Tuesday, October 25, 2011

A Time of Celebration

This past Sunday, we celebrated the day we had long been praying, planning and pining for--our first service in our newly renovated church home. After 5 years of ministry in Spring Hill, setting up and tearing down each week for church services in the Middle School, we finally have a place to call our own. And it sure felt good.

Of course, first and foremost, the glory and the credit for this great milestone goes to God. To the best of our ability, we have sought His will and followed His leadership as we have ministered in this community for half a decade. He has provided for us beyond our wildest imaginations. He has blessed us far more than we surely deserve.

We are also very grateful to the Board of Elders, men who love God and His church and who seek to be sensitive to the guidance of His Spirit. It is a challenge to find the balance between waiting upon the Lord and moving ahead when prompted by Him. But to a man, our Elders desire to be in the very center of His divine will. Our Elders possess a vision for this church and this community and refuse to allow the blessings of yesterday to suffice for this hour. It is an honor to labor shoulder to shoulder beside them.

And the Life Spring Church family has manifested an amazing degree of faith in God throughout this process. There is no doubt in my mind that many churches would have given up when facing obstacles such as those we faced throughout the process of negotiating, purchasing and renovating the property. But we kept our eyes on Jesus, and He showed His faithfulness through it all.

We have been able to do more with our budgeted construction funds that we anticipated, in large part because of the thousands of man-hours of labor on the part of our volunteers. Men, women and children involved in nearly every aspect of the renovations--from demolition to decorating--and whose sacrifices made possible the beautiful facilities we enjoy today.

The building is not finished (are they ever "finished"?), but it looks great. We've held our first service, and we are eagerly anticipating Grand Opening Weekend, with an Open House and Dedication Service on Saturday, November 5, and the Grand Opening Worship Service on November 6. We expect a large crowd, and this will be a great opportunity for us to share Jesus with our neighbors.

At the same time, we must avoid the temptation to view these events as the "Finish Line". We didn't buy and renovate this property merely to have a place to meet. Our efforts have been undertaken with the desire to see souls saved and lives changed for the glory of our Savior and God.

So let's enjoy the fruit of our labor even as we rededicate ourselves to doing all we can to promote God's Kingdom right here in our own backyard.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Half a Century

Today is the 50th anniversary of my birth. I appreciate the cards, calls, emails and Facebook posts, but I’ve never really understood what all the fuss is about. After all, I didn’t do anything except be born. But it is nice to hear from friends and family.

I must admit that despite my 50 years upon this planet, I don’t have much profound to share with you. But here are a few random thoughts clanging around in what passes for my mind these days.

1. I go to sleep earlier but don’t sleep as late as I used to.

2. I know more but remember less.

3. I prefer winter over summer, but I’d rather it just stay 70 degrees all the time.

4. I am not embarrassed to get my AARP card in the mail.

5. I have more memories than dreams, but thank God, I still have a few dreams.

6. Coke Zero is my soft drink of choice, even if sugar & calories didn’t matter.

7. I am more deeply in love with Kim today than on the day we married 22 years ago.

8. My faith is stronger and my convictions firmer than ever.

9. I miss old friends more than I used to.

10. I don’t mind Kacie asking me questions as much as I did when she was little, but now I have fewer answers.

I told you, there’s nothing profound here. But these are my thoughts. I figured I’d better share them while I could remember them.