Tuesday, March 31, 2020

things to do

Without exaggerating I probably have 20 times this many to go through
Besides the work I've done for my real job, I'm also trying to make this time of slowing down productive at home.

One of my final projects is that of sorting through 61 years of pictures.

As I look at each picture they each are attached to a specific memory and many people and times that I can see now I took for granted.  Sometimes quickly coming and going as if I assumed I'd always have them close.

Many are gone now,  One I miss so much is my dad, but I'm glad he's  already with our Savior or he'd be ranting like a crazy man about the government and anything else he heard on TV!  He was a blast, although slightly off-base on some of his facts!  Ha Ha!

We just received a copy of the notes Crossroads has received thanking the staff for calling and caring for our congregation in this time of loneliness and uncertainty.

But one sentence stuck out to me the most.  It was from a dear Crossroads' lady that said...

Things are not falling apart, but falling into place!

SO PROFOUND!  It simply summarized everything completely!

Within my list of things to do, I plan most of all to take a look at everything I hear and see with the eyes and ears of someone anticipating and expecting to begin to see what God intends it to accomplish!  Just as Pastor Dave taught in the story of Joseph - what looks like chaos to us is just part of what has to happen to accomplish God's plan!


Sunday, March 29, 2020

uncertain future

I'm sure this time away from work and school has had a different meaning to everyone, but for me, God's driven home that fact that the future is uncertain.  Certainly not something we should put any trust in!

It's not something I haven't known, but perhaps something I haven't believed?

My job has always required that I'm focused on what's next - future plans for Crossroads.  I rarely even think about what's currently happening at Crossroads except for evaluating events and the current services and attending of course.  Even while I'm home I'm looking ahead at our next trips, and guests and plans...wake up call - spend more time focused on what you know is sure, this day that God has given me.

My desire is to live 'sold-out' to the Lord, and while the things I'm involved in around me aren't wrong, they're what I put first a lot of days.  All you have to do is look at what takes up my time each day and it doesn't take long to realize just how pre-occupied I am with stuff.

Based on what my life sometimes looks like you can tell I assume nothing's going to change, like the future is certain just the way it is.

This disruption has been a wake-up-call for me personally.  I don't know if we'll go through as bad a time as other countries have before the rate of sickness slows down, but I think for another few weeks we need to assume it will and take FULL advantage of focused time with God and family and "stay in".

When have we ever had a bigger opportunity to be home?  To create a new routine with priorities where they should be.  Not giving the Lord a little more time out of our day - as if that's doing Him a favor...but by building our day with time for Him truly being central to all I do.

Pastor Wendell just shared an article with the executive team that contained this quote:

“While the world around us is filled with fear and uncertainty, this is our opportunity to shine like lights in the darkness. We can be a community of people with calm hearts like the sea, a community that has listened to His voice and announces His great power and infinite love to the world.”

Isn't it mind-blowing that God can use us even just by staying calm??  A calm spirit proves to those worried around us that we really believe that God is in control!

May we understand that just as Pastor Dave is teaching this weekend in Joseph's life, He's already got  the future totally laid out, and He knows exactly what needs to happen to get us there!

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

who is my neighbor

I was reading the teaching about the Good Samaritan this morning.

The conversation began with Jesus being asked "what must I do to inherit eternal life?" in Luke 10:25-37 Jesus responds, "what does the law say?"  And the man replied, "love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength and with all your mind, and love your neighbor as yourself."

Jesus says, "You've answered correctly, do this and you will live".

The man then asks, "But, who is my neighbor?" 

From there Jesus uses the story of the Good Samaritan and at the end asks him who he thinks the good neighbor was...

Who is my neighbor?  This question grabbed my attention possibly because of our current circumstances of "Stay in".

It's very difficult for me to just "abide in Him", I always feel like I should be doing something physical in order to "be a good neighbor, or friend, or wife or mom..."

This is perhaps a time like never before to Trust Him and just to wait for opportunities that He provides to be a good neighbor.  So our assignment for this morning is to Love Him with our entire being and then to be ready to serve Whoever our Neighbor turns out to be when He creates that opportunity...

Who is your neighbor?

Monday, March 16, 2020

Forced to stop

This is a crazy time, a time where our plans are all forced to stop!

It's a time that proves once again that you cannot assume you will have a tomorrow that looks the same as yesterday.

I was out early this morning getting all errands run so I could take advantage of being home, getting some projects done and then relaxing.

I saw fear in people's eyes.

I heard conversations that made me sad...a lady at the front of the line at the grocery store talked about how scared she was.  Her husband was waiting to hear if he'd be let go from his job and she herself had very few hours to count on, she said "I'm scared".

This period of time is going to give us so many opportunities to share the Gospel and explain to people that God is the only unchangeable in all of creation.   But, right now there are also practical ways we can be Jesus to people.   And I suspect that may be even more powerful than just talking right now.  There is SO much talking right now....

Watch for opportunities that wouldn't have existed a couple of weeks ago without the virus.  It's not that hard to understand how the Lord will use this time to lead people to Himself!

Men offer nothing to turn to, nothing to count on that can't change in a moment of time.

God Almighty is the same yesterday, today and forever!!