Everything that grows, changes.
Everything that changes goes through transitions.
When I look back at my life, its pretty easy for me to see that I’ve changed. I’ve changed more than I would like to admit. Some of it was good and some of it wasn’t so good.
Honestly, all of those changes haven’t been easy. Some of them were things I expected. Some of them were things that I never saw coming. And its the ones that caught me off guard that were the hardest. But there’s something interesting. It seems that God has done some of his biggest work during the changes….he did his biggest work during the transitions.
I hope you can join me this Sunday at Crossroads as we conclude our series Transitions.
This past Monday I was doing something that I always do….I was cleaning at Crossroads. Every Monday we get ready for a new week by cleaning the church. It’s something that brings our team together and saves the church some money.
Needless to say it was Monday as usual.
As I walked into the lobby at Crossroads I saw something that needed to be picked up so I bent over and that’s when it happened. This sharp pain ran across my back at about the level of where my belt is in my jeans. After I yelled out really loud, I could hardly straighten back up. I simply bent over to pick something up that weighed no more than an ounce or two. I didn’t lift something that was heavy. I didn’t pull on something that was big and bulky. I simply bent over.
Today is day five of this excruciating pain. I can’t sit or stand without making all kinds of weird facial expressions. If you see me walking you would probably think that I have one foot in the grave. The pain is bad but watching me try to walk is even worse.
It’s hard to believe how a little pain in my back is impacting my whole body. The pain in my back has impacted everything I’ve tried to accomplish and in some ways it’s keeping me from accomplishing certain things.
This week I’ve been reminded of the importance of my back and how it supports and contributes so much to the rest of my body. My back being out has impacted every aspect of my life.
It’s no different in the church. Every person in some way has a part to play. Some of us are a hand, some of us are an eye and some of us are a back. You can read 1 Corinthians 12 and see the important contribution that everyone plays.
If we choose not to do our part then it impacts the rest of the body just like my back has impacted the rest of my body over the past several days.
Every church is in need of the part that you play as a part of that body. It doesn’t always mean that things will go exactly as we want them to go but we still need to play our part. When one part ceases to function as it should then it impacts the rest of the body and when that happens it can cause the body some pain. It can also keep the body from fuctioning as it should.
Have you found your place as part of the body? Could you be the missing part that will help your church function like God designed it to function?
I’m looking forward to the next few days when my back is normal again. It’s then and only then that I can be and do all that God wants me to do.
In the meantime….can someone pass the Icy Hot!
One of the benefits of reading through the book of Proverbs as part of the 31 Day Challenge has been the exposure to the wisdom and truth that is found in this amazing book.
Today as I was reading I quickly realized the truth that is found within this verse. Read it with me:
Don’t wear yourself out trying to get rich; restrain yourself! Riches disappear in the blink of an eye; wealth sprouts wings and flies off into the wild blue yonder. Proverbs 23:4-5 (The Message)
I’ve lived this verse or at least I can say that this is exactly what has happened in my life.
The early years of my life were all about the pursuit of wealth. I wanted to own more business’s, have more property and have more money than any of my friends. It was all about me and if I am honest with you, I did really well at all of those.
But one day, it all changed.
After I was out of the business and life was supposed to be full of fun and leisure, it all came crashing down. In other words “wealth sprouted wings and flew away”.
It seemed as though I had wasted my life pursuing things that had now abandoned me. I could only wish that I had spent my early years doing what God had called me to do in the first place, but I didn’t. But God in His own sovereign way did what He does and he brought me back to my calling. He brought me back to the ministry calling that he had on my life when I was a high school student.
This is a Proverb that I’ve lived……what about you?
This past Sunday at Crossroads was going to be like any normal Sunday.
We had finished the first service and we were getting ready for the second service. I passed Rhett in the hall after the service and we talked about a few things that happened during the first…but nothing special.
The second service started just like the first. After I did the announcements we went into our programmed worship set. I was setting on the front row as normal. Rhett and I constantly keep eye contact with each other. I know him and he knows me, so keeping eye contact is very important.
During the first song, I interrupted the song to point out something that those lyrics spoke to me. We picked up and went right on after that. It was during the last song of the set that I knew something was happening. Rhett looked down at me and I told him to just keep going. I know it was time for me to speak, but we were in a groove were I think God wanted us to stay…..so we stayed.
From this point the band just had to follow Rhett and where he was going. They hadn’t rehearsed any of these songs, none of them. We just kept going and the more we went, the more God seemed to fill the place with his presence.
With about 20 minutes left in what would have been our normal time, I spoke for about 5 minutes. Up to this point, people had already been on their faces at the front of the stage. After I finished, Rhett continued to lead us until our time was done.
Now in three years of our existence this has never happened. But what happened you may be asking? God wanted to do something different and I had a choice to stick to the schedule or go with God….I went with God and apparently that was a good thing. I can’t tell you how many emails, texts and phone calls I have received. All of them telling me what God did in their lives.
If you were there and wanted to hear the message and you didn’t get too, let me be the first to apologize. I had no idea that this was going to happen. That’s another reason we record them and post them on-line. I don’t know when or if this will ever happen again, but if it does we’re going with God.
Sunday was amazing!
Of course I know that God is always present.
But sometimes God really shows up in amazing ways.
That happened yesterday at Crossroads.
People were on their faces before God….and I hadn’t done a thing!
When God shows up….the plans are changed so that he can do what needs to be done.
More importantly…..when God shows up….change happens in the hearts of people.
Today at Crossroads we’re closing out our current series “Impact”.
During this series, we’ve looked at the church God has called Crossroads to be. We’ve taken the time to look at the “big” call that we have and we’ve also taken time to look at the “specific” call that Crossroads has.
It’s important to go back and tell the story of Crossroads. What happens when you tell the story is this, you remember all that God has done to bring you to the place that you are right now. Just thinking about all that he has done makes the future that much more exciting.
I can’t wait to see what happens!
Last week at Crossroads I started a little conversation about another one of my “struggles” and that was “trust”.
I guess if you’re reading this you probably wonder what this “trust” issue is really all about.
So let me give you some insight.
There was a time in my life when I was like most people, I did things that I’m not really proud of. No, I wasn’t an ax murderer or a serial killer or anything like that. I just did a lot of things that I wish I hadn’t and if I could do life over again, these are the things I would erase.
Even though I had confessed and been forgiven of the things in my past, they always seemed to be on my mind. I couldn’t seem to forget them. The issue of “trust” that I “struggled” with was this. Could God still use me in spite of all the things that were a part of my past? Could he still use me when so many things in my past didn’t honor him?
I had a “trust” issue with believing that God could still use me in spite of my past.
Well this Sunday I’m going to wrap this “trust”issue up. I had not idea that it was going to take two weeks but I’m really glad it did now.
I certainly would encourage you to be there and hear the rest of the message.
The past several months have been really exciting for me.
Just in case you may not know it, I want to let you in on something. When I prepare for what I’m going to talk about on Sunday’s at Crossroads, I usually do it months in advance. Things are usually prayed about, thought out and planned around the series we will do well in advance.
But the past few months I’ve been learning. I’ve been learning that sometimes even your best laid plans need to be put on hold. It seems that in recent months that God has been interrupting what I have planned for something he wants to do and my past experience says that when he speaks, you listen.
If there’s anything I’m doing in my life right now it’s that I’m learning. I’m learning to stop, be still, be quite and listen to what God has to say because from where I sit, eternity may hang in the balance for someone.
What are you learning?
“The Journey Church” started early in 2006 if my memory serves me correctly. Yes, they started before Crossroads did!
Initially they were located in the Highway 109 and 70 intersection area, but they quickly out grew that space and moved to West Elementary School in Mt. Juliet. They also have a campus located at Rutland Elementary School in Mt. Juliet.
After much prayer and hard work they decided to open a campus in Lebanon and that happened this past Sunday. I know that Erik and his staff are totally excited to have their “own” place now and not have to worry about all the setting up and tearing down.
Keep these guys in your prayers as they continue to do what God has called them to do as a church.
You may even want to check them out one Sunday!
I catch myself doing it all the time.
I guess you could say that it comes pretty natural.
For some reason we all think that the addition of one thing to another will make it better. I know when I have been watching people cook, it seems that adding things made it taste better so why wouldn’t it work with this?
I’m talking about faith.
Doesn’t it seem that taking faith and adding something to it would make it so much better?
Faith + ___________.
It’s faith alone that saves me!
God is far more concerned with the state of my heart than He is with my religious activity.