August 6, 2018

Dear FPC—

              I was just talking with some of our kids—it is shocking that school starts NEXT week for some of them!  And the week after that for most, I think.  Wow.  All the more reason to be sure to come to the Corn Bust on the 17th!

              This week a number of us are going to the Global Leadership Summit.  As you know, I have attended this event multiple times and benefited greatly from it.  I am excited to see what I learn this year.  At the same time, there is a cloud over the Summit this year—its founder and traditional host Bill Hybels is no longer involved and is the subject of numerous claims of sexual harassment and misuse of his position.   I do not know the facts.  Still, it seems to be another reminder of the pressing need for accountability, transparency, and truth.  What things in your life are you embarrassed about—what do you hope other people don’t learn of?  All of us have some things like that, I expect. 

              So—what do we do?  Here are my thoughts—the 4 R’s:

Recognize—realize the shameful thing is something you should not have done. 

Repent—ask forgiveness from God and for help to not do it anymore.  Resolve to change—that is what repentance really is.

Repair—are people or relationships damaged because of your acts (or inaction)? If so, go to them and express your sorrow for your actions.  Ask for forgiveness.  Whether they forgive you right now is not your business, it is theirs.  What matters is what you do.

(be) Righteous—don’t lie, don’t cover up.  Deal with it forthrightly and humbly.  As we have so often learned, the cover-up is often worse than the original crime.   Lying just creates more harm, more mess, more discord. 

This Sunday we are talking about Truth.  Jesus is the truth, he is full of grace and truth, he sent us the Spirit of Truth (the Holy Spirit) to live in us.  By contrast, Jesus called the devil “a liar and the father of lies.”  Which team do you want to be on? Don’t give the devil a foothold.  Swallow your pride (which can be bitter), practice the 4 Rs, and live in the truth! 

Let’s help one another live on team Truth (and practice a lot of grace along the way)!

Pastor Steve

 

July 30, 2018

Dear FPC,

              The Rummage Sale is this weekend!  What fun it is to have so many of you around the church campus, sorting, organizing, preparing!  Thanks to Sharon and everyone who is preparing food for lunch for the workers (and for letting me join in!).  What a great example this project is of the family of God that we are—everyone pitching in and helping as they can. 

              This Sunday we will be looking at the importance of worship.  As humans we are made to worship—it is something we do regardless of whether we believe in God.  In fact, we become like what we worship, what we focus our attention on.  One of the great discoveries of my adulthood is that idolatry is alive and well—in our culture and in my life too.  Come join us as we worship Who we were made to worship-- our creator, savior and sustainer!

 

Blessings to you in this warm Summertime!

Pastor Steve