Friday, January 28, 2011


Today is a bittersweet day in the life of our church family. It was our last day of operating out of the office & meeting space, known as “The Life Center”, out of which we have operated since opening our doors 4 ½ years ago. While we always knew this was going to be temporary space, we still will miss the place.

Since we moved into The Life Center, whenever people would ask me where we were located, I would always say, “We’re just north of the Johnson County library”. That sounded better than “We’re right next door to the liquor store.” Of course, that didn’t work so well one day when I received a call from the pizza delivery driver, who was 15 minutes late delivering a pizza for a luncheon meeting.
“I’m sorry,” he said, “where are you located?”
“Just north of the library,” I responded.
“In Spring Hill?” he questioned me.
“That’s right,” I said, “just north of the Johnson County Library.”
“I don’t know where that is,” he replied.
“Well, we’re just south of the liquor store.”
“Oh, Hometown Liquor? I know right where you are.”
He was there in 3 minutes.

We’ve had a lot of good times in this place. Senior adult fellowships. Youth meetings. Life Group huddles. New members’ classes. Elders’ meetings.

Every week for 4 ½ years, we’ve officed out of here. It started out with just me. Then Joanna Meek came on board as a part time assistant. Pastor Dennis soon joined the staff. When Joanna took on a new assignment (as mother) she also took on a new role (as Financial Assistant), and LeAnn Retherford became our assistant. When LeAnn left last year, a very familiar face replaced her, as my wife Kim took the job.

We’re really excited about our new office space in Spring Hill Plaza. It’s almost double the size of our present office, and it will be nice having space that won’t double as a serving line for luncheons.

The new youth center is also a great space. It’s 3 times larger than the meeting space in the old Life Center, and I think our young people and youth sponsors are really looking forward to putting it to good use.

This, of course, is just a part of what we plan to be our new campus when we convert the old grocery store & day care into a worship center and classroom space.

And all of this will facilitate our ability to minister in a more effective way to our community. These are steps in the right direction for our church family.

But still we’ll miss the old Life Center, our first “home” in Spring Hill.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Are You Ready?

We were all ready to go. Suitcases were on the bottom. Fragile packages with bows were on the top. The cooler and food boxes were at the back, as far from the heater as possible. There was just enough room for me to see out the back window. GPS was set and the Christmas CDs were in the glove box. I set our departure time for 7:30, and the digital clock read 7:33. Pretty good for the Sterrett Express. We prayed for safe travel, and we were ready to go.

I turned the key, and...nothing. No purring engine. Not even a chug-chug-chug. Dead silence, except for the sound of my rising blood pressure. How can this be? I had planned so meticulously. I had packed so carefully. But if the car battery is dead, there's no backing out of the garage.

I couldn't help but draw a comparison with our spiritual lives. We'll spend hours in Bible study, prayer and worship. We'll dot every "i" and cross every "t". But all of that is wasted effort unless the Spirit of God empowers us to carry out God's work. It's like having a car packed and ready to go with a dead battery.

The Greek word for power is "dunamis" (like "dynamite"). It describes the explosive power of the Spirit to enable the believer to minister on behalf of God. It is a supernatural strength that can not be manufactured or duplicated by man.

As we begin a new year, I hope that we will spend time in God's Word, feasting on the riches of His truth. I hope we will worship with authentic hearts yielded to Him. I hope we will pray earnest, effectual prayers. And through it all, I hope that we will be empowered by the Holy Spirit of God to labor and serve Him by His strength and in His might.