Greetings

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

by Stan Peterson

First impressions are lasting impressions! When I first visited Elim what I remember most were the great people and being welcomed into the fellowship by individuals who had the heart of God. These people were focused upon God, thus being able to turn away from themselves and look outward to those who were new. What makes up a great church is great people who serve a great God. We the church are living stones who carry the presence of God wherever we go, building up a spiritual house (1 Peter 2.5). We here at Elim desire to be a great church displaying a great God.

Starting on September 11 there will be a notable difference upon entering the sanctuary for our corporate worship. At each entrance we will have posted a servant (greeter). These servants will display the heart of God by welcoming all who cross the threshold. The servants will greet with the eyes, ears, hands, and feet of Christ. The mission of the greeter is to greet and connect those who come through our doors. first to greet: This is a dual purpose task.

1. The servant is on the frontline to greet all who come through our doors.

2. To stand as a marker to remind those who are not on the greeting team to be engaged and greet other’s as well.

We as the body are all commanded to greet one another 1 Th 5.26 “Greet all the brethren with a holy kiss” (no kissing please) and 3 John 14. greet the friends by name. To greet in the New Testament means to be happy about something on the basis that it would prove particularly welcome (thus implying a type of future orientation). As we greet we are filled with joy by anticipating what God is going to do in and through each individual. This is where the power of God is unleashed by the Holy Spirit in YOU! Our God is limitless in what he can do in and through a body that is yielded to the Spirit. This all starts as people enter in to commune with our God and each other, this is exciting!

Second, the greeter will be a connector! He or she will be used by God to connect guests and members with God and each other. This is done by the Holy Spirit and comes out in FRUIT of the Spirit Gal. 5.22 and gifts of the Spirit displayed by the Body of Christ. This is worked out through pointing guests to our information table where they can talk with a greeter and learn more about Elim and who we are. This process of connection will be a starting point for our guests to become fully absorbed into this local Body of Christ.

Who is qualified to be a greeter? All who call Elim home should consider themselves a qualified greeter. God commands us to greet one another. This means that this is a ministry that the WHOLE Body of Christ should be involved in and not just a certain few (greeting team). Please contact me if you are interested in serving God and others in this capacity for His glory.

*Last item to communicate: Please do not take away from the front-line greeters’ ministry by lingering in the doorway visiting with the greeters or others. Remember why we have greeters and go forth and greet others within the sanctuary.

May our God be loved in our endeavors to greet and love each other.

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

On wasting time …

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

By Larry Short

Because I had a lovely a four-day vacation last week, I have been thinking about a recent blog from one of my favorite technology writers, Seth Godin: “Wasting Time Is Not a Waste.”

Basically Seth defines (with tongue in cheek, I’m sure) “wasted time” as any time that’s not directly devoted to productivity (working). And then he says, while we certainly can “waste time” poorly, it is so much better to “waste time” well.

Wasting time well (which is not a waste!) is measured, Seth says, by the extent to which our investment of “wasted time”: 1) brings us needed rest, 2) brings us important discovery, or 3) brings us joy.

I like that! It also got me to thinking about a biblical view of “wasted time.” From the very beginning, God ordained a cyclical 24-hour period of rest for we weak and frail human beings who don’t know any better (and that’s apparently all of us), and He called it “Sabbath.” In Sabbath, we were obviously to rest, that was a fundamental part of the fourth commandment as revealed in Exodus 20:8-11 …

 8 “Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. 9 Six days you shall labor and do all your work, 10 but the seventh day is a sabbath to the LORD your God. On it you shall not do any work, neither you, nor your son or daughter, nor your male or female servant, nor your animals, nor any foreigner residing in your towns. 11 For in six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but he rested on the seventh day. Therefore the LORD blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.

The impetus for the Sabbath was resting from our work, while resting in God’s work. Jewish scholars took the “resting from our work” part very seriously and exhibited great pains in defining exactly what “rest” meant. But there is so much more when it comes to the “rest” we should observe as Sabbath. There were also elements of discovery … and if you dig deeper, elements of joy!

Over and over again in Exodus, the Sabbath is referred to as a day “holy unto the Lord.” Ch. 31:16 says the Sabbath was to be “celebrated.” It was an occasion for joy, even in the midst of “denying yourself” (Lev. 6:31). And a denial of self, in Scripture, is always portrayed (as Stan alluded to on Sunday) as a refocusing from self to others. First and foremost, denial of self means refocusing upon God.

This is why the Jews attended synagogue on the Sabbath. Lev. 23:3 calls it “a day of sacred assembly,” a day in which to show reverence for the Tabernacle or the Temple as God’s dwelling place. Discovery of who God was and how to draw near to Him, in the sacred assembly, was a part of the “rest” that God required, a refocusing upon the person and work of God (and off of ourselves and our own desires).

Such discovery of God results in joy, as Jesus assured us in John 17 when (in the midst of His greatest trial) He prayed that we would experience His fullness of joy.

So, I think Seth hits it right on the head. If vacations are simply wasting time in empty pursuits of self-gratification and “entertainment,” then they are truly a waste. But if during your vacation you can truly get rested up, engage upon a discovery of who God is and who we are in right relation to Him, and experience as a result the joy that knowing God and loving Christ brings to our hearts, such “wasted time” is far from a waste!

For more reflections from Larry, subscribe to his blogs:

  • The Crimson Worm (http://CrimsonWorm.org)
  • ShBlog (http://ShBlog.org/)
If you liked this post, say thanks by sharing it.

Knock, knock … who’s there?

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

by Gordy McCoy

I have a brass ship’s bell on the front door post that our son-in-law Jack likes to ring sometimes when he comes over.

One day Jack came to the door and I was in my sweats, unshaven, and still tired from having a busy weekend. The curtains weren’t open yet, not because it was particularly early, but just because I was moving a little slow that morning. There stood Jack and all I could think about was our messy house. The dining room table still had all  the dishes from the get together we had with our community group.We always have so much fun with all of them and after everyone left, we didn’t tidy up the house, we just called it a night.

Oh well. Jack didn’t care. I invited him in and he didn’t even notice all the clutter. He knows we lead a busy life and his purpose coming over did not include a “house check.” He’s our son-in-law …and also a friend.

I thought about Jesus and the fact He feels comfortable with my busy life. He’s always kind to me amid the chaos, and like Jack, He just wants to spend time with us. No need to try to hide the “messes” in our lives, we all need a little cleaning up and He is the One to do it.

Jack knows we are busy about our Father’s business. Ministry can sometimes be messy and time consuming … but, oh, so worth it. I realize there are times others minister to me and my family.

So when your house gets messy and life gets hectic because you are busy with life with Him, remember we are also setting an example for our children and grandchildren. “I have no greater joy than to hear my children walking in The Truth” (3 John 4).

KNOCK, KNOCK …who’s knocking on your door? Let them in.

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