Stretching our Thinking

It’s hard in life when you get in a funk. You know the days, or weeks, or months, when you can’t seem to get a clear direction on anything. This last year and a half has been that kind of journey. The old saying, “the best laid plans of mice and men often go awry.” That pretty well sums up this COVID season of church and leadership. For me, it has been extremely hard watching everything you have been working for and toward, suddenly taking a step or leap backward.

But yet, I find that God is not surprised, rather, He is watching to see what I have been doing and what I will do. I have grumbled and complained for the last year. As if, God has turned a blind eye to the situation the world is in. Then I had an epiphany a couple weeks ago, perhaps, I should look at things from another perspective. With a new set of eyes. Maybe I should think differently. Instead of looking at the problem at hand, what we can do about it. Of course, there are a lot of uncertainties. But in every uncertainty, there will always be an opportunity. Now is the time to really look at what’s important.

There are a lot of things that have changed, some permanently. There are a great deal of things that have been lost, but there are also a lot of things that remain. Instead of focusing on what is lost, we must learn to work with and grow what remains. To say that God is working in my heart is an understatement. He is changing the way I think. Changing the way I view things. God is trying to get me to see things through His eyes and to focus on what is most important not to me, but to Him and His Kingdom. Instead of always worrying about how this affects me, I am beginning to ask, “How is God working this for my good?”

It is a stretch in my thinking, but in the end, I am learning to ask the right questions and allow my heart to be shaped by the plan and purpose of God. For the first time in a year, I am seeing forward. It has been long journey but I am excited for what is ahead.

This Sunday, we begin a new series called REGROUP. You don’t want to miss it.

Feeling Good!

It’s Thursday morning and normally this is the crunch day.  Feeling the pressure of getting everything done for Sunday.  Thursday and Friday are usually the High Energy days for me.  But I’m feeling good this week.  It’s Thursday morning and I am already finished with my two Sunday Sermons.  Life is good!  I might just take tomorrow off.

We have our monthly board meeting tonight.  We will have dinner at Cowboy Red’s then take time for our business.  I thank God for a good group of men to work with.  We are fortunate and blessed to have Godly men on our board.

On another note:  Why can’t the Astro’s hold a lead?  Up 4 to 2 and then give up 6 runs in 1 inning.  Relief pitching has a tough time in the Astro’s organization.  But holding a lead is also tough in a church.  We can be up 4 to 2  and in a matter of time we can begin to lose.  We have to learn how to hold the lead.  We can gain new families and have them attend for several weeks but if they are not assimilated they leave and we lose the lead.

Just like in baseball, relief pitching is the key.  It takes all of us, not just the pastor, to maintain the growth of the church.  It takes every member embracing and going out of their way to build relationships with new families.  It does not matter if we think we are too busy for more friends…we must stretch ourselves and take every opportunity to build the kingdom of God.  Go ahead invite someone to church Sunday and while your at it invite someone from the church out to dinner this week.  It will do you good!

Missionaries With a Passion

Last night, we had a couple of missionaries to Mexico.  They have been serving there for 12 years and are now intinerating to help raise their funds.  There ministry last night can only be described as passionate. 

I have had alot of missionaries over the years and you can always sense their burden for their field of ministry, but Roger and Debbi were different.  They were consumed!  Consumed with a passion to reach Mexico for Christ.  Passionate to raise up leaders that can reach the nations.  Passionate to make an impact on this world that we live in.

It caused me to reflect on my own passion for the city I live.  Am I that consumed with what God has given me to do?  As American pastors we often get stuck in the grind and lose our passion for what we are doing and why we are doing it.  Ministry is not an easy road.  The weekly responsibilities on a pastor are at times tough.  But we should never lose sight of why we are doing what we are doing.

We must never lose that passion and fire for touching lives, changing lives and shaping lives.  I walked away last night evaluating how I can live a life of passion once again.  “Lord, help me to be consumed with a passion for your church and ministry.”

Miracle Gro

Last night was church and we had a great Bible Study.  The crowds were down because of all the rain we have been having.  Besides the rain, the men had a great time talking about Becoming a Man After God’s Own Heart.  It has challenged me to become more like Him.  Sonya taught the ladies.  They have been studying prayer.  I have heard good reports from it.

This morning is a beautiful morning, I just hope it doesn’t rain so I can mow my jungle this afternoon.  I put out weed and feed and I think it has been feeding more than weeding.

Don’t you wish there was some kind of Miracle Gro for the church like weed and feed.  Help you fix the things that need to be fixed and feed it to make it grow with little effort.  If only we could come up with something like Church Miracle Gro.  Oh, wait a minute, there is already church Miracle Gro.  It is  the Holy Spirit.  If we could only tap into the Holy Spirit and His miraculous power, the church would grow.  So it’s back to the same thing again, if we pray and seek the Lord, He will cause the church to grow.  The only thing we have to remember is that in addition to our praying we must be willing to work with the Lord.  Sharing our faith, inviting people to church, ministering to people and their needs, etc. 

If we could ever align ourselves with the purpose and will of God, we could see God move.  Our sure way to growth is not another plan, but a reliance on the Spirit of God.

Church Is Like A Home Project

Yesterday I installed two lights in our garage.  Our garage needed more light and in my professional expertise, I created more light.  All was going well in this project until I started.  Nothing ever goes right on the first try.  A couple trips to the hardware store, a scrape, a cut, a little bit of blood and behold there is more light.  That is the way we do projects at my house.

Home projects are a lot like building a church.  Building a church is not easy.  It takes perseverance, patience and prayer.  Too often we expect this easy road to building a church, but there are obstacles that often stand in our way.  The enemy does not want us building a church so he works hard at making us work harder.

The thing about it is, that we cannot give up or quit.  We must take the obstacles in stride and just keep plugging away.  Frustration may come when we take one step forward and two steps back but remember, there are times when we take 6 steps forward and only one step back.  This is God’s church!  He will build it and the gates of Hell shall not prevail against it.