Monday, August 27, 2012

I love this time of year.  College Football is ready to kick off, the temperatures are starting to drop, high school football has begun, school is back in session, did I mention  that school is back in...
I am excited about what we experiencing at GCC!  Worship and study are going great!  People are finding ways to serve others!  Small groups are forming and relationships are developing!  Christ is being exalted!  So many things are happening that I can't keep up and the beautiful thing is that those are happening because of the engagement of others! 

The sad thing is that marriages are still in trouble, drug use is crazy bad, people are feeling hopeless, and suicide is prevalent.  I am no dooms day person, but we live in a hurting world.  I love the change of seasons, but hurt doesn't seem to wait on a season.  People everywhere are hurting.  For all the craziness, we still find ways to distract ourselves amid the chaos. 

Over the next few weeks, I want to be more equipped to share hope with others, to speak love instead of hate, to offer help rather than scorn, to seek unity rather than division, to find good rather than seeking the evil, to be for rather than be against, so I can move deeper into the life of Christ.  I want to enjoy the right things, find my peace and contentment in God, and be grateful for family and friends.  I want to encourage other ministers from different churches so I can strengthen the body of Christ in its fullness.  I want to love at all times and all times of the year. 

So what do you want??????

Saturday, August 18, 2012

I went to Santa Cruz yesterday.  No it wasn't a fun at beach day, though it was a chance to ride the motorcycle four hundred miles.  A friend that is very familiar with the area went with me to search for the son of my good friends.  This young man had decided months back that he would leave the east coast to live on the west coast and make a living with his guitar.  It had been a month since their last contact with him.

I really don't know what I expected yesterday as the search was akin to needle in a haystack, but felt compelled to try.  I was blessed that my friend Mike led me there and helped me search.  It really was a blessing to know someone would join me in an impossible search and a long ride.  I was also blessed with other offers of help and many, many prayers.  Have I said lately that I love my church!

Well after a day of looking and nothing really solid, except for other street musicians saying they hadn't seen him in a couple of weeks, the young man has made contact and is safe!  Today I received a call from his parents that he had made contact.  Praise God!  It appears that strange people calling numbers and asking questions has an effect.

I can't fathom what was going through the parents minds as a month went by with no contact.  And then the relief to hear his voice.  So much to be said about our own silence towards God and His compassionate response when we do reach out.  I won't say the obvious, but will offer that God is gracious and at work.  Maybe my journey to search wasn't about the young many, but about the man that went in search...  You just never know what God is up to!

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Finding the right words...

One of the hard things about ministry is looking into the eyes of the hurting/ suffering/ struggling people who just want an answer and you know there isn't a good one.  I know there are answers.  But I'm not up to offering church talk, religious jargon, or trite slaps on the back that promise it will all be alright. 
I met one of those people today.  He was hurting, angry, desperate, searching, frustrated, and tired.  Looking into his eyes I saw the struggle I have seen so many times before.  People are looking for hope and help.  The person I met today fits that well.  I was reminded again that ministry is a sacred trust where we participate in God's work in the lives of his people. 
It is not up to me to fix or say the perfect thing.  It is my calling to be there, be present, be compassionate and help them see that they are not alone. 
My calling is the same as your calling.  We aren't called to defend God or try and figure him out.  Our challenge is let God's work be evident in our life so others can see his work in their own.  His work may be different from life to life, but it is all generated from his deep and profound love for us.  Let God's love speak for itself.  God is really good at saying what needs to be said.

Friday, August 3, 2012

when will it end....

Hurt... Hurting people hurt people.... Life hurts... relationships in trouble hurt... there are hurts everywhere... faith is developed amid hurts... Genuine faith is formed in the crucible of adversity... When will it end?   I hear that question more than I can count.  Somehow, God takes hurts and hurting people and moves them into a place where their story and healing impact others in remarkable ways.
It is allowing heaven on earth when faith holds us through our hurts.  God is reconciling all things to himself... I am grateful for his redeeming work in the midst of the pain.  I am grateful for those whose faith light a path for others to follow as they seek a way through their pain.

When will it end?... for now we are in the season of not yet, but soon.   I love the words to Matt Redman's 10,000 Reasons.... "The sun comes up 
Its a new day dawning
 Its time to sing your song again
 What ever may pass and whatever lies before me 
Let me be singing when the evening comes"...

Whatever may pass and whatever lies ahead... one thing for certain, there will be a measure of pain involved...  But in all that has happened and will happen, there is the God who loves unconditionally and redeems all things...  God is doing profound healing work in a hurting world... so until it ends, we sing His song, bless His name, and trust in His goodness.....