The David & Cheryl Jones’ Connect Group
Sharing God’s experiences
Lights in the windows and warm smiles at the door of David and Cheryl Jones’ home greet our Connect Group at our weekly meeting near Pine Level. The Jones family receives our members (Ted and Gail White, Ray and Pat Jellison, Sally Bannister, Ronnie and Glenda Freeman, and this author) into the kitchen for snacks and wonderful coffee. After the treats, David (our organizer) settles us to enjoy “food” for our souls. Our Wednesday evenings begin with prayer: for our pastor, for our group members, for our understanding of God’s plan in our lives, and for praising our Heavenly Father.
In this age group, experience and disappointment have made many of us hesitant to reveal ourselves, but here there is a difference. Perhaps it is our mutual seeking to be closer to God, or to spend time with others who share the same priorities. Whatever the reason, our walls have come down. In a relatively short time, (considering our span of years) we have grown to value the unique aspects of each other. We are stronger in demonstrating God’s presence in our daily lives.
God values us, His children – Pastor John spoke of this in the first message of the Genesis series. In the New Testament, we read Jesus’ instructions for us to love one another as our Heavenly Father loves us. The feeling of obedience and love God intended us to experience is of greater value than we can express. It is one of those things you just have to experience to understand.
Have you ever had a phrase from Pastor John’s sermon fly directly into your heart and nestle there, calming some inner turmoil? Have you hesitated to share this wonderful feeling of grace bestowed because no one around you would understand? Thanks to our Sunday sermon notes, and often loving encouragement from Cheryl, discussion in the group provides the perfect time, ears, and hearts for sharing. The sharing raises our hearts and minds to love of the Lord and of God’s plans for us all. At the end of our evening, we bid each other good night, greatly uplifted and refreshed.
Making a decision to go to a Connect Group meeting the very first time is the only thing you will ever possibly find difficult. After one or two shared afternoons or evenings you will find yourself looking forward to the next gathering. Just as we benefit from the faithful discipleship of David and Cheryl, you will be blessed by being with others who love God and share your desire to be close to Him.