Wednesday, September 29, 2010

How Hungry Are You?

It was our first Christmas together as husband and wife, and I wanted it to be extra-special for Kim. So I booked a room at the Alameda Plaza, one of the nicest hotels in Kansas City at the Country Club Plaza. We’d start off with a quietly elegant dinner then take in the sights and sounds of the Plaza at Christmas.

The restaurant at the Alameda was considered one of the city’s finest. There are three things that I love: Christmastime in Kansas City, Kim and a good steak (not necessarily in that order!). And here we were, combining all three. I was so excited.

When we arrived at the restaurant, we were treated like royalty. Our every wish was their command. This is the type of place where when you take a sip of water, they immediately refill your glass. I think they devoted one server per table.

I ordered a KC Strip, medium well. I had been looking forward to that steak for weeks. This was a few steps up from the Ponderosa Steakhouse I was accustomed to frequenting, so this was going to be a real treat.

But when they brought me the exquisitely prepared steak, I could hardly look at it. The perfect salad and baked potato with all the trimmings (butter, bacon and cheese) sat untouched. You see, I had come down with some type of bug earlier in the day. I didn’t say anything to Kim, because I didn’t want to ruin our perfect evening. But when they sat the food in front of me, I had to excuse myself from the table.

When I returned, I made a feeble attempt at eating the food, but even a few bites was more than I could handle. I took several drinks of water to try to keep the food down. Each time the waiter would quickly refill my water glass. Finally, observing the barely touched steak, he came over and asked if there was a problem with it. He would send it back if it was not prepared to my liking. I had to admit there was nothing wrong with the food—it was me.

I learned that night that if you don’t have an appetite, it doesn’t matter how good the food is. The finest cut of meat prepared by the best chef will remain untouched if you aren’t hungry.

The same is true of the Holy Scriptures. That is why we are frequently admonished to develop a hunger for the Word. Peter says, “Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation” (1 Peter 2:2). To the Corinthians, Paul wrote, “I gave you milk, not solid food, for you were not yet ready for it….” (1 Corinthians 3:2) And in Hebrews 5:12 we read “In fact, though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you the elementary truths of God’s word all over again. You need milk, not solid food!”

How hungry for the Word are you? Do you look forward to time spent in Scripture as you would a fine meal? Do you yearn for the Spirit to speak to your heart as you open the bread of life? Are you feasting on the Word as you would Thanksgiving Dinner?

Through daily devotions, Bible studies and sermons, you have an abundance of Spiritual morsels set before you each week. Some are designed to be quietly enjoyed in the privacy of your own home or office. Some are meant to be shared together like a big family meal, such as the Women’s Bible study on Esther or The Connecting Point on Sunday mornings at Life Spring. But one way or the other, the only way you will benefit from these meals is if you have a hunger that will not be satisfied in any other way.

So whether you need the basics (“milk” as it is referred to in Scripture) or a four course meal (“solid food” Paul calls it), come to the table with a hearty appetite for the Holy Word of the Lord.

Friday, September 17, 2010

A Place to Call Home

These are exciting days for Life Spring Church.

As I write these words, the sales contract for Spring Hill Plaza has just been signed by the seller. We had agreed in principle to the terms of this contract a couple of weeks ago and we had signed the contract, but we were waiting for the seller’s signature in order to make it official.

Actually, the purchase of Spring Hill Plaza is not a “done deal” yet. The signing of the contract gives us a period of time in which to arrange the financing, complete the inspections, finish the design, secure the contractors’ estimates for the renovations of the property and obtain congregational approval for the deal. So there is much to do to make this a reality. Our goal is to close on the property by December 15—which may seem like a long time away, but which will be here before we know it.

Thus far, the unity of the congregation has been phenomenal. We had a great turnout for the recent “open house”, when most of our folks got their first look at the property. Right now, it consists of an old grocery store that has been vacant for years and a former day care space that we will use as a fellowship foyer and children’s ministry area. What excited me most was that our people saw beyond a grocery store and day care. They could envision the stage in the worship center and what the nursery would look like.

In addition, we will be renovating another 2500 square feet for a Youth Center and church offices.

Everyone understands that a lot of work lies ahead. Everyone realizes that this represents a tremendous step of faith for our young, small church. Everyone knows that we’re not contemplating this facility for those who presently attend Life Spring as much as for people who haven’t even walked through the doors yet!

The unanimous vote of the congregation to proceed with design and construction drawings, paid for from Capital Campaign Funds, is an indication of the enthusiasm of our folks. It is evidence of the unity of spirit and purpose that permeates our fellowship.

Our Elders will endeavor to keep the congregation abreast of developments as they occur. As soon as possible, we’ll bring the final contract before the congregation for affirmation. If all goes as planned, we’ll be swinging hammers and sawing boards very soon. In the meantime, let’s pray that God will guide the process and guard our church from the attacks of the enemy.