Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Monday Morning Musings ... on Tuesday

Sunday was Father's Day. That seems to usually be a difficult day at church and this year was for sure. Unfortunately Father's Day is usually a low attendance Sunday, this year our lowest in several weeks. Father's Day is usually a day that many people who serve don't, and this was true again. I don't get the thinking that on Father's Day let's honor Dad by doing anything but worship together. But then my Dad, Grandpa and Great Grandpa all were God first men, I have a very blessed heritage.

Sunday was tough during singing because the atmosphere was very flat. Don't know if it was the lower attendance, or what but it was definitely off. I was touched by the words of our first song in particular as we sang that God's grace is enough. I really needed that reminder on Sunday and it helped get my mind back on track.

The message was "What Are You Stuck On?" from Acts 27:27-44 and we gave a small can of WD-40 to all the fathers. It is easy to get stuck and we usually think of getting stuck as a negative thing. However, there are positive things on which we should be stuck. We examined how to get unstuck when we are stuck on the wrong things. First, evaluate where you are, in verses 27-29, and 39 we see that they evaluated. Of course to evaluate properly you need to know where you should be. Then you need to cut ties to the wrong people, places or things, verse 40. You cannot get to the right place while still tied to the wrong. What do you need to cut out of your life today. Then you must listen to the truth. In verses 31, and 33-36 they listened to the truth Paul had received from God.

To get stuck where you should be also requires listening to the truth. In verses 23-26 Paul heard from God. You also need to get some strength. In this passage they ate some food as well as took in God's Word to be strengthened. For all of us we need to be in the Word, in prayer and serving to be strengthened. We also need to encourage one another. Our exercise is in our service, this is in and out of the church wherever we are at that time. Then we must run straight to God. I love how it is worded in verse 40 that after cutting the anchors loose they raised the sail and "made for the beach". Run to God and his will with as much strength as you have and God will guide and pull you as well. Then you need to jump in and go for it just like they did in verses 43-44. Where are you stuck today?

In the afternoon I took some of our teens to our District campground for the beginning of Senior High camp. I love seeing the excitement and anticipation on the faces of kids going to camp.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Monday Morning Musings ...

It is technically monday morning, but it is 20 minutes after midnight and I haven't gone to bed yet. I have an all day event that begins early tomorrow so I am posting tonight. Today was a great day. Good friends spent Saturday evening with us and shared their story in worship today.

My friend is 2 months past having a kidney transplant. Yesterday he shared his story with our congregation during worship. It was a powerful time and a powerful story. He shared so much more than just about his transplant. He shared how God really got a hold of him during the crisis. He was open about how he was angry with God and made some bad choices during that time. He shared how everything came crashing down on him and how his wife and children were Jesus to him during that time. He shared how the process of rebuilding his relationship with Jesus was going and how his marriage is now growing even stronger.

At 38 years of age to be told you are in end stage kidney failure and would have to be on dialysis 12 hours a week unless he could get a kidney transplant. Imagine how difficult that news and reality would be? It took nearly 2 years to have the kidney transplant. There were several people who began testing to be a donor and failed somewhere along the process. A friend told him at the beginning of the donor search that God had told her she was going to be his donor. As it turns it she was, it just took a long time for the hospital to get around to her and then it took 6 months for her to become approved and the transplant to be scheduled.

His is a story of playing a character of having it all together. When his facade was revealed he felt more broken than failing kidneys ever made him feel. He is now well physically thanks to a selfless sacrifice of a friend. He is now well spiritually thanks to a loving, gracious, second chance giving God. He is now well in his marriage thanks to a loving God, a spirit-filled, loving wife. He is now seeking to make a difference in this world with the second chances he has been granted.

What are you doing with your second chances? What are you doing to make a difference in your world? What do you need to completely surrender to God? What do you need to get honest with yourself and God about?

In the afternoon we went to the graduation open house of one of my volleyball players, those are always fun. In the evening our small group came to our house. We had a lot of laugh as we ate together. We had a good time in our Bible study and sharing together. I love our small group. It was a very good day.

Friday, June 10, 2011

The Wedding ...

This past weekend my wife and I traveled 600+ miles west to participate in one of our niece's wedding. I had the privilege of doing the wedding and my wife helped a lot with decorations and other things. As the minister for a wedding I get a unique view of everything. I get to see people's reactions and I get to see the couple's interaction up close and personal. That includes hearing comments they mutter to each other between phases of the ceremony.

It is impossible to do the wedding of a relative and not have your mind race through past events and images. In my mind I went back to her toddler days, of times together at the lake, of seeing her as a teenager, of some birthday parties, of seeing her work at a daycare and now seeing her as a bride. What a joy to see the growth and participate in this life changing moment.

We made through everything involved in a wedding. They are married and on their honeymoon. In a few days they will begin to adjust to their life together. The prayer is that it is a lifetime together.

It was great to spend a little time with my Dad and stepmom. It was great to see some other relatives and old friends. It was a long trip, over 1,600 miles driven, and a couple of long days in preparation and completion of the wedding in between the travel.

I arrived home to broken A/C units at church and a bunch of other stuff. I had a church board meeting in the evening of my first day back. Talk about hitting the ground running.

It was great to be a part of this momentous event, it was good to be away for a little while, but I think we need some time to catch our breath from being away.

Here's to a special couple and their new life together from their great uncle. No really I am a great uncle. Technically, because the bride is my great niece, and literally just because I am, or at least I was for a weekend.