Saturday, March 31, 2007

I've Been Busy!

Hey, all! It's been a while since I last posted anything. Sorry about that. I've been busy!

Don't let that photo of my son Timmy throwing a frisbee at Clearwater Beach fool you. Though we certainly did have fun (and Timmy can really throw that thing, even at 3 years old!), life hasn't been all beaches and waves. We've been keeping busy.

In addition to working all day, I have had the blessed opportunity of preaching in a local assisted-living home during our church's Sunday School hour for the past month. I absolutely love it! It had been months since I had last preached, and I had almost forgotten what it felt like. the folks there were blessed by my preaching, and I was blessed to be able to minister to them. Each week I look forward to seeing them and encouraging them from the Word of God.

Not only have I been overjoyed to preach to these good folks, but I have had the chance to hone my pulpit skills. And that is a good thing, because now we are possibly going to be pastoring a small church on the west end of town that our home church wants to plant. It will be a "satellite church", another church reaching another area of town. We are honored to be asked to head this up. In fact, a building is available, leased by a minister who attends the main church. It already has a sound system and a sanctuary! I took a tour of the facility this week. I am excited about what God is going to do there.

So, I have been one busy guy lately. God is on the move, opening up doors for us, and we are walking through them. I will keep you all updated on how things progress.

God bless!

Friday, March 09, 2007

No Regrets

When I got down here to Lakeland, one thing I was hoping to keep quiet for a while was the fact that I am a musician, playing both the guitar and bass. It worked for a while. But I accidentally let it slip one evening as I was talking with the Youth Pastor from our church. I'm now playing the bass for the youth/young adult praise band. I even was asked to fill in for the absent regular bass man in the main sanctuary, in front of nearly a thousand!

But, God so cool. Since I've been playing, I have been asked to go to the Bahamas for a big youth convention called Caribfest, as part of the music team, playing the bass guitar. I have never been on a missions trip, and I am so excited about it!

I have to admit, it will be weird being away from my wife and kids, even if only for a few days. I'll be in another country. Historically, these kinds of opportunities don't come my way. But this one has, and I feel that God is in it.

I know not everyone feels the same way. I talked with my dad tonight, and I was telling him about the opportunity to go. He wasn't too thrilled. Not that he thinks anything bad will happen. His response to going to there on a missions trip was, "Why not just go help rebuild a Katrina house in New Orleans if that is the kind of thing you into?", or something like that. To me, that is the kind of attitude that keeps people securely on the ground next to the mountain and viewing it from there, rather than strapping the climbing gear on and tackling the challenge. I'm not content to just go through life ignoring the God-given opportunities and "surviving". I don't want to survive, I want to thrive!

This gave me a little poke tonight that reminded me that a God-call is a sending call. God doesn't call us to just hold down the fort till Jesus comes back, but to be soldiers of Christ that advance on the powers of hell with the Gospel of Christ, seeing the captive sinner freed. He calls us to be faith-walkers. He calls us to be holy risk-takers, like Jonathan, Saul's son who defeated the Philistines with simply his armor-bearer at his side. His only thought? "Perhaps God will move!"

I am reminded of something Pastor Mark Batterson of NCC in Washington DC said: at the end of our lives, it won't be the things we did, but wish we hadn't done that we'll regret. It will be the things we felt called to do, but never did, that will haunt us. I don't want to get to the end of my life when it's too late and have any "what if's". This trip is one of those things that I know I would regret not doing till I die should I stay home for those few days.

So, don't let anything stop you from that thing you feel God is calling you to do. Let loose, and do it with all your heart, mind and soul!

God bless!