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An Adventure on the Beach

By Jackie van der Velde

CBN.com - Not knowing what to expect, we headed to the beach with nervous anticipation.  With coolers and guitars in hand, we walked along the boardwalk to determine what would be the best spot for our endeavor. The grassy patch next to the 17th street Dairy Queen was a beautiful site! It had everything we needed; people strolling up and down the boardwalk, lots of room to sit and hang out, and bathrooms close by.  It was perfect! We were ready to have home group on the beach!

Our group had always met every Friday night for worship, prayer, and mutual encouragement in the Lord at someone’s home. Lately though, we had been stirred to move our group out of the home and into open areas to testify of His mercy and grace by sharing what God has done in our lives.  A prompting so strong and unified, we had to obey.  

“Obedience is better than sacrifice”, says the Lord.  And so it is!

As we stepped out in obedience, he took care of the rest. Within minutes of singing worship songs, we had several people stop by.

It’s totally awesome to watch God in action, to watch Him call His wayward children back home. One by one they came.  Some heard a familiar song and wanted to join in; others just wanted to see what we were all about.  Whatever the reason, all were welcome to hang out.

One man that came up was named Roy. He came and listened to the music for a while, talked about his life and how he felt he had messed it all up.  We assured him of God’s love for him, and how much he longs to have fellowship with him.  Within minutes he had rededicated his life back to the Lord.  Through tears of repentance, he surrendered it all to Jesus.  It was absolutely awesome!  

Later on in the evening came Diane, David, and Lori.  They stopped and watched from a distance.  We offered them sodas and invited them to join us.  David was a bit uneasy, but Lori and Diane jumped right in.

As we sang and talked about the love of God, it was obvious by the look in Lori’s eyes that she wanted to know more. God was calling her to Himself. She was hungry, yearning to know the true love and acceptance that only comes from giving your life to Jesus.  She told us she had her own religion, but she liked hanging in our circle because of the positive energy she felt.

What she felt was God’s presence and in His presence is fullness of joy.

Her cousin David, on the other hand, seemed a little uncomfortable as he was motioning to Lori that he wanted to walk on.   Maybe he felt we would try to push something on him. Maybe he just didn’t want to hear about God.  

Their aunt, Diane, seemed to be comfortable as she was told us about different churches she had visited. They stayed quite a while longer, before they continued down the beach. It was evident that something had happened in Lori’s heart.  I felt that they would be back, maybe that night, maybe next week.  

But even if they don’t come back, God is working in their lives.  He made an impact on their hearts.  I know God will continue to reveal Himself to Lori, Diane, David, Roy, and every other person who walked by on that first Friday night at the beach. What an exciting night!

We saw God touch people’s lives!  It wasn’t anything we prepared, no speeches, no tracts, no "in your face" evangelism.  All we did was praise the Lord and people responded. It was totally God! Father God is drawing his children -- and we have the privilege to be there and welcome them back home.

Now as we venture out to the beach, there is a whole new excitement and anticipation.  We can’t wait to see what God is going to do.  It’s so much fun being out with people, talking to them, loving them.  Sharing with them that God knows exactly where we are, and it doesn’t matter where we’ve been or how long we’ve been there, God loves us!
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