Monday Morning Musings (aka Sunday Afternoon Ramblings, Monday Edition)

What an awesome day at DHWC! Here are some thoughts about the thing.

First off, a tremendous thank you to Greta A and Kay E for providing a great selection of foods for our fellowship time. This monthly time together as a church body is a fantastic opportunity to get connected with people we may miss in the hustle and bustle of life. And the food certainly plays a critical part in fostering those connections!

Second, I need to thank everyone who made yesterday possible. This would include our church cleaners, Greg and Sheri K. Also, our nursery worker, Connie W. In addition, there were the greeters. Yesterday, we had only two: Keith I and Donna A. I very much appreciate their willingness to be at church earlier than everyone else so that they can make everyone feel welcome and important.

Third, I want to take a moment to recognize our Sunday School teachers, Wednesday night leaders, and helpers. In no particular order, Norma W, Tien D, Nicole G, Keith I, Sharon I, Sue H, Kyla M, and Greta A are integral parts of our church’s efforts to impact lives for the Lord Jesus Christ. Thank you for all you do!

And so we come to the actual service itself. Let me just say that Adoration did a spectacular job. As I said from the pulpit yesterday, though, I honestly think that the coolest things about our worship time is that Adoration is truly leading the congregation in worship. The voices which were singing out yesterday came from every corner of the sanctuary and were filled with excitement and enthusiasm. And perhaps even better is the fact that I could hear people who were tremendous singers – as well as people who weren’t – all singing together. Truly, worship is not about putting on a performance. It’s about making a joyful noise to the Lord, a fact for which I am always grateful when I unleash my “singing” on people!

As I mentioned from the pulpit yesterday, the message from Mark 4:35-41 has been on my heart for some time. So often, we hear only about the things we can’t do, and so we naturally begin to focus on the things that are beyond the realm of possibility for us. Now, I am not someone who believes that faith negates all reason. And I also want to clarify that the fact that Jesus can do anything doesn’t always mean that He will do exactly what we want Him to do. But as long as we believe Him to be omnipotent, look to Him for the direction of our lives, and then rely on Him – and Him alone – to get that done in and through us, He will do amazing things. I mean, which of the twelve apostles imagined that they would be leaders of a church which would change the world? Which of the apostles ever dreamt that their names would survive millennia or that there would be statues and such erected in their honor? Which of the apostles dared to believe that God could and would use them before they encountered Jesus?

Jesus can use us. Jesus can do anything in and through us. Whether that means forgiving the most grievous of sins, restoring the most heinous of hurts, or accomplishing the most astounding of feats, Jesus can! He can get us through whatever storm we encounter in life. And He can work in and through us to make a profound, extra-ordinary impact on the world in which we live.

So as I challenged yesterday at the conclusion of the message, I want us all to set our sights dramatically higher than we’ve ever dared to set them before. I want us to ask Jesus what He really wants to accomplish in and through us, and then I want us to not flinch when that vision is far greater than what we can accomplish on our own.

Since May is the end of the church year, and June marks the start of a new one, this is the perfect time to be talking about this sort of thing. You’ll be hearing more about what I think Jesus is calling us as a church to be and do in the coming year over the next couple of weeks, and especially during the State of the Church Address and Local Church Conference which will be held Sunday, May 23. But even before we get to these, I want to talk to you for just a second about the first step of realizing this vision.

On Saturday, June 5, DHWC will be holding a neighborhood block party. Like any party, the objective of this event will be to get the community involved. We won’t spend a lot of time on a serious evangelistic message at this event, but we will be making a concerted effort to invite people from the neighborhood to join us for worship, where we will. In order for this to work, though, we need to get the word out about the party to the neighborhood. This is essential. And it is also where we come in.

On Saturday, May 29, we will be canvasing the neighborhood to tell people about the block party. I would like very much to contact 1,500 homes to give them information about the party, Vacation Bible School, and our church in general. To do this, I estimate that we will need 15 teams of 2 to hit 100 homes each. If we have more people, we will be able to reach more homes. I realize this is the Saturday of Memorial Day weekend, but I want to encourage you to join us for this important outreach opportunity. We will provide training so that you will know exactly what to say, and I promise it won’t be overly difficult. If you are absolutely unable to make it on Saturday, May 29, (or even if you would be willing to do more than just one set!) then I would encourage you to find a day in the week before or after May 29 that you and a partner can help. We are certainly willing to work with your schedule! But please do make a plan to take part in this essential effort!

Well, I suppose that’s enough rambling for now. Thank you, once again, for the privilege of being your pastor! This month, Nicole and I will celebrate the eighth anniversary of our move to Des Moines. It’s almost impossible to believe, but there it is! Eight exciting years of ministry down. There have certainly been bumps and bruises along the way, but that’s only made it a wild ride! As wild as they’ve been, though, I can’t wait to see what God has in store for us when we choose, once and for all, to cling solely on Him and His absolutely unlimited power!

Have a blessed week, but more importantly, be a blessing to all those you meet!

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