A recent article in the Washington Post tells how Clint Buffington found a bottle that washed up on a beach in the Turks and Caicos Islands near the Bahamas in 2011. In that bottle was a decade's old message. The note inside "contained a few clues: an address (419 Ocean); a name (Tina) … The words 'Return' and 'reward' eventually became more clear, too." Buffington—"an experienced message-in-a-bottle hunter"—eventually tracked down a potential contact by the name of Paula Pierce, whose mother Tina had been an owner of a motel on 419 Ocean Boulevard in Hampton, New Hampshire.
It wasn't until recently, however, that Buffington and Pierce finally met in person. Pierce, whose father is believed to have written the message, said it was "like being contacted from the past." "That gave me chills today," she said. "I actually started to cry."
As to his part, Buffington stated, "I've been really lucky that I have this thing that allows me to open the door and connect with people that I would never have any reason or right to connect with otherwise."
It got me thinking about the message that we have… the gospel. It is timeless, transferable and opens the door to connect with people that we otherwise would never connect with. But even more so, it enables us to help people make an eternal connection with God. And as we’ve talked in recent weeks, helping people make a Relational connection with God is one of our Core Values.
And that is why all through this month we’ve been emphasizing our Mission… getting the message to the whole world so that more may know that God loves them, Jesus died for them and we care about them. It is the reason we received a special mission offering to kick-off the month--- over $100,000 that we are disbursing among our International, National and local mission works and partnerships.
Continuing that theme today… we have a small mission fair going on in our welcome center area. I hope you will stop by and check out each of the various booths representing ministries that we are currently engaged with. Further, if you haven’t already noticed, Compassion International has set up on our campus its Compassion Experience. If you have not had the opportunity to experience the “Experience”, it will be here through Monday the 21st. It is an interactive exhibit that enables you to experience other global cultures, the realities of global poverty and how you can be an instrument of God to help change the lives of others. It’s free, but you do need to register, and it's family-friendly. It is currently touring throughout North America and I am glad that we are able to host it.
Red Roots… is a young fantastic female singing trio. They will be here on Sunday evening November 27th to help us kick-off the Christmas season. They are a young, Christian Country, Pop trio out of Nashville who has garnered national acclaim for their music and message.
Welcome to RBC… I pray that your experience here will be an encounter with the living God. I’ll be sharing a message on Worship today. But don’t wait on the message to worship. And don’t be a spectator of worship, be a participator! God is worth our full attention, our full devotion, and our full adoration… are you ready? And remember, God is always trying to take you someplace new. I love being your pastor!!!!
For God’s Glory Alone,