Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Support and Encouragement

I am taking a 'break' from church stuff...hehe..sorta...

Maybe it is the part of me that just like to keep thinking and doing stuff.

Last night I was bouncing ideas with my youth elder about some ideas and it was very encouraging.  There is a few new initiatives I really want to try this coming September.  I can't wait.

The mission trip, going to St Jamestown, last week really energized me.  Though it was a lot of 'work' and effort, it was simply awesome to be used by God and for Him to open my and my team members' eyes....

As I was going for my usual easy bike ride down Mississauga Road, I reflected on what's happening at church, what's going on in my life and anything in between.

This will be a bit raw and real.  At the same time I am trying to be graceful at it.  This ain't a finger pointing post.  It ain't encouraging nor mature to do so.

Earlier this year a group of Christians and friends left my church from an incident...things are never the same.  The past few months I was living under a dark cloud.   There were periods when I couldn't think nor motivate to do anything.  The only thing to grab on to is that maybe tomorrow will be a better day.  Or at least today is done and over with.

Despite that, God is still actively working through the members of my church.  Someone once said that this is what God wanted.  It is a good thing. (If this is a good thing, why people are hurt, hurtful at one another and no sign of reconciliation?) Another wiser person told me this is a trial I am going through.  Just hang in there.

So I was riding and reflecting what God had shown me through this 'trial'.  The first question and question I often ask myself is....(and others asked me)...why don't you just leave?  Why stay here?

For those who know me, I always see church as a family. I don't bail on my folks when things go down. I don't do that with my church family. I don't disown my parents because they made a bad decision. I don't do that with my church family.

Part of it is that God called me to stay so I stay.  Can you imagine in Exodus when the people complained against Moses and he quit and went back to herding sheep?  There won't be much of a story.

And even if I go, where would I go?  Do I go shopping for another church?  Going back to the family model, that's like me shopping for another family.

What I recognize a lot more lately, especially after the St Jamestown Mission trip, is that God placed so much support and encouragement around me.  For example, with the mission trip, I worried on how to get the team to the subway station.  A few parents and members of the church pitched in to help out as drivers.  They did it with so much enthusiastic.    They had to get up early like at 5:30 am...or stayed up till 8 pm.  Totally out of their way.

I always whine about how I don't have a mentor.  Though that might be sorta true but I have a group of older (and wiser) Christian leaders who I can bounce idea of.  One is my professor at MacMaster Divinity College.  Another is a local pastor I am meeting tomorrow for coffee.  He is planting churches in my city.  I ain't even part of his flock and yet he still offered to meet up for coffee every 6 months or so.  I had my ex-English pastor .  I can name a few more....

The most important leader I have is the Holy Spirit.  When He speaks, everything else fades. Right now He is revealing me a side of the church which a few years ago I never experience it.  He is showing me some people that He is also molding.  This is super cool!

I am learning recently on how to extend grace.  There are still people in my church upset, hurt.  I really don't know what to do.  I was thinking about this when my English pastor used to be here.  To be honest, the same attitude toward the church were here back then as it is now.  Yet, he was so gentle.  He was always positive and encouraging.  Always laughing and joking.  Never bitter.  Never get angry or upset.  Then, that's how I should act as well.

A while ago, I told a friend, who was hurt from church, to focus on the sweet stuff and forget about the bitter taste.  I think I should eat my medicine as well.

There is a lot more going on than just being grumpy and be a stick in the mud.  I so want to do that.  Just throw my hands up in frustration.

The walls might be torn, the gate might be burnt.  But the King is moving and there is work to be done.  The Kingdom is coming and He is building it....I just want to join Him and see where this road will go...

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