Monday, April 25, 2011

Easter Monday

Yesterday we read from Ephesians 1:

"I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people, 19 and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is the same as the mighty strength 20 he exerted when he raised Christ from the dead..."

It's not over. We talked about it on Sunday but what does it mean for my Monday? God's Easter, resurrection power is available every day this week. But....Monday means back to work, school, garbage, dirty diapers, rain and more rain and yard work. I've personally got two cars that need some attention while trying to fulfill requests of my better half to run to Florence to pick up a cheap dresser, Milford for a bedframe and John and I are heading to Columbus for a swim meet on Saturday. O yea, and Sunday's coming again! There are decisions to be made at Cornerstone, meetings to attend, a message to write, time in the Word, time listening to God's voice, time to sit, time to spend with family.

The power I need isn't to get everything done more quickly. I need discernment and wisdom and grace and the power to say, "No" when I'm trying to do too much.

I asked the question yesterday: "Is anything to hard for God?" Of course we know the answer but sometimes we try to apply it in ways that simply won't work. We can't fill up our week with activity, effectively pushing God out, and hope that God's power will miraculously be available. The power God makes available in us is the power to become more like Jesus.

His power reminds me that it's not over when - I don't know what to do - my life is infiltrated by disaster because of the decisions of others - I'm anxious about a test - my body won't stop aching and nobody can tell me why - I'm dealing with dysfunctional extended family - I fail and when I sin.

I believe I can schedule God out of my life and that Easter power simply can't work its miracles. Putting myself in a position for that power to work becomes my goal. What will you do to make yourself available to God's work in your life?

Thursday, April 21, 2011

2011 Holy Week

Tonight I spent 2 hours in our prayer walk experience, serving communion to those who came through, praying for others as they prayed. Our design team has created a prayerful space in which to prepare our hearts for Easter. It's the resurrection that makes every other day possible.

I remember growing up with a traditional Good Friday service of sorrows and while I still like that approach I'm enjoying this "new" approach. At a prayer walk I can't just sit I have to participate. I can't simply consider what Christ has done but I come face to face with His work for me as I pray and write and read.

Many thanks to our worship design team for your labor of love that helps us love our Lord.

Hope you'll take 30 minutes on Friday. It's worth the investment.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Fearless Families

I'm not sure what I enjoy more - worshipping with my family or being in worship that is led by my daughter. Cornerstone is blessed to have friends like H2O @ OSU (and H2O @ U.C.) who help enlarge our perspective on faith and what God is doing in our world outside of our busy lives. I received multiple notes in hours after worship thanking me for having H2O come lead us and even more thanks for demonstrating there are places for our children and grandchildren, nieces and nephews, to pursue faith in a college setting, even as large as Ohio State.

We closed out our FEARLESS study yesterday looking at Fearless Families. I hope I spoke clearly that while my oldest daughter is actively pursuing her faith and making some wise choices that our family is not without it's challenges and fears. With caution I use my own life and my family as illustrations because I don't want anyone to think we've got it all together. We don't. The dilemma is, I know my life and my family better than yours! The things I shared on Sunday about leaving a Godly legacy are dear to my heart and life.

When I met with a team of people here at Cornerstone 8 years ago, both of us seeing if me coming as the Lead Pastor was a good idea, one of the questions we got around to was schedule and expectations. I said something like this: "If my own children don't become Christ followers and Cornerstone leads thousands to Christ, I've fought the wrong battle." There's a balance between ministry and family - family and ministry - that everyone has to wrestle with. My children have seen me needing to leave family for a ministry need as well as say no, not right now, in order to prioritize family needs.

One of the most painful things I watch is families who choose sports over Jesus. I'm thinking of dozens of families whom I see regularly out in the community who have become sporadic participants in a community of faith because they have chosen sports as a priority over faith and ministry. There are many other things knocking on the door of our lives, trying to frighten us about missing or missing out on something. But as I said on Sunday: "It doesn't matter what degree my children receive, what accolades are theirs, what career they have or office they hold if they don't have a personal relationship with Jesus."

Fearless families are focused on the long-term rather than the short-term. I hope you're deciding to live fearlessly for God.