Pastor’s Notes for April 19, 2021

Pastor’s Notes for April 19, 2021

What’s Happening @ Central

I bet some of you are wondering about what is happening regarding the restoration process at the church. Well, here is what I know as of today.

Nothing is currently scheduled, as far as workers/projects go. We are waiting for the insurance adjustor to approve the mitigation and restoration plans that have been submitted. Once those plans have been approved, the restoration company can get back to work of the project. I have been communicating with the project manager every few days to stay on top of what is coming next.

One thing we know for certain is that approximately 80 percent of the carpet in the church will be getting replaced. We are still working on upgrading from carpet to a hard surface floor in the Fellowship Hall. I am hoping (praying) that this can be accomplished with little to no out-of-pocket expense on our part, given that the carpet must be replaced under the insurance claim. There are also a few rooms that were not affected by the water that will not be covered under the insurance allowance for new carpet. It would be beneficial, from an appearance/consistency angle, to have these rooms re-carpeted at the same time (with the same carpet). Also, the ceiling in the main hallway is an additional project that many of us would like to see repaired/renewed, and that is also something that is not covered under the insurance claim. The estimate for all the “additional” projects that are not covered under the insurance claim is a little over $30,000. We don’t have the kind of spare cash in hand that would make that feasible. Some of that estimate will be covered under the insurance claim; additionally, I am working with the restoration company to try and bring that number down even lower (some from our own sweat equity that we could invest, some from other savings). Bottom line—keep praying and keep looking for the Lord’s hand to move to make this turn out for the best.

You may have missed our Sunday Night Fellowship last night; actually, you didn’t miss it, because we didn’t have one. I apologize for the confusion, but we are dropping to only holding the Zoom calls on Sunday night every other week. With more people attending services, the need for a Zoom call is slowly going away; our next one will be on April 25th.

This has been a difficult year, for all of us. We have lost friends and family members; we have maybe even drifted apart somewhat as a church family. Things have changed and it doesn’t seem like it has all been for the better. I still must go back to the promise that Scripture gives us—And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. (Romans 8:28, ESV) Either this verse is true in all circumstances, or the Scripture is lying to us. Since I refuse to believe that Scripture is lying, I have to believe that the verse is true, even when (perhaps especially when) circumstances seem to contradict the Scripture. Don’t lose hope, don’t quit, let’s look forward to what the Lord will do.

Thought for the Day

In yesterday’s message I spoke about the transformation process that a caterpillar undergoes in becoming a butterfly. The change in the caterpillar is not simply a change in outer appearance. The transformation (metamorphosis) is one that completely changes the character and essence (nature) of the creature into something completely new.

Apart from the change in appearance, which is dramatic, there is also a complete change in diet. Generally speaking, the caterpillar is a voracious eater, the vast majority feeding on plants. In this stage of their development the caterpillar is often considered a pest, causing significant damage to valuable plants. Once the caterpillar undergoes its transformation, its diet changes. Again, generally speaking, the butterfly that emerges from the transformation no longer feeds on the plants directly. The butterfly almost exclusively feeds on nectar. This also results in butterflies becoming an important part of the pollination process for plants. Suddenly, the creature that was formerly a pest is vital to the continuation and propagation of plants. The entire essence of the creature is changed from a crawling pest to a beautiful flying pollinator.

In many ways this describes us. Before coming to faith in Jesus we are a crawling pest. Paul, in Romans 3:10-12, quotes from the psalmist when he declares that none of us is righteous apart from Jesus. We don’t understand the Lord, we don’t seek to please the Lord, and we cannot do anything that is truly good. We are like a caterpillar, almost grotesque in appearance, creating more harm than good. However, all of that can change when we come to Jesus and allow the transformation (metamorphosis) take place. Suddenly, even our feet become beautiful (Romans 10:15) and our message becomes one that can see others transformed. It is something that is intended to be instrumental in the continuation and propagation of the kingdom of God.

Our transformation changes the character and nature of who we were into a new creature (2 Corinthians 5:17). The language in the Greek suggests a creature unlike anything else. This new creature cannot be compared to the old creature, it is nothing like it, at least it isn’t supposed to be anything like it.

I’d like to say that I have fully experienced this change, this transformation, but I would be lying if I were to claim that. I’m in good company, though; the Apostle Paul declared that he hadn’t gotten there yet (Philippians 3:12).

What’s the lesson from all of this? Cut yourself a little slack if you don’t feel like you’re all that great a Christian. Believe me, I have plenty of days where I feel that way, and Paul would have probably said the same thing about himself. Let Jesus have His way, let Him move in your life and let Him chip away those things that need to be removed in order for you to transform into the disciple He intends you to become.