After the marathon day of Wednesday (and the “smell” of new carpet in the offices), I am one sick man. Yesterday I felt as bad as I have felt in a long time . . . Right now, I cannot hear out of my right ear and my head is stopped up. I have to go to the doctor next week anyway, but I might not make it to the end of the day today without going . . . I HATE BEING SICK!!
I only left the house THREE times yesterday. I would have cabin fever but I couldn’t stay awake long enough for the walls to close in . . .
I am a proud guy tonight . . . I know pride can be a sin, but I gonna have to confess it later. My 12 and under guys just won their league championship tonight. I am thankful to those boys and to Keith Pettigrew and Andrew Parker. We have all muddled through this season and ended up with a 7 – 1 record. A good year!
The boys are Colin Raynor, Justin Lunn, Drake Lowe, Alex Pettigrew, Drew, Zack Humphries, Jake Kohut, Tyler Knox. Dustin Lee, Logan McRae, Matthew Andrews, Cody Watkins, and Kevin Reed. WAY TO GO, GUYS!!!!
God has a plan . . . This is NOT a catch-phrase, IT IS THE TRUTH! God never calls us to something HE has not already planned . . . Think about that.
When I think about the future and what God has in store for Ebenezer, I am drawn back to the idea that there are approximately 15,000 people within three miles of EBC that DO NOT KNOW CHRIST. That is where my heart is right now. And it seems like an IMPOSSIBLE task that we could reach them. That, my friends, is where God comes in.
Did I already write that God has a plan, and He NEVER calls us to something He has not ALREADY PLANNED?? Yeah, I did. AND I STILL BELIEVE IT. HOW DO WE REACH THEM?? We tell them about the difference Jesus makes in our lives and LEAVE THE RESULTS TO GOD.
HOW DO WE DISCIPLE THEM?? Again, we must LISTEN to God and He will call many more of US out to lead in Sunday School, small groups, and by just making a difference in their lives.
WHERE DO WE PUT THEM?? We ARE considering a new facility proposal THIS SUNDAY. HOWEVER, this need is one we must address NOW instead of waiting for whatever is going to happen . . . And, again, this is a God-sized task that would take involvement and dedication from MANY, MANY people. A few years ago when we were worshiping in the FLC while the sanctuary was being rennovated, we had TONS of people helping setup and take-down. Then, by the fourth week, it was Ed, me, and two others. We cannot step into a long-term bandaid without more long-term support.
HOW DO WE DO ALL OF THIS?? Be STILL and KNOW that HE is God. And He will make it known to us, and He will call out the right people to do the right things.
Okay, the rain has nothing to do with it, but tomorrow Ed and I will assist in a rarity at Ebenezer . . . Back-to-back funerals. One at 11am, one at 2pm. TOMORROW. In the week in which we are working on one of the most significant Sundays EVER at Ebenezer.
Don’t tell me when it rains, it pours . . . WE KNOW IT THIS WEEK!! Pray for the Barlow family and the Harrell family (and Butch Boatwright and family) as they mourn the loss of loved ones this week.
And pray for me, that my voice will hold out!
Thanks to the GURU in the Website department (that would be Deano), we now have sermon videos on the church website under the PODCASTS button. Check it out!! I will probably keep posting them here, too, but it is cool to have on the church website.
I KNOW there are some wondering that, because Google analytics says I had a RECORD WEEK on the number of people hitting my blog. So, WHY would I not write more about it??
It is NOT because I had a friend and deacon tell me that I need to allow the committee to take the heat on this one. Over his years, he has seen many pastors hurt in situations like this and he told me in front of another deacon that I need to allow THEM to take the heat on this one. I DO appreciate his words and know they came from genuine friendship and concern. But that is NOT why I haven’t blogged about it.
In all truth, I pray and think about this a lot. There are other things going on at Ebenezer constantly, so it hasn’t been difficult to be distracted, but this thing is on my heart. And there is another great reason I haven’t blogged about this, other than what I wrote yesterday . . .
I take seriously the challenge we have before us to PRAY and FOLLOW GOD. What better way to go about this than to be led by God, and what better confirmation than if He leads the majority of us in the same direction. I don’t believe for a minute that it will be a unanimous vote for several reasons, one of them being I KNOW people who are listening to their own minds and pocketbooks on this one. My hope is that we will ALL listen to God and follow Him, and if we do, no matter what the outcome of the vote is, we will have a clear vision and direction about what He wants us to do:
Because no matter what, the problem at hand is STILL that there are over 21,000 people within a three-mile radius of Ebenezer AND recent census data states that roughly 70% of South Carolinians do not know Christ as their Savior. And when I combine that fact with the fact that people visit our church and do not return because they cannot find a place to sit, I KNOW we must do SOMETHING . . . Even if it is 4 services and 3 Sunday Schools, we MUST!!!!
It is five days after the big report . . . People are talking and I hope PRAYING about our next move as our New Facilities team brought the recommendation that Ebenezer has talked about since Oscar Holland was the pastor (late ’60s): To build a new sanctuary. Of course, the pricetag makes this a God-sized task and there might be a ton of reasons why we think we should not do this. But what does God think??
THAT is why we need to pray, and however He leads us, we agree to TRUST HIM. As simple as that. God will NOT lead us wrong. One of the questions asked of me as I became pastor of this church (and, ironically, one of the “reasons” given for NOT calling me as pastor before my vote) was ‘can David Wike lead Ebenezer through a building program??’ My answer TODAY is the same as it was in February, 2001: If GOD is in it, I have no fear whatsoever of a project like this. IF HE IS NOT, it would scare me to death.
By the way, I am NOT shaking . . .
That is what Krissy got from Dr Denton yesterday . . . A full release to play sports and do whatever she deems necessary as long as she wears her brace while doing it. The only issue is that running is a little awkward, but it will come back with PRACTICE. And at softball she will get plenty.
This has been quite a life lesson for her and for me. And it is not over. Pray for her because this thing has not only done a number on her physically, but also in her spirit.
I am NOT a Facebook junkie. It is funny, I’ve had a facebook profile for over a year, but since my family has gone nuts over it I finally updated mine and started tinkering with it. It IS fun. And interesting.
I find it interesting how people relate to each other online. Our need for relationship can be easily fulfilled ONLINE. And, ALL of my facebook “friends” are people I see every week at church, I do actually have REAL FRIENDSHIPS with these folks. For several years people have talked about the dangers of coccooning, of reverting back into our homes and having no actual contact with the outside world. I can see that as a danger, but I really get a kick out of tinkering with facebook and talking to people I see several times a week!!! Nothing wrong with that!!
The only other BIG danger is that I would spend too much time online and not enough time with my family . . . You know, Dana, Kelly, and Dirk.