What’s Happening @ Central
Well, this past Sunday wasn’t exactly like what we wanted.
I watched the video from the security cameras and found that the water leak began on Wednesday afternoon, about an hour AFTER Sharon and I left the church building. I almost went to the church on Thursday but got carried away with my schedule and so didn’t make it. As a result, the water was pouring into the church for nearly 48 hours before it was discovered. Water ruined about ten bags of donated clothing in the rooms reserved for The Fig leaf. The ceiling in the women’s restroom is a complete loss and will need to be replaced. Whether or not we will have to replace any carpet has not yet been determined. Additionally, the extent of damage to the drywall and insulation in all the rooms affected by the leak has yet to be determined.
Thankfully, our insurance company is stepping up. We were praised for our efforts to prevent this loss from occurring (keeping the heat on full-time, opening cabinets and vanities, dripping water from all faucets, etc.). We were also praised for getting a mitigation company involved as quickly as we did. Our insurance carrier will likely approve any restoration recommended by the mitigation company, within reason, of course. I will be meeting with the mitigation company experts this week to determine our path forward.
Until we get the church “put back together” we will have to stay a “virtual” church for now. With all the baseboards off the bottom of the walls (with the accompanying nails from the baseboards) the hallways and classrooms are not completely safe. We also currently have about 15-20 fans as well as 4-5 dehumidifiers running in the church which makes for a jumbled path to navigate due to their power cords. So, for now, Sundays will be the worship team only in attendance. I hope we can get back to allowing attendance beyond the worship team in a few weeks.
I was excited to finally be able to extend our live stream to a second platform (YouTube) this week. This allows for an even greater reach, as YouTube is the second largest search engine after Google. Being active on YouTube is something that we have needed, and now being able to send our live stream to both Facebook and YouTube (utilizing the capabilities of our new A/V system more fully) is a blessing. I did notice we had some audio dropouts again, however, so I will be spending a little time trying to figure out that issue and get it fixed quickly.
Our new sermon series, A Journey to the Heart, would be a great series of messages to invite someone to listen to. I will be addressing issues of the heart and how our journey to the heart of God is crucial to our own life. I am praying that we are back to in-person attendance by the time we reach Easter weekend!
Thought for the Week
1 Samuel 13:14 (ESV) ~ “But now your kingdom shall not continue. The Lord has sought out a man after his own heart, and the Lord has commanded him to be prince over his people, because you have not kept what the Lord commanded you.”
Acts 13:22 (ESV) ~ And when he had removed him, he raised up David to be their king, of whom he testified and said, ‘I have found in David the son of Jesse a man after my heart, who will do all my will.’
I think I am going to do a character study one of these days. It will be centered around David. After all, he was declared to be a man who was after the heart of God. When Luke paraphrased the passage from 1 Samuel 13:14, he was accurate. God was declaring that Saul was going to be replaced by David, a man that God had sought because he was after God’s heart.
What does it mean when we say that David was a man after the heart of God?
First, what caused the removal of Saul, the King of Israel, before David was elevated to that position? Saul had offered a sacrifice to the Lord. What could possibly be wrong about that? Saul was a Benjamite, not a Levite. Saul was not allowed to offer the sacrifices that he did. Only a priest of the tribe of Levi could do that. Saul sinned grievously by ignoring the clear commands of the Lord. Saul usurped the authority of the Lord to determine how and when sacrifices were offered, and by whom.
Second, what was it about David that God saw? It seems pretty clear from reading both the account in 1 Samuel and in Acts that there was one major characteristic that God was looking at. Obedience. An attitude that was going to seek to follow God’s commands. It was an attitude that sought to learn God’s precepts and then to follow them as best as they possibly can.
This seems consistent with the revealed character of the Lord. Sacrifices are offered when we are NOT obedient. Samuel stated that obedience was better than sacrifice (1 Samuel 15:22). The Lord takes no pleasure in the punishment of the sinner (Ezekiel 18:32). What we need to seek, if we would be a people after the heart of God is to become an obedient people; people who seek to determine the Lord’s will and then to follow that will regardless of the cost. As we seek to find the heart of God, we have to realize the first step is obedience.