Foster Kids

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , on August 30, 2010 by Graham

As a church planting pastor one of the most difficult things my wife and I deal with is watching people come and go.  It is so exciting to see new people attend the church, and sometimes we get caught up in that.  New people mean more help.  New people mean we are doing what we are supposed to – grow!  New people help us not feel so alone in this journey.

But if you do church planting long enough you see the new people leave.  Sometimes they leave for good reasons (like moving away, or for a youth group,)  sometimes for bad reasons (like following Jesus is too hard and they have to give up too much, or because of conflict that is unresolved,) but leaving is leaving, and it breaks our hearts to see them go.

Many people liken church planting to birthing and raising a child.  It is a lot of labor, pain and mess in the beginning… then they move into the pre-school phase, less fussing but more head strong, and don’t even talk about the teenage years! And for sure that rings true about the church, but instead of that image for people, I like to imagine more of a foster care situation.  You get all attached and fall in love with the child, with all of it’s faults, then they move on… for whatever reason – rebellion, greener pasture, graduation and off to college, regardless  it can be heartbreaking.  All we can do at that point is hope that God is still intimately involved with their lives and can lead, guide, protect, discipline, direct and love them…  wherever they end up.

If you are contemplating planting a church, ask yourself, could you be a good Foster Parent?

Exhausted Pastor – It Must Be Monday…

Posted in Uncategorized on February 9, 2009 by Graham

Found this today as I read Oswald Chambers.. thought I would share it, hope it helps…

Are you exhausted spiritually?

The everlasting God . . . fainteth not, neither is weary. Isaiah 40:28.
Exhaustion means that the vital forces are worn right out. Spiritual exhaustion never comes through sin but only through service, and whether or not you are exhausted will depend upon where you get your supplies. Jesus said to Peter—“Feed My sheep,” but He gave him nothing to feed them with. The process of being made broken bread and poured-out wine means that you have to be the nourishment for other souls until they learn to feed on God. They must drain you to the dregs. Be careful that you get your supply, or before long you will be utterly exhausted. Before other souls learn to draw on the life of the Lord Jesus direct, they have to draw on it through you; you have to be literally ‘sucked’, until they learn to take their nourishment from God. We owe it to God to be our best for His lambs and His sheep as well as for Himself.
Has the way in which you have been serving God betrayed you into exhaustion? If so, then rally your affections. Where did you start the service from? From your own sympathy or from the basis of the Redemption of Jesus Christ? Continually go back to the foundation of your affections and recollect where the source of power is. You have no right to say—‘Oh Lord, I am so exhausted.’ He saved and sanctified you in order to exhaust you. Be exhausted for God, but remember that your supply comes from Him. “All my fresh springs shall be in Thee.”

My Utmost For His Highest, Feb 9.

Greater Love, No, GREATER Love, No, Greater Still…

Posted in Uncategorized on August 4, 2008 by Graham

“The secret of the mystery of God is: 

God is ALWAYS greater.

No matter how great we think Him to be, His love is always greater.”

-Brennen Manning, Ragamuffin Gospel

 

Can you let yourself be loved?

How can I even begin to understand this God’s love for me?  There are no words capable of informing me; there is no act able to sway me; there is only time and experience on this imperfect earth.  Only God proving Himself faithful over and over again.  And my limited understanding, incredibly myopic focus, and ignorant mindset are etched in the landscape like a stream through hardened rock over the ages.

Maybe one day I will understand on the other side of life, as I stand before the One I love, my Creator, who loved me deeper and more completely than I can ever understand.

Let this love that you so graciously lavish upon us indwell in my heart and mind.  May it well up within me so fully and completely that at every opportunity I get a chance to share it truthfully and authentically with others.  Love like Yours is the antidote to our self absorbed, self centered culture.  It is what we all need to hear with the ears of our hearts and see with the eyes of our consciousness.  In it there is healing of our brokenness and freedom from our self imposed prisons.  There is life in this Love, abundant, joy-filled, and fulfilling life.

No Shrinking Back

Posted in Uncategorized on July 2, 2008 by Graham

To be a disciple is to be a devoted love-slave of the Lord Jesus.

-Oswald Chambers

 

But we are not of those who shrink back and are destroyed, but of those who believe and are saved.

- Hebrews 10:39

Narrow Path

Posted in Uncategorized on June 30, 2008 by Graham

 The detached life is the result of an intensely narrow moral purity, not of a narrow mind. The mental view of Jesus Christ was as big as God’s view, consequently He went anywhere—to marriage feasts, into the social life of His time, because His morality was absolutely pure; and that is what God wants of us… …Then God can put us where He likes, in the foreign field or anywhere, and we will never be entangled—placed there, but detached. Whenever we make our personal convictions the standard for a society or a class, we take them the first step away from Christ, and that will happen every time the light we are walking in is not the light of God.

-Oswald Chambers

Where have you been placed – are you detached there?

Where is their God? (Joel 2:17)

He is among them…

Where are they?

They are among each other?

Where should they be?

They should be among others…

 

Faithful Grace

Posted in Uncategorized on June 26, 2008 by Graham

The grace you had yesterday will not do for to-day. Grace is the overflowing favour of God; you can always reckon it is there to draw upon.

-Oswald Chambers

 

What makes authentic disciples is not visions, ecstasies, biblical mastery of chapter and verse, or spectacular success in the ministry, but a capacity for faithfulness.  Buffeted by the fickle winds of failure, battered by their own unruly emotions, and bruised by rejection and ridicule, authentic disciples may have stumbled and frequently fallen, endured lapses and relapses, gotten handcuffed to the fleshpots and wandered into a far country.  Yet, they kept coming back to Jesus.

            After life has lined their faces a little, many followers of Jesus come into a coherent sense of themselves for the first time.  When they modestly claim, “I am still a ragamuffin, but I’m different” they are right.  Where sin abounded, grace has more abounded.

-Brennen Manning 

Illuminating

Posted in Uncategorized on June 24, 2008 by Graham

They don’t see Him, not because they are blind, but because we are not illuminating.

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