Let Us Continue the Work!

While we were in Florida we stayed at a place designed for those who are awarded a Make a Wish trip.  The name of the place is called Give Kids the World.  It is an incredible place designed to meet the needs of all those who come to seek a little peace, rest, and relaxation.  The Village (as it is affectionately called) is a resort complete with individual villas for each visiting family.  There are opportunities to eat, swim, eat, horseback ride, eat, ride a train, eat, putt-putt golf, and eat some more.  (Did I mention eating?)  My favorite place was the ice cream shop.  While I was in Florida I had a sugar free vanilla shake every day.  The ice cream shop was sacred ground.
There are approximately 1,500 volunteer positions that are filled each and every week of the year.  That may sound like a staggering amount of people to manage, but we were told that there is never a shortage of people who offer their time and talents to The Village.  Everyone involved does an incredible job to create a special time for the many Make a Wish families who stay in one of the villas.
These people, or angels, volunteer to ensure that all have a good time.  The ones who sacrifice so much of themselves are incredible examples of the workings of God.  No matter what the weather, the mood, or any events, the work of God continues.  Love never stops.  It endures and continues onwards and upwards. 
We can be as effective in our world as the volunteers at The Village are effective in Florida.  The work of God must continue in our own situations.  We must act regardless of the circumstances.  Whether we are ill, busy, or exhausted, love must shine through us.  That is the only way that our world can see the incredible gifts which God offers to humanity.  With love we can move mountains.
I took more from The Village than I ever gave back.  I learned the importance of continuing the good works that are in me.  These are the things that last.  Continuing the works of God forms the basis of my faith.  My faith in the everliving God restores my soul as rivers of living water flow out of my innermost being.  What I do for humanity displays my oneness with the Creator.
Let us continue to make a difference in our world.  We are called to be a people of the light.  We are to live in the presence of God.  Where there is no light, we are called to bring the presence of hope.  In hope there is God.  In God there is only light.  Let us be the vehicle by which the love of God shines into our world.

Our Church Community

This week has been a very stressful yet a rewarding week in the life of my family. My youngest son had surgery on Friday and, as a result of the surgery, has been hospitalized since Friday. We live approximately two hours from the hospital. Needless to say, our lives have been on hold this weekend. My oldest son and I have been spending nights in a hotel while my wife stays with my youngest at the hospital.

I drove the two hour drive to my church this morning and preached. While I was there, it occurred to me that, even though I had the drama of the hospital in my life, my congregation still needs a pastor. That is part of my duty as a servant who has answered the call to ministry. I made a commitment to serve in ministry, and my faith must sustain me so that I can still be the pastor which is needed for my congregation.

Even though I served this morning out of a sense of duty, I felt the presence of the reaffirmation of my calling. Despite what was happening around me, being present in the community of believers gave me a sense of God’s peace. This inner sense of fulfillment strengthens me in times such as these. I mean those times when life tends to become overwhelming.

I kept coming back to an appreciation for my church. It is within the presence of the people of God that I learn that there are many people who love me and support me and my family. This connection to both the presence of the Divine in my single life and my connection to the church as the vehicle which God shares, continues to motivate me and encourage me. This is my strength.

Our sense of connection to one another is vital to our continued development. It is in our relationships with one another that we experience God’s presence. The church, which is a community of believers, gathers its power from those who willingly serve each other to further the kingdom of God. May we be empowered in our affiliations with and to each other as we continue on our journey to perfection.

christopherjoiner

Some Thoughts Along the Way

Cazandra Campos-MacDonald

We take our journey with love and hope.

Perseverance Runner

Let us run with perseverance the race that is set before us.

strugglewell

That marriages in crisis will find Biblical solutions and reconciliation

jefflust

Reflections on leadership and what it means to be the church God intends for the 21st century.