Where there is hope – there is faith. Where there is faith – there is miracles.
I believe in miracles and I believe amazing things can happen, but honestly my faith in miracles was not strong before until I attended a church service at The Altar Church over the summer. My husband had been trying to get me to attend a church service, but I was dealing with personal anger at this time and I was not letting myself hear the plea of my hubby. I heard stories about a local pastor getting shot in the parking lot of his own church, but it took me a while to put the pieces together that this was the church my hubby had been to a few times and that this was the pastor that had helped my hubby’s cousin in some personal things. I remember hearing that the pastor was shot 6 times and was recovering in the hospital.
I really wish I remember the day I walked into the church for my first time because that day was so meaningful. By the end of service, I was faithfully hooked and wanted to make this church our home – especially since my hubby was enjoying everything about The Altar. We spent years divided on church homes. Truthfully, I am at a preschool level of bible education and I loved the worship/concert more than hearing a message, and he is like a scholar that enjoys purely a deep message and lesson. We honestly could not find a place that fit our family and our needs – and going to church to hear a concert was just not the right reasons to go. We disliked trying to be part of the pretty church crowd- trying to fit into that bubble and then there was guilt as we knew we needed to attend “church” on Sunday. What kind of an example were we giving our children?
But attending the Altar was different. We felt, from the moment we walked through the doors, that we were part of a family- that we were a loved just the way we were. It didn’t matter if we were dressed nice or dressed in work clothes or how man kids we had to fill up the seats. It is hard to explain how comfortable it felt to be there and how normal it was. I still am not 100% positive on how this church and their Good Samaritan Program works, but I did notice that on the left and right front sections of the church, it was divided with men on one side and women on the other. The Good Sam program, or as many members call it, The “ranch”, is a rehab program offering freedom from drugs and alcohol through a relationship with Jesus Christ. Yes, I know it sounds crazy, but you must be there and listen to these testimonies and just meet the church body – it is just so powerful. It really has changed my life – and many of my new friends I have made.
Anywho, I have heard so many talk about Pastor Tim and how amazing, sweet, gentle, kind, blunt, generous, he is and a little piece in me was jealous as so many has been able to know him before the shooting and now I sat there praying with everyone that God healed him and I too could meet him. I know nothing about guns, bullets, distance, etc so it took me some time to research his story to finally get the huge impact on how much his story was nothing short of a miracle. Actually it wasn’t until I heard his beautiful wife, Cindy, speak and physically show me where he was shot, that I understood how amazing God is. Each time I think of his story, all I can do is just shake my head because their are just no words besides “praise Jesus!”. Six hollow-point rounds from a .45-caliber handgun ripped into his back and shoulder. His right arm was shattered, a lung was collapsed, a round pierced his pelvis, and another skipped up to penetrate his skull, and Jesus saved him. There really isn’t any other way to describe it. Pastor Tim and Cindy have helped so many lovely lost souls and they are loved by so many. They themselves have a house filled of adult kids that are very talented and can be found blessing the congregation with their musical talents, but it wasn’t until recently I had a moment to meet them all and do what I personally love – photography!
They were in need of some recent family photos and they have heard my name (which – ok girl moment- that totally made me squeal) and asked if I was available to do their photos. I admit, I was a nervous wreck. I get nervous before every session – worrying I can’t produce the images they imagine I can do for them – what if they think I suck?! I always have fun but there is always this fear that I will disappoint them.
They invited me out to their property to do their family photos and we had great weather and perfect overcast sun. Here is a sneak peek into our session together. If you are looking for a church home or would like to come for a visit, I would love for you to come. I promise, no one will bite, but you will probably get hugged by someone – they are big huggers there!