God is good! And when I stop and take a moment to think about it – I can’t help but realize that God has been so good to me! He really is – so much better than I could ever dream that I deserve! I love serving Him as a pastor of His Church! There are days that the politics will threaten to make you crazy, but even with all of the mess that we people can make of a good thing – God is still in control and still manages to accomplish amazing things for His glory and our blessing!
I believe that Northwood has ahead of it – it’s greatest days of ministry and community impact. I just can’t wait to see what God is going to do next! A few weeks ago I was preaching from Acts 2:44-47 (one of my favorite scriptures) It’s where about three thousand where added to the church that day, because they had received the Word! It then goes on the tell us that those that made up the church – devoted themselves to the Apostles teaching and fellowship! The result was that everyone kept feeling a sense of awe, as many wonders and signs continued to take place! The Believers were together and had all things in common, so they started to look out for each other an take care of one another’s needs. They loved being together, they loved giving God the praise, they had the favor of God and the people and they grew everyday!
This is a beautiful picture of the church – working as it could and as it should. A picture of the church without all of the junk of personal politics! This is a picture of fellowship – people coming together with all of their differences because of the great thing that we have in common – our relationship with Christ!
Our relationship with Christ allows us and even motivates us to have relationship and ongoing fellowship with each other! When we allow God to bring us together and keep us together, we will get past ourselves, our small agendas and personal politics. When we get past that stuff, we can really enjoy God, each others and the difference that Church can and should make! I am glad that I have a realtionship with God, because that means that I can have a relationship with you! And you really are something special!
Jesus is my Savior! He came into my life and made it count for something! It’s absolutely amazing that Jesus would save me, not because of righteous works that I do, but because of His mercy! (Titus 3:5) I mean, when I really stop and think about the fact that Jesus loves me, forgives me and restores me – I just can’t get over it!
I still to this day do not know what He saw in me! I’m not down on myself, in fact, I kinda like myself. But I know that I am not anywhere near as good, cool or smart as I like to think I am. Jesus does not focus on what I am – His focus is on what and who I can be!
I can’t understand how He could love me! I like to think of myself as a pretty lovable dude, but the truth is: I can be very unlovable! I don’t get out of bed in the morning – clean, smooth and charming! Jesus sees me when I am dirty, rough and disgusting and He still loves me! Jesus does not look at my failures and flaws – Jesus looks at my potential and appreciates me for me and all that I can be with Him!
I won’t ever be able to repay Him! When I think about all that Jesus has done for me – I will never be able to repay Him! I can never live good enough, long enough to even come close to giving back to Jesus all that He has given to me! He saved me, not because of what I had done, not because of what I had not done. He saved me – simply because He loves me and has an amazing plan for my life! My salvation and right relationship are not based in any way on me, but all on Him and His mercy!
Because of His mercy – I don’t get what I deserve! Because of His grace – I get what I don’t deserve! Jesus made it possible for me to be reborn and renewed by the Holy Spirit. I just can’t get over it and I hope I never do!
I am not really good at vacations! I love what I do and I have always said that doing ministry is my work and my hobby! I have a calling and when I am ministering, I am fulfilling that thing that I was called to do! Usually when I have taken time to go on vacation – I spend most of the time thinking about what I am going to do in ministry when I get back! Most of my vacations have been trips away from where I live physically, but everything pretty much stayed the same mentally and spiritually!
But things have changed! Joy and I bought a travel trailer and took our girls on our first ever camping experience! It was the best vacation I have ever been on! It was the best vacation I have ever been on because I saw this experience as making an investment in myself and my family. The travel trailer forced me to slow down! When you are pulling a 30 foot trailer behind your vehicle – your racing days are over! On the ride there I was forced to slow down and enjoy the ride, and I was able to focus on family, conversation, music, scenery and whatever caught my fancy! We will get there when we get there!
There was some work to getting everything set up, but once the major work was done – we had a lovely week of just being together and enjoying God’s creation all around us. We met some new friends, took in a lot of sunshine, spent a good bit of time on the sand and in the ocean and I got to read without having to be in a hurry! At the end of the week – we all wanted to stay for another week!
The most important thing that I got from this vacation was a RECHARGE! One of the things that the girls liked to do, was go for a ride around the campground on a golf cart. We would ride all day and most of the night, but when we went to bed, we would plug it into a charging system. If at any point we failed to recharge the golf cart – the next day the golf cart would take us nowhere! If a golf cart has to be recharged, the we as people must be recharged too!
You may not be able to get away in a travel trailer anytime soon, but you can recharge! Take some time during a lunch break to get out and away from all of the hustle and bustle and just enjoy what God has created all around you. Take some time to slow down and spend some meaningful time with friends and family – not because you have to, but because you want to! Take and make some time to allow God to recharge you with His energy and Spirit – you’ll be surprised at how much better life can be!