Wednesday, October 08, 2014

The Past 4 Months

A few nights ago I sat beside Logan and watched his chest fall up and down as he lay asleep in bed.  I stayed by his side just to watch him.  Half his face was buried in the pillow and the other have exposed.  It had taken him longer than usually to fall asleep, but I think that is because he is enjoying the company of his daddy by his side.  Since the boys have been born, as a family we pray and sing together.  Typically I would lead the prayer and all four of us would sing Jesus Loves Me.  Now sometimes Landon leads the prayer, praying for immediate family, extended family and friends (and now friends from school).  Logan enjoys sining by himself Jesus Love Me, sometimes in a funny voice and sometimes really fast.  If Logan is interrupted by anyone, he will begin the song again with a small amount of frustration and rebuke us all (or the offender, mostly Landon).  Due to growing pains, for a couple months now I have rubbed Logan's legs until he falls asleep.

It is such a joy to watch this two boys grow up.  They say silly things.  They love to play and pretend.  They love to learn.  On that particular night, I sat there and attempted to imagine what Landon and Logan would look like when they were 16 or 25 years old, but stopped my frivolous thoughts.  "Just live now," I reminded myself.  As a kid we couldn't wait to be teenagers and as teenagers would could not wait till we were adults.  I am glad to say, I am satisfied right where we are.

God has allowed me the opportunity to stretch in ways I did not foresee.  Due to some circumstances within the church God moved my family and I to, I was called upon to preach Sunday mornings and Sunday nights.  This period would run from June through September.  I was able to preach through the book of Colossians in the summer and adapt a series based on one of my favorite books.  As I sit and reflect, I am asking myself, "What did I learn?*"

  • Always be ready, in and out of season.  God tells you and I to do this.  It is important to identify what our faith is grounded in, what our story is and how we can share it.  Out of these thoughts, we ready ourselves for conversations inside and outside the church.
  • Listening is important.  Many have more experience than I and many have lots of stories to tell.  If you are always talking, you will miss out on something.  We must learn how to listen to others.
  • During the listening we need to be sensing weather the Holy Spirit is among us or if the flesh is talking.  Sometimes, people just like to talk, but its in those conversation that someone shares what is on their heart that God delights.  We can learn and grow from one another, if He is apart of our conversations.
  • Take time to slow down and spend time with your family - now.  Ministry 101, as Martin says, is within the walls of our own homes.  Is my electronic device in my hands?  Is the TV on?  Or am I spending the precious moments with my wife and two children.
  • Some of our best experience comes by doing.  Being able to lead in such a way allowed my to serve in such a role that God has called me to.  Maybe I am not there just yet, but in His time, God has called me to pastor - And I plan to keep doing that, loving the sheep and loving those who need to see Jesus.  That's what we are called to do, right?  Love God and Love Others.
What does this have to do with my kids?  Everything.  As they watch Kari and I serve God in and outside the church, they are first hand witnesses to God at work through us.  Do we always get it right?  Nope.  Do we sometimes get it right?  Sometimes.  But God uses all these experiences to teach us about His love, grace, mercy, provision and how we can treat others how He treats us.  My prayer is Kari and I look like Jesus to Landon and Logan every day.  That these two boys will grow up, know who created them, God, and begin to understand that Jesus was sent to be our atoning sacrifice -not just Landon and Logan, but for everyone - all of our sins, past, present and future - washed away.  
"Jesus loves me, this I know, for the bible tells me so."
He loves us that much! So simple, yet so true.  Blessings.

*Not an extensive list.