a church in pursuit of God, with a passion for


PO Box 491150 Leesburg, FL 34749 www.vcfleesburg.com Email: vcfleesburg@embarqmail.com Office: (352) 365-2594 Fax: (352) 365-2594

Randy Gideons . Lead Pastor . Warehouse Church


have taken some time to slow down and try to get back to the life and ministry God gave me and called me to. For the last two years....well...you know! Fall is a time that we slow down a bit and enjoy and reflect the blessings that our Father has bestowed upon us. I encourage you to slooooooow down and do just that. This month we will all celebrate our Thanksgiving Holiday. I hope to do it right. To truly be thankful to our Lord and to all those wonderful people in my life. I had a moment earlier today that was just absolutely wonderful and I want to share it with you. Many of you know that I have been emphasizing that God is preparing His bride (those who believe) for the wedding of weddings...the time that we (the bride of Christ) will meet our Lord (our groom). I have envisioned that moment for some time. I like to think it will be the same as when the back door of a church is opened...the wedding march begins to play...everybody in the audience turns to see the bride come down the isle and the bride and groom see each other just before they become one in marriage. This morning I was listening to the new Coldplay album. Track number 5 came on, "Us Against the World" and for a moment something divine happened. Chris Martin and gang who write a lot about spiritual things even though Martin says he isn't sure about who God is yet but he knows that God exists, penned the line in the song..."And I just want to be there when the lightning strikes and the

Saints go marching in." For just a moment I had a vision of that church door opening and for the first time seeing God face to face as His adorned bride. In track 9 ...and "then it's your eye, I move I swim and find somewhere the streets are made of gold"..."and let's fly, split the sky"... where a thunderous roll precedes these parts of the song...over and over again I revisited those spots where my mind, my heart and my soul got it...really got it for the first time. That's why the dear saints that have gone before us penned such passionate lyrics about seeing Him face to face. I am not endorsing Coldplay's new music...I am just telling you that I get it..."on that day we will see Him face to face...” I knew it in scripture before...somehow it's much more real after today! I am thankful that God can speak to us at any time and through anything or anyone. Be Thankful...Give Thanks and Pray to the one...the only one!

Check out Randy’s blog on the Warehouse website. www.vcfleesburg.com

Your Gym is Where You Are


utumn is my favorite time of year to do many things such as working in the yard and garden. I always feel connected to Adam and Eve when I am pulling weeds or planting vegetables. I also believe that this was Adam’s number one form of exercise since I don’t imagine dumbbells, machines or treadmills in the Garden of Eden. I am not against gyms, and I train clients in a fitness center, but I emphasis that it is not the only way to get a good workout. If the garden is where God placed the first man, then it must have been a viable way for man to activate the muscles and cardio respiratory system to live a healthy life. With the Garden of Eden in mind, I am once again reminded that my gym can be anywhere. It’s so important to think outside of the box when designing exercise programs. I read an article recently, Training Among the Tulips, by Kim Ruby. She had a personal training client who weighed close to 300 lbs and didn’t feel comfortable exercising at the gym. Being a creative trainer, she found out what activity this lady enjoyed and designed a workout around her most loved activities. If you are having trouble increasing your activity level, it is time to think outside of the box. Is the dog longing for a walk? Could you consider hanging clothes on a clothes-line instead of putting them in the dryer? Can you ditch the riding mower for a push mower? Is there any place you drive to where you can ride a bike or walk to instead? Are there leaves that need to be raked? When thinking of designing a well rounded exercise program for yourself, consider that the American College of

Sports Medicine (ACSM) recommends 20 to 60 minutes of continuous or intermittent aerobic activity, 3 – 5 days per week. The ACSM’s guideline for resistance training is working 8 – 10 major muscle groups 2- 3 days per week for 8 to 15 repetitions per muscle group. The ACSM also recommends stretching the major muscle groups 2 – 3 times per week. Let’s consider what this might look like: Walk the dog in the neighborhood for 20 minutes. Grab a bucket and pull weeds in a supported lunge position, left leg forward, change sides. Now, pull in a squat position. Be sure to change hands and pull with the left as well as the right. Grab some weights and work the biceps, triceps and shoulders. Do 10 push ups, 10 abdominal crunches, some stretches and you are finished. Or course this would need to be adjusted to fit your fitness level. Remember to start slowly and build up. God has given us a beautiful season of wonderful weather. What do you enjoy that can increase your activity level? Hopefully, the activity habits you develop today will carry you through the holidays when the abundance of food can bring extra weight. Knowing that you’ve invested in yourself will pay dividends as you approach the coming season.

Training Among The Tulips, by Kim Ruby, www.ideafit.com

Tonia Hayes is an ACE certified Personal Trainer



am going to paint you a couple of pictures and then bring them all together at the end. Go with me on this mental journey if you will. As I would travel to see Jennifer while we were dating, I always admired this huge old tobacco barn that was just off the interstate. I would always imagine all the tobacco hanging in the rafters and drying. I love old buildings like that and wonder who built it, who worked it and if any of those people are still around. I am guessing the old barn to be at least 60-80 years old and obviously had seen better days. Recently, someone has rebuilt the old barn into a new one and I can’t tell what they will use it for as of yet. My father in law had an old muzzle loader that I had been after him to let me take home. He never new why I wanted it, just that I did. He bought the old “patch and ball” percussion cap muzzle loader back in the 70’s from a doctor in town. In terms of weapons, it isn’t old, though it is older than I am. A couple of years ago, he passed it to me. As time permitted, I worked on it. I cleaned every individual mechanical part. I polished brass. I redid the wooden stock three times until I got what I wanted. Once I finished the project, my intent was to give it back to him as a present. When it was time to do the landscaping of the church, I was given the task of getting it done. I assembled a group of men that ranged in age from young adults to senior citizens. The young men are work horses and do a lot of work very quickly. The middle aged men do a little less work (with the exception of Steve Mogg) but have the intelligence as to what the game plan is and what needs to be done and when. The senior citizens are perhaps the wisest of all and can give helpful hints as to what could make a job easier and can drop behind others to do easier tasks that are just as critical as any other job. Now, permit me to bring all this together. In each of these images, there was a transition period where things were moving into new parts of their existence.

The barn, when it was originally built, was a huge part of the farmer’s process. It served its purpose for the time it was needed. It sat idle for years and now has been transitioned into something new and will now serve a new purpose. The muzzle loader served its purpose in the last few decades. When Mr. Goodman bought a new muzzle loader, the old one got shoved into the back of the closet and basically retired. Now that it has been redone, it will be displayed and admired as a thing of beauty. It transitioned from being a tool of hunting into a thing to be admired and enjoyed. In the work day at the church, the transition period was demonstrated by the various age groups. Each of us has been young and was able to do all the massive amounts of work. Now that I am past that part of my life, I realize that I am no longer able to run with the thoroughbreds. I still have my part to play in the big scheme though. I can still create plans and direct work and teach different things that need done. The older groups can do more of that and impart wisdom to those of us younger than they. All of this to say this thing; just because you might be transitioning out of one aspect of your life, does not mean that you are now useless. You are not meant to be the work horse all of your life. There is a time to pass your torch to someone else and a time for a new torch to be given to you. In life there are seasons. If you don’t acknowledge them, they will not be nice to you and will wreak havoc on you and your body. This is not a charge to check out. It is simply an encouragement for those of us in a transition time of our lives to realize that we still have things to offer. We must not check out! We must keep imparting wisdom and learning and teaching those around us. Your role might be changing and transitioning. It does NOT have to be ending. Take the change in stride and keep on the playing field! You still have a position to play!


“What's your first thought when you hear the word Heaven?"

Aimee Anderson ~ Home. And for some odd reason . . . sunflowers. I don't know why. Ha! I think of being home, and experiencing a supernatural peace. Elias James ~ To be honest I think heaven is a lot like earth. Before we screwed it up and stuff... Brenda Petersen ~ Home. John & Stephanie Dakin ~ Love, Peace, Relief, Joy, Compassion, Glory, Tranquility...at last. Jeff Light ~ Seeing my mom and meeting my brother. Sandy Lindsay ~ Heaven is a dream that comes true! Elise James ~ Home. Tom Caruthers ~ I'll be able to sleep until I am through...

Joel Hayes ~ DJ Sammy/Bryan Adams "We're in Heaven" Rebekah Thornell ~ Love, abundant and overwhelming love; peace and joy! Steven Bennett ~ Jesus face to face, Awesome!!!!!! John Schaller ~ First the color White, then my second thought is REST and PEACE, I know there will be lots of singing and I will actually be able to hear all the words without having to make up my own words to fill in the blanks.

by Brenda Petersen

Thought this was so good that I wanted to share it... Choosing Well by Lisa Whittle “Anyone who believes in me may come and drink! For the Scriptures declare, Rivers of living water will flow from his heart.” Ecclesiastes 10:2a (NLT)


here are times when I do not choose well.watch things on TV that tarnish my heart. I behave in ways that erode my marriage. I spend money I do not have, say things I do not mean, leave things undone that need to be finished. I react in anger and it misrepresents Jesus. I have holes: internal voids that limit and define me...and it shows. If that were the end of my story, I would be in deep trouble. I would break things that couldn't be fixed. I would destroy things that couldn't be restored. I would damage relationships, beyond repair. I would live, unfulfilled and prideful, without my soul feeling settled. Left alone, sometimes my holes have produced such things. But there is another element to my story, and it brings me great hope. Jesus...with the supernatural ability to fill even my broadest of gaps...draws me into Him, asking me to choose the thing that will make my soul well. It is an important choice to make, for every believer. It is one that results in wholeness. The decision to choose what will make our soul well is not always easy. Sometimes it will require us to break from something we love that has become a toxic habit. Often it will ask us to give up our will for the will of the Father. I love today's verse in Ecclesiastes that talks about this choice, "A wise person chooses the right road..." This verse shows us that even when things happen to us without our permission or by the choice of another, we still have a choice in what we will do next. In my book, {w}hole, I share the story of my family being involved in a scandal that turned our

lives upside down when I was in college. In the wake of our turmoil, I did not choose well...acting in ways that ultimately hurt me and others. But at a certain point I decided I wanted to be different. I wanted to be better and allow God to change my course by committing to truth, even if it hurt. It was a choice I have never regretted, a choice that set me on the "right road" — a road that led to healing and wholeness. Wholeness—soul wellness—does not come to those who are only halfway committed to it. It is for the person who is tired of living for themselves or as a victim to their experiences...the one who desires to find their true identity...the one with worldly success who still longs for more. Wholeness is available to the person who wants to no longer be defined or limited by anything and is willing to do whatever it takes to change. Any sacrifice we must choose to make our soul well is always worth the price. Abundance of joy, richness of God's favor, stability of truth and completeness of fulfillment are ours when we decide we are no longer willing to live with holes but instead, desire to be whole. When we offer our holes to Jesus, we give Him the opportunity to fill them up with Him. And that, my friend, is always choosing well. Dear Lord, I want to choose well. Help me not to stand in my own way of wholeness and healing. Where habits need to be broken, I ask that You give me the strength to break from them. Help me not to invest in things that erode my hear; instead, help me press into You and draw from Your deep well of wisdom, peace and love. In Jesus' Name, Amen

Every Sunday ~

averagejoe’s Café
Free continental breakfast served from 9:30am to 9:50am Contact: Renee Stoffel @ 253-2465

SUNDAY, 11/13 @ 10:00am~
Blessing of our Building and Annual Fall Picnic here at the Warehouse! What to bring: A Crock Pot of Soup A Side Salad A Dozen Cupcakes



Every Sunday @ 3:00 ~
ZUMBA® FITNESS Latin-inspired, calorie-burning dance fitness-party™ that’s enjoyable and healthy. Warehouse Annex Instructors: Tonia and Amber Wilnau Contact: Tonia Hayes 636-5361

Contacts: Aaron Symonds @ 330-1928 Mela Striker @ 365-1006

WAREHOUSE NURSERY - PRESCHOOL We believe in ministering to the needs of even our littlest members. Our qualified teachers create a positive experience that introduces nursery and preschool children to the love of Jesus early on. Contact: Jill Porvaznik @ 793-1326 WAREHOUSE KID’S Warehouse Kid’s is for all boys and girls in Kindergarten through 6th grade. We provide a combination of games, interactive characters, and fun filled songs capture kid’s attention while showing them that living for God is the best way to live! Contact: Ron Sellers @ 787-0385

Every Sunday @ 4:30 ~
Warehouse Annex Cost: $5 class or $15 month * Scholarships Available Contact: Myra Harbaugh (941) 720-3444

2nd & 4th Sundays ~

S T A T U R E Youth Group @ 12:30pm
Warehouse Annex Contact: Neal Hayes 365-1496 Next Meeting: Nov 27

2nd & 4th Sundays @ 3:30pm ~

CREATIVE ARTS Ministry Class Drama! Dance! Pantomime! Sign language! Flags! Ages: Middle school to adult Warehouse Living Room Contact: Barbara Smith 315-1400 Next Meeting: Nov 27

Saturday, 12/3 @ 6:30pm~

Love & Marriage

Every Monday @ 3:30pm ~
Kid’s Creative Movement Class K thru 6th Grade Warehouse Annex Cost: $5:00 (Scholarships Available) Contact: Barbara Smith 315-1400

Jeff & Sue Myers home at 6:30pm 41737 Kendra Lane, Weirsdale This is a monthly gathering for young couples married 15 years and less (or soon to be married). We hope you will join us as we pursue discovering God's principles to "becoming one" in our marriages; in our relationships with one another, and with Him. Contact: Brian Sellers 504-6221 Next Meeting: Dec 3

Every Tuesday @ 5:30pm ~
Revelation Fitness Warehouse Annex Cost: $5 class or $15 month * Scholarships Available Contact: Myra Harbaugh (941) 720-3444



Every Thursday @ 6:30pm ~
Beth Moore Study “The Inheritance” Warehouse Annex Contact: Cheryl Moser 787-0789

Young Adults of 18 to 29 years old gather for fellowship and different activities. Ultimately, Elevation's vision is to give young adults a platform to fellowship, to serve, to do life together. Contact: Vance Harbaugh (941) 720-3912 DON’T FORGET!! 1st Sunday of the month we will collect the "Change Cups". For those of you who need to pick up one of our "red" cups we will have some on Sunday. Your spare "change" helps those in need in our church and our community.

Friday, 11/4 & Saturday, 11/5 ~
JUNK 4 FOOD Yard Sale 8:00am to 1:00pm at the Warehouse Contact: Julie Macrae 255-0852

2nd & 4th Friday ~

Harp & Bowl - Worship & Intercession
Warehouse Living Room Fellowship at 6:30; Harp & Bowl at 7:00 Contact: Cliff Cochran 483-3140 Next Meeting: Nov 11

*Revelation Fitness and Holy Yoga Classes can be combined monthly for $25

4th Friday ~

Older Gents @ 11:30am
Older Gents is an opportunity for men over 50 to meet for lunch and enjoy great conversation over a variety of topics that affect all of us. Golden Corral, North Leesburg Contact: Leo Lenschow 429-2563 Next Meeting: Nov 18

Check out our web page at www.vcfleesburg.com for everything on the calendar this month.


reat News…..You did it! Our goal for beef stew was met. Pastor Randy challenged us to gather 1000 lbs. of beef stew and thanks to all of you we met our goal. We will begin distribution as soon you guys can help us deliver it to those in need! We need you!!! We are asking you to help us find families that need not only food but a true relationship with Jesus. We have food readily available for distribution. The bags of food will be made up and ready for you to pick up and deliver. On the bag we will have a brochure explaining what to do and some suggestions on what to say when you deliver the food. There will also be a form that will need to be completed by you and returned to The Warehouse office. We need this information so that we can keep a record of who we have helped. We are not just about distributing food. We are about helping people to learn about Jesus and that God really does care about them. We are the very important hands and feet of sharing the love of Christ. Thanksgiving is here again!!! Pretty soon we will all be sitting around the table eating turkey, dressing and pumpkin pie. Many of us will indulge in watching parades on TV and waiting for the football games to begin. Then again, many will have no food or no place to go to get a meal. We can’t feed everyone but we can help our own community. Every year we hand out unprepared Thanksgiving meals. This year we would like to do the same. We are asking that those who can, to donate $25.00 for a meal. That meal will include a Turkey/ Ham, stuffing, gravy potatoes, vegetables, rolls, cranberry sauce, pie and something to prepare the Turkey

or Ham in. Also, if you know someone who needs a meal, please contact one of The Storehouse Team Members. This will help us to reserve a meal for them. Last year we helped 79 families have a much more enjoyable Thanksgiving. Again, this isn’t just about the food. It is very hard to listen to anything about Jesus when your stomach is growling so loud that you can’t hear what the person is saying. Thank you for all you do in participating, sharing and loving people. None of this would work without you! If you know someone who needs food, please contact one of The Storehouse Team Members or better yet, just come and pick it up and deliver it! Happy Thanksgiving!!! The Storehouse Team Sonia Shearer @ 352-408-7192 or the church office @ 352-365-2594

What a Privilege The Spirit and the Bride say “come”! Revelation 22:17


ichael and I have spent the past seven years in the mission field in the Middle East. Every time we return to the Warehouse, our spirits soar with Thanksgiving because we are able to worship together with the brethren. Saudi Arabia is one of the darkest Nations in the world and they have no religious freedom whatsoever. Bahrain has more tolerance to other religions. The government sanctions the National Evangelical Church (NEC) on the Island, seven miles off the coast of Saudi Arabia. Our Pastor is spirit filled and for the past six months Mr. Lindsay and I have been given a new family to pray with through NEC. We are very thankful for our brothers and sisters in Christ at NEC. We are worshipping with the Nations of the world in Bahrain. Friday is the day we go to Church in the Middle East. A small group of them are intercessors who meet at the House of Prayer (HOP) now being established on the Island of Bahrain. Our group meets at the Church facility on Wednesday. On Friday evening we often meet to pray in the home of one of the Nations participating in the HOP. We are thankful for the HOP God is establishing in Bahrain. Among the Nations worshipping at NEC and praying at HOP are individuals from Pakistan, Philippines, India, South Africa, Mongolia, and of course Americans. In Christ there is no difference between the people. Their hearts are Christ and their core values are His. We are thankful for the unity we have among the Nations in Christ.

Finally, Michael and I are thankful to God for directing the hearts and minds of His children to become one around the world. Here traditions are only important because of the uniqueness that is brought to the table in how we dress, or how we eat, etc. I am thankful for our differences represented by the traditions of Nations, but watching us become one when worshipping Yeshua there are no words for. He adores “all” of His children and how thankful we are that Jesus is Lord of all. Happy Thanksgiving!

Sandy Lindsay P.O. Box 702015 Saint Cloud, FL 34770-2015 Phone: (813) 714-8999 Website: www.spiritualmeat.com email: spiritmeat@yahoo.com

Monies collected will fund our Storehouse & Community Outreach

Friday, Nov 4 Saturday, Nov 5 8:00AM – 1:00PM The Warehouse Church
Your Service is Needed! Our sale tables will be divided into sections of books, media, clothes, shoes, furniture, appliances, electronics, jewelry, kitchen, bedding, etc. We will also need volunteers to help with traffic flow & parking. If you’re interested in volunteering at any of these tables let me know. PLEASE reply to give us an indication of how many we can expect on the day and plan accordingly. Contact: Julie Macrae Cell: (352) 255-0852 Email: jlamacrae@gmail.com

Lost Son


f you had been there, you would have seen a young man self-absorbed, physically sick, emotionally out of balance and spiritually isolated from his family and God. He was working twentyfour seven managing various restaurants that belong to the family. This young man was worn to a frazzle and it was not unusual to find him dissatisfied and complaining. One day he had all he could take and went to his father and said that he wanted out and wanted what was coming to him. For years now he had lost the excitement of business, he couldn’t take it anymore. He believed the family had let him down; here he was in a dead end job working for his father. He was the go to person taking more than his share of responsibility – Vice President of Operations. The son became confused about his purpose in life. He was impatience as he saw so many of his fellow colleagues sport big cars and live in spacious homes with swimming pools. He loved cars and his father raced Chevys when he was his age. When a sports car pulled up next to him at a traffic light his heart always beat faster – he could just see himself shifting through the gears of a red Ferrari. He had this feeling he was missing something. A small part of him knew that his father loved and cared for him but things just weren’t the same and life was not happening fast enough. The father pleaded with his youngest son to stay for things would improve in the spring with the new equipment packages that would be installed in three of Grape Gardener restaurants, and, an addition of a new swing manager for the Black Dog Restaurant. Nevertheless, he had all he

could take and let it be known to his father that there was no changing of his mind; he had thought this over for months now. The father agreed to divide the property between his two sons. Before very long the estate was settled, the firstborn son received twice as much as the youngest. He had always wanted to go to Paris so he packed his bags and left for overseas. Once in France he was able to get situated very quickly. With his education, he had no problem getting a position with Anatole Marketing and Productions. There were those in the upper corporate echelon that played into his low self-esteem and need for the glamorous life in production. This all put a strain on his traditional values. His youthful grin spreading across his face got him a long ways especially with the young ladies, two relationship in a matter of three years. Carefree and bubbly with an infatuation for good times place him in jeopardy. The strain of advancing quickly in his newfound business environment and keeping personal relationships happy became very costly. His six-figure pay covered more then the essentials but he still needed more money for the good life. He clearly understood the trade-off but the urge was insatiable. The stress to keep it all together became greater and his disposition became more volatile. He lived in a penthouse and orders room service whenever he wanted; this certainly wasn’t likely in the states. There were bills to pay, deadlines to meet, quotas to beat and maintaining the status quo. He knew he could make it happen if he just worked a little harder, make more contacts and think like a winner.

It was all in having a good mental attitude. He was diligent in developing his motivational skills. He told himself this is the price he had to pay, as he became more conniving and cruel. You wouldn’t know him today. One afternoon he went to the racetrack. The excitement definitely was there with the roar of engines and smell of rubber. The anticipation was everywhere from the pits to the stands, the different make and models of cars the time and the number of laps. As he became involved with racing, he found more people that were open to include him in major financial deals. One of his new acquaintances had some contacts with big money. This friend let him in on some quick money that seemed to come just at the right time – God is it not? His knowledge of racing and finding of new friends both male and female gave him hope as how to achieve the desired result: the good life. After becoming a part owner in a car and sometimes driving, when the occasion arose, he sold some of his assets and quite his job. He had found his love. The next year he was in the winner circle twice. Newspapers, magazines and TV wanted to interview the up and coming bachelor who was going to be the next Formula One World Championship Driver. Yet something happened he became burned out, fed up, frustrated and out of step. While he was in the corporate world, he had a prescription for OxyContin – the brand name for oxycodone. Taking these pills made him, feel better then he had for months. As life became more difficult, he was able to buy more through an acquaintance. Eventually he became addicted. It is ironic that a drug that is meant to ease the pain of those suffering from debilitating diseases became his destruction. Within a year, it all caved in around him, out on the street without a penny. No friends and certainly no girlfriends for all had disappeared. He was able to get a job as a fry-cook 11:00 PM. to 7:00 AM., making just enough to support his habit. Many evenings he would go to the dishwashing area to drink the rest of a few

left over mix drinks and a piece of meat from a bus pan. In the day, there was no place to sleep and soon he could not keep up the pace of working all night and not sleeping during the day. One morning he was found fast asleep in the storeroom and was fired. He got to the point of digging through the slop in garbage containers behind restaurants, the slop that was sold to farmers for their pigs. He tried begging on the streets but no one gave him anything. He yelled, “God what do I do?” When he finally came to his senses, he said, “All those working for my father are well taken care of even the bus boys and dishwashers have more than they can eat and here I am starving to death. I want to go home God, why did I leave anyway?” He was able to get passage and work his way on a Container Ship. As he sobs, he no long feels like a foreigner he feels like a soul longing for his father. I will say to him, “Father, I have done wrong in the sight of God and in your eyes, I don’t deserve to be called your son. Please take me on as an employee.” His thoughts swayed this way and that way -- excitement and then worry. What if... Extravagant living leads to extravagant grace. Was lost but now is found is a theme of scripture, only in God’s kingdom. It is not to instruct us as to how to live but how much God loves. After seventeen days, he is on the Canadian and Maine passenger train bound for Portland, Maine. He has made very good time yet it seems like months. He had called that morning from Boston but could not get an answer. He then called his father’s cell phone and left a message on his voice mail. “Dad, it’s me and I was wondering if I could maybe come home. If that is "okay" with you that is... I'm taking the passenger train out of Boston and I should be in Fitchburg at 10:20 PM. It’s a fifteen minute layover.” He hears the rhythm of the rails say, “Dad, I’m sorry, Dad, can you forgive me; Dad, I was wrong, Dad, please, I am very sorry.”

He hears this over and over again. Repeatedly the rails say, “Yes, he will, No, he won’t; Yes, he will, No, he won’t.” His hands are sweating as he grips his fingers. He has cramps in his stomach his throat is dry. The commuter passes over the trestle and slows to a stop at Leominster. The doors open, about ten passengers exit and in a few minutes they close and the train rolls unhurriedly the remaining five miles into Fitchburg. Slowly, the brakes are squeaking and the train comes to a gentle stop. The whistle blows and the doors open while the rest of the passengers exit. He walks from the platform into the station. Only a few people are around. He wonders will he come. Maybe he should have stayed in Boston or continue on to Portland. He drags himself through the double doors into the new terminal not knowing what was in store for him. In a few minutes, the terminal was clear of any passengers. He sees a glimpse of his father running to the door. The son proceeded through the Main Street door out to the parking lot. He is elated to see his father run “with everything he has got” towards the door. He greets him with a bright smile. The youngest son stops in his tracks stands there with a Wal-Mart bag of his few belongings, not knowing how to respond. His father’s heart is pounding as he runs up, throwing his arms around his son and slobbers kisses all over his face. He took the bag and said, “You must be hungry being on the road all this time. We will stop at the Grape Gardener for a bite to eat.” Your mother couldn’t make it here in time to help pick you up so she called me from her cell phone. She will meet us at the restaurant. While driving the short distance to the restaurant, the son started his rehearsed speech, “Dad, I have sinned against God and I have sinned before you, and I don’t deserve being called your son ever again. I mean it. I’ll work as a line cook or broiler person or fry cook.” Nevertheless, the father was not listening for he was pulling into the parking lot by this time. “Business is good to night look at all the cars,” Dad says. They found a parking spot right in front of

the entrance. As they got out of the Dodge ‘300’ Touring car and walked into the waiting area there stood about ninety relatives, aunts, uncles, grandpa, grandma, nieces, nephews, cousins and close friends. They yelled, “Surprise, We Love You!” Out of the crowd ran his Mama with her arms out to hug and kiss her son. I am so glad to see you we must celebrate with a feast! The father says, “Yes, were going to celebrate – barbecued beef – for this son of mine who was lost and is now found. Let the party begin.” Everyone stood in line to welcome him home. Excitement was in the air, laughter, music and dancing could be heard from a distance. The older brother was driving past when he saw the parking lot was full of cars and the banquet room was lit up. “I don’t remember scheduling a party for tonight,” he said to himself so he drove in to investigate. As soon as he walks into the office, the evening host knocks and sticks his head in the door and says, “Your brother is back, your father and mother have prepared a feast to celebrate for he has come home again safe and sound without a scratch. The older brother stalked out of the office furious. He was leaning against his car sulking when his father heard the noise, came out, and pleaded with him to come back in and join the party. But he replied, “Look you don’t understand, all these years I’ve worked hard for you and never gave the family a moment of grief, I took on responsibilities that weren’t even asked of me. I filled the gap that was left open when my younger brother went for the good life. All that extravagant living. I ask you, now, have you ever thrown me a party like this with my friends. Yet when this son of yours comes begging back after spending your money on whores, race cars, wild parties and trips around the world you go all out with a big barbecued beef and all the trimmings. I can’t believe it! That band for instance came all the way from Boston.” The father said, “My son you don’t understand you and I are very close and you are with me all the time, everything that I have is yours. Your know that. This is your brother we are family. Your

Mother and I had to celebrate for this is a wonderful time. He was dead and he has come back to life. He was lost and now he is found” (Luke 15:8-10, paraphrased by author). The father said, in essence, to his youngest son, “As far as I’m concerned, the old you is dead. Now, walk with me as a new man. That is my estimation of you. There is no need for you to live under guilt. Don’t keep talking about your sin, your unworthiness. The sin problem is settled. Now, come boldly into my presence and partake of my mercy and grace. I delight in you!”

Extravagant living leads to extravagant grace. Was lost but now is found is a theme of scripture, only in God’s kingdom. It is not to instruct us as to how to live but how much God loves. His Grace just happens when you least expect with no strings attached to people who deserves the worst possible scenario. This comes solely from God who is Grace. True Grace for the ungraced the least deserving.

Check out Leo’s blog on the Warehouse website at www.vcfleesburg.com

01… John Dakin 01… Randy Gideons 04... Linda Rohal 07... John Rohal 10… Curtis Peacock 11… John & Barbara Smith 13... Nhzingha Evangelist 16… John & Amy Schaller 17... Avry Kasperek 21… Ray & Dawn Moses 21… Shea Moser

23… Kiersten Leiva 24... Jeanne McDonald 25… Dawn Windham 25… Joel Hayes 28... Kathryn Merrill 29... Alan Hendricks 30... Jill Vanorder 30… Zachary Haines

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