Thoughts on a new season

My friend Riley recounts what he’s learned at our church over the years. His dad, who has been the music minister at our church for a long time, is moving on to work for World Hope. This is one of those *good* resignations, because it’s God moving someone on, not a break in fellowship. They will still be church members, at least for awhile.

I love the Sheehans. God speed you guys!

I’ll make just a quick hitlist of just some hard lessons I learned through 16 years of worshipping, fellowshipping and working at Houston Northwest:
  1. If you base your vision for a church on a man or a program, and invest all that you are into it, you will ultimately be let down. Base your vision on God, and be faithful to Him. He might use a man or a program, but he certainly is not either of those.
  2. If you work hard for others and not unto the Lord, you’ll be left dissatisfied. People are people. God is God. Approval from man tastes sweet on the tongue, but doesn’t fulfill the appetite. Slaving away for man’s approval will leave you worn out, tired, wasted, and useless. Instead entrust your work to the Lord.
  3. If you don’t have patience and love in all you do, you will harbor bitterness and become ineffective in your ministry. Bitterness leads nowhere but to sin. Carry yourself in love, grace, and kindness. Most of the times the finger you point at others should also point back to yourself. And when that realization is made, then the Cross and the Gospel’s universal truth seem much more poignant.
  4. Before you say or do anything, and as you say/do it, and after… think of and enjoy the Gospel. If we don’t fight sin and build ministries on the Gospel, they’ll crumble. If we don’t build words on Gospel truth, they’ll fail. If we don’t encourage other people in the Gospel, but with other means, they won’t be refreshed.

. . .

So here’s to you HNW, and all you have meant to me. May you continue to grow and flourish in a love for the Gospel, God, the world, and each other. I love you with all my heart.

In Christ

-Riley

Great wisdom. The above is just a few excerpts. Read the whole thing if you can.

The victory shout of Resurrection Day

When the perishable puts on the imperishable, and the mortal puts on immortality, then shall come to pass the saying that is written:

“Death is swallowed up in victory.
O death, where is your victory?
O death, where is your sting?”

The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

1 Corinthians 15:54-57

And don’t forget verse 58! Because you have the victory:

Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain.

“He wants us to break a sweat on our passage through this vale of tears”

I haven’t posted in a long time, on purpose. I had to think about why I was posting in the first place. What was I trying to achieve as a blogger? How was blogging helping, or hurting, God’s work through me?

I haven’t resolved all those questions, and I am still thinking and working through that. I am considering posting here again (partly because this blog is largely unread – heh).

I’m posting today because of a few quotes in this Walter Russell Meade article that I read this morning. Let this sink in.

God hates the quiet life, I think. He wants us to break a sweat on our passage through this vale of tears.

. . .

And finally, says the Holy Week story, God shares. He rides Hell’s roller coaster of personal, political and economic uncertainty with us. He knows the failure and the pain that comes with real life in a real world. He does not answer our questions about evil and suffering with a series of propositions. He answers us with a presence, his, in the middle of it all.

. . .

There is no guarantee that any of these questions will be answered in ways that we like. Those who expect doctors or politicians or scientists or economists or theologians to make the uncertainty go away are doomed to frustration.

. . .

We are not just living in interesting times; increasingly, these times look adventurous. Prepare yourselves, friends. God loves us with a fierce and terrible love, and he really, really thinks it’s time for us to grow.