Sunday, June 18, 2006

Various Ramblings

Tonight, I spent some time at Hamilton Mill Community Church, which is now our North Campus. Something struck me. Here we were, two separate churches, now becoming one body in Christ. The spirit of unity was so obvious, that I could tell that only the Lord could accomplish something this cool. What an exciting time for our church, but also for me as a pastor!

So, Father's Day is almost over. I had a pretty good day. It was busy, to be sure, but I was reminded how blessed I am.

VBS was last week, hence the hiatus in blog entries. It was worth every moment I spent! I was able to teach 260+ kids about missions for 5 days straight, and get to know many of them. My plan is to make this part of my schedule each year. Who would have ever thought that I would enjoy teaching kids that much?!

One quote that has stuck with me recently was by Albert Einstein. Loosely quoting Al, "Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results." The Lord is stretching me in this area, since I tend to be a "if it ain't broke don't fix it" kind of guy. I'm having to instead become more of a "it may not be broke, but break it and then fix it and it will be better" guy. That should be quite interesting.

Saturday, June 10, 2006

Unfaltering Reliance

I'm in the process of reading a great book by one of my favorite authors, Leonard Sweet titled "Summoned to Lead". Half way through, it's an awesome read, but that's not what I want to talk about.

In the book there is a quote from 19th century cleric William Ellery Channing* which says:

The greatest man is he who chooses right with invincible resolution, who resists the sorest temptation from within and without, who bears the heaviest burdens cheerfully; who is calmest in storms, and most fearless under menaces and frowns; whose reliance on truth, on virtue, on God, is most unfaltering. (emphasis mine)

Wow. That's the guy I want to be. Lately, I have been praying that the Lord would show me what it means to truly lean on and trust Him. I think I have done an OK job of this in the past, but I feel in my spirit that He is calling me to an all new level of trust and reliance. It's exciting, because I have many challenges ahead in the coming months. You would think I would be worried and completely stressed, but oddly enough, I am at peace. Maybe I am on my way. This kind of calm in the midst of a life storm can only be supernatural.

*Mr. Channing was a Unitarian Universalist, whose theology I disagree with. In any case, I believe that you can learn something from just about anyone. This quote was also attributed to Stoic philosopher Anneaus Seneca.

Monday, June 05, 2006

Prayer Walk

I just wanted to share my notes from the prayer walk that we hosted last week for our Vacation Bible School coming up next week.

"Tonight we gather to walk our property and pray the Lord’s blessing on our VBS program. I was reading the story of Hannah from 1st Samuel, and something struck me. Hannah prayed for a child for many years. She was barren, and had to endure taunting and the despair of a woman who could not bear children. So what did she do? She took it to the Lord. She told God that if He would only give her a child she would dedicate him to the Lord’s work for his entire life. The Lord heard her, and answered her prayer. Samuel arrived not that long after Hannah’s desperate prayer. Hannah was true to her word and dedicated Samuel to the Lord. In 1 Sam v.27&28, it says:

“I asked the LORD to give me this child, and he has given me my request. Now I am giving him to the LORD, and he will belong to the LORD his whole life." And they worshiped the LORD there.”
I think this is what the Lord is asking of us today. He has blessed us with children, not just as mother’s and fathers, but also as a church. We are to dedicate them to the Lord and PRAY for them as they grow. It’s not a cliché, they are the church of tomorrow, and the world is not getting to be an easier place to live. Their challenges we cannot even comprehend right now. The prayers we send up for them now, in 2006, will be the foundation of their ministries and their dedication to the Lord in the future.

We want a very successful VBS this year. We are praying for over 300 kids to take part. But the bottom line is not in the numbers, or in the success from a human perspective. The bottom line is: Did these precious children grow closer to our Lord? Did kids who had no knowledge or understanding of salvation receive Christ as their Lord? This needs to be our prayer tonight. As we pray for many things, this is the measure of success. A success that will bring glory to Jesus Christ, and not to us. That, He will be pleased with. And when it is all over, we can do the same as Hannah and Eli did when the miracle child Samuel was dedicated: We can worship the Lord in His sanctuary."

Thursday, June 01, 2006

It's Been a Long Time Since I Rock and Rolled

Hiatus. Gap. Space. Lull. Pause. Break. Call it what you will. Man, has it been that long?! I really do like doing this blog thing. I have learned, oddly enough, that I like to write. So why not make more time to do it? Good question, time to fix that one.

Anyway, craziness of all craziness. My life is rolling along, sometimes it seems a blur. Does anyone else experience that?

Lately, I have come to the realization that I need an all new level of reliance on Christ. I have so many responsibilities and I don't want to screw things up. Well, if I have anything to do with it I will. If Jesus has anything to do with it, things will be greater than I could even imagine. Not only that, but HE will get the glory.

If I come up with any great insights on what it truly means to rely on the Lord, I'll let you know. In the meantime, I'm just going to pray and trust.