Friday, December 22, 2006

Wow! It's been awhile since I have blogged. Too much going on, for sure.

I was thinking of that scripture in Isaiah 40:4, "Every valley shall be exalted and every mountain and hill brought low; the crooked places shall be made straight and the rough places smooth." Now, I know that this is speaking of the future of Israel based on God's promise to Abraham. However, I also see something in the verse for me -- you. I am thinking about personality and way-of-life. All of us have our weaknesses and strengths in our personalities, and all of us have crooked ways of doing things and thinking about things, maybe we are a little too rough sometimes in our thoughts or words or actions.

Here is a picture of what God is doing in our personal lives, by way of the Holy Spirit. He is filling up the low, inadequate places in our personalities; sheering off the more vaunted hilltops of our thinking; straightening out our ways and polishing our roughness. His greatest desire is for us to be completely like him, which means a perfect personality. Now we may not get it totally right until we enter glory, but that doesn't mean he isn't working on us now. And I think it is helpful, when our personalities flare up (or dip down), that we recognize our faults and surrender them to the Lord so that he can get the job done more quickly.

Of course it hurts, but he is beyond worrying about the hurts. He is looking at the finished product. Proverbs says (27:17), "As iron sharpens iron, so a man sharpens the countenance of his friend." Can you imagine the sparks and banging sounds of iron working against iron to get a desired product (cf. the blacksmith)? And of course, the promise of the New Testament: "He that has begun a good work in you will continue it until the day of Christ!"

Let's work with God to "fill up" and "make low" and "straighten" and "smooth"!

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Last Monday evening, our Bishop gave the ministers a book entitled "The Top Ten Mistakes Leaders Make", by Hans Finzel. I don't know who that is, but I found the idea of the book very intriguing for a number of reasons, the first of which is that we at Grandview Tabernacle are stepping out into some very new areas and I am the 'leader' in it all. So, I thought, hmmm...maybe I need to read this book.

I am glad that Bishop Drake gave me the book, and even more glad that I decided to read it. It is full of great ideas, suggestions, cautions, and pithy quotes from many different sources. Here is one I want to share by James A. Autry, "Love and Profit". It is called Threads.

Sometimes you just connect,
like that,
no big thing maybe
but something beyond the usual business stuff.
It comes and goes quickly
so you have to pay attention,
a change in the eyes
when you ask about the family,
a pain flickering behind the statistics
about a boy and a girl in school,
or about seeing them every other Sunday.
An older guy talks about his bride,
a little affectation after twenty-five years.
A hot-eyed achiever laughs before you want him to.
Someone tells about his wife's job
or why she quit working to stay home.
An old joker needs another laugh on the way
to retirement.
A woman says she spends a lot of her salary
on an au pair
and a good one is hard to find
but worth it because there's nothing more important
than the baby.
In every office
you hear threads
of love and joy and fear and guilt,
the cries for celebration and reassurance,
and somehow you know that connecting those threads
is what you are supposed to do,
and business takes care of itself.

I don't suppose I can commit this to memory, or even want to; but I do want to remember the gist of the poem -- care about others, listen for the little clues that lead to great deliverance and help. If you are reading this, I hope it blessed you as much as it did me.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

It is Thanksgiving morning, I am in Texas watching my granddaughter Caitlyn playing, and I am thinking how collosally (sp?) blessed I am. Good health, good family, good church, good country, etc.

Jeff is such a good, caring doctor. And Stephanie is a great mother and homemaker. Jim is the tops in attorneys, gifted in his practice, and Kari is a great mother and cook. What can I say about my grandchildren? Dylan is holding our place in heaven, Olivia continues to warm our hearts with her cuddling, Caitlyn with her long beutiful hair and big smile, and Ava our explorer. I am sure that all their good qualities come from their Mimi, Judy. Somewhere back about 36+ years ago, God lead me to the best wife a man could ever have; and she proves it over and over and over.

So I am blessed beyond measure.

But can I tell you about the people of Grandview Tabernacle? When you think you can't possibly be blessed any more, God picks you up and sets you in the midst of his greatest people. I continually hear in my head Kari's comment, "Daddy, there is no one at Grandview that isn't just loveable!" How true. So I am having the greatest Thanksgiving possible.

"Delight yourself in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart." Be content in him, knowing that he works all things for good, and you will run smack into the fulfillment of all your dreams. And that's a promise.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

I was sitting in the hospital surgical waiting room this morning visiting and waiting with friends. We got to talking about the way the body works, all the little details, things that are related and connected inside the body that cause the body to work so efficiently. For instance, the jawbone muscle. One reason that doctors tell you to chew your food for so many bites is because when the jawbone is working it causes the digestive system to work more perfectly. Who would know that the jawbone and its muscle was connected to the digestive system?

I just thought about, and rejoiced over, that scripture in Psalms 139, "We are fearfully and wonderfully made." The degree of involvment the Lord has with us concerning our physical bodies is unfathomable!

Take time sometime to study your hands, or your shoulders, or you knees to see how intricately things work. We seldom notice unless we have had an injury to some part of our body. Shame on us for not taking time!

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

This is my first blog as pastor of Grandview Tabernacle in Muskogee, Ok. So many wonderful things are happening in the ministry here. And new things are on the horizon for all of us. Everyday seems to bring more blessings.
I am reminded of the scripture in Psalm 127:1 - "Unless the Lord build the house, they labor in vain who build it." This is truly a God-building house at Grandview. My ideas, our ideas, are so short-sighted and minimal in number compared to the great vista-ideas that God has for us. I encourage everyone to daily seek the Lord for His ideas about building the house at Grandview Tabernacle.