God’s Presence In A Person This Week…

Chris Bautista is a unique man of God.  He’s “short, but seldom sweet;” he loves like he lives, powerfully; he is a hard-charging Marine; and he is my Brother in Christ.  I love this guy like a son!

Recently Chris has quit his job and started his own business.  And he’s got more work than he can keep up with.  A great place for a new start-up business to be too!

Chris is the best example I’ve ever seen in my life of Anne Lamott’s words…

“Hope begins in the dark.  The stubborn hope that if you just show up and try to do the right thing, the dawn will come.  You wait and watch and work.  You don’t give up.”

A former drug addict and alcoholic, Chris has been clean and sober for a long time now.  Like all of us, his past isn’t a lovely bed of fragrant roses, but it is his past. The life that he’s allowing God to create in him now is exciting to see.

Every Sunday morning, Chris holds our granddaughter, Elma Janine, during the worship time in our morning worship experience.  Elma’s mother is occupied in music ministry, as is my wife.  Every week Elma asks, “Where’s Chris?”  When she sees him, she immediately runs to him to be lifted in his arms and held there gently till time for the children to go to the nursery.

He’s a blessing to our church in many ways.  I see the honest straightforward, yet loving presence of our Lord in Chris every time I’m near him.

Thanks, Chris for reflecting the image and likeness of God to me!

Last Sunday morning, during our morning worship experience, this young lady simply translated us into the presence of God.  As a vocal musician, she transported me in ways I’ve seldom experienced.

She sang, As The Deer, with such emotion and passion that the presence of God was available to anyone who was even slightly aware of Him.  That song, as you may know, is one of the first praise songs ever written and is kind of “old school” in contemporary worship churches like ours.

But Leigh Anne’s singing of this lovely song, taken from one of the Psalms, was a precious reminder of how God quenches our thirsty souls.

Thanks, Leigh Anne, for your heart to lead God’s people in worship, and for revealing the love of God.