I saw that a family in Michigan just had their thirteenth child. Not a big deal you might say, but they are all boys. Now what are the odds of that happening? They say one in 8,000, but I believe that would only be true if every family tried to have 13 kids. I would guess that it’s more like one in millions. That is enough for a football team and extras to sub for injuries! I wonder if mom has some little girl clothes up on a top shelf in their closet. They have chosen each time not to know the sex of the baby.
If all of those boys worked together to do whatever the father asked, do you know how much could get accomplished. Imagine, 13 lawn mowers going at once . . . the lawn is done in three minutes. Go paint the barn, . . five minutes. Could it always be that simple? The problem is that there would be different levels of maturity, giftedness, and discipline. Three boys goofing off , two boys disagreeing on how many coats of paint, two boys painting the dog, one boy upset because there are no more paint rollers left, and three boys doing most of the work (Is that 13? That’s not the point). Maybe it would take more than five minutes. But, . . if they are a family and know what the father wants, they will have to work as a team. And, because they are a family, there are few things they will not accomplish if they do it together.
I was feeling behind 5 minutes ago. I was thinking of all the things that need to be completed at the property this week. I thought by Tuesday we would have more to show for it. I just looked at my calendar to make sure it was “day 29” And there it was . . .It was only Monday! How did I get off a full day? This is wonderful! It’s like finding a $20 dollar bill in a pocket of something you haven’t worn in a year.
Here is a picture of Rob and Tony building the balustrade system today on the Patio leading down to the wedding gardens. Just like most of their unique projects, . . . They have never done something like this before, . . and by the time they’re finished, they will be really good at it, . . And will probably never do it again. Then they move on to something else they have never done before. We are hoping to have a number of new things completed for the June 7th banquet. The tile guys are working in the bathrooms, the drywall guys are done and cleaning up their mess, (they really do make a mess!) . .the electricians are finishing the down stairs apartment lighting. The kitchen equipment is ready to be installed. All 80 or so doors got delivered today. Luckily they all have numbers on them for where they go. That would be a bad joke if someone took off the stickers. Chyanne and Rachel (Our paid children’s ministry leaders) were sitting up in the junior church room making plans and figuring out strategy. Elisha Ward was putting bricks on the wall of the wedding room. It’s her day off so this is where she is.
Will anyone come when we are finished? Will we grow and meet the spiritual needs of our community? I used to think about that a lot. Not so much anymore. We will faithfully plant and water, and “God will cause the growth!” Thank you for your faithfulness and patience. Now go invite someone to church!
Just finished a missions meeting here at Church. We have some wonderful missionaries doing some incredible things. Cuba, Chile, Sudan, Pakistan, Central America, and Mexico. We are looking at the possibility adding the Po Kot people group in Kenya. Maybe in a year or two you might be able to join us on a two week trip there. At the beginning of Harvest, 20 years ago we pledged 21% of our future tithes to Missions. Our Little Church gives around $5000 dollars a month to cross-cultural missions. We just sent $3,000 today to Sudan African Mission for the main evangelist to get surgery for his hand. We support it with our funds, but I’m afraid the congregation still is not in touch with our commission from Jesus to “seek and save the lost” in all the world. We would love to have some new young folks on our Missions board! Interested? Talk to Rob Spitzengel our chairman.
In 1969, I was sitting in Church listening to our Preacher Mr. Burris (As kids we never called an adult by their first name). He was taking his Airplane and his family to Rhodesia Africa to become missionaries. They needed rifles, and other cool gear (actually all I can remember was the rifles) donated so they would have what they needed there. I was the only 9 year old I knew that would have stowed away in their suitcases if I could. They were there for a number of years before the rebels overthrew the country. It’s now on the map as Zimbabwe. On their way out they were even shot at and had bullet holes in the plane! Since then, I have always had a heart for the tribal people of Africa.
Have you a heart for anything? Anything significant? I’m sure you do. Now the big question: What will you do about it?
Have a great afternoon and hug the people you love.
Two days ago Massachusetts police were executing a search warrant on a suspected drug dealers house. In the midst of their collecting evidence, officers noticed a large bible on the nightstand. Out of place? Maybe not. Over the years there has been a weird juxtaposition between “honoring God /being aware of his presence” and “being steeped in sin anyway.” Of course that premise is really the sum of our own existence also. It just seems odd that the Holy Bible was right there next to the bed. Maybe for comfort, . .maybe because grandma had given it to him and instructed him to keep it close, she always was kind and said it was the most important thing to keep, even when she was at the homecare she had two right next to her, you can learn about caregiving to the elderly here. It wasn’t just a normal study bible either, but a big ol’ king size King James family bible! The kind that are on the coffee table that you occasionally blow the dust off, having the birth, death and wedding records entered from the past 100 years.
We know that the Bible contains truth, power, and authority. This one had even more! Not just old church bulletins from 20 years ago, (some of your bibles are little time capsules and you know who you are! old book marks news articles, an old one dollar bill with a sunglasses drawn on George . .). Sorry , back to the story, . . but inside, the scriptures had been hollowed out so there was a secret hidden compartment. Who would have ever looked in the bible for that kind of hidden treasure?
So I’m not going to tell you what they found in it, but it will most certainly add a few months to the man’s sentence!
When I open the word of God, I sometimes will feel like reading a scripture that will bring me comfort. Sometimes I feel like being convicted . . . .(I know, you don’t care what I am talking about right now, . . you just want to know what was in the secret compartment!) Ok I’ll tell you. ( I was just messing with you anyway) It was a 9mm Smith and Wesson pistol! Now that’s Power in the Word!
So there is no real point to this story. I just thought it interesting. I so wonder if he felt weird taking a razor knife to the word of God? Probably never crossed his mind. So what is disrespect? . . burning a flag, spitting on a soldier, how about this, taking a drink of your beer at a baseball game during the nation anthem, with your left hand while your right hand in on your heart? . .(ESPN would love to capture that one). There was an old TV commercial in the 70’s where an old Indian (we could say that back then) was standing on the side of the road and a car drove by and threw some litter out the window. The old Indian had a little tear in his eye because people weren’t respecting the land. Music played, we had a tear in our eye too. It was good commercial.
I suppose that we dishonor our father in heaven in different ways during our life. A scripture from the “Connected” bible study this last week from Ephesians 4:30 says , And don’t grieve God’s Holy Spirit. That is a verse worth thinking about! Is there a way in us that grieves our Father in Heaven? hmmm.
That’s the thought for today. Enjoy your Saturday.
It might be too late to get tickets, but the UFO Festival in McMinnville is already half over. The speakers include a scientist from the 50’s who had firsthand knowledge of Government cover-up at Roswell, Alien abduction specialists, and researchers using the “freedom of information act” to uncover conspiracy. Along with that list is arguably the world’s most genuine case of alien abduction. In 1975 Travis Walton was on a logging crew in Arizona and was taken up for 5 days. After a failed manhunt he returned dazed and disoriented. (His wife partially believed him till she found that tattoo of the Mexican senorita on his chest) He’s is not sure how the aliens did that! There are many interesting speakers beyond those that I have referenced.
Any way the alien costume ball is tomorrow. Along with the UFO parade down main street, there is the ever popular alien pet costume competition.
So get your tin foil hat out of the closet and Let’s Go! Sounds like a weird mix of “serious” and “mockers” to me.
Maybe it’s like professional wrestling. Everyone takes it serious at the event but deep down they know it’s all really just good acting. (sorry Steve Valdez for wrecking that for you!) and you were just coming to grips with that whole Santa thing too! Sorry.
When I listen to myself preach about Jesus, . .dying for the sins of mankind, and all the miracles of the Bible, I can see why people could say: “yeah right!” Heaven, hell, moral absolutes received from God, praying, closing your eyes and raising your hands, going to church, lists of do’s and don’ts, right and wrongs, . . .sounds like a big crutch for weak! At least I can see where they are coming from when they say that.
We have to take it in faith. Remember the Roman soldier at the cross? After witnessing the things of that day he said, “Surely this man was the Son of God.” His mind, probably filled with the multiple god philosophies of the Greeks and Romans, his conscience seared from the violence he had seen and probably inflicted, saw something that day that changed his mind.
God . . . loving His creation so much that He sent His son to die so that we could live.
That sounds a little like one of your favorite verses. John 3:16
I am privileged to pastor such a Church as you!
However you define success will determine your purpose! Is it :
-A great career? -If you’re single, is it finding the perfect soul mate?
-Is it having your children excel in a sport?
-Having more time for leisure?
-Is it making sure your children get into the very best college so that they can have a high dollar career? -Is it adventure, travel, adrenaline, . .?
-Is it making enough money that you can do anything you want or go anywhere?
-Is it defined by the “Keeping up with the Jones'” standard, and ultimately . . . that you are the ones they are trying to keep up with.
-Is it the newest car, coolest toy, nicest house, the lastest expensive gadget that shows the world that you are on the cutting edge?
-Is success defined by you to mean that your retirement is all funded?
-Maybe you would be happy just to have people say “that was awesome” on Karaoke night after you killed ’em with that Joan Jet song!
-Maybe success is just living a healthy balanced life where you enjoy the esteem of those around you.
I have been caught up in at least two thirds of those things. As I get older, it is getting down to just 2 main things: Getting myself to Heaven and taking as many people with me as possible!
Because of that the most important things are the spiritual health of my loved ones, and the Bride of Christ His Church (Harvest and his Church in the world). There is nothing I do, hope to do, or have that is more important than that.
How you define success will be obvious by your time and resources and intentions. That list has some really good things on it. But I believe that any of those on there own will not amount to much on judgment day! Honestly, as important as some of those things are, is there any that are more important than making a difference in someone’s life and eternity?
So enjoy life to the fullest. And lets keep the main thing the main thing!
About the last line of yesterday’s article, I had poked my finger next to the thumb nail and it wouldn’t stop bleeding. Band-aids were useless, but a piece of paper towel and masking tape brought it to a halt. So I had my right thumb wrapped in tape and kept typing the “B” every time I wanted to type an “N” My spell check was going crazy trying to figure out what I meant. Kind of like my guys working on the Church building! Have a great evening.
13 years ago our little congregation decided to step up to the edge. It was time to have a permanent foothold in the community. At the time we could afford very little as far as land was concerned but we acted in faith that our God (who incidentally owns the cattle on a thousand hills) had bigger plans for us then we had ever imagined!
Some folks left our congregation around the time of our first building campaign. The “edge” isn’t for everybody.
I sure appreciate those who stood up and said “we’re in!” A lot of sacrifice was made as we searched out and purchased the property. . . the very piece on which we are currently building, a decade later.
It’s about being a part of something significant. Making a difference in someone else’s life and eternity. About not taking your one talent and safely “hiding” or “burying” it. Many times Christ talked about the talent. Perhaps he relayed variations of the story hundreds of times as he traveled around. The story of a servant turning 5 into 10, or 2 into 4. Always calling the one who buried it wicked and lazy.
You see, burying your time, your giftedness, your money, your potential, is how that “where moth and rust destroy” thing happens. It really comes down to this: How you define success?
So . . . you think about that question tonight and I will write about it in the morning. (It’s tough to type right now because of the blood . . . and every time I type an “N” I get a “B”! I’ll explain tomorrow . . .)
Yesterday a tornado swept through a sleepy little town in Arkansas. It was a EF2 with 125 mph winds. A well built house might have endured the storm with moderate damage, but the small mobile home was no challenger to such force. The broken gas line caused an explosion which finished off what the wind had left. Within the destroyed trailer was a young man and his wife, Michael and Melissa Moneyhan, lying dead in the wreckage huddled together. When they were found, amazingly, in their arms . . . sheltered by their bodies, was their 18 month old child, with . . . no injuries. The toddler was placed immediately with relatives.
Too young to remember what happened? Too young to recall later in life any memories of mom and dad? Perhaps.
The story that will always be told to the child as it continues in life will be of that horrific day that perfect love and ultimate sacrifice made their dwelling together.
The application of this story is obvious and wonderful.
Sometimes little things declare the health of a church. Just this last week:
-a new couple wanted to start helping prepare morning communion
-a woman before Bible study drove slowly through some surrounding neighborhoods while she prayed for those in the houses
-three more people said, “we want to become members.”
-Someone proposed a new ministry plan for a certain age group, and they have a heart for it
-a group toured the building on Saturday and were excited about all the ministry possibilities
-some new families began to tithe -over 50 women came and enjoyed the Saturday Spring Fling
-one of our young adult gals spent her day off working at the building all day doing “whatever you need done!”
We have wonderful people at this church and a fine thing going on. It will be fun to see where God takes us.
We are a little in the dark about Jesus and his family life. As the oldest, there was a weight of responsibility on him as the head of the house after the assumed passing of his father.
One window into the mother son relationship happened as Jesus was on the cross. The weight of the sinful world on his shoulders, the incredible pain of a Roman execution, the “unfinished” group of disciples that would be on their own, . . . In the midst of all this he looks at his mother who is close enough to hear, . . . and is suffering the “piercing of her own soul” as prophesied when Christ was but weeks old. She is standing with his friend and disciple John, “Dear woman, here is your son, and to John he says: “Here is your mother.” He didn’t find his brothers and pass the responsibility to them. The future of his precious mother Mary was to be in the hands of the one he could trust. He put a twist on the family structure as we know it. That twist has permeated the entire Old and New Testament as “we” are adopted into the family and made heirs to the eternal inheritance! Great news for everyone.
See you at Church and have a great Mother’s day.