Jan 242008

I am the chaplain for the Loganville Police Department and one of their finest, Officer Steve is suffering from terminal cancer.  Without divine intervention he could pass away literally at any moment.

My heart breaks for his family and the other officers close to him. 

I had been asked to officiate his funeral, but I am leaving tomorrow for a mission trip to Mali, Africa.  My heart is so torn because I want to be here for Steve, his family and the police community here in Walton County. 

I am excited about the trip to Mali, but my heart is torn.  Life is full of tough decisions.  I fully trust God’s plan and his purposes at times like this.  I don’t always understand, but I choose to trust.

Proverbs 3:5-6 (NIV)
5 Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding;
6 in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.

 Posted by at 5:18 pm
Jan 242008

I leave tomorrow for a seven day trip to do mission work in the country of Mali, located in West Africa.  We will fly out tomorrow (Friday Jan. 25) and after connecting in Senegal we will arrive Saturday evening in Bamako, Mali.  We will spend Sunday getting prepared for our 5 days in a village with the Gana people of southern Mali.  We will return to Bamako on Thursday evening fly out late Friday for our return to Atlanta on Saturday morning February 2. 

We will be investing relational time with the Gana people.  There are approximately 90,000 Gana people and less than 10 known Jesus followers. 

I will be traveling with 2 other pastors.  We are exploring a potential longer term investment in helping reach this people group.  We (Church at the Grove) desire long term to be an Acts 1:8 church having local, national and international influence. 

Acts 1:8 (NIV)
8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”

Please pray for our safety, our families, and a fruitful week of ministry. 

Another pastor was scheduled to travel with us but had a heart attack this past Sunday.  Pray for Jerry.  He will be fine but traveling is out of the question right now. 

 Posted by at 5:12 pm
Jan 232008

I do not Sabbath very well.  I know, I know!  I am a pastor and I am supposed to be an example in these things. 

This past Saturday, Craig and I along with our elders were faced with a tough decision.  With the weather forecast looking dismal we prayerfully made a decision to cancel our Sunday morning gathering.  I hate decisions like that.  It is a bummer to miss gathering together period, plus the added factors as losing momentum, the financial burden of lost tithes and offerings, and thinking “who was planning to be there that we will not have another chance to share Jesus with?” 

It is easy to second guess any decision in the past, but I believe we made the right decision with the information made available to us.

The result was a beautiful “Sabbath” Sunday for myself and my family!  We were able to truly have a day without an agenda and simply hang out with one another and “do nothing”.  It was a great day. 

I am learning to fully trust God in all areas and choose to ‘rest’ in Him rather than stress over things that I have no control over.  The sin associated with stress and worry results from not fully trusting God.  If what I believe is true, God is in control and He fully knows what is best for you and me.  I simply need to move beyond a cognitive belief and literally trust Him wholeheartedly with this reality. 

I have wondered this week about lost momentum, finances, and people that were planning on coming to our gathering, but the reality is that God saw to it that we would experience an unplanned Sabbath. 

I need to cherish the Sabbath and I trust Him to take care of the rest.

Matthew 11:28-30 (NIV)
28 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.
29 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.
30 For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

 Posted by at 10:08 am
Jan 162008

I have a friend who lives in another state and he is considering a major transition in life.  I have a few other ministry friends that are considering either starting a church or going to the mission field in another country.  I can’t help but think of Isaiah 43:18-19.

Isaiah 43:18-19 (NIV)
18 “Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past.
19 See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland.

The story of God that intersects the story of the individual is all about doing a “new thing”.  God begins with a new creation in Christ.  He then leads us on a journey into “new things”. 

Whether God is leading you to a “new” geographic location, or if he is simply leading you to consider a new job or a new church, here are some thoughts about the “new thing”.

  • Embrace the idea that God is constantly working in you to do something new.
  • Know that it always should center around who we are becoming “in Christ” and how he is forming us into the image and character of Jesus.
  • In doing something new, God very often begins with a “Holy Discontent” for who we are and for the lack of godliness in us and around us.
  • Make sure that our discontent is not a result of relational strife or a “consumer” mentality because we are not getting our way where we are.
  • Sometimes the “new thing” has nothing to do with leaving somewhere and going to another place, it simply is about taking us into a new direction spiritually and in our character.

What is God doing in you that you could characterize as a “new thing”.  God is in the re-creating business and it is out of his character to continually do something new in our lives. 

What is He doing new in your life?

 Posted by at 9:57 am