Friday, January 28, 2011

Looking back and ahead

This week brings a lot to mixed emotions to our lives.  Looking back, today is the anniversary of the Challenger disaster.  I remember 25 years ago, watching the news and seeing the explosion.  I was only 7 when it happened, but things like that stick in your mind.  Another anniversary happened this week.  It's been 66 years since the liberation of the German Nazi Concentration and Extermination Camp Auschwitz.  Having visited Poland several times and going to both Auschwitz camps, it sticks with you.  The museum is horrible, terrible, frightening, and intriguing.  It’s horrible to see the death and destruction that happened there by the millions.  It’s terrible to see the lack of value placed on human life.  Frightening to see what humanity is capable of when God is removed.  It’s intriguing to see the stories of people that never lost hope, pressed on, and sought change.

Looking ahead, we have a chance to experience change in our church, our church future, our community and in our lives.  After over 2 years without a full time pastor, our pastor search committee is presenting a man of God for our vote this Sunday.  Our interim pastor has been preparing our church, our hearts, and our church body for this change, though he has had no hand in the committee’s decision. 

We have very little color in our church.  Tradition tradition tradition.  Cynthiana Baptist Church history talks about our members having servants and people of color belonging to members.  BELONGING TO MEMBERS.  Our pastor candidate is going to bring change.  He is a black man from Nigeria.  He is 7 feet tall in shoes.  He is married to a white girl.  While the deceased church members roll over in their graves, we (most of us under 50 years old and a few over) are excited.  This man of God, who happens to be black, is awesome.  He loves missions, is led by the Spirit, and seems to have no flaws.  We wonder if we bring in a pool, can he walk across it.

Several people have said they don’t see him as black, emphasizing they fact that they are not racist.  Feeling the need to tell people you are not racist, in my mind, seems odd.  People, he is 7 feet tall and black.  You can’t help but notice.  Some have said they just don’t think it’s right that he’s married to a white girl and he is black.  Why?  They can’t give an answer other than, “I just don’t think it’s right.” 

Our church is going to change this Sunday, one way or another, for the better or for the worse.  A no vote is going to upset the younger generation (the church future) and a yes vote may upset the older folks (the church money) for whatever reasons, right or wrong.  I think that there is going to be some “weeding” out within the church body.  Sad, but it’s probably going to happen.  We have been praying for the Spirit of God to speak to us Sunday morning and that His will is done, regardless of ours.  Something that will be interesting is to see how members, who have not darkened the door for months or years, show up to vote.  “Christians” are hard to figure out.  Here is a website with some information on our candidate, Patrick Whyte.

On the adoption side of things, no news.  We are looking for some fundraising ideas though.  We need about $10,000 more and we’ll be about where we need to be financially.  If you have any ideas, please let us know.  In the mean time, pray and smile!

Thursday, January 6, 2011

It's a girl + more!

Now that I have your attention in a somewhat mean and funny way, it is a girl. It's not a girl from Poland, not a referral, and probably not that funny to most of you. We finally sat down at the computer as a family and looked through the list of children on the World Vision website and let Ryleigh pick a child.  She decided that she wanted us to sponsor a little girl.  We found a little girl named Lindsay who lives in Bolivia and shares the same birthday as Ryleigh, July 7th of 2006.
Just think for $35 a month, we can give this little girl and her family clean water, medical supplies, school supplies, and exposure to the Gospel.  All that for the amount of money we spend to go out to dinner at a decent restaurant.
On the adoption side of life, nothing happening.  We are just waiting. The last time we heard from our agency, they guessed May or June. So, here we sit. We did receive an ornament this year as a gift in the shape of Poland and we hung a stocking up for them this Christmas as well. So our child does already have a few gifts waiting for them. It's hard to explain loving someone you have never met, never seen, don't know their name, gender or anything, yet we do.
On a side note, we have been having some great Sunday's at Cynthiana Baptist.  We have been challenged to get out of the church, be the church, and take the church to people. You can't help but feel a little guilty when we look at all we have and how little most of the rest of the world has. I pray that our church develops a heart for missions and not just a head. We can talk a good game, but when you look at our church history, our members lives, and our checkbook, are we really committed?
We have been established as CBC for going on 144 years.  I wonder, in that time, how many people have we sent to the mission field?  What kind of global impact have we made?  We have done well in our "Jerusalem", but what about our Judea, Samaria, and the ends of the earth? Have we been, and are we being an outreach church?  Are we committed to reaching lost people? Based off the popularity and attendance of our Sunday nights and visitation programs, I'd say we are not committed as a church body. Matthew 28:19 and Acts 1:8 were not given to us by Jesus himself as options, but commands.  It's time that we as Christians and as a church open up our lives, our hearts, and our check books to do whatever it takes to see lost people come to Christ.  Lost people can't come Christ unless they hear about Him.  It is reported that about 1.6 billion people have never heard the name of Jesus and that 95% of the worlds population lives outside America.  When we are broken and our eyes truly opened to the vastness and lostness of the the world around us, only then will we stop playing "church games" and get serious about missions.
John Piper said, "Missions is not the ultimate goal of the church. Worship is. Missions exists because worship doesn’t. Worship is ultimate, not missions, because God is ultimate, not man. When this age is over, and the countless millions of the redeemed fall on their faces before the throne of God, missions will be no more. It is a temporary necessity. But worship abides forever."