, as well as helping with youth services, and other small groups. I was elated to find yet another Vineyard church full of Christ loving people that knew good and well how to love one another, and their community, and as the years went by I became ever more so rooted in Christ, and in the family, He placed me in.
I am more than blessed to be a part of such an amazing church, and to pour my God given gifts and talents back into it is a great honor. V3 has impacted me in so many ways, and the building, the grounds, the events, but most importantly, the family of V3 hold my most beloved memories, my most audacious failures, my most courageous successes, and my most critical life lessons. God has shown me my identity by using this church, and using Pastor Jay, and Pam and their family, and I am looking forward to the plans God has for me, and for us at The Vermilion Valley Vineyard!