Road Trippin’ Day 17 : Independence Day

Hi Gorgeous Friends,

This was 4th of July, and Chuck got up at 3am and hit the road while we were all sleeping to make it to Oklahoma City to attend Gate Church at 10am. They are affiliated with the same network of churches that our church is under, and we have had the privilege of hearing their pastors preach at our church. During the pandemic, I would often listen to our churches message online as well as watch Bishop Tony Miller preach. Tony Miller has recently passed into heaven, and yet he made such an impact on us, we wanted to visit.

But when we arrived, they were hosting online church only. I was ready to find a church nearby. I desperately needed to worship alongside a body of believers! Chuck had reservations about just googling a church. I did a quick search and found one 6 minutes away! Life.Church. He agreed to drive there and at least check out the “parking lot.” The criteria was going to be if he could get the motorhome to fit and park it. Okay fair enough!

So we headed there… also my friend Angie packed the kids a 4th of July goody bag to be opened up on the holiday. The kids tore into the bag and investigated their goodies! Pop its and streamers and photo props and glow sticks and more! What a great way to start the day!

We headed to the church and guess what?! It was located in a huge plaza with plenty of parking. So, with criteria met, we got out for church and God had a blessing in store for Chuck and I and the kids!

The whole church is setting up for a once a year summer series event called At the Movies. They transform the church into movie sets and teach biblical truths through the movie line. The church was all decorated for Shrek which would be the movie showcased next Sunday.

The kids area was amazing! Our kids are used to going to kids church so they happily got checked in and went to their classrooms.

My blessing came first. We walked into church and they were worshiping through a song that has gotten me through several “fires” lately. There was another in the fire. I wake-up some mornings singing this song before I even get out of bed! I sang and worshipped my heart out. I was so so thankful we came!

Next was Chuck’s blessing. He was watching the screen and Craig Groeschel began to speak! He was like, “I didn’t know this was his church! I’ve read his book. I’ve listened to him preach. Everything he does is over the top! That’s why everything was so over the top when we got here.” And Chuck was thankful that we stopped as well. And this church was “over the top.” We got picked up by a golf cart at our RV that was decorated with moss. The entire church looked like a Shrek premiere. There were coffees, teas, and water being handed out. The children’s area was friendly and like walking into Disney. It was an experience!

And, the preaching was solid. The message was that after you make the decision to accept Christ’s call to follow Him, you have to go where HE is going! And He is going after the lost. He is going after the one. And so to follow Christ means to go after the lost as well. The pastor preached that the only time Jesus spoke three parables in a row that taught the same message was to illustrate the heart of the Father who goes after the one who is lost. And if you are following Christ, you are also called to be going where He goes which is after the ones who are hurting, lost, confused, and need the gospel mesage to set them free. It was a solid message that spoke to my heart.

And the final blessing was the kids. They just had a great time. They were comfortable, had fun, and learned about Jesus!

Overall, a great church. I am thankful we stopped.

Then, we played a little in the parking lot. We let the kids throw popits and took some pics and we headed out for a long day of driving. We had McDonald’s for lunch. It was our first time have McDonald’s on our road trip and the kids were so happy!!

We drove until we got to Conway, Arkansas. We attempted to go to the lake and watch their firework show, but we couldn’t safely park the motorhome anywhere close. So we ordered Dominoes pizza, made a salad, and let the kids just play in an empty parking lot. A fourth of July celebration like none other we’ve ever had!

And that’s a wrap on Day 17.

Much love and many blessings!

Vanessa Lynn

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