Sunday, August 26, 2007

Back To School

For many of our children the new school year began this week. I believe the first day of school should be a national holiday for all parents since they look forward to this day all summer long. ;-) But even beyond the rejoicing of parents everywhere it is an exciting time of year.

You get ready for school by going out and getting new supplies, new clothes, and new shoes. The kids are excited about seeing their friends they’ve missed over the summer. There is something special about going into a new grade and learning new things. There really is something wonderful about going back to school.

As adults we don’t always get that “wonder” this time of year. Other than getting into our Fall routine not much changes for us. Our lives pretty much stay the same while we watch our children grow and learn. What if, like our children, we went back to “school” this Fall? What if saw this Fall as a season of learning and growing?

The phrase “teach me” is found 16 times in the book of Psalms. (You can look up all of these references at Proverbs 9:10 (NLT) says, “Fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom. Knowledge of the Holy One results in understanding.” There is so much for us to learn about God from God. He desires us to know Him more. I believe the better we know God the better our lives will be. Let’s be like the psalm writer and invite God to teach us.
Just as we plan and prepare for our kids to go back to school, let’s plan and prepare our time of learning. Let’s set the schedule and get into the routine of learning this Fall. As we move into September there will be a wide variety of learning opportunities at Christian Life, especially on Wednesdays and Sundays. Make a commitment now for you and your family to learn and grow in God this Fall.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Well done, good and faithful servant

In Matthew 25 Jesus tells a story about a master who entrusts his servants with precious gifts. The ones who invested what was given to them were commended and the one who did nothing with his gifts met a terrible fate. This parable leaves us with a goal to someday hear these words from God, “Well done, good and faithful servant!”

This week we laid to rest our dear brother Dan Knisely. For the past 25 years Dan and his family have been and integral part of our church family at Christian Life. His life touched many of our lives. I don’t know of anybody in the history of our church that received as much prayer as Dan. We all wanted to stand with him during his battle with cancer.

Dan was an example of a godly man in his family, in his business, and in our church. Dan did “well” in each area of his life. He worked hard, played hard, and enjoyed his life.

I will always remember Dan’s questions. Whether it was on the golf course, at dinner, or in the church lobby Dan was never afraid of the big questions. He loved to ask difficult questions, especially deep theological ones. They were never easy to answer. I think he had fun stumping the pastor.

On one of the last visits in the hospital I got to ask Dan a big question. What would he like to do if he felt better? Dan said if he had more time he would love to spend time with family. Take a walk and play with the grandkids. He would enjoy another good day at the office. Spend more time at church during the week. These are just a few of his answers.

What I noticed about Dan’s answers was that there was nothing new. The things he wanted to do were the same things he did throughout his life. There were really no regrets except a desire for more time to do what he had always done.
When you think about the life and gifts God gave you are living a life with no regrets? Live this life well so that in the end, just like Dan, you will hear God say, “Well done, good and faithful servant!”

Sunday, August 05, 2007

Questions & Faith

And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.
Hebrews 11:6 (NIV)

I have had a lot of questions for God lately. There are times when things seem completely out of control in our world and I wonder when God will come and step in and take care of everything that’s wrong. I think it is safe to say that many people would say they have not seen enough of God’s presence and action in the world to satisfy them.

No matter how we feel, God is always with us and is at work in our world and our lives. Be not afraid, neither be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go. Joshua 1:9 God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.” Hebrews 13:5 He shows up when we least expect it. He’s right in front of us calling us into His good and perfect will. He touches our lives with His presence. We experience God and then know that someday our faith will be sight.

Pray that God gives you eyes of faith to see Him at work in our world and in our lives. Here is a prayer you can use from a martyr for the faith.

Lord Jesus, when I am tempted because I cannot see God and his power and love in this world, let me firmly look upon you, for you are my Lord and my God.

Dietrich Bonhoeffer