Monday, February 25, 2008
What else could go wrong? I was not real happy. Things just were not going very smoothly. Even though the crowd was there, two were baptized, music was great...I was still distracted. To top it off, my microphone was messing up.
"There must be a lot of people here who need to hear this message." That's what my wife said during one of the songs before I went on to deliver the message God had given me for yesterday. She said that because she knew all of the things that were going on that had me so distracted. So I did the only things I knew to do. I prayed.
Not only did I pray, but I invited others to join me in the "alter" to pray too. And many did.
Message delivered. Service over.
Now we begin to see the fruit of our labor. I have not been able to keep up with how many people have told me how this series has impacted their life and their family. You would not believe some of the stories that I have already heard of how God is working in lives. And it is all because we are faithful to the mission God has given us. We will stay the course. We will continue to invite and welcome people. We will continue to clearly and creatively deliver the message: God has a Best for you. Come let us help you find it and experience it.
Keep up the faithful service Midtowne. God is honoring it.
Wednesday, February 20, 2008
I am convinced now more than ever that I have the coolest job in the world. How many other people can say that they get to spend their time telling people about the greatest thing in the world? Well, I guess other preacher types can but you know what I mean.
I spent the day today meeting with several people. Each of them different. Each for different reasons. But each of them got the same message. No, not because I only have one message as some people think. But because when it really comes down to it, there really is only one solution.
Some needed help with personal issues. Some had job stuff to deal with. Some had family and other relationship stuff. Each in different phases of life. Each with different backgrounds and socio-economic stratas. But each with the same need.
As I look back at how I spent my day I am content. I am satisfied that I did the best with my time. I am convinced that God used me to share His love with each of them.
And here is the cool part. You don't have to be one of those preacher types to do the same thing.
Thursday, February 14, 2008
Did you see Tina Turner on the Grammy's? For being 123 years old she can still go. Pretty amazing.
I don't know if you remember that song or not but what an interesting question. Now I know she was not really talking about "love" but about...whatever. But still I think that today especially (V-Day) that there are a lot of people asking that question.
Here is the answer: Love has EVERYTHING to do with it. Without love we are just noise. Without love we are just going through the motions. Without love we are faking our way through life. Without love we are wasting time and energy. Without love we lose.
I want you to know, dear readers (all four of you, 5 if my mom gets her machine working), that I love you. Even if I don't know who you are, I love you. Why? Because God loves you and He has a great plan for your life. He wants you to experience His Best for you today and everyday. He will never bail out on you, run away from you, hurt you, dump you, nor talk bad about you to the people at work. He will not make fun of you. He will not do things to make you look bad. He will love you in the purest form of love. After all, He made you and love was/is His idea.
So Happy Valentine's Day! Even if you don't get a card, a flower, any candy, or even if you don't have a "date" for tonight, know that you are loved with an everlasting love. And one thing you can do today to help you experience God's Best for you is to show His love to someone else.
There's your answer Tina and I hope you experience God's Love today too.
"Three things will last forever—faith, hope, and love—and the greatest of these is love." 1 Corinthians 13:13
Monday, February 11, 2008
Yesterday afternoon I got a call from a friend who asked me about our service yesterday morning. This person calls me every week to see how things are going and just to encourage and rejoice with me and all of us at Midtowne Church.
Here was my mistake. He asked, "How was it today?" To which I jokingly replied, "Oh just another day at Midtowne. Huge crowd, another baptism, great worship, and decent preaching."
Now my friend knew I was only joking and we went on to talk about how amazing it is that God is working the way He is in and through us. But the more I thought about it the more I realized that what I said is a very dangerous thing. I pray that we NEVER get comfortable with what God is doing at Midtowne Church. That we NEVER become complacent and just expect things to rock along smoothly as we serve Him. May we NEVER think that we deserve His blessings on our ministry.
Don't get me wrong. That was not my mindset but I want to be careful to not fall in to that trap. Do I expect God to show up? Yes. Do I expect our ministry to make an impact? Yes. But It is not because we deserve it nor because we are making it happen. We have God's favor right now and I pray that it NEVER leaves us. I do believe that it can especially if we become comfortable and complacent.
So thank God for what HE is doing at Midtowne Church. Praise Him for His faithfulness to us. Thank Him for the blessings He gives. It's all about Him, not us. I am excited about what HE is going to continue to do in and through us but I pray that I never get used to it. May He always surprise and excite us with His work.
Monday, February 4, 2008
If you are in the middle of something and your cell phone rings, do you look and see who it is before you answer? If it's your wife or kid you answer immediately if not you send it to voice mail. Right?
So the other day I'm helping one of our members install a door at the building and my phone rings. I look at it and don't recognize the number but answered anyway. The guy says, "Is this Doug?"
"You don't know me but you talked to my mother yesterday."
Uh-oh. I immediately began thinking, "What the stink did I do or say to make this guy mad?"
He went on to say that he is in the Navy and is in Iraq. He is having some trouble and his mother suggested he call me.
What?! In the Navy? In Iraq!? How cool is that!? I was actually talking to a guy who was in the middle of the desert and in need of some comfort from God! As we say around Midtowne, "Pretty Stinkin' Awesome!"
The short version of the story is that I was able to talk with him for about 15 minutes and give him some encouragement and pray with him. He thanked me and assured me he would be back in touch. I am really looking forward to hearing from him again.
Isn't it amazing that in a few short weeks God can use us to minster to the needs of people half a world away as well as the hundreds (yes hundreds) who are coming from our community? I have also been able to talk with two other soldiers, two wives whose husbands are in Iraq, and the parents of a soldier who is now on his way home.
What an honor to serve God. What a blessing to serve those who are serving our country. What a responsibility we have as God's children to meet needs as they come up.
Pray for our soldiers. Pray for their families. Pray that we will rise to the occasion when called upon.