09 September 2006

I've been thinking a bit more lately about the course my life has taken these past many months -- and acknowledging with humility and thanksgiving the way God has used His WORD, so many different people, circumstances, books, letters, articles, and the spiritual discipline of solitude in my life.

This has been a season of transformational nouns ... people, places, and things given, handled and experienced. Some of them have connected with me in ways nearly hidden in the moment, and only now are their meanings beginning to emerge from hiding. While others have been in my face -- as evident and obtrusive as a fat man on a rush-hour bus. But all of them have, in their beginnings, middles, and ends, been life giving.

It's Saturday afternoon and
life and ministry are co-existing versus being on a collision course. Tomorrow's teaching has been studied through and prepared -- it feels like it's part of my heart, not just my mind -- ready to jump out of my mouth at both services tomorrow morning in ways Spirit directed, not just man-made.

For two months now I've been settled into life and ministry here in Newberg. As most of you reading this know, after flying back and forth between Portland and Michigan for eight months (serving as the interim pastor-teacher at Ogden Church | www.ogdenchurch.org), on 16 July, I became the lead pastor-teacher at 2nd Street Community Church in my hometown of Newberg, OR (www.2ndstreet.org). Now that I'm finding my rhythm, I'm finding that ...
  • I AM SERVING GOD HERE IN WAYS ORGANIC ... Once again life and ministry are rooted, sprouting, and moving forward with a visible harvest ... and ...
  • I AM SERVING GOD HERE IN WAYS RELATIONAL ... I'm not trying to do it all on my own -- my brothers and sisters at 2nd Street are with me and I'm with them -- we're on the same page -- using our spiritual gifts based on our callings, and not from a posture of duty, tradition or ego-centric-expectation ... and ...
  • I AM SERVING GOD HERE IN WAYS RESTORATIVE ... I'm at peace about the eighteen-month journey God has taken me on. He taught, I tried to listen. He instructed, I decided to learn. He pruned, I bitched and moaned. He pruned some more, and I conceded and found His mercy. He healed, and I sighed. He mended and encouraged, and I began to sense the beauty of restoration. He corrected, and I was brought back into alignment with His will. He loved, and I pressed deeper into the character of Jesus Christ.
And through all the potholes of this journey, through all the pebbles in my sandals while on this quest, and through all the dips and climbs in the road, I am now simply living out His will with a passion I have never known.

I pass on this note to you, to encourage you of the INDISPUTABLE FACT that God is alive and well and desperately wants to use us in one another's lives. So let's listen and follow this God who seems (in spite of His sometime ridiculous requests and weird leadings) to know what He's doing. He is worthy of our trust, our allegiance, and our hearts. Godspeed.



1 comment:

Linguistica said...

Gregg, I love your blog. Thanks for sharing your thoughts and putting in the time to make this a great place for people to get some of the backsplash of what God is pouring out on you. I sense such a humility and passion in your voice. Keep on keeping on. Christ in you is beautiful.