My Last Word (Chris Pace’s final Last Word as an Elim elder)

If you liked this post, say thanks by sharing it.

 

By Chris Pace

It is the end of an important part of my life; or is it just the beginning? My time on the elder board is coming to an end on January 1. I’ve been serving on the elder board for some time now, and I must say God had a reason for me to be there and the church body has blessed me by allowing me to be there. The wisdom and understanding I was able to glean from the men on the elder board has been the most rewarding gift.

The men God has placed on this board and whom you obediently chose have such a passion for our Lord’s people and even for those outside of this body. It has truly been a humbling experience. Being able to serve you and personally pray for you has also been very humbling and an honor.

God has used this time in my life in many ways. It’s helped me through some tough times through the support of the elders. I’ve also been helped by the time God gave me to know you better and through doing so to support each other.

I continue to offer my services to this body as He has called us all to do, and I will seek to grow in the areas in which God has begun a work in me.

I ask that you would continue to pray for God to continue His work in me. I also ask that you continue to pray for the current elders, that they would continue to seek God’s guidance and wisdom in all matters within their own lives and in the life of the church. I will do the same for you.

If you liked this post, say thanks by sharing it.

Relationship

If you liked this post, say thanks by sharing it.

By Chris Pace

Working with the youth group has taught me a vital bit of information: relationship is key! Everything relating to God has to do, in one way or another, with having a relationship with God. Everything! 1 Corinthians 13:13 says, “Three things will last forever — faith, hope, and love, and the greatest of these is love.” This makes sense because faith is the voice of love and hope is the accent of love. Love is the foundation of everything and relationship is the face of love. It is why the Creator created us; it is why the Israelites went through so many good and bad times; it is why Christ chose a group of men to join Him in His ministry; it is why Jesus taught the disciples what He did; it is why the Savior died on the tree; it’s why Jesus rose again; it is why Christ will come again.

God’s Word is His story about how He created us to have a relationship with Him, but we walked away. He made a temporary fix for being in a relationship with Him until the timing was perfect. Then He solved the problem that kept us from being together permanently, once and for all. That’s love! Love for His people. He longs to be with us again. Sounds like the God of relationships (a.k.a. love), to me.

If you liked this post, say thanks by sharing it.

His grace is enough

If you liked this post, say thanks by sharing it.

by Chris Pace

I have currently been dwelling on a passage these past two months. I find such an amazing joy when God brings it to mind. Lately, He has been bringing it up rather frequently; at the men’s retreat, in worship, conversations, lessons, and sermons. Of course, He knows it takes a few times for me to be told in order for it to really sink in.

In 2 Corinthians 12:8-10 God tells Paul, after he asked God a few times to take a thorn from his flesh, that “My grace is all you need.” How extremely powerful! To know that I’m capable of nothing without Him; that my faults are not limiting what God can do through me. In fact, God goes on to say that “My power works best in weakness.”

I am now beginning to learn the lesson and understand what Paul figured out: “…to boast in my weaknesses; knowing the power of Christ CAN work through me.” This means I need to learn how to not only “take pleasure in the insults”, but the “hardships, persecutions, and troubles that I suffer for Christ,” as well as “For when I’m weak, then I’m strong.”

So my prayer is that God will make me weak so that He can be my strength and continue to use me however He wills.

If you liked this post, say thanks by sharing it.

God’s instrument

If you liked this post, say thanks by sharing it.

by Chris Pace

I never thought of myself as much of a leader. Give me instructions and I’ll carry them out to the best of my ability, but give me authority and I am at a loss as to what to do with it. I feel inadequate for the responsibility in every way. However, God has been teaching me how to be a good leader, at a pace that I can handle.

I felt the way I believe Moses felt when God told him to lead His people; I was a stuttering, nervous (maybe cowardly), and inadequate human being. God has been giving me small opportunities that He’s been using to teach me. One thing I learned right off the bat, is that I am the instrument in God’s hands. I can’t make music, He does through me. Apart from Him I can do nothing. He said so, so why try doing it my way, on my strength, on my own!

I shared with someone that I felt inadequate to be a leader and they told me “Great! You’re exactly what is needed. We don’t want someone who feels they’re perfect for the position. We want someone who is humble enough to depend on God and on other leader’s experience and wisdom.”

These lessons I’ve been going through are opening doors beyond the borders of my comfort zone, yet God said go, and so I do. Leaders I respect and try to glean from tell me that after you’ve crossed those borders long enough, you eventually get used to your surroundings and your comfort zone begins to grow.

If you liked this post, say thanks by sharing it.

The G.O.S.P.E.L. Plain and Simple

If you liked this post, say thanks by sharing it.

by Chris Pace

I recently went on a retreat with our youth. It was claimed by the majority of those that went to be “The best retreat I’ve ever been on!” We were there for less than 24 hours, had less activities than some of the other retreats we’ve been to, and we were one of many other groups that came. Some may have assumed that it wasn’t worth it or that it was boring. However, for those that went, they got what they came for.

The point of the retreat was to give those that attended an experience and a feel for how to share Christ with others. They suggested a tool that they use that is similar to a wordless bracelet, W.W.J.D., or all the other tools people have used before.  They teach it as the G.O.S.P.E.L. approach:

God created us to be with him.

Our sins separated us from him.

Sins cannot be removed by good deeds.

Paying the price for sin, Christ died and rose again.

Everyone who puts their trust in him alone has everlasting life.

Life with Jesus starts now and lasts forever.

The youth went not fully aware of what to expect. They left affected by the lessons and the worship. It brought them to a point of openness with each other, creating an even stronger bond and a deeper respect for each other. I, personally, was affected by every bit: The bonds that grew between them, and between me and them; the longing I saw in each student to find some way to express their faith to people in their lives they so desperately want to reach; the ‘Family Time’ when our group opened up and grew a deeper respect for the typically quiet students of our group, and a stronger bond with one another through moments of vulnerability; and through the worship.

During our last worship session they cleared the chairs, and had all the students against the chapel walls to represent the lost and all the leaders in the middle to represent the church. They told the students (the lost) that they were not to worship, but had to stand there and watch as the leaders (the church) worshiped, until two leaders (signifying the importance of going and spreading the gospel in pairs) came and prayed with them, allowing them to join the church in the middle. They asked us leaders beforehand to wait for two verses and a chorus before we left to pray with a student; that way they could understand how it felt. I couldn’t wait. I barely lasted a verse because it broke my heart to see those on the outside looking in. It made me think of all those I’ve missed my chance to share salvation with and all those we’re missing now. There are so many that may never come to know Christ as their own personal savior and Lord because so many of us, for one reason or another, don’t do what we were called to do, what we long to do: To share the amazing love that God so greatly longs for us to know; the love he blatantly showed on that blood-stained cross that once held his son.

So what is our responsibility? It is impossible for us to save others; otherwise there was no need for God’s sacrifice. We are only told to go and share the gospel. The Holy Spirit will take it from there.

If you liked this post, say thanks by sharing it.

Hard Times in 2010

If you liked this post, say thanks by sharing it.

by Chris Pace

2010 was a very long and difficult year to get through for me. I encountered a variety of trials, more then I ever have before–relationship, finance, health, loss of a family member, loss of a friend, the list goes on. There were times during these trials where I tried to deal with them on my own, sometimes unaware that that was what I was doing. There were times when I felt like falling to the ground and drowning in emotional darkness, when I felt completely exhausted to the point of crying. I had moments when I just wish I could give up, turn my back on the whole matter and start anew.

However, at the end of each trial I found myself at God’s feet. I never ran from Him or waited until the last minute to call upon Him. Even though I’d call upon Him, He would still allow me to go through those trials. Because He allowed this, instead of continuing in the manner I had previously attempted to get through my trials, I began to thank Him for these trials and find reasons to praise and glorify Him in each “trial”. God let me endure these things so that I could draw closer to Him, to rely on Him, to understand what it truly means to have faith in God. I have come to realize how blessed I am with everything I have, with everyone I know, and with every opportunity He presents me with. My hard times are only hard when I look at them from my perspective, but when I look at them the way He wants me to, I see blessings instead of trials. With that being said, last year wasn’t that bad after all.

James 1:2-4 – Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.

If you liked this post, say thanks by sharing it.