Friday, September 12, 2008

Storms and Suffering

One fact of life is that like those in Galveston, we all will experience suffering. Storms are simply a fact of life.  The church in general tends to focus a great deal of attention on the therapy of suffering.  How do we meet the needs of those who are experiencing suffering and need help through troubling times.  Beneath the proper therapy of suffering, must reside a proper theology of suffering.  How should we as believers in a loving and all mighty God respond to suffering in our own lives, and in the lives of those around us.  This Sunday we will again turn to the Apostle Paul and his wonderful letter to the Philippians.  We will see that in the midst of great suffering, Paul was still able to live a life of joy.

  It is not rejoicing that we are suffering, but it is rejoicing that in our suffering that God is doing something great in us, and through us,  that we would know and trust love Jesus more, that other Christians would be compelled to be bold, and non Christians would come to hear the gospel, and that our suffering would not be purposeless but purposeful, that we would not waste our suffering but that we would seize the opportunity for Jesus to be made much of both in me and through me.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Celebrating Recovery

In life as in football fumbles are made.  While making one's way towards the goal, you drop the ball.  Dropping balls is never part of the strategy of any team.  In fact, you will find that most teams devote great time and energy into not dropping the ball.  Typically when the ball is dropped, there is a scramble, followed by a dog pile.  The poor soul who dropped the ball is doing his best to recover, but everyone else is piling on.  At the bottom of the pile a battle rages as the one who dropped the ball fights to regain control.  If the opponent successfully takes the ball then he will celebrate.  But often, when the player recovers his own fumble, the rest of the team shakes their head, wipes their brow, and takes a breath.  Then the fumbler will hang his head, and trot towards the sidelines.  Though this is what often happens, this is not what should happen.  Recovery of any fumble deserves to be celebrated.  Winning a battle at the bottom of the pile is no easy task.  Sure, fumbles should be avoided at all costs, but when they happen and a recovery is made, the whole team ought to storm the field in celebration.

Tonight at Cornerstone we will begin to celebrate recovery with a new breakout group for those who battle addictions.  As far as I know, there are no such groups at all in Four Corners.  Tonight, for the first time, we will get to the bottom of the pile with those fighting to regain control, and we will cheer them on, and when they emerge with a recovery we will celebrate.  Then if they fumble the ball, or stumble and fall, we will come alongside them all over again, anticipating celebrating recovery.

Celebrating Recovery
Wednesdays 6:30 - 8:00 p.m.
Four Corners Charter Elementary School
For information, Call 888-836-7234

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

No Business Being Here!

I once attended a meeting where there was no meeting.  Now before you jump to conclusions, most of those in the meeting thought that the point of the meeting was meeting.  There was no fighting over resources, there was little reporting of accomplishments, there virtually no planning for action.  Essentially, we had no business being there.  Unfortunately, churches can slip into the meeting for the sake of meeting.  Sundays come and go without the Services take place, ministries go through the motions.  One of the things I constantly have to fight against is doing things for while not considering WHY we do things.  It is too easy to get into a routine, a rut, to go through motions.  Activities, for activities' sake will kill any organization.  

Through this lens, a simple baby shower takes on purpose.  We are not getting together with friends, we are celebrating a new life with a working mother of two who works 12 hour shifts as an RN in ICU then comes to church to teach preschoolers about the love of God.

Through this lens we are not throwing a Jail House Rock party for the kids, we are sending 1000 invitations to local students and building a bridge that will transform their lives and make an eternal impact.

Through this lens we are not simply teaching theology,  but we are laying the ground work for a relatively  new believer to have a 2 hour conversation with a lost family member who is now seeking Christ.

Through this lens we are not having church, we are coming together as a believers to love and support one another through the temporary trials of this life and to provoke one another to love and good works.

The church has no business having no business.  There ought to be meetings today, where there is not enough money to accomplish the plans, there is not enough volunteers to accomplish the ministries, where there are competing groups who are passionate about reaching a common goal.

Today we had a great staff meeting.  Today, we looked again at why we do the things we do.  We cannot have church stuff for the fact that churches have stuff.  And by God's Grace, we won't!