Sunday, February 27, 2011

dancing in the street!

As I think about leadership and all that is tied up with that, especially in the church I was reminded of the story of David. He was the new sheriff (king) in town and he was bringing the biggest prize the Israelites had home, the ark of the covenant.  Now as he got closer and closer to the main part of town he did something strange….he stripped down to his underwear basically….and he danced! (He would have been thrown out of a lot of churches just for the dancing thing alone!)  He danced, he twirled, he jumped in front of this big crowd…a crowd of people he was the King over.  His wife was watching from a distance as he did this strange, spontaneous jig and she was not very impressed.  You see, her dad had been king and she new how a king should act and this was not it..not even close…and when he walked in the door, all out of breath she let him have it.  “How dignified you looked to day dear, dancing in a frenzy in front of all those lower class people. Nice.” (Bill’s translation) 
Now he responds to clarify things and he says, “I was dancing for my God, not the crowd….and I will look even more undignified than this if it pleases God.” (Nice come back)
When David stripped down he did not just try to get comfortable but he laid aside the clothes that let people know he was king.  He put aside what would have identified him as king, to worship his God, he would not hold onto that identity over the identity he had with God.  I see people many times finding their identity in a title or position and they lose who they are as a person, who God knows them as.  I really do not think God ever looks at us and sees what we are doing in the kingdom as what is defining us, I think he sees us, he sees me.  I do not think He looks at me different now as a Pastor than He did when I was working at the factory, it is not a not a title or gift He sees, He sees me, and He knows me. 
I love what I do and am thrilled that God saw fit to call me to be a pastor and lead a great church, but at the end of the day (or the beginning) when I pray or worship, it is just me standing before God and I don’t know that I have ever sensed Him saying, “Hey nice sermon today, Pastor Bill, real nice,” but I have sensed Him saying, “this is my son and I really like Him a lot.”  That is what brings me close to His heart, being His son, finding pleasure in Him. 
I think David realized as he was bringing home this prize to God’s people, he was only as year or so away from being a shepherd boy watching his dad’s sheep and here he was, a king leading a parade to glorify God and to bring God’s presence back to the people of God.  And he was overwhelmed by it all and the only response he knew was to dance for all he was worth for his king, the Lord of glory.  Many times I myself am reminded I am only a few years removed holding a factory job, a good one but still….a factory job and now I get to lead a wonderful church family into God’s presence and at times, like this morning for example, it leads to dancing and jumping.  It can be hard to communicate to others the explosion of joy that comes from knowing God is with you and for you…
Sooooo I think the point is I think we have to be comfortable standing in our underwear before God.  WHAT???? I really do love being a pastor but not as much as being His child…and that is how He sees me…his child.  Don’t hold onto positions and titles and things too tightly…hold onto Him.
Bill   

Thursday, February 24, 2011

don't use that knd of langauge here!!!

I have figured out that part of what this blog is,  is a chance to put some thoughts down in print that have up to now, just rattling around in my head.  So welcome to Bill’s world!  You don’t have to stay but I do since it is my world…..So as I began early on to kind of write down some of the history of my world I am also drawing from the present thoughts in this world of mine.  If you have been a follower of Jesus for any length of time you know that our past helps shape the present or at least influences it….Past struggles can help build character and lead us to really depend on God and our wins or successes, I think, are reminders to us that God does work through us and with us… Basically as Paul writes God works it all for our benefit...
Now as a regular guy leading church you tend to get some interesting comments tossed your way every once in a while and this week I had one lobbed my way…not mean just interesting.  I was in conversation with another leader when they said this, “It would really help me if I thought you cared at all about church growth.”  Again not angry maybe a little frustrated but just a comment for me to think over….and I have….a lot…over and over…Church growth hmmm.  Well let me say I did come up with this thought, I am really not into church “shrinkage”, let’s make that clear…..In the past I would have gone through a list of things I was doing wrong or what was wrong with me… I am overweight and that is hurting us for sure…or maybe they don’t like my pony tail, but then I had the pony tail to keep thing from getting too religious…..Now they must hate my shaved head, must make me look mean but I refuse to do a comb over (if you don’t know what that is Google it) and the bottom line is my wife liked the pony tail and now she likes my head shaved so she gets the last vote for sureJ  Then of course my preaching or teaching or whatever I do is probably bad, so I will have to fix that, and then…..well you get the drift, if I am the one who has to be real interested in church growth then I must be the PROBLEM…. 
The best counsel I received in the beginning of planting this church was this statement from another leader in our movement...He said “Build the kind of church family you would want to hang out at and others will join you.  I guess I should have asked would there be lots of others or just a few?  Maybe I will e mail him and see what he says.  So with that as the background of what we do, I have been able to be who I am and not put on a show or a fa├žade to make something grand happen, I could do what I sensed God wanted me to do and find peace in that.  And I have.  I have always been pretty insecure except in one area and that is having a church body I enjoy hanging out with…would I like it to be bigger??? I guess so but more importantly does God want it bigger?  Jesus said He would build His church…..I thought I was just one of His helpers, trying to find out where He is working and joining that... He did not tell me I had to grow this thing…..because if He did we are all in trouble…
We are currently re-reading the book “Love, Acceptance and Forgiveness” and look at what the author has to say here, “The Primary purpose of the church as a field is to grow. And a second interesting aspect about this kind of ministry is that all the arrows point in…into the culture of the church as a field.”  Now he then describes the church as a force, “The church as a force emphases are worship, training, and fellowship, because these are the things that produce Spirit-filled people who can meet others needs in Jesus name.” He also writes, “We want each member to come to wholeness, be equipped and be released into the world to minister.” 
So, to be clear here, I see the church as the force and that is what we are trying to build and have been building and what we are about may not fit the hopes and desires of all who come our way…. We will not be for everybody and I am good with that as long as I feel like we are letting God be God and we just be His people.  I pray for another local church body every week to bless them and to remind ourselves we are not building a monument to ourselves we are working alongside many to see the kingdom have impact wherever we are.. Because wherever we are the Church is.  So church growth hmmmm. Still thinking on that one but I refuse to get a toupee’….bald is beautifulJ   More thoughts to come…
Bill    

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Charlie Brown, my kind of guy

I was reading something the other day and they had a Peanuts cartoon in it where Lucy, Linus and Charlie Brown are outside laying on the side of a hill looking up at the clouds.  It was beautiful day with amazing clouds and Lucy asked the boys, “What shapes do you see as you are looking at the clouds?” Well, Linus is the first to speak and he says, “That one over there is like the Mona Lisa, and that one reminds me of the famous statue of David.  Over here it is like the ceiling in the Sistine Chapel and on and on.” Then it got quiet…..Lucy finally asks, “what do you see Charlie Brown?”  He pauses and then quietly says, “I see a doggie and that one looks like a tree and….that one looks like a leaf.”  I love Charlie Brown…..I may be Charlie Brown, short, bald…hmmm
Anyway I can so relate to this story as a guy who is called to lead but usually just sees the simple things and not the huge, grandiose images others, like Linus, see and I have come to realize I am OK with that.  The temptation in this can be to begin to make things up and then you have to go back and ask God to back you up, instead of being faithful with what you know He has shown you to do.  Now I am not saying at all that I am right and other people with unbelievable vision are making it up, I am just not wired that way and they are not wired the way I am.  In my wiring pattern from God I operate more from an intuitive process that allows me to see just a short way out front of myself.  Doesn’t mean God is only going to do small, insignificant things through me it just means He knows if He showed me the whole thing I would probably run in the other direction and then get swallowed by a whale and then….well you know the story. 
I love Jeremiah 29:11 where God tells His people, “I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you and not harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”   He says I know the plans I have” and then He follows up with these words; “Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.”    As I thought on this it came to me I had been reading this wrong or with a wrong motivation.  I had kind of thought that as God worked out His plan for me I would then seek Him and find Him.  What I think God is doing is He is saying “I know the plans I have for you and if you want to know those plans you will have to come and pray and seek me with all your heart, then you will find me and as you find me you will find the plan I have for you, a plan to bless and not harm.  To give you hope and a future…..”
He is not dangling it out there like a carrot but He is reminding His people that He is their hope and their future, it is in Him…and He is to be sought after and loved.  I think it is the same today…don’t you?  So we may not all be like Linus with tons of creativity and imagination….but we can seek after the one Who holds creativity in His hands for us…I can go for that.
Bill

Sunday, February 20, 2011

move over!!

As I have studied leadership I have found a wide range of books and materials out there to help me become a better leader.  I can remember when George Barna, an author and someone who has made a living gathering statistics and then writing books telling you what the others told him, ( I know it sounds simple but there is a lot of math involved..)anyway he had a test you could take on line to find out if you had the gift of leadership.  So I jumped in and took the test, pretty much knowing what the answer would be (sigh) and I was right.  George, filled with mercy, responded “William you do not have the gift of leadership…you are a shepherd but not a leader. Thanks and I hope this helped…  Oh yeah it was a great help!  After the depression lifted… just kidding.  Really I liked reading that while I did not have a leadership gift, I had the gift of being a shepherd, or a pastor because that is what I feel called to do.  Now I did not want to be the one to tell George that I thought a shepherd gift probably had some leadership mixed in, I mean who is on charge out there the sheep or the shepherd? But he is the expert and I am a shepherd and personally I think I got the better of the deal.
Well I have two thoughts on leadership that I am going to share and those of you who read this blog may be the only ones to know, a small but elite group if I must say so myselfJ  First I think that the  leadership Jesus models for the 12 is servant leadership  ..Jesus says in Matt.20:26-28  “ Whoever wants to be great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be your slave---just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.”  Paul hits this best in Philippians 2 where he says, “Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus.”  Then he proceeds to write how Jesus emptied Himself and became a servant…you really should read it. So my first thought is that being a leader is being a servant….and I have to admit I think I can do that.
Then as I sit here other thoughts come in I will address another time but the 2nd thought on leadership is this….this is good really so get ready.  I think another big part of leading is getting out of the way…. Jesus brand of leadership first began with being a servant and then He said, “I tell you the truth, the Son can do nothing by Himself; He can only do what He sees the Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does.”  I think Jesus is kind of saying, “I have to get out of the way to see what the Father is doing so I can do that.”  If Jesus had to get out of the way or at least decided that what the Father was doing was more important than anything He may have been planning, how much more do I need to get out of the way and see what God is doing?  I think the thing I want to do best is to get out of His way to see what He will do…to cast vision , to give direction, and then get out of the way…AND LET HIS SPIRIT LEAD! 
Well I am not sure this is making a lot of sense but I think you can catch my drift…There used to be a bumper sticker that said “Lead, follow, or get out of the way!”  Maybe I will come up with a new one, “Get out of the way” (to be continued)
Bill
         

Thursday, February 17, 2011

deny what?

Part of life as a follower of Jesus is this idea of saying yes to Him and no to myself.  Jesus says in Luke 9 "whoever wants to be my disciple must deny himself and take up their cross daily and follow me."  In a me first culture that just does not seem like an attractive alternative..but it is.  The kicker is the tag on the end of that verse, " and follow me."  Follow Jesus..read this quote from John Wimber:
What if we loved what Jesus loved? What if we let God be God and we just be His people? What if self-protection wasn’t the issue and we didn’t care about looking foolish? What would God do?
Don’t you want to know? Don’t you want to find out?”
What if we actually followed Jesus?  Paul writes in Philippians 2 " Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit.  Rather, in humility value other above yourselves. not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.  In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness."
So is this the life we are called to if we follow Jesus?  to be servants? to not look first to myself but actually look to see what might benefit others first?  I this what the church is to look like?  IS THIS WHAT I AM  SUPPOSED TO LOOK LIKE?  Oh boy...

So what would happen if we let God be God and we just be His people?  What if we just loved Jesus?  What if we did not care if we looked foolish?  I think God would move in awesome ways.. And I want to find out.  Even as I came to this a bit reluctant I am now in a place of excitement to see what God will do is we give Him His Church back.  I want to see a place where looking cool is not as important as experiencing His presence.... Where caring for the broken takes precedence over taking care of the building.... Where being connected to others is more important than protecting my space...  i think that is what Barb and I want to invite people into,  the wonder of what John talked about years ago, to find out what God would do if we just loved Jesus and let God be God...That is the question, don't you want to find out?  We do...
Bill         

Sunday, February 13, 2011

regular guy thoughts

I will kind of interrupt thoughts of leading from my past to bring it forward a little bit.  I have changed the title of the blog to “Thoughts from a regular guy” and maybe this will help understand a little clearer where I am coming from.  As I said before, I spent most of my adult life working in a factory so I still am overwhelmed that God chose to pluck me from the factory floor (not as cool as the belly of a whale but it is what I have to work with) and send me out to plant a church.  And then as I read my Bible (I really do have to read it since I am the pastorJ I see God has always used different people to do His work.  Fishermen, tax collectors, shepherds, and Pharisees all called to work with Him. (I don’t really like to say work for Him since He really does all the hard work!) 
Now going back to the reluctant stage of this journey after a series of meetings a friend of ours held at our church, I was really confronted with my attitude towards leading.  I can try to put it off on being humble but lack of leadership creates a void and also makes things kind of foggy.  I began to have people that were really frustrated around me, some leaving the church and some saying they were going to….but they really did not know why, they were just frustrated and mostly with me.  I  read once about how if you had a slide show you were going to use to support a presentation and all the slides were fuzzy and out of focus, eventually the people watching the slide show get angry and frustrated.  The fuzziness of what they see aggravates and frustrates them.  I began to see that my lack of leading and casting vision was putting so many things in a fog that it was beginning to frustrate people.  Leaders did not know what to lead or where to lead.  Staff did not know their roles so lots of things just did not get done or get done well.  And it really did come from my lack of leadership or maybe even more my lack of respect for what God had called me to do. 
I have always avoided asking people to call me Pastor Bill or anything like that because I do not want to create a divide or class kind of system in the body like I had seen in the past.  And in doing that I think I pushed the pendulum way in the other direction, to the point of not respecting the role God had for me and if I did not respect two things would happen.  Others would not respect it either or those who did respect and honor God’s call would be frustrated.  Well, lucky me, both was happening.  I will say this for myself; I never do anything half wayJ  
Shortly after the meetings with our friend I began a 40 days fast.  I felt like I was fighting for my life, really, and it was one of those moments where I was facing a personal crisis and I needed to hear God.  On the second part of the fast, for 21 days the church joined and it was one of the most amazing experiences of my Christian walk.  The real story here, I guess, is that I lead the church into the fast….I began earlier so I could talk about it and then they followed into the fast.  It was something I had never done before, calling the church to something pretty big and sacrificial.  Barb and I and some friends had done them before and I would hint and suggest but never call people to something liken this. I did and they responded and did so with much excitement, which caught me a little by surprise, but the excitement was almost tangible and the stories were awesome. 
Now the moral of the story is I am no longer a reluctant leader but I am still a regular guy who is still learning on the job.  When youlead like I did you pay a price.  I am still working with staff issues, defining roles, and reminding some I am the pastor, maybe even with a capital P.  There is not the frustration we had and I believe the fog has blown out to sea…God has brought more brilliant people to walk alongside us as we do the stuff He has called us to do.  He has always been so faithful to us from the very beginning, to meet our needs and to bring gifted people to us to minister with us.  In my reluctance to lead I left myself open to be questioned over everything it seems like and that is still lingering around a bit… but getting better, slowly, VERY slowlyJ 
As I write this I had the thought, that even as a reluctant leader there were people following all that time.  I am so grateful to them as they stuck with me and helped me along even when I didn’t want to do it.  One friend that came along was a guy named Don, and he and his family joined us and supported us even as I failed so often.  One time I did make a decision that he supported but decided he really did not like.  He came back to me and said that the fact he loved me so much clouded his judgment and he regretted supporting it but he would still be in my corner.  Not sure, that other than my family I have ever had anyone love me like that.  Regular guy leaders really need that. Let me tell you!      
We had a church picnic today, indoors at the building and I walked back to the kitchen after almost everyone was gone and there was my friend Ann cleaning up in the back. I walked over and gave her a big hug and told her I really loved her…Ann has been around from almost the very beginning and is one of those special gifts God has placed in my life.  She said, “This is a good place.”  And I said, “Because it is filled with good people.”  Always has been…..

Bill
                                                

Friday, February 11, 2011

thinking out loud, really loud!!

I have spent much of this week running here and there, just trying to keep up really.  But also in the center of my mind I kept thinking on the message that Josh Heaston delivered this past Sunday.  The challenge that Josh put out there, really came down to this:  “Will we BE the Church and not just GO to church?” 

Listen to the description of the church author Jerry Cook writes in his wonderful book, “Love, Acceptance, and Forgiveness”…..“The Church is people, redeemed, filled with His Spirit, equipped to serve, meeting needs everywhere in Jesus name.”  In another place Cook says this, “Among other things, I’m saying that we need to direct the church away from professionalism and into the hands of people who do not know what they are doing. I can say from firsthand experience that this policy is both scary and at times, utterly ridiculous, but always, in my mind, necessary.” 

Really what Jerry Cook is saying is that Christianity is not to be a “spectator sport” and John Wimber would agree saying--“everybody gets to play!”

On Sunday, Josh reminded us that living like this could cost you time, energy, and money but to hear the stories he shared you have to say it’s worth it don’t you? And one cool side note here is, never one time did Josh call me up to ask for help as he reached out to his friend.  We would have been glad to help, but he saw himself as “the church”---and the church was simply at work. 

I can remember one story John Wimber told about a guy who came running up to him one Sunday morning, pretty flustered.  He said, “I tried to call the church all weekend long!  I had a friend who needed some help, needed a place to stay and I couldn’t reach anyone at the church to get him help.”  John calmly asked, “Well, what did you do?”  He said, “I got him a room!”  John replied, “Well it seems to me the church did respond. You helped him didn’t you?” 

When will we, as “the church”, embrace the idea that we ARE the Church and just maybe God has strategically placed us in our neighborhood, on our job, at this school, or in the right store at the right time to be used to bring the gospel to someone in need?  Now as soon as I said, “bring the gospel” I lost some of you because you assumed that includes preaching at some one.  I love what St. Francis said a very long time ago, “Preach the gospel everywhere you go…..and sometimes use words.”  I am not talking friendship evangelism, servant evangelism, or power evangelism;  I am talking about living as “light” and “salt”, just like Jesus said.

I have to quit writing because I feel like my head and my heart are about to explode!  Here is what I see…..I see a Church Body that cannot be contained in a building!  I see people who will not settle for going to church!  I see people who are not willing to let someone else pray for the sick when they are right there, ready!  I hear the stories of a couple of moms working on reaching into a school to help some teens who need simple things like soap, shampoo, some newer clothes….I see an engineer going to the juvenile detention center, not because he can really relate to those young guys but because God has put them on his heart!….I see a group going to the “Salvation Army” Rehab Center, not because they all have had drug and alcohol problems but because they have found the very people Jesus loves!   I see a ladies prayer group that would not only pray but then would go out and touch people everywhere they went. They saw people healed, held the hurting in their arms, brought hope to the hopeless….Oh man, let me catch my breath here!

Now, let me quickly explain Sunday mornings to you…..
We don’t refer to Sunday mornings as our “service” times, at least we shouldn't!  Sunday is about CELEBRATING!  Celebrating God and what He has done this past week and what He is going to do this next week.  We gather together as a Church Body on Sundays (and at other times) in a spirit of celebration--to worship, train, and fellowship (encouraging one another)--so that we can be "rested and restored" to then go back out into a lost and hurting world to “serve” others there.  

I told Josh this morning at breakfast, that Sunday was a tipping point for us and as I think about it right now I see a glass being tipped over and all its’ contents being spilled out….

(Tip us over Jesus…tip us over!)
Bill                                                

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Are you kidding?

Last blog I talked a bit about my call to being a pastor.... I mentioned in there that one thing I felt like I could do was to teach people to love God, receive His love and to give it away and that has been the vision for the church from the beginning. Well let me tell you a little about that..As we began meeting as a small group I then began hearing all the things a real leader does and one of them is, he has to have a vision and then be able to tell others the vision and see if they will buy into it.  Well one night just before our meeting in our home I fell on the floor in our bedroom, overwhelmed by all that I felt was being demanded of me and the feeling of being in way over my head. (I later found out that is usually a good sign it is God calling because it is way more than I could ever do by myself) So I lay there weeping asking God for a way out when the Spirit calmly said, " Bill, all I need you to do is teach people to love me, to receive my love and to give it to others."  I sat up and said, " Really? That's it? I think I can do that." I went out that night and shared the vision with the others and felt pretty OK with what God had said.

Now as a couple of weeks passed by I began to doubt and to question God about this..(ever done that? Sure you have.) I told myself it was just too simple and that there had to be more to it...I must have missed something there as I lay on the floor that night. Well a few of us made a trip to Columbus, I think for a kids ministry training, but that evening in another part of Columbus another church was holding a renewal meeting and the guest speaker was a guy named Marc DuPont.  Marc was from the Toronto Vineyard where renewal was breaking out big time and he was there to kind of spread the renewal.  Marc operates very much in the prophetic gifting and toward the end of the evening Barb and the other couple with us said I should go have Marc pray for me. Of course being a reluctant leader I was reluctant to go up but finally I did and I got Marc's attention.  He came over and the first thing he told me was that he was really tired but he would pray for me.  Thanks a lot buddy, for squeezing me in!  To say the least my expectations were pretty low...but as he began to pray it was amazing!  Now he said nothing new or anything like that but what he did was basically tell me he heard what God had told me to do, to teach people to love God, to receive His love and to give it away...and then the kicker, he then said, " And you think it is too simple but it is from God."  You could have knocked me over with a feather!  He read my mail almost word for word.

Now let me tell you what this meant to me, a very reluctant leader, it solidified my calling like nothing else could.  Anytime doubt would hammer me or a new challenge would come up I would go back to my bedroom moment and then the experience with Marc and remember God called me to this. It sure was not my idea!  It had to be His and then in His mercy and grace He confirmed it for me in way that was truly supernatural and sealed it forever... Sure I am still learning to be a leader but I do not doubt that God has called me.  The amazing thing is He has called people to follow my leadership, really good people.  Many times on a Sunday morning I have looked out in the big room and I am humbled by what I see when I look around..  God has been so good to me.. I am a reluctant leader but more important, I am a blessed one. 
Let me leave you with a word from God:  Being confident of this, that He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus."      Pretty cool, huh?  He is not done with me yet!
Bill                         

Monday, February 7, 2011

You want me to do what?

I thought I would tell some of my story as I begin this journey of being a real live blogger... As I picked a title for my blog the idea of people wanting to hear the thoughts of a person who is leading but came into it reluctantly came to mind.  Boy, I have read many books on leadership in my journey to become a better leader and I have come to the conclusion, I just might not find what I need in a book.  Now I have learned some very good things and have even implemented them in my life a bit, but all the thoughts out there on what a leader should look like usually just depressed me.  I have gone to some of the best leadership conferences and heard some of the best speakers out there and found myself entertained and challenged but not really changed.. I am still me..Now I have learned to like me, but I am still me, warts and all.

Anyway Barb and planted our Vineyard Church in 1994 and the reason we were thrust into church planting was because the one we had worked on with another leader was crashing and the leader was taking it into another direction and we felt called to be in the Vineyard.  So we had about 15 people who said that is what they wanted also and they said if we would lead it they would join in....A leader is born:)  Kind of... I tell people my being called into the ministry of a pastor was like a game of musical chairs and the last guy standing, the runner up in the game, they got to be pastor.  It was not very Moses like or Paul either it was more of a tag your it! 

I was very comfortable being a second or third in command kind of a person, you know just tell me what to do and I will do it but what you find out when you are the lead guy is everyone is looking at you to see what is next...At times I would catch myself looking around the room waiting for the leader to tell us what was next and then a light would go on and I would remember I was the leader and everyone was waiting on me!  Talk about stress.  But really it was not so stressful, mostly because I knew God was doing it and not me...I had no desire to be the leader of anything and I did not need a title to make my life more complete... I always knew that it is Jesus' Church and not mine and if He wanted me to lead I would do it but a bit reluctantly, well not a bit really, very reluctantly.  I mean I was a life long factory worker not a fully trained minister with credentials.  I had never been to Bible college or seminary.  I still can feel inadequate when I walk into a room of Pastors who have been to seminary and have letters in front or after their names.  " Hey where did you study?" "Ford motor company midnight shift." 
So what could I possibly offer anybody as a leader?  The only thing I knew, really was to teach people to love God, receive His love, and to give it away so that had to be enough. (there is another cool story connected to this I will share later) All I really had to share was a heart of a worshipper, that is really what I felt created to do was to worship God with all that is have.
I stumbled on these verses a year or so and they have become my life verse...Psalm 131..."My hear is not proud, O Lord, my eyes are not haughty;  I do not concern myself with great matters or things too wonderful for me.... But I have stilled and quieted my soul; like a weaned child with its mother, like a weaned child is my soul within me.  O Israel (Bill) put your hope in the Lord both now and forevermore."
Now as I close this blog for the night I need to tell you this: yes I am a reluctant leader and I love what I am doing.  God has blessed me with a great church family and I am in awe of all He is doing!  God is good...
Bill                                           

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Snowy day thoughts

I had to laugh this week as the weather people predicted a huge storm would hit and it would be the storm of the decade or the lifetime or something! Well it came and went and it really was not that impressive...Oh we had snow and schools were closed but nothing like they predicted for sure...I was teasing people on FB that it really was not much of a storm and caught a lot of flack... I told someone it reminded me of the U2 song " Still Haven't found what I'm Looking For" as I looked all over for the signs of a blizzard and could not find it anywhere.
Now today we had a great snow, that caught us by surprise..Did not seem like there was any prediction of a healthy snow and yet I believe we got around 5 inches or more..and it was beautiful. Scooter and I went for a walk while it was coming down pretty good and it seemed so quiet and peaceful, not a lot of action going on and no one screaming on TV about the storm of the year...just snow. Snow has a calming effect on me personally, other than when I have to shovel it and even then it is calming because I need a nap afterwards.
Anyway as I thought about the difference in the two snow falls it was interesting: one came with much fanfare and furor and seemed over hyped and the other just came and happened and brought surprise and wonder.. I liked the surprise and wonder myself as I find that is how I find God many times to be. Oh we see the hype and the thundering promises of the TV guys and all of that but then in some small building a church family gathers and His presence comes and brings surprise and wonder...God of wonder...thank you for surprises and mystery ....may I never have all the answers....
Bill