Friday, May 4, 2012

Roller Coaster Week

This has been a roller coaster of a week.  I seem to be carrying around lot of heaviness as I am very aware of many friends who are going through difficult times.  But on the other hand, I have heard of some amazing ways God is moving in and through my friends and family.  So... this post may not make for very good reading but I need to get some of this stuff off my chest and onto the screen.

The Good:
  • I got an email from my former neighbor, Chris Field,  detailing a meeting he had with his first grade teacher who has a month to live.  She had heard about his non-profit, Mercy Project and he spent time talking and praying with her.  She called him the day after their meeting and wrote a check for $40,000 that will fund an economic project in Ghana and result in the freeing of 15-20 child slaves. I am grateful to know Chris and to see how God is blessing his work with trafficked children in Africa. 
  • I have had lots of time with "wheels in the dirt" aka mountain biking.  I have been intentionally investing myself in the Dallas Off Road Bike Association over the last few years and was honored to lead a group ride on Wednesday night.  May sound stupid to some, but somehow zipping through the woods and creeks with other folks is a very life giving activity for me.  Physically, emotionally, and spiritually as well.  
The Bad:
  • I heard of a fellow pastor that was arrested by the FBI for a terrible moral failure.  It breaks my heart that anyone would engage in the activity he is accused of, but how a pastor can do this stuff and be a representative of God to the people in his church and community just hurts my heart.
  • A friend of mine woke up to the news that his college roommate, best friend, and best man, had died suddenly in his home at the age of 36.  My friend had to preach the funeral and is comforting the family all while his own heart has been crushed. 
  • I read/watched a story of how a pastor of 20 years, Mike Aus,  has "come out" as an atheist.  A buddy of mine posted a blog on the subject at The American  I can't wrap my mind around how this could happen.  Someone who has known the love, grace, comfort, forgiveness of God could deny His existence.  In reading up on the story I found another pastor who has done the same thing and was told of an acquaintance that used to be a Worship Pastor and is now an atheist/humanist.   My heart just hurts for these folks.  It has weighed like an actual weight on my shoulders this week. 
  • I have friends being affected by cancer on a daily basis.  I wish I never had to hear the word again.  
The "I'm Not Sure How to Categorize This"
  • My Dad is 60 and is in Africa on a mission to build fresh water wells and show the Jesus film.  While I am so glad that he is doing this and has a heart for the world, I have worried a lot about him being over there.  
  • I had an incredible conversation with a pastor that I respect more than he knows.  He asked me some tough questions.  The most direct was, "How would you describe the nature of your relationship with Jesus?"  My honest reply was that it is very dry right now.  Not for lack of discipline, it is simply a dry season.  I was encouraged when he told me that we need these times, in fact they are necessary if we are going to move deeper into our relationship with Jesus.  There are some things that can only be learned during in times of drought.  
Yet I Have Hope

In all of the heaviness of the week, I have hope.  My hope is placed in Jesus who conquered sin and death so that I am not a slave to either.  My hope is placed in  Jesus who came to establish a new kingdom where the space between heaven and earth becomes thin.  My hope in placed in Jesus who will return one day to establish this Kingdom once and for all, he will return to finish what he started. My hope is that when this Kingdom is fully enacted and established I won't here of cancer, it will be impossible to deny the existence of God, there will be no need for the FBI, my friend will be reunited with his college roommate, and the dry seasons will be a thing of the past.  

I have no idea what you are going through, but my prayer is that you are not without hope in the midst of the good, the bad, and the stuff you are not sure what to do with.  

Hebrews 10:19-23
19 Therefore, brothers and sisters, since we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus, 20 by a new and living way opened for us through the curtain, that is, his body, 21 and since we have a great priest over the house of God, 22 let us draw near to God with a sincere heart and with the full assurance that faith brings, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water. 23 Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful.

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