5-27-2018 Imagine What God Would Do

FROM THE PASTOR

MAY 27, 2018

 

 

 

Our Grandson Landon turned 3 while Connie and I was in Arizona. One of the presents he received was a punching bag. I can remember getting one for Christmas or a birthday as a child too. Not sure exactly why I got it. My guess is, like Landon, perhaps so I would stop beating on my brother. I honestly don’t recall, but I had one. (Which tells you that toy has been around forever.) As I watched the boys begin to play, I saw them discover some of the same discoveries my brothers and I discovered as we played with one too, so many decades earlier.

 

It was fun to see them use their raw imagination. They could punch it like a superhero, tackle it like a pro football player or kick it like the karate kid. No T.V. screen, computer animation, electronic lights, artificial sound, or action figures. Just two boys and a simple vinyl balloon with a sandbag at the bottom as weight to rotate it upright as they clobbered it. Away they went with only their imagination limiting them.

 

The world says, “look for something to entertain you… thrill you… give you an adrenalin rush”. From an early age our children are taught to “be artificially entertained”. So dependent on that goal that tragically, it has reached the point that creative imagination is a dying skill set. Now, don’t misunderstand me, I have no issue with computers, computer games (decent ones) and even videos in their proper place. But what does a child without imagination do when confronted with a blank piece of paper and a single crayon? Do they know how to turn it into an airplane, or a boat, or a kite, or a treasure map? Are we teaching them to become more than an audience? Are they learning how to reach for what is beyond their own capabilities? Can they even imagine how to form a plan to do so?

 

Listen, this concept carries over into the church too. I believe that’s why VBS is so important. That’s why Sunday school remains vital to the growth of the Body of Christ. That’s why I pray daily that God will reinforce our membership with believers who will ‘like-mindedly’ come alongside us. In fact, I would love to see our church one-day filled with children learning of Christ. I long to hear thunderous voices of many children filling Sunday School rooms. I even pray that God forces us to expand our educational facilities to meet a growing need. CAN YOU IMAGINE THAT!!

 

Like a child given a piece of blank paper, God planted Lakeside on a bare field over 25 years ago. They began with that blank slate knowing that only their response to God would limit them. Lakeside started with hearts prepared to work, respond to, and utilize God directed creative imaginations to build a building to house the increase and grow the harvest the work of God would provide. Faithfulness guided them.

 

A few years back someone came to me and declared that all I do is ask people, “to do more”. Let me assure you I have no desire to be anyone's conscience, nor do I have any control over how God convicts or encourages anyone through His messages. Each week I prayerfully face my greatest concern of not leaving potential personal agendas at the door, not stepping aside and not allowing God His freedom to work though me. How God speaks through the messages is in His control, not mine. Given that, as your Pastor, I feel impressed to remind all of us that this church is no longer a blank piece of paper, or a bare field, and God is still willing, in His perfect time, to use us to bring in His harvest. He is not done with us, and He still lifts us up, cares for us, and prunes us as necessary to bear fruit.

 

So, it’s now 25 plus years later and perhaps God is handing us a new piece of paper. This time though, not blank. On that paper is a piece of land, on the land is a building, in the building are workers, and the workers are being asked, “Are you willing to use your God given, God directed, creative imagination to bear fruit?” How will you respond? And what will you add to the picture?

 

(Allow me to add a postscript to this original From the Pastor... I was reminded recently as I read Jerry Vines book Spirit Fruit, that Fruit is bore for 2 purposes: 1) Consumption. Remembering, that Christians don't bear the fruit of the Spirit to feed themselves. The Fruit of the Spirit is produced to feed others. People all around us are starving for love, joy, peace... they are starving for Spirit Fruit. 2) Propagation. Remember, that fruit produces "after its kind:.. we plant the seeds of the Fruit of the Spirit so others will come to Christ".   Pastor Larry 4-11-2022)

 

Thank you to all who work so hard. God is faithful to those whom He loves.

Thank you for your faithfulness. Pastor Larry

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