We all have scariest moments that emboss an unforgettable picture in our minds. Halloween is noted for scary moments. What’s yours?
When I was in my middle twenties I was a brand new Christian and drove a 1970 Volkswagen Beetle. I was driving north one day on State Road 1 in Steuben County. I heard the still, small voice of the Holy Spirit remind me to fasten my safety belt, but I enjoyed the freedom too much to respond. Seconds later, as I was driving into a curve, I realized that I was left of center as another car approached. I quickly over-corrected and swerved off the road into the ditch. Seeing a pole in front of me, I steered into the cornfield, still loose from the spring planting. Sliding sideways in the loose soil, the car tipped over and rolled like a ball several times. Seeing what was about to happen, I reached upwards with both hands against the ceiling of the car and pressed myself into the seat. “Jesus, Jesus, Jesus,” I cried out.
When the dust had settled, the car was resting on its side, all windows broken out. I hurriedly crawled out of the front window opening in case there might be a fire. I learned right then and there to listen to that still small voice. Later Anita, who I had just starting seeing, came over to pick pieces of glass out of my back, but nothing was broken.
I think that was my scariest moment. It came when I was out of control and vulnerable. I didn’t have time to think about it, but I knew there was nothing I could do but hang on for the ride. Fear grips us when we have lost control and step into the unknown where we have to trust. The Bible says God has not given us a spirit of fear.
What was your scariest moment and what lessons have you learned?
Tags: accident, fear, Halloween, scary, trust
The following is a quote from a book I read but I don’t know which book:
“The twelve apostles were a diverse group. Simon the Zealot was a patriot – a kind of redneck who hated the Roman government. Matthew was a tax collector – a collaborator with Rome. That would be like Rush Limbaugh and Ted Kennedy serving on the same committee! They’d about slit each other’s throat! But Jesus united them. Thomas and Peter were opposites too. Peter was impulsive, a sanguine personality, quick to believe, and often fickle. Thomas was melancholy, a thinker, slow to respond but deeply committed. All these personalities must have occasionally unnerved each other. But they were united by a cause bigger than their own egos and personalities – the deity of Jesus Christ.
“Jesus united that diverse group of disciples by motivating them to sacrifice their egos in service to each other.”
Today God will put you together with someone who is your opposite. Remember that Jesus came to help us work out these differences in a spirit of unity. Your diversity can be your greatest strength or your greatest weakness.
Tags: apostles, unity
Thank you for stepping up in giving to purchase a mosquito net for families in Africa. You are helping us to move a mountain! Our church was chosen to be a part of a national campaign next spring by WorldVision, a humanitarian organization that often works with churches. We were part of a pilot program.
I met a guy after church Saturday night who was a first timer. He said he was from WorldVision and came to see how we presented the project. I asked where he was from (I expected Ft. Wayne) and he replied, “Seattle”. I said, “Surely you didn’t fly all the way out here just for this weekend service,” and he replied that he did. He said WorldVision staff were in these pilot programs in churches all over the country this weekend. I was impressed.
Of course, our theme that weekend was “The Belief Channel” so he was excited about how we worked a message on faith into a special challenge to give toward mosquito nets. He had nothing but praise for our worship team and how friendly our church was. Way to go, Church!
By the way, money is still coming in, but we have raised over $3,000 toward those nets for families in Africa. We are making a difference!
Last Sunday night we had our first Healing Service. It was a great night and we have two confirmed healings already. If you can confirm a healing in your life, please comment to this blog so we can all be encouraged in our faith.
When Jesus traveled around, he had a reputation for healing people. He didn’t stay in any one place very long, so no one got close to Him unless they uprooted their lives and followed Him on His wanderings. But, those who did leave home and job learned much by observing His interactions with troubled people. And his entourage grew as He journeyed.
It seems a part of the course that if we want to get close to Jesus, we have to leave something worldly behind. What is it that He’s asking you to surrender in exchange for getting closer to Jesus?
Tags: surrender, worship
When he was in college, Adam had a Music Major. So, Anita and I traveled to the school’s musical programs to support him. The program usually began with students playing with professionals (or at least alumni) in a great orchestra. As the individual musicians arrived and took their seats on the stage, they would begin their tune-ups.
What a racket! No two instruments were together. The music they all performed together was a harsh kind of chaos, each making their own unique sounds (or noises). It was not pleasant, but abrasive.
Then the conductor stepped up on a small platform and tapped his music stand with his baton. Everything fell silent. Then the conductor began to signal with that baton and such a pleasant, calming harmony came from those individual instruments. What made the difference? It was the harmonious leadership and timing of the conductor.
The Holy Spirit is the Great Conductor of the spiritual music produced by the individual members of the Body of Christ. Working together, under the spiritual Conductor’s guidance, we became an example of harmony. Different instruments all harmonizing together to make a beautiful sound. Let’s let the Spirit lead us.
Comment here about the last time you saw some really neat harmony among your brothers and sisters.
Tags: disharmony, Holy Spirit, music, time, unity
When the Beatles begin producing songs in the early 1960s, they were a big hit around the world. They were an amazing blend of harmony and personality. They were seen as the perfect “team”.
But in 1970, the Beatles began work on a documentary intended to show how their music was made. Instead of revealing the process of musical creativity, the film exposed self-interest and bickering. The band members were more concerned about their own songs than the advancement of the group. Shortly after the project was completed, the group dissolved in disharmony and broken friendships.
That problem continues on in churches as its has for centuries. The Apostle Paul attempted to head this problem off in Philippians 2:3 when he wrote: “Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or cenceit.”
What would a documentary of your life reveal? Selfishness or selflessness? We must look out for one another, for selfless concern will prevent division and build unity in our church families.
Tags: ambition, disharmony, The Beatles
When our children were little, I led worship every week and Anita played piano every week. Our kids always sat in the second row, piano side, where Anita kept an eye on them during my preaching. On one particular Sunday, as I was wrapping up my sermon, little Nathan tugged on his Mom’s dress and said, “I gotta go to the bathroom.” She replied that service was just about over and he could wait just a few minutes.
He soon repeated a little more firmly that he really had to go. She was just as firm that he could wait just another moment. At that, he leaned forward and proceeded to vomit all over the pew in front of him (a nice padded seat).
There was a good lesson in that, as well. Its OK to make rules that teach people responsibility, but one-size-fits-all rules are sometimes out of touch with reality. This was one exception to the rule that we should have heeded.
Are there rules you are imposing on others that just might be too much for them at this point in their lives?
Tags: children, humor, rules