Well, it’s been a few weeks since I sent out my musings. Lots has happened. Doesn’t it feel like the world is changing every few hours? I look up from my desk or head out the field and it seems like something new has been recommended, required, or ordered. I’ve literally had to keep my “head on a swivel”…
Since our last time, we had our first service at Legion Field (One Champion Field)…it’s actually One Champion Car Wash Field. Let me give you a little history on this to help you see why this is such an important opportunity for us. Back in 1995, when I first started coaching baseball at Umpqua Valley Christian (UVC), I went to Legion to watch a practice and to talk to some coaches there. After introducing myself, I asked what it took to get on that field. One of the coaches (I don’t remember who), said to me that as a 1A school (smallest classification in Oregon), I would never step foot on that field. Fast forward to 2002, when I had an assistant coach, Doug Carl, who knew some Legion Commissioners. He was able to secure the opportunity for UVC to play our home games at Legion. I remember my first time showing up to look around the field at that time and as I approached one of the coaches on the field to introduce myself and told him what the arrangement was. He told me that he didn’t want me coming into the field until his team had left the parking lot. So, to say that my introduction to Legion Field was unique, would be an understatement. So, my goal when at Legion, was to show my gratitude for them allowing my team to play there by serving other teams, making it easy on them and the commissioners, and represent Jesus really well. Through the years, this relationship has really grown and I’ve had the privilege of coaching some legion teams as well as sit in on a few board meetings. Then, this year, when the idea of outdoor church services first came up, Legion popped into my head and the Lord opened the doors (gates) for us to be there. So, to go from “you’ll never step foot in here”, to “don’t come in until our cars are gone”, to “here are keys, it’s yours for church” seems like pretty good progress! And, I am incredibly grateful. So, if you’re thinking: “why are we giving up being in our own church for going to a ball yard?”, I hope this gives you a glimpse into what I think the Lord provided for us.
The other wonderful thing is that it’s incredibly public and it’s a well-known location in Roseburg. I’ve had numerous friends, family members and others find out what we’re doing and express interest in coming and many have. It has been amazing to see so many come to church at the ball field.
Now, onto the sermon from Sunday:
The created world and the Inspired Word:
When I read Psalm 19, I cannot help but hear 2 New Testament texts ringing in my ears:
- Romans 1:18-23 which reads, “For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth. For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse. For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Claiming to be wise, they became fools, and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and creeping things.”
- And 2 Timothy 3:16-17 which reads, “All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.”
Natural Revelation and Special Revelation:
I love systematic theology and I really love it, when passages of Scripture make it so easy to see. Sunday was one of those. Psalm 19:1-6 speaks of the heavens declaring the glory of God, which in theological terms is “natural” or “general” revelation. It’s a revelation about God that comes from nature. And, it’s one that every one can see…we are without excuse because of it. But Psalm 19:7-12, speaks of the “law of the Lord”, which is “special” revelation or “specific” revelation that shows us how to know the God that is revealed nature.
These 2 subjects are really near to my heart. I love “seeing” God in creation and the stuff of this world. I’m a firm believer that, as Jonathan Edwards mentioned, that Christians should and can enjoy the world more than non-Christians, because our eyes have been opened to the true Beauty, behind the beauty! Wonder, should be that much more wonderful.
Lots of confusion:
Over the past months, there has been lots of confusion. And there are plenty of reasons for it: restrictions that we’ve never had in our lifetimes; government responses that we like or don’t like; political divides; racial tensions; etc. Many have asked me, how should I respond to all of this? So here are a few thoughts:
- As Christians, we should respond with great trust and hope that God is at work, doing things in this world and bringing all events of this world to the conclusion of Jesus Christ being Lord over all. You can see in Ephesians 1:9-10, that God has a great plan to do that. So, our hope needs to start there.
- Second, we should be biblical Christians, who respond as the Bible tells us. Bearing the fruit of the Spirit, should be tops on our list: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control…if you’re not seeing these at work in you or you’re not concerned about showing these, then you should step back and evaluate this before the Lord.
- Next, I think it’s important to go with what we know to be true. This is especially difficult in our world. Friends, do not let social media be your news feed…social media and the data that drives it, basically puts in front of you, all the ideas that you agree with! Rather, spend time reading both sides of the “aisle”…withhold judgments of motives because no one but God knows the true motives of the heart.
- Be fully convinced on how you should act and respond and do so in faith. We’ll be addressing this more as a church in the weeks and months ahead, but it’s going to be critical that you make decisions for yourself and family, that you can live with and you’re convinced are best for you. Some things will not be as clear cut in Scripture as “flee sexual immorality” or “do not get drunk with wine”. Many things, in the coming days, will be serious matters of conscience and you’ll need to decide what’s best for you and your faith. Then, act in faith, trusting God to help you.
- Finally, and I mean this with all sincerity…be kind; love others; show deference; and “if at possible with you, be at peace with everyone”. This world has a lot of fighting, division, and chaos…we don’t need to add to it…unless absolutely necessary.
From the Cheap Seats:
- These new NFL face-shields are actually really cool looking: https://tinyurl.com/y8h2y9lm.
- I am getting a little skittish about the upcoming football season…I really hope the Dallas Cowboys are playing!
- Also, I’m praying that in all of this, that at some point, a discussion on kids and their sports or activities will begin to play a role in how we make decisions. I’m concerned that we are so busy with worrying about the spread of the virus (as we should be), that we’re forgetting the social, emotional, relational, and physical well-being of kids playing sports or doing outdoor stuff. We have limited it so far, that many kids are missing opportunities and also missing relationships. I have watched my summer team, trying to work through the loss of a spring season and loss of time together, work through that awkward stage of getting back together again. I’m praying that we can start making decisions with kids in mind.