Archive | November, 2006

The Value of Service

30 Nov

We have talked a lot lately about the gifts of materials that have been given to the Habitat project, and how they relate to our fundraising total. Gifts of construction material deduct from our total monies owed. It is easy to develop those values, and it all fits nicely on a spreadsheet somewhere in cyberland.

I like things that fit nicely, that add up, that make perfect sense on paper. When it makes sense on paper, all is right with the world. When I can look at it and it makes sense, I get a peaceful easy feelin’.

Justin and I were talking yesterday to Renee. We were talking about teaching youth Sunday School, and how difficult it is to tell if you are getting through to them. Unfortunately, youth are the most difficult group to read . . . How do you know if you are getting through to youth?? Answer: You DON’T. Well, actually you do find out five to seven years later when they come back to you and tell you, but it is hard to know if you are doing the right things with that long of a feedback cycle.

I write all of that to state the value of service. Not as easy to quantify as a gift in kind to the Habitat project, but the church, the Body of Christ, is moved by the leadership of the Holy Spirit and by our service. We know how much the lumber donated by Bill Triplett helps on the Hab. project, but we may NEVER know what an impact our obedience has on the kingdom of God, on a bunch of kids, on the world.

That is tough!! But, as long as we are being obedient to the Holy Spirit, we really don’t have to know. We all want to know if we are getting through to the target God calls us to . . . But we just have to trust Him and keep on truckin’.

The Value of Service is far more than we can ever know. Be encouraged!

Stepping out in Faith

29 Nov

God is really moving on the New Facility team. Very soon, this team will once again turn to the congregation for specific input and ideas. Things are really moving at God’s speed, and He is picking up the pace. I find that particularly rewarding to be a part of this process.

One of my favorite things about all that has happened at Ebenezer in the last year is the fact that God SPECIFICALLY blesses obedience. I have seen it over and over again every time we step out in faith. Stepping out in faith requires us to take a step and trust Him. It seldom makes sense, but we do it because God calls us to do it. And He blesses us as long as we keep our eyes on Him.

Challenges of Leadership

28 Nov

Since this is my 50th post, I thought it appropriate to write something that is worth reading. With that in mind, I will get back to you when I have something worthwhile to say!!

Okay, then it would no longer be the 50th, so that is no good . . . Okay, here goes: Leading people is a difficult business. A delicate highwire act is required to help people be all they can be, keep things focused on the goal, keep the boat from running aground, bring in the wayward sheep, and keep up with all of the normal activities of the organization. Needless to say (and contrary to popular belief), the church staff DOES work more than two days a week.

Pray for us. The forces of darkness would LOVE to see our church shredded into nothing, and these forces are hard at work. God is more powerful, and Jesus has already won the victory, so we have nothing to fear as long as we do not lend any credence to Satan and his schemes.

Garage Doors – R – Us

27 Nov

As I have stated a time or two, my dad and I replaced his garage door in his basement this weekend. I remember 25 years ago when we put the first garage door up down there. Taking it down was twice as fun!! Also, garage doors are much easier to put up nowdays. (It did not hurt that I had a guide in the garage doors on the new garage)

Putting the door up was mostly logical mechanical work. But the torsion spring . . . AH, that is another story. The door we bought from Overhead Doors of Greenville really did not come with an installation guide. They just handed me all of the stuff and that was that. When I googled how to install the spring, a skull and crossbones came up when I said torsion spring. Everyone talked about how DEADLY they are and should not be touched by mortal man. Now, I am mortal, but am I afraid?? NEVER!! They probably just put that there to DARE me to take it on.

And, take it on I did. And, set it I did. And, it worked (it did)!

Post-Thanksgiving Inventory

26 Nov

Back from Easley?? CHECK
Made it back with all of my tools?? CHECK
Installed garage door for my dad?? CHECK
Not killed by deadly torsion spring on door?? CHECK
Hit hammer and obliterated left thumb putting pitching rubber down for Krissy?? CHECK
Cut ring finger on right hand fixing toy for Drew?? CHECK
Ate too much?? DOUBLE CHECK
Phone call from Diana at 10:30 Saturday morning, stating that a stranger had given her four tickets to the Clemson game?? CHECK
Left parents’ house at 11:10 and was in Death Valley at kickoff?? CHECK
Went to game, sat on 40 yard line, field level, 24 rows behind USC bench?? EL CHECKO
Got to take my son to his FIRST Clemson game?? CHECKAROONI
Went back to Easley, ate supper, and got on the road to get home at 9:00?? CHECK

Have no idea what I will preach this morning?? Do I really have to answer??

Garage Door Replacement

25 Nov

Okay, my holiday project with my dad this year has been replacing the garage door in his basement. The day started with us discovering that his old door is no longer a standard size, and the guy at Lowes said he could have one in 21 days. At Home Depot in Easley, I couldn’t even get an answer, because they were not really helping people today.

The guy at Lowes DID recommend that we call Overhead Door of Greenville. We did, and miracle of all miracles, they happened to have the door we needed in the warehouse. We bought it, trekked back to the house, and the transformation began.

It took all day, but we got the old door out, completely stripped off all the hardware, and mounted the new door. Took about five hours total, due to some special circumstances. But we got it done!!!!

Now, if I can only get the spring to work . . .

I found the bubbles!!!

23 Nov

I had a watershed moment today . . . I have realized what is missing and why I feel so defeated. I have truly been trying to control too much and not allow God to do His job. I realize that I need to totally trust Him, LEAN MORE ON HIM, and He really will take care of it all.

I know I have written that before and said that before, but now I know it!!!

Follow the tiny bubbles

22 Nov

Remember that scene from Officer and a Gentleman when they were being trained on how to get out of their planes if underwater?? A small carriage, which was a replica of a cockpit, would go down a ramp, into a training pool, and then FLIP. Their job: Get out of the cockpit and swim to the surface. The problem: They would be disoriented, and would have to perform certain simple tasks in order to pass. In real life, if they did NOT do these tasks, they would die. This was the task that washed David Keith’s character out of the program, and led to his eventual suicide. Tough situation, especially since all he had to do was FOLLOW THE TINY BUBBLES.

The “tiny bubbles” were air bubbles, and they would LEAD HIM to safety if only he could calm down enough to see them. He would have to exercise faith that the bubbles were leading him to the surface and go with it.

All of this makes me wonder: Where are OUR tiny bubbbles? What are they??

I need some bubbles this week. Sometimes I feel like I am flipped over in that carriage and I can’t tell which way is up. And I don’t know what do to. And I am afraid I might drown. (I LOVE swimming, mind you. But the thought of being trapped in that carriage underwater is enough to boost my heart rate a little.)

I know, deep down, the bubbles are the little glimpses of Christ that we see all around us. And they are there. I just need to calm down enough to see them.

Somedays are better left in the past . . .

22 Nov

Ever have one of those days?? Yes, even pastors have days that they would like to forget. Nothing major or earth-shattering, but sometimes I have days that remind me that I cannot make it without God. He is my rock, my shelter and my fortress. I can never forget that, even though it might be easy to forget somedays.

Internet Explorer Upgrade

20 Nov

WOW!! First of all, with my notebook set up for automatic updates, it sometimes doesn’t even ask me about upgrades. Windows XP just DOES IT!! For the IE upgrade, however it DID warn me a couple of times. Naturally, I hardly read the warning and just clicked OK. I put the computer down and started watching something on TV.

About 15 minutes later, Diana picked it up and said, “Did you tell this thing to upgrade IE??” I said, “uh oh . . .” She said it wasn’t so bad, but extremely different. Boy is she right!!

It kind of makes you wonder, Why the change?? Are the gurus at Microsoft trying to keep up with their counterparts of another mother (the Apple guys)?? Do they feel the need to change ever-so-often just to keep things fresh, or to keep us guessing?? There are several new features that look really good. Time will tell if they really work!!

I am not a nay-sayer about the great and powerful Microsoft . . . I have just been through this before . . .