Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Hold The Peanut Butter

This morning I learned something from my son. We were getting ready this morning, and I was making his sandwich. I asked him the usual, meat (or meap would be more accurate) and cheese or PB&J? This morning he asked for Peanut Butter and Jelly. I got the necessary items from the fridge, laid out the bread, grabbed the knife, and Jacob yelled, "wait!". I couldn't imagine that I had done something wrong already, but he wouldn't let me finish. He went on to tell me that I couldn't put peanut butter on his sandwich because one of his classmates was allergic to it.

I was impressed with his desire to put his friend's needs before his own. Jacob insisted that I make his sandwich without peanut butter. Jelly only on his sandwich today. I offered to make a meat and cheese, but he chose jelly only. I thought it was a beautiful picture of missional living. He chose to live like his friend had to live. He could've chosen something different, something better, but he chose to do without.

If we could learn to live with an awareness of the limitations that others have to live with, we would be a lot more like Jesus. If we were more aware of poverty, starvation, disease, we would be noticing the things that Jesus noticed. If we could learn to do without and think about how what we're entitled to could possible affect other people, we would be closer to the heart of God. I hope that I can learn to hold the peanut butter in many different ways.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Rebuilding Ruined Places

"Then the nations that are left all around you shall know that I am the Lord; I have rebuilt ruined places and replanted that which was desolate. I am the Lord; I have spoken, and I will do it. Thus says the Lord God; 'this also I will let the house of Israel ask me to do for them: to increase their people like a flock.'" Ezekiel 36:36-37

Recently I've really begin to feel like these verses are paramount for not only us, but for all the Bible believing churches in our city. Historically, church plants have a very rough go of it in San Marcos. All businesses for that matter have a rough go of it from trying to survive the permitting and building process to a wide demographic of people- this is a tough place to do church, to do campus ministry, and to have a business. However, it seems like things are changing.

We live in what is probably the oldest inhabited part of the country. There were people here before any other place in the country. That's a lot of history to overcome. When the heyday of your town was in the 1800's, you know things are different. However, though San Marcos has a reputation for people leaving and schools that are having a tough time keeping students in them, somehow God has called us to be here. Not only us, but actually quite a few church plants in the past 10 years. Could it be that something is going to be changing? I hope so. I believe so.

When I look at this passage, I feel that this has become a desolate place, but that God is going to rebuild it. That which has been desolate is going to be fruitful. Flocks that are small are going to be large. However, it is only the Lord God who can accomplish this. Our best efforts are merely efforts, our greatest strengths are laughable, but the power of God is able to do the impossible. Nothing is impossible with God.

So, let's pray these verses together for our city, for our churches, but more importantly for the Kingdom of God.