Friday, May 22, 2009

Surgery

Hey all,

As many of you know I had surgery on a herniated disc in my neck due a car accident last year. I am taking a few weeks off to heal so I won't be posting every day to the blog. Have a great Memorial Day Weekend. Remember, one worship service at 9:30 am on Sunday. Peace, Jeremy

Monday, May 18, 2009

Being Afraid- Dealing With Fear

What are you afraid of? Spiders? Snakes? The Dark? Maybe you are afraid of something impending in your life. Most people don't go one day without experiencing some form of fear, or fears jerk of a cousin- worry. Fear and worry go hand in hand. When they get together, life can really turn into a rather messy and fussy affair. Our puppy Rheau every now and then is a little afraid of the mama birds in the back yard. They dive bomb her and run her back into the house. She then sits at the window and watches them. Every few days one of them dive bombs her while she sits in the window and BAM! The bird flies into the window, hits the ground, dusts itself off and flies away. A victory for our poor little puppy Rheau. Rheau sometimes looks like she is smiling after they fly away.
But fear and worry can immobilize some of us. We worry and then we are scared. So fear grips ups. Worry grips us. The Bible says that "perfect love drives out fear." That perfect love for me is the wholistic and unconditional love of God. When I come upon fear and worry in my own life I again have to remind myself of God's unwavering love. We are also supposed to put our whole trust in Him. If I trust God, all God's love to fully fill my heart- then why should I be afraid? Why should I be worried? If you are facing something big right now in your life, you are probably not alone. Please allow God's joy, comfort and peace to wash over you and know that nothing you are facing can defeat you or will it declare victory over you. Go in peace and go with God.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Mama Birds and Storms

Yesterday we had one loud and blustery storm. The wind blew for several hours. There was a considerable amount of lightening. And then the rain came. The trees seemed to never stop blowing and no tornadoes. We were very fortunate. Earlier in the day I had noticed a nest in one of the cedar trees, very close to the deck. I stood on the deck and took a picture of a mama bird sitting on her nest. Throughout the day she flew away to find food. I too a look and saw a few small feathers. Baby birds.

During the storm that mama bird hung on to that nest and did not move. She hung on while the branches swayed. She hung on while the rain came beating down. She clung to the nest and kept her little birds safe while the 40 mph winds blew.
This morning, she is still sitting there, keeping her babies warm.
What do you so preciously protect in your life?
Your family? Your kids? Your marriage? Your faith? Your job?
Know what is important in your life. Know it and live it.
Go in peace and go with God.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

One Person Can Make a Difference

One person can make a difference in the world. Did you know that? I hope you did. Because it's possible to make a huge impact in this world if you just try. But many of us do not try. We are caught up in the blizzard of events and experiences that tug and pull at us. We call that life. Life does not seem very fulfilling when you are dashing to your next appointment (game, practice) and eating Taco Bell in the mini-van with the kids. This is not what God intended for us, but we bought into that culture. The busier we are the more important we can feel. We can tell people how busy we are and then people feel sorry for us. I know a few people who are busy because they need to be and that is the way it is. What's interesting about those folks, you rarely hear them gripe about how busy they are...
Our lives are busy because we make them busy. I know sometimes teachers or bosses make our lives busy. And that's ok. But to those who make their lives busy because of other things, stop complaining about being too busy or not having enough time to spend with family.
Each one of us has a choice. We can either remain too busy or we can make a difference.
There are countless examples of how one person can make a difference. Mario Chalmers is one. Zach Greinke another. And to get real spiritual on you- Joel Osteen, Rick Warren, Billy Graham and Mother Teresa.
How about the Sunday school teacher that inspires a kid to go out into the world and do great things? How about the missionary that is an example to an impoverished kid who then in turn becomes a missionary? There are thousand if not millions of examples of one person making a huge difference.
It's tough to make a difference when we are too busy. There are people in your family, your church, your neighborhood and your community that need you to make a difference. Make a difference today. Go in peace and go with God.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Growing and Growing

There is a tree I pass by on my way to church every morning. The tree seems to be struggling to grow. The top half of the tree has been taken over by another tree. A fence divides them. The other tree is larger. It's leaves hang down into the smaller tree. Essentially, the other tree has kept the tree along the road from growing. The branches hang down right on top of the it and you can see that the sunlight cannot reach that side of the tree. How many of us have something hanging over us keeping us from growing? What stops or keeps us from growing? Sin? Relationships? Job? There are numerous things that keep us from growing spiritually. Many of those things are beyond our control. Some of those things we can change so that the light of Christ will continue to shine. And for that poor little tree, all it needs is someone to come and trim that other tree. The other tree does not need to be cut down. The other tree needs it's branches cut.
Go in peace and go with God.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Good Night Sleep

Sometimes I don't sleep well at night. Especially when I am thinking about the health and welfare of a friend who is going through a tough time. Last night, I did not sleep well. We all face challenges every day. Some of those challenges force us to step up and exceed, others just make us want to cry. When I am in the valley, I feel it's easiest to look up toward the mountain. Others don't feel this way. It's easier to look down at the valley. We are told to trust in God. We are told "do not fear". The Bible does not say "don't cry". Actually, the shortest verse in the Bible says "Jesus wept."
It's ok to be sad and feel lost. God is with us. Imagine how your parents feel when you are going through a tough time. They want to help but ultimately can only provide comfort. God is no different. He is our holy parent, there with us during the good and bad times.
If you are facing a tough time, turn back to your faith. Dig deep. You never know what kind of storm is coming but you better be firmly planted in the ground if you are going to make it through that storm. Go in peace and go with God.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Slow Down and Smell the Roses

Every now and then I hit every green light and all seems right with the world. I take 150 over to Johnson country, which then turns in the 135th st. There are traffic signals all along there and for some reason I usually hit the green ones and just keep on moving. But today that did not happen. It took what seemed like hours to get where I was going. It really isn't that difficult to get around Lee's Summit, unless you are in a hurry. It's as if we have designed a town that if ever invaded by some far off foe on horseback, they would have to ask directions. Lee's Summit is a great town to live in, to raise you children in and to serve as a pastor. But when I am in a hurry, it does seem so great. Not sure why I get in a hurry. Probably some need I have to get someplace at an appointed time. I usually leave with plenty of time to get some place, but not always. So today, I hit every red traffic signal. And I mean, EVERY ONE. I was stopped by every light that I encountered. I know that those signals are set with a specific algorithm and they are not against me but today, I honestly believe that I found the path here that if taken at the proper time, you will hit every red light. And to make matters so much more enjoyable, a national Christian station decided to play the same song twice in a row! I'm not kidding. So I switched over to local programming and heard how terrible the defensive "unit" on the Chiefs used to be and how with a new defense coordinator, blah blah blah. I am not an impatient person. I usually enjoy the ride but today it took forever to get across town. I was starting to get agitated. And then I saw it. Someone else was taking a ride across town too. But they were not driving, they were riding in the back. Several cars followed in a slow procession. This would be the last time they ever took a drive across town.
Go in peace and go with God.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

New Building

Today we met with our building design folks. We continue to receive feedback from our Grace family and are putting the final touches on the new sanctuary and classrooms. Thank you to everyone who continues to pray for our new adventure. It should be an interesting 18 months as we move through the different phases of design and building. We are excited with the new possibilities and opportunities we continue to be presented with as we move forward. Over the next few weeks we will need lots of prayer and we ask everyone to continue to check the blog and website to see what is going on. Our timeline will be listed out in the next few weeks as we begin to coordinate with our design/build team. Again, thanks for all the prayers and thank you for your support. Go in peace and go with God.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Brett Favre Is Thinking About a Comeback

How do you feel about Brett Favre making a comeback? He has left the game twice. He retired. He was done. And yet, he still has something in the tank. His arm is still strong and it sounds like he wants to play. He has accumulated knowledge that most football quarterbacks will never accumulate. He has probably played football since he was around 8 years old. Most of his life, like 30 some years, he has played football and now since he is 41 can he just turn that off? Can he just let go? Michael Jordan made a comeback and won another championship.
I guess some of us outstay our welcome. We maybe work too long in our chosen field, maybe we have become a few steps slower...I just don't know.
Every now and then we come to a point in our life when we need to face reality. And reality sometimes says it's time to move on. Moving on is not an easy thing to do. Moving on implies change and for some change is a very scary thing. I pray that if it's time to move on you know it and move on. If it's not, enjoy the time you still have with great celebration.
Personally, let Brett Favre play until he is ready to leave. He is just that great of a football player.
Go in peace and go with God.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Genuine or Sales Pitch?

Recently I heard about a company who has a little different philosophy on sales than most. They believe that they don't has salespeople, more of a marketing a team. And it's great to get the sale, but if you don't buy from us, it's ok, we are still friends and hey, if you are not happy with who you go with, call us. Low pressure sales. I'm not sure how much you like the high pressure sale, but I don't. I don't like being talked down to and I surely don't like when people assume to little of their customers. We had that happen with one of the companies we interviewed for the new sanctuary, but that is a whole other story. My question is, how do you know you are not being sold a hill of beans? Sometimes a sales pitch is just that, sales. So what people try and do is wrap the pitch in the language best suited for you. I think for me it's nice to hear a well though tout and honest sales pitch. And the way I determine whether it's genuine or not is talking to others who have heard the same sales pitch and ask were you happy with the outcome/product. Did it or they live up to their pitch? If I buy the sales pitch and the product and I turn out to be unhappy...then isn't it just my fault for not doing my do diligence by making sure the sales pitch is genuine. I like low pressure sales. For me and possibly my generation, it seems to be the way we receive information and are sold. Relationships are genuine if they are faithfully lived out with mutual respect and love. So, is it genuine or is it a sales pitch? Go in peace and go with God.

Monday, May 4, 2009

A Full Tank of Gas

This morning I left for work with a full tank of gas in the truck. I filled up yesterday and washed my truck. When I was younger a full tank of gas was a bit of a symbol for me. It meant the potential to go somewhere...not just around the corner or to work. I could go for miles. Currently, in my truck I can go around 600 miles. My old Camaro from high school, maybe half of that if I was lucky. These days with gas prices down it's easier to keep the tank full. Although, with the pace of life sometimes stopping at the gas station is just not in the time frame. So every now and then when the gas tank gets low my truck beeps at me. It's a several second beep that alerts me to when the tank is low and my truck is about ready to give out. I wish our lives were like that sometimes. When you are running on empty and feeling burned out it would be nice if there was a beep or an alert that would go off. Unfortunately, those beeps or alerts come in our actions that indicate that we are running on empty. We make mistakes when we are burned out and sometimes we don't treat others well. If you are running low please refill the tank. Refuel. Some ways to do that are REST, prayer, good food, exercise and reading. Don't let the world keep you on a treadmill. Step off and recenter your life. Go in peace and go with God.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Celebrations and Anniversaries

Today we celebrated John and Dee's 50th wedding anniversary. Congrats you two! That is amazing. It's great to celebrate with friends and family. We are honored to have been able to see these past five years. Thank you for allowing us to be apart of your lives.
In the last 50 years a lot of things have happened. Numerous technological and scientific advancements have occured. Over the past 50 years the following things of note have happened.
1. The US landed on the moon.
2. Computers are now in in virtually every home and are the size of a bread box instead of a fridge.
3. Phone are no longer hanging on the wall, they are on your hip.
4. Millions of miles of roads have been completed.
5. Millions of homes have been built.
6. There are now 2 billion Christians in the world.
7. The Bible continues to be the best selling book in the history of the world.
8. The sun has gone down over 18,000 times.
9. The sun has come up over 18,000 times.
10. And a wonderful couple named John and Dee made it to their 50th wedding anniversary and hopefully, many, many, many more.
Go in peace and go with God.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Rainy Days

There sure a lot of rainy days in April this year. I'm not sure if it's more or less, but it feels like more. Now it has not been a nonstop rain. There are periods of sunshine and no rain. There is something called Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) that people sometimes suffer during long periods without exposure to the sun. It's kind of a overall mood change because we need the light in our life. I know that some of us are going through some rather rainy days right now. Numerous things can bring those rainy days. Sadly, when the rainy days some of us act as if the rainy days are still around us. We walk around ignoring the light in a bad mood. Essentially, walking around SAD. So, what is making you so sad? Is there a reason? Is there justification? If worry has you in it's grip, maybe it might be a good time to actually look at the worry. Why worry? Does fear have you in it's grip? Why fear? We are told to not worry and do not fear. We are held in God's grip, not in the grip of worry or fear. Right now here, it is not raining. It does not feel like it's raining. The sun is still out there, may not be shining, but the light is slowly getting through. Go in peace and go with God.