Wednesday, 28 January 2015

Not Sleeping Well by Susan L.

  In a jolt of connection this morning I realized the past week of broken sleep started with taking a multi-vitamin at night along with my other meds. It's worth trying to take the vitamin in the morning to see if that helps because it's something that needs to be taken. My eating habits aren't the best. Vitamin C can interfere with anti-depressants. Perhaps there's enough in the One-a-Day to mess with how the others are supposed to work. I need them to work. They are what keeps me well.
  There's been dreams, too, although not as harrowing as the nightmare of a week or so ago.
  Last night's was really strange. I was a man who was flying over where my son was stationed at a desert military outpost. (A combination of Bette Midler's "Where the Boys Are" and the old movie "Zulu".) I could feel and hear the roar of the twin props on the small plane (Raiders of the Lost Ark). The plan was to land and surprise him.
   Circling over the fort, circa 1890, (Yes, I know there were no planes then. It's a dream.) "I", the father, looked down through swirling dust and clouds. There was military action taking place: guns firing, tiny troops scurrying to defend themselves from an unseen enemy. The thought went through "my" manly head that they must be doing a training exercise. How proud "I" was of my son. How excited to see him again.
  But it wasn't a training exercise.
  Pulling away with my connection to the father's mind, I remember thinking how sad the man would be when he realized this was an actual battle he was witnessing and that his son was probably dead.
  I sort of woke up, my heart grieved, and kept revisiting the view from above for the rest of the night as both the father and the spectator.
  I've been skeptical about dreams being prophetic but believe they are sourced in our day to day experiences. The subconscious tries to make sense of what's happening. Although, where ravening dogs trying to tear me apart fit into that I have no idea. As Scrooge says, they were probably a bit of undigested beef or a smidgen of undercooked potato. However, this dream really captures my feelings about what is happening at church.
  The enemy we are fighting is ourselves. How this must grieve our Father's heart.
  Lord, have mercy. Let Your will be done. In Jesus most Holy Name. Amen!
  "But the Lord is with me as a mighty, awesome One. Therefore my persecutors will stumble, and will not prevail. They will be greatly ashamed, for they will not prosper. Their everlasting confusion will never be forgotten." Jer 20:11

Tuesday, 27 January 2015

Decision Indecision by Susan L.

  Whenever  a decision is made, there's always a flurry of second thoughts. I keep thinking of things I would have liked to have said at the meeting on Sunday night. Things like: "It doesn't matter who is at the front, the point of church is fellowship and the opportunity to grow alongside like minded people." or "I want to stress that we need to pay attention to the elders' decisions and direction. That's why they were elected because the congregation felt they would do what is right for the church."
  I also wished I'd said that there is no wrong or right decision. No matter the path we choose, God will be there. The issue is how we choose that path.
  I don't think most of the people realize that a vote of "no" is a vote of no confidence and the elders would resign. That would be a huge loss to the church and could spell its demise. That's a sad thought. Who would be willing to take the reins of a pastor-less church in light of such results? The words "rebellious children" come to mind.
  One of the elders asked the group at the meeting to vote "yes" regardless of their own feelings. They asked for the votes to be placed according to the greater need, not just an individual's. Isn't self sacrifice part of being Christian? I'm sorry they didn't stress that this would be an act that honoured God, not men. They need 75% in favor in order to proceed.
  Maybe I'm saying this because I trust in the Lord to teach me what I need to learn no matter the source. He's done it time after time. He is able to use anything and everything to help us grow and mature as Christians.
  This situation has me worried but I prayerfully submit those worries to the Lord.
  Still, my willingness to join the church hasn't changed. That would give me the right to vote. Who knows, one vote may tip the scales.
  "Oh that men would give thanks to the Lord for His goodness, and for His wonderful works to the children of men! Let them exalt Him also in the assembly of the people, and praise Him in the company of the elders." Ps 107:31-32

Monday, 26 January 2015

Leap First by Susan L.

  And like a frog, ask questions later.
  There was a meeting last night regarding the future of our church. It was an opportunity to ask questions and have them answered by the elders. I'm not sure if everyone is truly aware of the precarious position the church is in right now. Not having a pastor, declining numbers, insufficient funds are all pointing in one direction. It isn't a good one.
  Which is why the elders are strongly encouraging us to go with a video teaching and hiring a person to do all the other things pastors do. Growth is desperately needed and we need to be different than the other churches in Alliston. I believe in the vision they have for our church.
  I had prayed before I went: that the Holy Spirit would guide me in anything I said. Towards the end, what came out of my mouth surprised me. I am not a member of the church and technically I had no right to speak but couldn't help myself. Being a "card carrying" member of a church is a concept I've struggled with in the past. I questioned why, if I am already a member of a greater church, is there a need to sign up with a particular body?
  Now I get it.
  It appears I am to become one.
  At least, that's what came out of my mouth last night. I want to be part of this church's family no matter where the future lay. Although, I do like Bruxy Cavey's teachings which is a bonus. I realized after I thought about what I'd said that joining up it isn't about signing on a dotted line. It's about belonging; about being part of something bigger than myself. It's about relationships and trust and growing in community. It's about accountability.
  Lord, I pray that the church will continue. I pray that people will trust in the leading of the elders. In Jesus' most precious name. Amen.
  "I say, "Keep the king's commandment for the sake of your oath to God." Eccl 8:2