Sunday, November 15, 2009

My heart this Sunday

Jensen and I went to church today. It was the first time in a while I was in church just to take in and worship.

For over a year we have attended a service at Twin Lakes Church (TLC) in Aptos known as Genesis. We started going because Jacob had friends from school attending that service - Jake made me stay in the back while he went up and sat with friends. I had been a pastor so we never really ever chose where to go to church we just went where I was working. We seemed to fit well in Genesis - all of us. Charlie, the pastor for Genesis, recognized me from when we went to seminary together at Western Seminary in Los Gatos. So we started connecting on a weekly basis. He has become a valuable friend.

This morning Charlie announced that Genesis will officially end in December and in February they will start a video venue service at that time/location - live music and a pastor overseeing with the message by video from the main service. Charlie commented that after several months of conversation and prayer they feel like this is the best move for Twin Lakes Church.

I new it was coming because of my relationship with Charlie - and yet change is hard no matter what. And of course my first reaction was how most of us react - what about me? What am I going to do? What is the best thing for my family? Jensen is liking the youth group at our old church in Watsonville about 40 minutes from our house? Jake is connect to friends from The Coastland Church? We have amazing connections that continue to grow in other church. Corralitos Community Church, Santa Cruz Bible, Faith Community, Vintage Faith...etc, etc. There are some great churches. We have started connections at TLC but really see our own Church Community as the Church in Santa Cruz Bible. My mind began to spin.

Now I do not say all this to get everyone telling us what we should do. I go back to what I wrote a couple of days ago - this becomes all about me. It actually disgusted me as I realized how self focused I could be. The bigger question is: how do I move my mindset closer to the mindset of thinking of others first? How do I release things that are variable that I have made absolutes? We get so caught up in how we think things should be - instead of getting caught up first and foremost with the spirit of Christ. Jesus said "behold I make all things new." Change should be happening if we are following God - for we are always conforming and changing - renewing our minds and lives daily as we try to become more and more like Christ.

I try with all my might to control. Even in serving/sacrificing there is an element or small slice of winning the affections of others toward a positive view of me. Jesus calls me to follow him - pick up your cross - what you will be crucified on - pick it up, carry it with you and get behind me, Jesus, and follow me. Jesus calls me to release control that illusion that we hold no to. As I serve, releasing control, surrendering self I surrender pride, surrender payback and obediently follow the Spirit of God. Hope does not control - hope is about trusting faith.

David repenting of murder and adultery cries out: "Have mercy on me, O God, according to your unfailing love - according to your great compassion - blot out my transgressions. Wash away all my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin. For I know my transgressions and my sin is always before me. Against you, you only, have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight. So that you are proved right when you speak and justified when you judge." Ps 51:1-4

As my friend and pastor said this morning God is moving. Am I following him?

As I write all of this Jacob and his friends are screaming at Rock Band (a video game with a guitar, drums and microphone). They are having a blast. My son who did not have control of the damage afflicted to him and lay helpless for two months in a coma is laughing, singing, screaming. His hand is still bandaged with pins coming from his thumb - the thumb we all prayed for. His head is growing hair except for the area of the skin graft on the left side of his head. His back is feeling much better and he is gaining strength and healing. So much he cannot, could not control. And yet there is something we can control. Each day we can control the attitude that we bring, how we treat each other and the choices that we make. Do we come into the world to be a blessing or to focus on ourselves and what we might get out of the day.

I pray daily for the Church of Santa Cruz County. That is the burden God continues to lay on my heart. That we would blend our praise to God and follow the model that Christ set up for us. The choices and decisions that we make can bring blessing to those around us. That is my prayer for Jake too. That God would continue to mold him to be a blessing for others. And we are seeing it happen.

Thanks for blessing us and continuing to walk this journey with us.

Tom (JK Daddy)

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