OK, so it turns out that God knew what he was doing all along. (who would have guessed?) Alora didn’t have another ear infection, it was just a cold, which she has so graciously passed on to Heather and myself as proof. So she isn’t one of those luck three percent after all.
It is really strange how God has to get a hold of you sometimes. Last Sunday night after our, soon to be, regular poker game, my wife began to tell me about some of the conversations she and the ladies had while the men were playing. She and Mel (One of our pastor’s wives) were talking about Wildlife (the youth ministry) and the direction things had been going. Mel made the point that I needed to do what I do best and not to try to emulate some of the other styles I had been trying. I didn’t even realize I was doing that but in retrospect I guess I was.
If my wife had said this to me I may have been able to shrug it off, and apparently I wasn’t hearing God say it myself so I had to have it this way. I am glad for people who care enough about you to say what you need to hear and not always what you want to hear. This past Sunday I was able to really be myself again and although I hadn’t realized that I wasn’t being me before, I could certainly see it now, and it feels so right to be back. The great thing is I am not the only one who noticed the difference. Several of my students and leaders made comments to the effect. I am so glad for a God who doesn’t give up when you get out of line.
So I am reading this book “The Charismatic Century” (Than you Mr. Harvey) about the history or the Pentecostal or Charismatic church, which is all relatively new to me. It is very interesting to find out where your culture comes from and the struggles of the people that have come before you. The one thing that has bound all pentecostals together, despite all of their other differences and disagreements, is a strong belief in the power of the Holy Spirit to act in the life of a believer.
I suppose I need to ask myself in this situation, where has that belief gone in my own life? I still believe in the power of God’s spirit in theory but I don’t live with a consistent expectation of his power in my life. Maybe it is one of those fluxations people go through in life. You don’t even realize you are going a certain direction until you are a good deal off your intended direction. Well, after a good deal of time in prayer I am changing my direction.
We found out today that our daughter is one of the 3% of kids who still get ear infection after they have tubes but in their ears. It is a terribly frustrating experience. Please continue to pray with us as we try to figure out what to do. We can at least use ear drops to clean out the infection now instead of filling her with antibiotics but she HATES them so it has been a bit of a struggle.
As I move through life I slowly discover that I don’t know as much as I though I did. Today was one of those moments
How to be Successful as a Christian
A minister once told me, “A friend is someone who is concerned about your eternal destiny.” I have changed it slightly to “A friend is someone who cares more about your destiny than they care about your acceptance.” Simply this means, I don’t care if you get mad at me I need to help you walk rightly before the Lord.
Believe me when I tell you this is more than theory to me. Once four years ago or so when my wife and I were just dating we arranged a camping trip with a group of friends from Ohio to West Virginia. All of our friends from Ohio cancelled at the last minute. Well Heather and I went on the trip anyway with her father and my friend Brian. We had a fun weekend and we returned to our church unaware there could be a problem. A few days later I am approached by my Ministry Captain and friend Dale, who confronts me on rumors circulating around our trip. It was rumored that Heather and I went camping by ourselves. As you can imagine for a man called to ministry this may be a problem.
Fortunately, I was able to explain to Dale that her dad had been with us as well as my friend Brian. The rumors were easily squashed, and I found out that Dale was a true friend because he cared enough to approach me in that situation. There are very few people in my life who cared enough about me to confront me with an issue that would be harmful to my future. We all need that kind of accountability and community in our lives. We all need a circle of true friends that know us enough to call us out on issues that need a confrontation. Even if we are not protecting our selves from active sin, we are told to encourage one another in the Lord. When we get tired of well doing, sometimes we need someone else to pull to help us along, later we can return the favor. Don’t be fooled into thinking you can make it on your own, Jesus didn’t even try to do that. He had his inner circle of disciples that although I hesitate to say he needed encouraged I think he was setting an example of how we are to live.
The long and short of it is this, find someone to walk through this journey with you. I had to pray for that someone when I first became a Christian and maybe you will need to do the same but God will provide someone for you to call a friend, and it will make your walk a much easier, more successful one.