September 02, 2008

Head Damage Point

Spent some time with Paul in his letter to the Romans...was impressively blessed by the sufficiency of grace through faith in the risen Lord Jesus Christ! If my sins were held against me oh how hopeless I would be!
But to be justified by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone means I will NEVER be alone!

Went to the Farmer's Market in Vernon...met Pastor Stuart and Teresa and kids there...wonderful small town atmosphere that made me miss my Kansas small town roots.

Stuart and I drove to the town of Salmon Arm (who knew Salmon have arms?) to view the progress on the fourplex they purchased as an investment. Great deal they got on a sweet place. Am thrilled for them. We solved the problems of our churches and the world on the trip up and back...(now if someone would just ask our opinion :))

Did some reading in the afternoon and hiked to Bugaboos, for one last cinnamon roll on their last day of business until they reopen in December.

Pastor Stuart and his family only live 10 minutes down the mountain from our house. It was Taylor's (child #2 of 5) 12th we went down for pizza and the famous (see previous blog) chocolate cake. Sang a rousing rendition of Happy Birthday...the Canadian version (same as the American version but with a few "eh's?" thrown in...."Happy Birthday, eh?"

In our adult conversation, after the kids were securely riveted to the new Star Wars dvd we bought Taylor for his birthday, a simple question, "Do you surf?"...led to the GREAT GOD STORY of "HEAD DAMAGE POINT". Following job and money more than a clear calling of God, Stuart ended up candidating for a church. While there he was invited to surf (for his first time ever) at the lethal "HEAD DAMAGE POINT" in Australia. He jumped off the rocks into the pounding surf and almost lost his life. (Jumping off into our will is often more an exercise in foolishness than in faith).

But the story didn't stop led onwards to a time of seeking God and waiting, and waiting patiently and waiting joyfully...which created the "God call story" of how they got from Australia, to Scotland, to Calgary, then to a town of 600, then to an Edmonton mega-church, then to Vernon Alliance Church -- which at 1400 people is by far the largest church in this town of 60,000 and doing incredible kingdom work.

I thrill to sit and listen to the hand of God upon his servants as he leads them through a combination of "grace" and "faith".
"Grace" being those sovereign God moments where we do nothing but watch God show up in amazing ways.
"Faith" being those moments when we step way out of our comfort zone and say, "God if you don't come through, I'm through...finished" and then He meets us with his grace.

Deb and I have been discussing this MYSTERIOUS MIX of sovereignty and goal setting.
Are we foolish to use some of Sabbatical to plan the rest of our lives when the sovereignty of God can change everything in a moment? Is our planning a self-directed display of human arrogance?

The Lutheran Church I visited Sunday had at the top of it's bulletin this week...THIS WEEK, The LORD WILLING:...they feared to even print their schedule for the coming week lest God have other plans in mind. I appreciated that.

God says:
Prov 19:21 Many are the plans in a man's heart, but it is the LORD's purpose that prevails.
Prov 16:9 In his heart a man plans his course, but the LORD determines his steps.
Prov 21:5 The plans of the diligent lead to profit

SO...It seems to me that "to fail to plan is to plan to fail"...but if we trust our plans instead of God's guidance we can miss His "Lord, help me to prayerfully plan and then be quick to jettision my plans when your sovereignty reveals a different path."

Any other approach may lead me to "HEAD DAMAGE POINT"!

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