Pastor’s Corner, 8-19-10

Some days just don’t go how you intended them to go. I had six meetings scheduled for today (Wednesday), and none of them took place. That’s because at 9:30 a.m. I received a phone call from Elizabeth telling me that our basement carpet was sopping wet. The rain had come down so heavily in such a short period of time that the water backed up into our garage, under our stairs, and throughout our entire basement. Every step I took glistened with water. Every piece of carpet and carpet pad had to come out, which meant that every piece of furniture (and every book – there is a downside to being a bibliophile!) had to be moved. So all day, with the help of several of you, we moved books and furniture, we cut out carpet and padding, and we vacuumed up lots of water. As I write this, I have fans and a dehumidifier working overtime to dry the basement and garage out. Hopefully I’ll beat the mold. It’s amazing how destructive something so life-giving can be.

Having lived through Katrina, I am thankful that it seems that I won’t have to tear out sheetrock, and that nothing valuable besides the carpet was damaged (as far as I can tell thus far). Replacing the carpet in the basement was on our list of things to do one day, but we certainly didn’t intend to do it now! Occasions like this are opportunities for us to live out what we say we believe. Is God sovereign, or isn’t He? Does He ordain whatsoever comes to pass, or doesn’t He? Is He good and wise, or is He mean and stupid? During family worship this evening, we sang the first verse of O Father You Are Sovereign: “O Father, You are sovereign in all the worlds You made; Your mighty Word was spoken, and light and life obeyed. Your voice commands the seasons and bounds the ocean’s shore, sets stars within their courses and stills the tempests’ roar.” The waters of the sea, or of the rain storm, are bound by the hand of God; they go where He wants them to go, and no further. Therein lies our comfort in disasters like this. God wasn’t surprised, He wasn’t looking somewhere else, He wasn’t thwarted. Rather, He was accomplishing what concerns me and my family. He was accomplishing His good purposes in our lives, sanctifying us and conforming us to the image of Christ Jesus. Suffering and trials and hardships are His gift; the Lord gives and the Lord takes away – blessed be the name of the Lord!

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My heart goes out to the Farris and Cunningham families in the loss of their father and grandfather. Many of you had met Mr. Jimmy Farris, and I am sad that I will not see him again in this life. He always greeted me with a huge smile and a firm handshake, “How you doing, young fella!” Sometimes he told me I sounded like a Baptist – I never knew how to take that comment J. His death was sudden, and so let’s be praying for Jamey and Keeba, and their children, as they continue to process his passing. Losing loved ones has a way of making us long even more for heaven, but that doesn’t make the pain any easier. It’s striking that in the same letter in which Paul declares that to die is gain, that being with Jesus is “very much better,” he also affirms that losing a loved one causes “sorrow upon sorrow,” and for that reason God’s sparing Epaphroditus was God’s mercy (Philippians 1:21-23; 2:27). Let’s never forget either one of those truths, as we near death, as we lose loved ones, and as we minister to those who are experiencing bereavement.

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I’m really excited about several things about to happen in the life of our church. First, the building committee has selected a contractor to work with the architect and help guide us through the pre-construction stages and into the building process. We interviewed three contractors, and everyone was agreed that we should go with W & O Construction. They are excited about getting to do our project, and are committed to helping us build on budget. Lord willing, it will only be several more months before we have some idea of what we’ll be building and we see dirt being moved! So let’s keep praying and giving to the building fund.

Second, I’m looking forward to starting up a Wednesday night Bible study and prayer meeting with you on September 1st. I haven’t gotten to do a Bible study in awhile (and I’m looking forward to digging into Isaiah 1-12 with you), and we haven’t had a regular corporate prayer time since I’ve been here, so I’m hoping and praying that the Lord would bless us as we participate in these means of grace together. You can’t read the book of Acts without being impressed with the time the early church spent praying together, so my desire is that we would have heartfelt times of fervent and kingdom-minded, Christ-centered, God-glorifying adoration, confession, thanksgiving, supplication, and intercession. Hopefully our time in Isaiah will lead us to the throne of grace with confidence and joy. His “gospel” is convicting and comforting, and will show us our sin and our Savior God from a different perspective than we are perhaps used to. So join us in two weeks as we dig deep to hear from God and to let God hear from us.

Your Pastor,

Caleb

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One response to this post.

  1. Posted by Katy Brink on August 23, 2010 at 1:11 pm

    Caleb,
    I am sorry about your basement situation, but you are right — those are the situations in which we really can live out what we say we believe. Unexpected large expenses are hard! Love that hymn…
    Hope your Bible study goes well!
    Katy

    Reply

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