A revolver spring

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

by Dan Amos

We are blessed to have Martin as our full-time pastor with his training and experience. We are also fortunate that he has been gracious in sharing the pulpit and training others to step in when needed. Over the next month and a half or so he needs to take some time to spend with his dad and to have a procedure done to preserve and improve his eyesight. The Elder Board has encouraged him to take this personal time and several of the Elders will step in to fill the pulpit.

I will fill in this week during the men’s retreat and Martin will be back next week. After that, Brian, Larry, Stan, and Kevin Kompelien from the Evangelical Free Church’s ReachGlobal will bring the messages. Several of those sermons will be a detour from Philippians, but we’ll stay the course and finish just a little later than planned.

You can minister to Martin by praying for him and for those who will attempt to fill his big shoes. You can also help hold him accountable to trusting the team he has labored many years to build and for him to spend as little time as possible ministering to us and to focus on his dad and his own health.

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

Time alone with God

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

by Brian Waple

“Now during those days he went out to the mountain to pray; and he spent the night in prayer to God.” (Luke 6:12, NRSV) One of the things that really strikes me about Jesus is that it was crucial for him to spend time alone with his Father. I think he did this for a couple of reasons. With all the time spent giving to others, he needed space to withdraw and be refreshed. And, he needed that one on one time with his source of renewal and inspiration. “Very truly, I tell you, the Son can do nothing on his own, but only what he sees the Father doing; for whatever the Father does, the Son does likewise.” (John 5:19, NRSV)

As we learn to grow in more intimate relationship with God, we find that we long for those times of solitude where we can be inspired and renewed by what the Father is doing. Like Jesus, we must take time to withdraw from the demands of our busy lives and focus our attention on being attentive to God’s presence. It is only when we can remove ourselves from the distractions of life that we are able to present ourselves fully to God. And as we make ourselves more and more available to Him, we bring Him glory.

So, if you can, set aside some time during your day to spend alone with the Father. Maybe it means taking a short walk during lunch, or turning off the car radio on your way home. If you’re home during the day, perhaps you have a special place where you can sit quietly for a few minutes. Whatever you can do, offer that precious time up to the Father. And cherish it as your own time of renewal and inspiration.

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

Grace, grace, incredible grace

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

by Dan Amos

A few years ago, I was walking to church and passed by a small classical Greek-type statue thrown from a vehicle. I kept walking but the statue’s head caught my attention and I had to turn around and pick it up. I had been thinking about the direction life seemed to be taking and the debris of a replica statue from a failed civilization was something I couldn’t just pass by. It was a year or so later that I was given the opportunity to take an extended, unpaid vacation. I felt my change coming; surely that civilization felt change coming, too.

Now, I feel the change at Elim as we grow in numbers. Things are different and that can be unsettling. There are more new people than I can get to know. I think it is great that there are so many people coming together to worship and work out our faith together in community, but the social side of me wants to get to know everyone and I can’t. (Read more about church growth stress.)

I also sense issues percolating beneath the surface that need to be addressed. The difficulty is they often don’t appear until someone is frustrated to the point of giving up. This is where we can help each other cope with the change. The first step to resolving an issue is in knowing the issue exists. Tell someone who can make a change or point you to that person.

But the most important thing is grace, lots and lots of grace, both given and received. In the “Love and Respect” seminar, the speaker asserts in most cases our spouse is “a good-willed person” and good-willed people can still try one’s patience. As we grow and change, most of our frustrations are going to be caused by good-willed people and with communication and grace we’ll get through this and thrive. I am always thankful for the grace extended to me by my Elim family. It is desperately needed!

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