Relational Creatures

Ministry should never be a solo endeavor.
LIFE should never be a solo endeavor.
We were molded, shaped and designed by our Creator God to be relational creatures.

It is not good for man to be alone. (Genesis 2:18)

Some try to do things on their own but I can’t imagine how they thrive – how they survive. As for me, I need connection – I need the flock. And especially as a pastor, I need my brothers and sisters in Christ.

I recently had coffee with a brother in Christ. He is a godly man and pastor who has been and currently is on the front-line of ministry. He has seen a lot of action and is a man of wisdom and integrity. In my former call I had such men in my life and I still call on them from time to time. This particular morning, I met with my brother and he instantly knew I had something on my mind. I know that my brother is dealing with his own ministry challenges, but he sat and listened to me. He offered encouragement and hope. He offered wisdom and suggestions. He offered his heart and experience. He prayed for me. It was something that I sorely needed. I went away from that coffee shop energized and ready to do battle again. Satan is hard at work to drive despair and hopelessness in people’s hearts and that is why we need each other. That is why I need my brothers and sisters in Christ.

And you, too, do not have to do life alone. You should never have to do life alone. I am not suggesting you run out and get married if you’re single. What I am suggesting is that you find a godly person to walk along side of you.
Someone who will pray with/for you.
Someone you can talk to.
Someone who will listen and to whom you can listen.
Someone who understands.
Someone who intimately knows Jesus.
Someone who loves you as a brother or sister in Christ.
Someone who will preach the Gospel to you.
Someone who will join you in the “battle”.

Life is too hard to do on your own so do not let pride tell you that you can. It is not good to be alone – for those are the ones that Satan, the prowling lion is seeking to pick off from the flock. Keep near the flock AND to the Shepherd – Jesus Christ. Be the relational creature that God designed you to be.

Wherever You Are

The following poem to dedicated to a mystery woman and her child. I don’t know who she is, but she showed up at our church door recently. Our Ring doorbell caught the encounter as she left a note. When I finally saw the footage, she was gone. The note was a series of prayer requests about her son and some stuff about her family. She left no name or contact information so I have no way to follow up with her. All I can do is pray and I invite you to do the same. I can’t tell you much but that’s alright – God knows her and I pray that she knows that as well.

And so, as I think about this woman and her son – praying for them – God placed this poem on my heart. I dedicate this to her and to the glory of God.


I don’t know where you are.
I don’t know where you’ve been.
And you may never, ever come this way again.
Miles may separate us.
Circumstances may keep us apart,
But know that you are never, ever far from my heart.
You seem to be in such pain.
Lost with no where to turn.
Oh how I wish you would someday return.
God brought you to our door.
He lead you by the hand.
Oh how I want you to know His love firsthand.
I know you may never read this.
But this is what I am feeling.
I will pray that God will grant you necessary healing.
So wherever you are.
And wherever you go.
I pray that its the peace of Christ you will someday know.

Be A Preacher

Grant me, Lord, to know and understand which is first, to call on Thee or to praise Thee? and, again, to know Thee or to call on Thee? for who can call on Thee, not knowing Thee? for he that knoweth Thee not, may call on Thee as other than Thou art. Or, is it rather, that we call on Thee that we may know Thee? but how shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? or how shall they believe without a preacher? and they that seek the Lord shall praise Him: for they that seek shall find Him, and they that find shall praise Him. I will seek Thee, Lord, by calling on Thee; and will call on Thee, believing in Thee; for to us hast Thou been preached. My faith, Lord, shall call on Thee, which Thou hast given me, wherewith Thou hast inspired me, through the Incarnation of Thy Son, through the ministry of the Preacher.
[Augustine, S., Bishop of Hippo. (1996). The Confessions of St. Augustine. (E. B. Pusey, Trans.). Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.]

I read this in The Confessions of St. Augustine and was inspired to write the following poem. May God lead me to be a preacher for someone who does not know Him so that they, too, may call on Him who saves – praising His name through Christ Jesus my Lord.


Why do people not call on You?
Why are they so silent?
Why do people call on other gods?
Why is Your praise so absent?

You are higher than the gods.
Your power is by far greater.
Your love is infinitely more awesome.
Through Jesus You are my vindicator.

Why do people not call on You?
Why are they so silent?
Why do people call on other gods?
They seem to be so ambivalent.

People just coast through life.
With nothing but their own power.
They just have no idea, Lord.
How close is their final hour.

And so I sit and wonder, “why is this so?”
“Why are people such lost creatures?”
But God convicted me and said,
“But I have made you to be their preacher.”

Falling Through

Two ways to go,
one of You
and one to forgo.
I want to follow You,
but I want my way too.
Oh God, I don’t want my plans to fall through.
I am tired of wandering.
I am tired of wondering.
When will rest come from You?
Oh God, I don’t want my plans to fall through.
This seems so right.
How can it be wrong?
It has to be the way from You.
Oh God, I don’t want my plans to fall through.
I’ve worked so hard.
I’ve been faithful.
This way has to honor You.
Oh God, I don’t want my plans to fall through.
But maybe this is not Your plan.
Maybe this is not Your way,
so if that be the case,
Oh God, let MY plans fall through,
So I can follow YOU.

Clubhouse

The joy of a childhood clubhouse is that it is a place for a child to get away from the world and hang out with their friends. The clubhouse is secret – only for those who are members. Others may know of its existence, but they know they are not welcome. The clubhouse is a meeting place for the members. What happens in the clubhouse, stays in the clubhouse. To break the clubhouse code could mean excommunication. To bring guests is met with skepticism from the others. Clubhouses can serve a purpose – for a time – but in the end they become obsolete. A church that adopts or becomes what I have described, will be obsolete. They will serve a purpose for a limited time, but in the end, they will be no more. Jesus didn’t form a clubhouse of like-minded people. Jesus formed a Church that was to change the world.

Time

Where did the time go?
It was whisked away,
like a feather tossed in a stiff breeze;
a hurricane blowing it to God knows where.

Time melted away as a child’s ice cream cone,
in the heat of a muggy summer day;
evaporating into nothingness,
drifting away as steam.

Time is an elusive creature,
not willing to be tamed,
wild and free,
and impossible to be caged.

One minute I feel rich with time,
but the next minute I am in poverty;
begging for more,
but with none to be found.

Time can’t be borrowed, purchased or stolen.
Some say time is money,
but time is time
and thus worth more than gold.

Time is to be used now.
It can’t be banked or stored up.
It can’t be saved for a rainy day,
for time refuses to wait.

When you have time,
spend it — spend it or lose it.
Spend it on someone, now,
for someone needs your time, now.

When you have time,
don’t wait long;
for it will tick tock down its path,
merrily going its way; never looking back.

The time is now.
Tell someone about Jesus,
before time runs out,
never to return again.

Its time…

Gordon ~ Homelessness Sucks

We met Gordon recently.

I don’t know his story other than he’s a black man who is homeless in Sumner, WA. My family and I were in town for an event when we saw him sitting on a downtown bench with his stuff. We all felt the God nudge so we stopped the car. We just needed to do something. In the back of my car are these bags…

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These bags came from the brain and heart of my 5-year-old daughter. She wanted to do something to help people who find themselves homeless and so she came up with this. We are incredibly proud of her. So my wife and I helped her put these together and now the two of us have these in our vehicles. We are currently in the process of adding to these bags and now others in my congregation want to help too. To God be the glory.

Anyway, we stopped and interrupted our evening activities to meet Gordon. My 4-year-old son wanted to get out with me so we grabbed a bag and walked across the street. I introduced the two of us to Gordon and shook his hand. Gordon’s eyes lit up as he smiled and introduced himself to us. We chatted for a bit as I handed him the above bag. Gordon thanked me and my son and we parted ways.

And now…

…my thoughts and prayers continue to be with Gordon. I wrote about Sofia’s story recently and I wish I knew Gordon’s story. So many regrets with my encounter with Gordon. I wish I had taken more time to listen but maybe God is teaching me. Maybe each and every encounter is one more step in my education and discipleship. I don’t know. What I do know is that I haven’t forgotten about Gordon; I can still see his face in my brain. And that’s good. I have a feeling that when the next opportunity comes around God will nudge me more.

God help me. God help us.

I/we have much to learn.

Remember Gordon and join me in praying for him. I/you don’t know his story, but God does. And God willing, I will see Gordon again so I can learn more of his story.

So, remember and pray. Learn and grow. Respond and act. To God be the glory.

The Pastor -|—