September 11, 2019
This past weekend was a wonderful reminder of the call that each of us have been given to do ministry. Carl talked about our need to have a relationship with Christ, having a reliance on Jesus, needing to remember the perseverance of Christ, and the reward we receive in the presence of Christ. All of us can relate to each of these, not just the person being ordained. They each challenge us to grow in our walk and to the moving of the Holy Spirit in our lives. As I have been hearing more information about the Revive Ohio outreach that is coming up in October, I’m reminded of how important it is for each of us to own the responsibility of making disciples.
Where were you 18 years ago on this day? September 11 is a statement about an event that took place and is deeply embedded in the minds of everybody (who is old enough to remember). In our lives there are events that take place that we never forget. Eighteen years ago, I was at the Wayne County Fair hog show, getting pigs and kids into the show ring when the news came of the crash of the planes into the Twin Towers. Then more news came in of other planes and more destruction. Our fair board was trying to decide how to respond, moment of silence, prayer, people were wondering around confused, angry, concerned and generally feeling a bit lost. Cell phone service was suspended in our community for fear that more things could take place and the government was wanting to control any further damage. That evening when I got home and watched the news I heard the many heroes from the day and was completely surprised as our president looked into the camera and said “as a nation we must stop what we are doing and pray”. In the weeks following the attack attendance at churches across the country increased greatly as people tried to sort out what their response should be to the attacks. After five or six months it began to go back to more normal levels. I say that to remind us that the natural response in crisis tends to be “God help us” and when things are going well (as we define well) we don’t need God.
While I was out on a long run, as the sweat was clouding my eyes and it was difficult to see I noticed a rise in the road. I thought to myself that I’m not sure I can do this. I kept on running, and instead of looking far ahead I looked closer to the road in front of me. I noticed that the road didn’t seem to have so much incline right in front of me as it did far away. After I made my turn and headed back on the same road, I noticed that the road had a distinct dip at a certain spot in the distance. Again, instead of looking out far ahead I focused on the road right in front of me and it seemed relatively smooth. After I was done with my run and reflecting back on the miles, I realized that a good discipline is to not try and look so far ahead as you’re running. I was reminded of some bike rides, as you can look to the distant horizon you can sometimes see the same spot for hours and appear to not get any closer. These things are emotional drains on ourselves. The same is true in life. It’s easy for us to focus on the things in the distant future and physic ourselves up for them or to be depressed by them. But when we learn to focus on the here and now, the immediate, it never seems quite as bad. What I have learned in these times of running and biking is what makes a difference is consistent progress, however fast or slow, just consistently moving forward. Life is not measured in the amount of great big successes we have, or the number of breathes we take, but as it’s often said it’s measured by the things that take our breath away - someone coming to know Christ, someone making a new commitment in their life, making ourself available to someone to encourage them in their walk.
This coming week we will be looking at Romans 8. In the last part of this chapter it describes the fact that we are more than conquers. We are predestined to be conformed to the likeness of Christ. We have this tremendous love that has been gifted to us by Jesus Christ that the world can not take away from us. Read Romans 8 in preparation for this weekend’s services.
This weekend is our last time for our Noisy Offering for the year. We have raised over $7,000 so far. With our goal of $10,000 to be able to drill 2 wells, we need your help. I still have the image of the people of Haiti when they got water from the well that we drilled for them. So much dancing and cheering and shouting for joy that they had water within a mile and a half of their house. It’s difficult for us to understand when we all have water at our fingertips in multiple places. I would encourage you to consider this mission as a way of sharing Christ to those that have a great need.
We have started some radio ads on 94.3 The Buck and 96.1 WMTR as a way to invite our community to our weekend services. There was a lot of excitement on the first night of our Saturday service this last week. It’s a service that’s more informal, contemporary, and clear biblical teaching. We would love to have you invite your friends, family, neighbors, co-workers, or anyone that is needing a church home. We will continue to have our Sunday services as they have been in the past.
This week is the beginning of FDN for the fall quarter. This is a time when many classes are offered for all ages. There is a meal served at 5:45 followed by classes at 6:30. Another safe place to bring new believers to learn and grow.