Thursday, October 21, 2010

This Pastor's Favorite Spot At Church

This circle of chairs is to the left of the front door of Cornerstone Church. Most of the time it looks just like this unless the wind causes some chairs to be temporarily relocated.  This is the area I look at first every time I pull into the parking lot.  This may seem strange to you, but this is probably one of my favorite areas on the church grounds.  Since I am the pastor I guess the pulpit is supposed to be my favorite spot because that's where I preach from.   
    The chairs are special to me because there is a growing group of adults that sit in these chairs about 20 minutes before church time each week. Sometimes there is a group sitting here after Sunday service.  There are many things discussed in this circle. From details of a family's activities, how a lady's day at work has gone, to the simple, "Here come some more kids!

 I know the pastor is typically consumed with the area of the building he preaches. This preacher does like the pulpit area. I love the chairs, though, because that is where relationships grow.  Those who choose to come early to sit and talk amongst each other at the chairs, establish a bond. They support, encourage, & help one another.  The preaching time should certainly teach others about the greatness of Jesus Christ. His plans, His calling, His commands, His promises. But in those chairs a family is formed, a support group activated. In those chairs people are able to see authenticity- and learn of Christ and His Word from other everyday people in an ordinary setting amongst simple conversations.

As pastor, I love this circle of chairs. I remember when there were just 3 chairs. Tonight there were 13 chairs, and I saw someone come and sit in this circle for the 1st time, though it seemed as if he had always been a regular.  Sure there are others who stand. But for those who prefer sitting, we will make sure they have a chair to sit and visit for a while.  If you haven't before, you should come try a chair. Who knows? You just might find help, support, encouragement and a new friend.

Friday, October 15, 2010

The closer the more excited

It is with much excitement that I post this blog, words cannot describe the awesome works of God.  A few months ago we began the process of adoption, and a few months ago God started growing my family's faith like crazy.
     One of the big questions Calley & I had in the beginning of this process was should we borrow money for an adoption or not?  Well we know God gave a confirmation thru scripture and spoke to us to "Take this child away and nurse him for me and I will give you your wages." (Exodus 2:9).  I can still remember the day that God actually gave that scripture to Calley one Sunday morning sitting in the recliner.  So as anything that is a move of faith begins we started taking steps. We called the home study agency, the adoption agency, and then the bank.  A lady was prepared to do the home study within one week, which is a miracle because it's normally a 3-5 month wait.  The homestudy timing was awesome, but we didn't have the $1800.00 needed for it at the time, so we went to the bank. 
There has been around $4,300 paid on out so far, but only the first $1800.00 was borrowed. Every other dollar has came from one miracle place or another- along with some hard work.  I write this blog to say as of this point we still have payments to make to the agency at different time intervals during the whole process but as of now the adoption agency is paid up to date and the bank note of $1800.00 is paid off. 
       I give the details of the adoption money and not my personal income- but let me just say we do not have the near $6,000 extra ever laying around that God has provided in the last few months.

    All this broke my heart yesterday as I was thinking about the excitement of bringing our newest addition home, and the privilege it is to be trusted by God to raise this child.  Yesterday was the day that the FBI is supposed to have mailed our clearance to our adoption agency, just another miracle of fast timing.  I was thinking about the things that are already done to finalize this adoption, and how we are so much closer to being joined with this new child of ours.  As I thoiught I wondered if God is like this with mankind. He knows us better than we know ourselves- He knows He can fix us, though.  I figure God recognizes the steps He sees a person taking as they are getting closer to calling out to Him for the salvation of their souls.  How amazing that would have to be to actually see the excitement of God as He is overwhelmed with this anticipation of knowing a person's heart is softening and coming closer to the point of being His child.  He gave His Son in order to buy our right to be adopted into His family, so it has to be a great day when He sees the ones that He has bought and paid for actually getting so close to running to Him.

I am no fool. Raising another child will not always be a bed of roses. Obviously, there will be some times that are such a blessing and there will be trying times that only depending on Jesus will bring the true resolve to the issue.  It is a strange mindset our culture has. We have been trained to be so selfish that if something is hard, then it is not what we should do.  I am so glad Jesus didn't live the American dream. He gave of Himself till the death. I am so glad that God gave His only Son in payment for our adoption- always willing to walk the hard road for us and with us, to bring about salvation and victory.