Archives For change

This morning our Pastor announced to the church that the financial situation at the church has necessitated some major changes for the coming year.  We have had many families lose their jobs this year, and with that the offerings have also suffered.  With that news, it was then announced that two of the full-time staff pastors would be leaving to find new positions.  I am one of those.

We have been here in Wichita for right at a year and a half.  We have loved the opportunity that we have had to be involved at Glenville, and have learned a lot in the time we have been here.  The people love God and love others.  I would have to say this church is a great example of what a grace-filled church is all about, as they are so very accepting of people.  The staff has also been a blast to work with.  We will miss everyone dearly.  This has been a great experience for us.

Our next steps do not simply include a change of churches to serve in.  After a long time of prayer and seeking counsel, I feel that God is moving me into another direction in ministry as well.  I love music, that will never change, but that season of ministry is coming to a close.  I will be seeking a church in which to serve as their Lead Pastor, or some other Administrative/Executive Pastor role.

As I said, we will miss the people that we are currently serving along side with.  It is never easy to move on. But we are excited to see what God is going to do with us in the future.  I love what Job said in Job 23:13-14:

“But he alone is God, and who can oppose him? God does as he pleases, and he will do exactly what he intends with me.”

We covet your prayers for our family as we take our next steps.  We hold on to the knowledge that God knows what He is doing with us.  We just want to hold on and go for the ride!

May this be the best year you have ever lived!  And if you make just one change this year, make it this one!

Well, this is the very last day of the year 2009. I hope you have taken the time to look back over the last year and evaluate how you are different this year compared to last year at this time. That could be good or bad depending on the changes you made in your life. If you are different, it is because you chose to be different in one area or another. If you chose to do good in your life, you reaped good results. If you chose to do bad things, you had to face the consequences of that.

We are the product of our choices, good and bad. We should not try to blame shift or point fingers for our actions. We did them, and we have to face the consequences of those choices. When we choose a path, that path will lead us where it goes. If we want to end up in a good spot, we have to choose a good path to follow. (Of course, I believe the right path to take is clearly outlined in the Bible, and is found in being a Christ follower)

The path we choose to take is based on the priorities we set up in our life. If you want to have a great family, you cannot constantly ignore them and not invest time into them. If you want to be successful at work, you have to be a diligent and ethical worker. If you want to be a Godly, spiritual individual, you have to spend time with God by doing the spiritual disciplines (reading your Bible, praying, attending church, serving others, etc.).

Choose the path that will take you where you want to go, not a path that seems most convenient, more fun or just is plain easy to choose. If you want to grow spiritually this year, you have to choose to do so, and then walk the path that will get you there. We all have next steps towards God. They are different from one another, and no one else can make you take that next step. It has to be a priority in your life. So this year, will you live a life that is lived on purpose, or will you live a life that just happens along the way. The path you take is up to you and the priorities you set in life. Choose wisely!

Yesterday I said that I think the single most important thing you can do to change your life is to read your Bible.  I believe that with all of my being, so if you only make one change, read your Bible. When you read your Bible, it will change you.  It will motivate you to take next steps in your relationship with Christ and with others.  Others is what I want to talk about today.

If you want to see your life change, get involved in serving others. Volunteer to serve in a ministry through your church or at a local shelter or food bank. Make it a priority in your life to be Jesus to someone.  It is so easy to get wrapped up in the things that are going on in our life that we start to think that everything is about us… well guess what, it isn’t!  There are so many people that are out there hurting and just longing for someone to love them with the love of God.  It will be uncomfortable and inconvenient at first. Giving part of yourself away always is.  The rewards though far exceed the temporary inconvenience.

This is part of what being in a local church is all about.  Serving together, meeting the needs of one another and reaching out to those outside of the church are all ways for us to communicate the love of God to others. If we want to be fulfilled in our own life, it has to include serving others.  Our 41st President, George Bush, said,

“…any definition of a successful life must include serving others.”

May we make it a priority in the next year to take time out for others.

Philippians 2:3 “Don’t be jealous or proud, but be humble and consider others more important than yourselves.”

At this time of year, most people are thinking a lot about changes they will make next year.  I always love the start of a new year.  The new challenges and opportunities excite me and allow me to grow and hopefully do things better. There are all kinds of changes to be made, whether it be physically, emotionally, relationally or spiritually. I think every one of those areas needs a good evaluation so that we are not fooled into thinking we are better off than what we are. That brings me to the biggest and most life-changing thing you can do to make changes in your life, and really, the reason for this post.

It is easy to have a desire to change.  We all have good intentions.  But, good intentions are at best, good intentions unless acted upon.  Do you want to change your life?  Do you want to make changes that will stick? Then here is the single biggest thing you can do: read your Bible. It holds the answers to life.  It is the road map that God has given us to make great change… change that will last. Do you want to know God better?  Read His Word!  There is nothing  that will change you more than that!

To help you, Lifechurch.tv has a great web-based Bible reader that has many versions to choose from, called YouVersion.com.  They also have several different reading plans that will help you to keep on track for the next year.  You can choose plans that will last an entire year, a few months or customize your own plan.  It is a great tool to help you as get into God’s Word.  There are other options on the web, in book stores and even likely at your church that you can get a hold of and get started.  It doesn’t matter what you use, just do something!

If you could only make one change for the year, this would be the one: read God’s Word!  More tomorrow…