February 2012 – Update

Hope at the Beach

Worshiping Christ on the sand, North side of Seal Beach Pier

February Update

For the Lord your God is God of gods and Lord of lords, the great God, mighty and awesome, who is not partial and takes no bribe, who executes justice for the orphan and the widow, and who loves the strangers, providing them food and clothing. You shall also love the stranger, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt. You shall fear the Lord your God; him alone you shall worship; to him you shall hold fast, and by his name you shall swear. He is your praise; he is your God, who has done for you these great and awesome things that your own eyes have seen. Your ancestors went down to Egypt seventy persons; and now the Lord your God has made you as numerous as the stars in heaven. Deuteronomy 10:17-22

Wow what a great scripture. It is very appropriate for us this month because Seal Beach finally had the second of two surf contests. I say finally because they had postponed it four times. On Super Bowl Saturday and Sunday around two hundred folks gathered near the Seal Beach pier for the contest. It was great. Of course we had our two worship services during the first two qualifying heats at 7:15 a.m. and 8 a.m. One of our group was surfing in the first heat and we lost one or two while the service was going on but it was good.

Why I wanted to tell you about this Sunday was that many new folks, both surfers and spectators, worshiped with us. One incident really caught my attention. While I was serving communion an older surfer who I did not know came up, took communion and knelt at the table and prayed. As always we just kept on going. After the service I got a chance to ask how he did in the contest. He told me that he hadn’t made it through to the heat that morning but had just wanted to come down and see who won. He was unaware of our worship service and when he saw us he said that he knew that God was compelling him to worship with us. Now that would have been great in any case but he told me that he had been far from God for so long that he felt like a stranger until he saw/heard us. I invited him back and said, “See you are no longer a stranger but part of the Hope at the Beach family.” He smiled and answered, “Even if I don’t make it every Sunday?” “Yes of course,” I answered.

You too are part of God’s family even though you might think of yourselves as strangers. You are one of us because of what Christ is doing, has done and will continue to do in his Kingdom. Please pray for the Lenten Season that had begun and for the people that God will lead to worship him, and for His ministry and outreach at Seal Beach.

Rejoicing in Him,

Chuck and Lin Carlson