Sunday was amazing. When we go to the baseball field, I get the unique privilege being in the 1st base dugout until it’s time to preach. The viewpoint from down there is awesome. I can hear the crowd singing, see the entirety of the group, and watch. With the big crowd at the field on Sunday, it was pretty cool. I was very grateful and was inspired to sing loudly by what I saw and heard. The fact that the Lord has been so kind to us at CLF and that He has built a church that has embraced the power of the gospel, is truly amazing to me. Sunday was amazing.
In the last month, there have been 2 deaths of people who started CLF alongside Jill and I. The obvious one is Linda Heard. Lind was a true “mother” to our church and in our church. We’ll celebrate Linda’s life on Saturday.
But last Saturday, Jill and I drove to Prineville for the celebration of Brent Case’s life. Brent loved his savior, his bride (Sara) and his sons (Holden-17 and Calvin-12). Brent was loved by many and he will be missed.
Both of these deaths, obviously tell us something of the shortness of life. Linda was a spry 72 years old and Brent was 46. Life is short, like a vapor.
But both of these losses, also cause me to think about CLF and our almost 18 years of existence (September 7). I remember those small beginnings with the joy and excitement of starting something new. I remember some hard years that felt lean and wondering if our church would survive. And I look now, at the over 50 in our leadership community, almost 250 adult members (almost 400, including children), and the impact/influence that the Lord has granted to our church. I look at the hunger for God’s word, unity of spirit and mission, and the joy of being together that we have. It’s humbling.
I’m so grateful for those who helped CLF get started. And grateful that some of them who have gone before us into the Celestial City. I’m also grateful for those who help us move forward into our future. There will be more who go “home” and my prayer is that we will be faithful over the long-haul.
There are times when I’m preparing to preach that I get an unusual sense of “this is hitting the nail on the head”. Sunday’s sermon was one of those. The prep for the week and the study leading into it confirmed that. Seeing what has transpired in our world through the lens of God’s word is important. It brought rest to my soul and there was an “ease” in writing the sermon. And by God’s grace, I had a unique sense of peace in delivering the sermon. And because of that, there wasn’t anything I cut out nor anything that I feel compelled to “clear” up.
A subtle change Musings:
One of the changes that I’ll be making to my musings will be to have less about Sunday’s sermon (unless it’s needed) and more of taking some time to discuss “musings” that are on my brain. My hope is to give you some answers that might be troubling to you and also equip you to handle the times that we’re living in. Not to mention, some of these will just thoughts from an older guy (I’m that guy now, which is weird).
Speaking of getting older…Jill and I have hit another milestone in our family life. Our oldest son is now a senior; our youngest daughter is in 9th grade; and our youngest child, is in 7th grade. The downhill side of parenting is on full throttle. It’s surreal to think about. Our kids are all doing well and growing. We’re very proud of them.
But there is something (among some other things) that has become very obvious to me through the years. I remember being a younger parent and really worried about “messing” my kids up. You know what I mean? I didn’t want to mess them up in ways that they could not recover:). But through the years, we learned and heard that the most important thing to parenting, was to fill our home with the aroma of Christ and fill our kids’ hearts with our love for them. Jill did this much better than I did, in the early years. She would remind me that the discussions we’re having, the hard opportunities (challenges/disobedience/times of impatience) our kids went through; that we’re teaching our kids about Jesus, and we just need to be aware of the moments God has given us. And she’s been right (like most of the time) about that.
Here’s the point:
I had to learn to not try to be the precise, perfect parent, with the right devotionals, right questions, and right discipline, but rather be where my feet are, point my kids to Christ, and love them. This means there would be times of discipline and instruction…but it should be soaked in love. And there should be lots of time for expressing love to them and discussing our love for Jesus. I’m a big time hugger with my kids. I’m a very affectionate dad. I tell my kids regularly how much I love them and how proud I am of them. And when we spend time together to talk, it’s a great time. We’ve tried to fill our home with the aroma of Christ and fill their hearts with our love for them. So far, so good:). Now, about being the dad of a senior, a 9th grader, and a 7th grader…that equals being old, doesn’t ?!
On Sunday afternoon, we sent an email to the CLF Members from our Elder Board regarding the vaccine mandate. If you did not receive that and you’d like us to send it to you, please request that from email@example.com.
But briefly, let me just comment on that statement by telling you ‘why’ we gave instructions on BOTH sides of this issue. One thing that has tragically disappeared in our nation/world over the last 6-10 years is the ability to ‘hear’ opposing points of view and treat them with respect and dignity. I think this is one reason why we’re so tired of talking about COVID (not to mention….we’re all just ready to move on). The media and our politicians (in my opinion) have sadly, done a great job of dividing us and keeping us divided. It has become an “EITHER/OR” debate and an “US vs. THEM”. However, we, as elders of CLF, don’t see conscience issues, like recent mandates, that way. We felt strongly, that we needed to help our church navigate through these sticky waters by seeing BOTH sides. We’re zealous that CLF would be unique place of unity in a world of division.
From the Cheap Seats:
One thing that won’t change is this section. My wife has strongly encouraged me to keep this section and that’s been confirmed by my assistant. So, this will stay.
- From the English Premier League…
- Chelsea vs. Liverpool was a war. What a game. And knowing that Chelsea held with 10 men, is pretty impressive.
- Welcome back to the EPL, Cristiano. Here’s to hoping that City throttles you!
- 5-0 and 5-0…those who know, know what I’m talking about.
- NFL! Let’s go! Regular season here we come. I love football.
- How is this guy out? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y0SLYeGgS7E
Enjoy your week as you look to Christ!