Monday, June 23, 2014

Grumbling and Complaining

Last week was a busy week. We had a team come in on Friday, the 13th and start working the next morning on smoothing the roof of the Church building to make it more kid friendly since they are using the rooms and the open space more for Sunday School..We had to haul 35 . 100lb bags of cement along with countless buckets of sand and gravel to the third floor. The old surface had to be roughed up to accept new concrete and then we had to mix, carry and level all of that mix.

Throughout the following week, we worked on prepping for the foundation pour in Membrillal and building 2 stoves and a house in Zapote. The work is often tiring and tedious, whether you are digging and moving several dozen yards of dirt by hand or standing in one place all day tying re-bar for columns. I can say that in doing these things, the mind set on the flesh is death.

While I was working, I started noticing a pattern in my thought process. I always wanted to be doing what someone else was doing. If I was wheel-barreling, I wanted to shovel. If I was shoveling, I wanted to tie. If I was working on the house, I wanted to work on the stove. Contentment was never found when I focused on my work. The issue was, that I chose what I was doing. I would wait until all of the jobs were taken and look for what needed to be done so I willing chose to do what I was doing.

I started seeing how this plays out in all aspects of life. I frequently find myself comparing myself to others. What do they have that I do not? Why can they do something I cannot? Why did they get the job that I wanted? The devil brings these thoughts and jealousies in subtly. He does it in a way that we take ownership of them almost immediately and then dwell on them until they begin to consume us. Comparison is one  of the enemies worst schemes to destroy our lives.

As I recognized these thoughts, I started to see how to combat them. God is the one that has put me in this position. He has me there for a purpose. He is growing me into the person that I was created to be and I can praise Him for all of these things. He has not abandon me to be a manual laborer. He has made me a Kingdom builder. The work I do is all necessary for the building of His Kingdom in this place and it translates into a better inheritance for me as a joint heir with Jesus.

God does not need me, or any of us to accomplish His work on the earth. He could do the things that He has called us to more efficiently than we can do them. He brings us along like a Father bringing a child to work to learn the family business, assigning us tasks so that we can have the joy of accomplishment and a sense of belonging and ownership in what will be our inheritance. He gives us Kingdom building work because he knows it is important for us to learn that we have a place in His heart and in His creation. He calls us to do His work out of His overwhelming love for us. He does not need us to do it but we do need to do the work if we want to have assurance of our place in the kingdom of God.

If you get to feeling like me, remember that God is not using you because He needs you. he is giving you opportunities to grow as a son or daughter and learn to live in this community of family that is the Body of Christ. Stop comparing and complaining. Begin to praise God because he is making you into exactly what he has created  you to be.

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Time to Quit Going to Church

I have been back in Guatemala for a few days now and have had a lot of time to read, pray and think. I have read several good books in the last week and they have stimulated much thought. Some of it has been good and other ideas have really challenged me. I just want to share one that is really sticking out to me these last few days.

It is time to stop going to Church. I have been in the habit of regular Church attendance for as long as I can remember. It has been a part of my life since I was to young to comprehend why were were going. There have been some Sundays that were fun, entertaining, enlightening and incredibly touched by God. There have also been some that were boring, dull and lifeless. Today, I decided it is time to stop going to Church. Many of you will ask why. Some may already be labeling me a heretic or at least a bad example to our kids. That is okay. If you feel that way. I am still not going to Church anymore.

What changes are we seeing in the world around us? Is going to Church making things better or worse? Is it having any effect on the way we live or the way society sees things. In all of the years of going to Church, can I truly say that I am salt and light? Has the world taken notice and submitted themselves tho the Lordship of Jesus? What good has it done the world hat I am there?

Well, you may ask what are my plans then. After all, I have spent most of my adult life in some form of ministry. What will I do now. I have decided to be the Church, the Body of Christ, or least the part of that body that I was called to be. I have a unique role in this body that only I have been created to fill. I intend to ask God to show more clearly what that will look like and then walk in it. To be the Church is to be a body, rightly connected to the Head, Jesus and fully functioning in everything that I was created for.

Going to Church lulls us to sleep. It makes us feel like we have completed an obligation for the week, maybe worshiped God or learned a previously hidden truth in His word. It does not transform the world. It is time to leave the pew behind and put our feet on the path of worship and service by filling our unique role in the body. I cannot tell you what your role is. That is the Holy Spirit's job, but when we each start fulfilling our role, the world will change and come alive.

I am not going to go to Church anymore but I will be gathering with my brothers and sisters on Sunday and throughout the week to join their voices in becoming one, united body. We will worship together, work together, eat together and fellowship in a way that Jesus is honored and we are drawn into our full potential as the Body of Christ. I will encourage my brothers and sisters to find their place in this body and help them as I receive their help also. I will be part of a living, dynamic organism made of numerous parts intertwined together for the glory of God.  Eph 2:11-22
Doesn't that sound much more exciting than going to Church?

Later this week, we will receive our first team of the summer. There is much to do. won't you pray for us as we begin this next chapter and won't you join me in being the body?