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“Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly…” ~ Colossians 3:16

Rebuild

rebuildThe blog has been quiet lately. We’ve gone a bit silent–maybe because we’re afraid of what we might say if given a platform, maybe because we don’t want to risk causing any more hurt, or maybe because we are all struggling for encouragement ourselves–but it is time.

I like to clean up as I go, whether I’m making dinner or my kids are playing, I typically go behind and start putting dishes and toys away so I don’t have a massive clean up at the end. But when major demolition is happening and doors are unhinged and windows shatter and brick crashes to the concrete, clean up has to wait. It makes sense to let all the pieces fall before sorting through the rubble. Then the ground is cleared for whatever phase comes next.

I’m not sure if all of our hearts are quite ready to rebuild. But we do know that the foundation is already laid. The Cornerstone never moved. We can keep doing the things we know are good and right to do, and I believe God will bring healing. If we humble ourselves and make our confessions and repent from our foolishness or apathy or evil, He is faithful to restore us. If we renew our minds and set our hearts on Him, He will bring about His glory.

Last Friday, Nic and I helped two DHS workers load about two hundred donated bags from the Gathering Hall into a Chevy Silverado and a Honda CRV. Each backpack, or handbag, or suitcase included a handwritten note from a dozen or so faithful Cornerstonians. The workers took their loads back to a Little Rock DHS office to put away for children taken into foster care because of neglect or abuse. Each bag is meant to be a tiny symbol of love and hope for a hurting and confused child.

This is our work. I believe this is how we rebuild. We act justly, love mercy and walk humbly with the Lord. We keep our eyes on Him, remembering the truth of who He is, and we gain strength for today.

 Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and strangers, but fellow citizens with God’s people and also members of his household,  built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone.  In him the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord.  And in him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit. – Ephesians 2:19-22

Bekah Nelson: God Has Something Better

Bekah Nelson is a homegrown CBF Christian. Her parents, John and Linda Hargrave, are long-time members who raised their family at Cornerstone. Like many young Christians when they go off to college, Bekah had to find her own way to embrace her childhood faith. She had everything planned: she attended Arkansas Tech in Russellville and planned to major in physical therapy. The Doctors Beyond Borders program sounded tempting.

But somewhere along the way, she felt God leading in another direction.

Her father, John said, “You’re the one your friends always talk with. Have you thought about counseling?”

No, she hadn’t. She prayed and weighed her options.

While in the youth group, there was a time of interim youth pastors and a family friend and then elder, Randy Dennis, led several lessons for the youth. Bekah remembers Randy’s teaching: The Lord won’t give you what you want; but he will give you what you need. His BEST is up ahead.

Bekah thought about that: Not physical therapy? God has something better!
In faith, she changed her major to counseling and transferred to UCA in Conway.

Her senior year in college, her metabolism became out of balance and the doctors diagnosed a severe thyroid problem and put her on medications. One result, the doctor said, was that she would struggle to become pregnant.

God Has a Better Plan: Loving Children

After years of “dragging home puppies” (as her Dad put it), Bekah met Steven Nelson through mutual friends. They fell in love and married. Even though Steven knew Bekah would have difficulties becoming pregnant, he still wanted children.

Bekah and Steven's engagement picture. | CBFWomen
Bekah and Steven’s engagement picture. | CBFWomen

Becca and Steven Nelson's Wedding on 5-15-09 | CBFWomen
Bekah and Steven Nelson’s Wedding on 5-15-09. | CBFWomen

He told Bekah, “We could become foster parents.”
Bekah was hesitant, but after eight months of CALL training, they accepted their first foster child. Over the next year, they had three foster children; one stayed with them for ten months, while the other two were short term stays.

Bekahsays her counselor training was helpful because the children’s families had multiple problems. In the end, they were thrilled that Vincent, their ten-month foster child, went back to live with his mom. They had managed to give the mother a space of time in which to grow into her role as a mother.

But God had a surprise in store for Bekah and Steven. Against all odds, Bekah became pregnant. Her metabolic problems meant she was tired all the time; but her blood work actually improved, and has stayed at better levels.

Even now, Bekah feels the physical toll of caring for a toddler, but it’s a joyful struggle.

Becca Nelson's First Mothers Day! | CBFWomen
Bekah Nelson’s First Mothers Day! | CBFWomen

Returning Home

Why did they decide to attend Cornerstone? Steven works as a programmer in Conway, so they live halfway between Conway and North Little Rock in Mayflower. They could have attended their college church in Conway. Or, they could have chosen another church.

“It felt like home,” Bekah said. Just as important, Steven loved the church. They found places to served in the Children’s Ministry and have found a home team they enjoy.

As their daughter Ava nears her first birthday, Bekah and Steven are sure of one thing: HIS best is up ahead.

Becca and Steven Nelson's 5th Anniversary celebrations in New York City. | CBFWomen
Bekah and Steven Nelson’s 5th Anniversary celebrations in New York City. | CBFWomen

Love One Another

My Bible reading this morning was John 13:34-35:
“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”

The late theologian Francis Schaeffer said this verse gives the outside watching world permission to judge us by how well we love one another.

How does that happen? The Bible has many “one another” commands, and I especially like those aimed at creating unity among believers. This infographic breaks down the “one anothers” for us.

Infographic: all the one another commands in the New Testament

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