September 21, 2006
Dear Redeemer Family:
Last Sunday afternoon Linda reminded me that there was a baby shower at the church that we needed to go to. I had been taking a nap and, a bit groggy, got dressed and proceeded to the church.
When we pulled in the parking lot there were a lot of cars there. I said, “Wow, this is going to be a big shower!” Linda said, “There’s a big family here today.” Entering the church building, I went to the Fellowship Hall and saw tables and chairs set up and ready to go. But no people. Linda said, “Probably they are in the sanctuary doing some spiritual things.” OK.
Nobody in the lobby, either. Linda and I walked to the double doors. Wayne Harmon and Larry Poore thrust them open, and YOU were there standing and clapping… and looking… at me. I asked Linda, “What is this?” She took me down the center aisle, sat me in a chair right in front, next to her, her dad Del, my sons Josh and Dan, and Dan’s fiancé Allie. I was a deer in the headlights. I had entered Rod Serling’s “Twilight Zone.” I was Jim Carrey, stunned to find myself not in real life but on “The Truman Show.” Instead of being at a baby shower, I sat while ALL OF YOU watched slides of me as a baby, which is definitely NOT the kind of thing Scandinavian men like me flock to.
Now, 5 days later, I am feeling a bit emotional as I write this. How can I express my gratefulness FOR YOU? With all of my heart… THANK YOU for the entire evening, for the gifts, and for your presence there. I am a blessed man to have YOU as family. I thank God that He has given you to me. I thank God for His grace and mercy. It is now mediated, from Him, through you, to me.
Linda, Dan, Josh, Del, even our dog So-Fee, feel so blessed. So now I want to bless YOU.
I bless YOU to be a people who greatly advance the Kingdom of God
I bless YOU to be a righteous army that pushes back the kingdom of darkness
I bless YOU as healers to the sick
I bless YOU as deliverers of the oppressed
I bless YOU as raisers of the dead
I bless YOU as witnesses and proclaimers of the Real Jesus
Pastor John Piippo