“I love it When a Plan Comes Together”

July 3, 2010

OK,  just got back from the movies.   I went to see the A-Team movie a remake of the TV show I watched as a child growing up in the 80’s every Friday night at 9:00pm.  I have to say  it was a bit disappointed with the movie tonight.  I’m not sure that if there is a sequel that I will go and see it.    I remember for years watching the Dukes of Hazard, and the A-Team back to back almost every Friday night for years.  It was great family time with the whole family and then off to bed at 10:00 when Dallas came on.  Several things I will remember about those nights like;  it was the one night we got to stay up late and the jokes about dad liking  Daisy Duke.

 Hannibal had his saying at the end of the program after the bad guys were caught and the adventure was over.  “I love it when a plan comes together.”  Everything seem to just work out perfectly and the good guys went home and we waited impatiently until next week to see what would happen again.  Sounds a little of the reality scope of life doesn’t it?  It was no fairy tale ending because they were always on the run from the MP’s and Cornell Decker. 

 The thought occurred to me on the way home that God might have the same phrase that He uses on us when all through our lives different things may happen and they might seem out of control and crazy, but in the end they work out for a “mission accomplished.”  The world can be a messed up place, and because of the sinful choices of people it can be hard to grasp the idea that God is in control and God has plan that He is working out, but it is true.  God is in control , He has a plan, and even when the world is crashing down around us or with us, God is there.

There are so many scriptures that show us that He is in control and that He has a plan for those who are His children.  Jeremiah 29:11, Ephesians 2:10, Romans 8:28 just to list a few.  It is always easier to look back after you have come through an experience and see where God used it to better you or to teach you something, or even to begin a new chapter ministry or life.  The hardest part is trying to see God in situations that you are currently going through, we often look for God working in areas when He may be doing something totally different with a situation. 

Are you going through a tough situation right now?  Do you struggle to find God working in your life some times?  Let me encourage you to do 2 things.  Remain close to God and His people (the church) they will be a great support for you.  Secondly, just keeping doing what God has called you do, being obedient to him with what you know He wants you to do, until the time comes and you know He wants you to do something else.  It may be weeks, months, or even years that will pass before you see how God was with you in a situation or how you grew in the tests and trials you passed through.  Rick Warren, Pastor and Author says in his book “Purpose Driven Life” that God often uses your greatest weakness or failure to be your greatest ministry in life.  Think of the possibilities of how God can use your experiences to help others  who are going through where you have already been.

  Maybe, like Hannibal Smith  you might even say “I love it when a plan comes together!”

Attendance vs Membership

February 10, 2010

This is the second part of a 2-post blog about church, before you read any further I would urge you to read the first part before you read this one.    You can link to it here.   http://wp.me/prUzS-4W

My advice to you or anyone who has a negative opinion about church or a particular church would be this; Get over it.  Now I said that in a nice way and I was smiling.    But seriously, find a church that preaches the whole word of God and that you can be a part of and join it.  Notice I said JOIN the church, not just merely ATTEND it.  I see a growing trend in today’s society where people are not joining a church, but rather that’s where they “attend.”   When you join a church, you say “I want to be apart of this local body of believers.”  You plant your life there and you are willing to do anything to see the body grow and thrive.  After all, if  the body dies so do all the organs within the body.  I love the example from Rick Warren book (Purpose Driven church) where he illustrates in a story that a part of the body doesn’t go and plant itself into another body when the body gets sick or hurt.  There is no “organ jumping” in our physical bodies, so why do so many people do it in the church.  There are of course many valid reasons why you might change churches (move, doctrine disagreement, etc.)

One of the reasons I think many people don’t join a church today is to avoid accountability.  They might not admit it at first, but might have had thoughts like the following ones below.  

  • “If I’m not a member of church X, then I can leave anytime I want to and go to church Z.” 
  • ” When I hear something that I don’t like or makes me uncomfortable I can pack and go.”
  • “I can live my life as I want to and if the church disagrees then I can find another church that agree’s with me and not learn and take correction.”  

Church begins to take on the same approach that some take a marriage, I’ll try it and see if it works, but at the first sign of trouble, I’m gone.

 Don’t let other people and their actions keep you from having the kind of faith that you are supposed to have being a part of a church body.  Seek forgiveness from other Christians and reconciliation when needed and enjoy the benefits it will bring. Many people would rather just pack and go and start over in a new church rather than to try and work out their differences and seek reconciliation and peace.  Doing the right thing, the Biblical thing is not always the easiest choice, but it is the most fruitful and the choice that God will bless. 

I realize as a minister I see things in a different light than someone else might see it.  I would welcome comments or other thoughts on the matter.  If you have any other theroies about why people would not join a church but become a lifelong guest.