Archive for October, 2010

Pie In the Face

October 28, 2010

I agreed to let one of our children at church throw a creme pie in my face at the Fall Festival. The terms were like this. Every child that brought a can good for the Food Pantry got a ticket. All the tickets were placed in a jar and a winner was picked. The kids really got into this contest. For weeks they have promised me they would be the one to toss the pie at their pastor. It’s amazing how such a silly, simple act can bond you with kids you barely know. Now they all know their pastor. Hopefully they know I am a good sport who is into fun, feeding the poor and doing whatever to support our children’s ministries.

The girl who won the contest taught me a lesson. She told her daddy she did not want to hurt me with the pie and refused to toss it. So her brother had to step up and take the honor which he eagerly did. She was so sweet. She won my heart and showed true Christian compassion. She is a living tribute to her parents and teachers, a heart of gold. What would you take a pie in the face for? If given the chance to pie someone, would you show compassion? Tonight was an interesting night!

 

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Gifts from our Cat

October 19, 2010

Our cat loves to shower us with gifts. She has brought in over a dozen chipmunks – alive so had to chase them down. Her gifts have also included birds, lizards, mice, frogs, & butterflies. Thankfully she has not brought us a snake! I believe she does this to show us her gratitude so I choose to feel honored by her gifts.

This got me thinking about our relationship to God. What gifts do we bring our Creator and why? God desires the gift of our praise and worship, our talents and loyalty. What have you brought the Lord recently and what does it say about your heart and your priorities? My cat has taught me that all gifts should be given out of gratitude, it’s the same with God. How best to honor our Savior and Redeemer than to lift up God’s name in holy praise? How better to honor our Advocate and Comforter than to make a sacrificial gift for Kingdom work through our church.

Scripture says that a good father gives his children good gifts. Only an evil parent would give them a snake or a rock. My feline friend loves to give me and my wife these precious gifts. How do you feel and what is on your heart when you present your gift to our heavenly father? I hope your joy is complete and you are content in the knowledge you have given your best. As my cat now rests on my lap following today’s gifts of a frog and a shrew, she has a peaceful grin and a look of total satisfaction. I pray the same state for each of us!

 

 

Worship With Our Youth

October 6, 2010

Tonight I led worship with our high school youth. There were about 150 of them present and they were Spirit-filled! It has been a long time since I have been in such a high energy, exciting worship service. They worship with abandon, they are not guarded and they love to praise and lift up the name of the Lord. When we celebrated the Lord’s Supper, they rejoiced and gave thanks. Then we did a renewal of baptism for 12 of the youth. Each youth brought their parent and had their picture made. With each baptism, the youth cheered and celebrated their renewal of faith. One younger teen’s brother rushed forward after his baptism and embraced his brother for all to see.

These youth invite their friends, witness to their love for God and are eager to serve in the church. They welcome one another with hugs and great joy! The group is multi-cultural and represents the various hues of our community. There are six high schools represented in this large group. Many of these youth lead prayer groups early on Wednesday at their local schools. Most of these youth are also in a small group being discipled in how to follow Jesus Christ. I could feel the movement of the Holy Spirit in the room.

Wow!  Tonight made me hopeful and excited about the future of the church. Praise God!!

THE ROLE OF A CHURCH MEMBER

October 2, 2010

When you become a member of a church, you enter the status of servant. You are to serve the body of Christ, his church. Membership is a privilege and honor – to be a member of Christ’s body and be identified with him. The purpose of the church for members is not about our comfort, our inspiration or our desires. We are to strive to reach those who do not know Christ. We are to pray for and work faithfully with our pastors, the designated spiritual leaders of the church. We are to be committed to unity and bringing joy to the heart of God. We are to outdo ourselves in fulfilling the mission of the church.

Somewhere along the way, the people of God called church members got it backwards. We began to think that being a member meant that the church was here to serve us and meet our needs. This is not scriptural! This is not Methodist and it does not honor our Lord, Jesus Christ. Church members are to pray for the church, to be active in worship, to grow spiritually through small groups and serve according to their spiritual gifts. Members are to give financially the tithe, which is 10% of our income and the beginning point of giving according to the New Testament. Many Christians see tithing as a goal or an option. This is just not true and is a game we play with God and the church. We want the church to teach the Biblical truth about prayer, grace, mercy and even judgment. Yet we are fine with ignoring the parts about tithing and high expectations for servants of the Lord.

I believe the church of the future will have more attendees than members because people avoid expectations and commitment. I want to lead a church where people take their vows seriously and seek to outdo one another in service. Yes, that is a real church!