Pastor’s Notes for April 12, 2021

Pastor’s Notes for April 12, 2021

What’s Happening @ Central

We had another great day in the Lord, yesterday, if I do say so myself!

We will be discussing the collision course we are on with society for the next few weeks, looking at ways that Jesus has told us to overcome this collision and not get knocked off our feet.

Now, how are we doing, regarding repairing and restoring the church? Well, the work has once again slowed. Not much can be done until we decide on carpet and paint colors. Once that happens, we will receive a final estimate from the company we are working with concerning all of the “extras” and then they will start to get work crews in here to finish up the project. There are still several weeks’ worth of work that needs to be done. From carpet removal, replacement, painting, and possibly renovation of the main hallway ceiling, along with installing new flooring (engineered laminate, like the Welcome Center floor) in the Fellowship Hall, we will have to wait a while for the entire project to be completed. So, be patient, I am pushing as hard as I can to move the project along while maintaining a good working relationship with the company. Our goal is to have all work completed by the end of May, and have a more pleasing, consistent, and modern appearance throughout the church.

We will be hosting a couple of community blood drives here at the church; the first on June 21st, and the second on November 17th. These drives will take minimal volunteer effort on our part, as the Community Blood Center will bring all the actual “workers” needed for set-up and clean-up afterward. We may have to move a few things out of the way on the day before to give them ample room but that will be all that we need to do. You are certainly welcome to be here and help with anything that comes up, or just be your usual, friendly selves!

As the summer approaches, please keep our plans in your prayers. I hope that as COVID recedes from our daily lives we will be able to resume our outreach activities. We have taken a year away from reaching into our community other than the Fig Leaf. The blood drives will also be excellent outreach opportunities. Our other activities will provide us opportunities to reach people with the gospel.

We may try to do a Vacation Bible School later this year, restrictions allowing. It may be different from previous years, as we seek to attract people and children from homes that don’t already go to church somewhere. In previous years, the majority of the kids that have attended our VBS already have church homes, and that makes VBS a fun event, but not really an outreach event. Our football team dinners and band snacks will also, hopefully, be happening again this year. While we have not seen people come to Central as a result of these opportunities, I think they are still valuable. I may even try to get a special guest speaker for one of the football team dinners (think NFL player). The Lord has been good to us, and I believe we will be well-positioned to move forward in the coming months. Even with the disaster of the water leak, it appears to me that the Lord will see us through this and that we will be in even better position than before. Let’s take advantage and not grow weary in well-doing!

Thought for the Day

We have been exploring Genesis on Wednesday mornings, and it has been very enlightening, at least to me. One of the things that has been especially interesting to me is to see the ongoing transformation of Abram (Abraham) from a man who is willing to obey, into an even deeper faith and trust in the Lord. The other thing I have enjoyed, is seeing that Abraham was an imperfect, flawed man, and yet the Lord was gracious and never wavered in His support of Abraham.

I know for me; unconditional love and acceptance are difficult to accept. I tend to de-value myself when I know I have failed the Lord in some aspect of my life. I feel like I must not be worthy of the Lord’s love and forgiveness in moments like that.

Abraham failed the Lord several times, publicly. His failures were never something that the Lord seemed to hold against him. There were certainly consequences for his failures, but the Lord never withdrew His love or forgiveness or grace. He never once removed His hand from Abraham’s life. He never came close to removing His providence from Abraham.

We should pay attention to this, in our own lives. Our failures, our sins, are not nearly enough for the Lord to withdraw His hand from our lives. Not that we are free to sin whenever we desire, but our sins do not mean that God no longer loves us, they do not mean that his grace is immediately withdrawn from us. Our failures are not enough for His providence to be removed from our lives. Abraham’s response is also something we need to pay attention to. He didn’t let his sins, his failures, define his responses in the future. While we haven’t yet gotten to the ultimate test of Abraham’s faith, we already know the story. The Lord will direct Abraham to offer Isaac, the son of promise, as a sacrifice. While this must have shocked Abraham to his core, he went about fulfilling the Lord’s command. Not fully understanding, yet still trusting the Lord. That is often what it means to exercise faith. Not fully comprehending what the Lord is commanding, not comprehending all that is happening, but trusting and acting. I said this yesterday, and I believe this to my core, faith without action is dead; it isn’t faith. Waiting to take action until we fully comprehend, until we have all of the answers, also is not faith. Abraham certainly didn’t have all of the answers, yet he acted when God commanded him to do so. That is the lesson of transforming faith; a willingness to act when we don’t have all the answers, trusting in the One who does!