By Kathleen Swaney
Recently Pastor Dan called up three boys from Living Water onstage. The young college man was given a big granite stone. He was instructed to pass it on to the next boy, who was smaller. Each boy passed it down to the next.
The stone looked heavier as it was held by the younger boys. Then it went back to the tallest and strongest one of them. It reminded me of the meaning of the scripture from 1 Sam.7:12: Ebenezer–Samuel saying of the Lord, “Thus far has the Lord helped us”.
Then Samuel took a stone and set it up between Mizpah and Shen. He named it Ebenezer, saying, “Thus far the Lord has helped us.”
As Pastor Dan continued, he challenged us to think of the Ebenezer stones in our lives.
I remembered back to 2004. After losing two  jobs in a row and feeling very alone at home and in the church I was going to, I received a phone call from this new church in Whitmore Lake. I decided to go on Sunday.
I was warmly greeted by Nancy and Linda, which made me feel welcome. The worship music was something I had come to love over the years. Pastor Dan’s sermon was good, and someone was there to pray for you after church. I really wanted to come back.
I signed a card and was contacted about a women’s scripture study group meeting in someone’s home. Now that I wasn’t working, I could go during the day, and I had time to do the homework!  (I really enjoyed it.)
I received training from St. Luke to pray with people. I even went with some women to Florida for workshops and to Traverse City for a conference. My life has never been the same.
My life has never been the same.
Since I have been going to Living Water, I have been a part of Pastor Dan’s Scripture study on Sunday mornings and the women’s group during the week. I really hate to miss either one. I have a hunger and a love for God’s “Living Word”! His Word nourishes my spirit and soul and I always want more. I’ve learned so much from our studies.Pastor Dan has knowledge of Scripture that challenges and feeds my mind. I also look forward each week to our group’s input – back and forth – sharing their life’s stories and questions. I’ve gotten to know a side of people I see in Sunday service that reveals to me their faith walk with the Lord.

It reminds me that we are “living stones” “being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood…”  (1 Peter 2:4-7 and Is. 28:16).

You will not regret becoming a part of a Scripture study group. I challenge you to begin in September!