Friday, November 30, 2007
Thursday, November 29, 2007
The title of our message is "The Trouble with Transition." One of the truths that I look forward to sharing this Sunday is this...Our human nature regarding transition is such that we love and relish the old and the familiar because it is comfortable. We also usually end up loving the new because it is fresh and different and it promises impact. It's the transition...the in-between time that we aren't so comfortable with.
There's your sneak peak. This should be fun!
One of the things that I really treasure is my relationship with a few Pastors with gray (or white) hair who have been at this for many, many years and they have already led through whatever might be staring me in the face. There is one particular influencer in my life over the last few years that has been worth a million. Every time I leave the lunch table after being with him, all I can think is "how was counsel worth so much just given for free." I reckon he probably wouldn't mind a check in the mail though, smile. Have you ever had that feeling? The feeling that you should be paying BIG bucks for counsel that fresh!
Well, yesterday, a good friend and coach handed me a napkin with 7 passages of scripture written on it. He told me that these verses needed to me my quiet time this morning. I carried that napkin in my pocket all day yesterday. When I went to bed last night, I laid it on top of my wallet and whispered "Lord, speak to me in the morning." Even as I said those words, I felt the Holy Spirit near. Well, He answered and He spoke! The passages that I dwelled in (and wept over) this morning were a series of passages from II Corinthians. Maybe you want to share in them as well. I will share with you the passages that impacted me the most this morning (click on them to link to them). I plan to sit with them a lot more in the next few days.
II Corinthians 1:12
II Corinthians 3:1-3
II Corinthians 7:1-4
You know a good friend or counselor when they point you in the direction of the divine counsel of God through His word. That voice, those words, impact me more deeply than any person ever can!
Tuesday, November 27, 2007
Oh, and Tricia dressed Davis in his Redskins outfit today in honor of Sean Taylor. We woke up this morning to learn that this young Redskins Safety was shot and killed. My heart and prayers have gone out several times today to his family, friends and the Redskins Club. Thanks to the Lord that the Head Coach, Joe Gibbs is a Christian and so are several of the other players. My friend Matt Gary interned with the Skins this year and met some super guys that love the Lord. I pray that God will somehow use them during this time to impact this team for Christ.
Psalm 146:6 "...The Lord remains faithful forever!"
I pray that you, my faithful God,will teach me today how to remain faithful. I love you, Lord and I thank you for your example of perfect faithfulness!
Monday, November 26, 2007
- This Sunday, December 2nd- Decorate the church for Christmas at about 1:30pm (after the Business Meeting-- insert plug for business meeting here!)
- Saturday, December 8th- Ladies Brunch & Cookie Exchange at 9:30am.
- Friday, December 14th- Annual Evening Christmas Party. A group is already at work on this and it is gonna be super!
- Sunday, December 16th- REAL Teens Holiday Service Project to the Elderly in our community!
- Thursday, December 20th at 7:00pm-Christmas Caroling at Local Nursing Homes.
- Sunday Morning, December 23rd- Special Christmas Program/Service
- Monday, December 24th at 6pm- Christmas Eve Service
- AND...We are doing Angel Tree again. Get your Angel this Sunday!
Sunday, November 25, 2007
I feel discouraged today. I cannot go into detail, but lots of things are going on at the church, much of which is confidential (in addition we have an important Executive Board Meeting tomorrow night, a Business Meeting next Sunday and a LOT to do to be ready for them). There are those times in ministry that you feel like everything is great and other times when it is not so easy or so fun. Some of the things you have to know and stuff you have to deal with can be pretty tough and draining. I am guessing that I am not the only Pastor in the world that wishes they could evade a Sunday morning a couple times throughout their ministry. I will take the downs and thank God for the many ups.
Saturday, November 24, 2007
Friday, November 23, 2007
We had a great Thanksgiving yesterday. By the way, if you have never had fried turkey, then you have never had turkey. It takes turkey to a whole new level. My brother fried one yesterday and the men just hung out outside staring at the turkey fryer. Good Times! I am not sure what the women were doing. Perhaps they were preparing the other 20 dishes at the table yesterday. :-)
Wednesday, November 21, 2007
Willow Creek is a mega church that has impacted many churches and church leaders with their wealth of resources and training. This church (and they have their own association), under the leadership of Bill Hybels has been on the front edge of church growth strategies and tools for the last 15 years in America. Highly Influential. I have driven all the way out there for a conference myself.
A brief summary of the article is that Willow Creek is saying:
- They have focused too much on the size of a church, numbers and providing people with what they want.
- They are realizing that in neglecting to give people what they need, they have failed to teach people how to engage in a healthy and personal faith journey.
- They have confessed that they have made a mistake and sent people in the wrong direction.
- It is easy to fill a church. It's easy for the church...Just say the right things, advertise in the right places, have the right programs, appeal to people's senses, exert enough Charisma, have the right friends, be creative, have cool publications and a cool website, create buzz, so on and so on and the chances are you will grow a church! It's easy for the people. Show up for an hour and a half a week so that we grow this thing. That's easy enough. For most people, if you will give them a creative enough service, they will give you your hour and a half. We've got a deal.
- The difficult part is to fill lives with lordship of Jesus Christ and to create Disciples (Matt. 28:18-20)! This is the tough part for the church (organizationally) and the people (the people are the church). Discipleship is the job of the faithful, the strong, the brave. When the church commits to discipleship (over church growth), they take on a hefty task! Reason...because it is so much more difficult for the people you are reaching. An hour and a half of sitting is simple and even fun. Changing my language, my choices, the way that I treat my spouse, my trips to the club, finding time for God through the week...that is a whole different conversation. That is the conversation of discipleship...a journey for the faithful, the strong, and the brave!
More about this later...Tricia is inviting me to the grocery store...for the 4th time in the last 15 minutes. Peace!
Tuesday, November 20, 2007
Monday, November 19, 2007
By the way...Our house is all decorated for Christmas, inside and outside (our home in Bowie that is, not the place we are going)! We did half Saturday and the rest yesterday. It looks pretty festive! We graduated to 2 trees this year. We have one in our family room and one in our formal living room in front of a window facing the street. It is one of our traditions that we like to decorate for Christmas before we travel for Thanksgiving so that when we get home, we plug and play! I truly do love the Holidays! Tricia absolutely loves traditions. She is our steady eddy. When it comes to the holidays we do things a certain way at a certain time...period. Oh, and since this is our first Christmas with a kid, we are starting a few new traditions this year. I can't keep up, but I don't worry, she won't let me forget them.
If I link up to WiFi, I will blog this week. If not, we'll pick up when we get back Saturday night.
Something happened during the ceremony that really made me chuckle and I wanted to share it with you. It's what everyone thinks, but no one says...
If you have been to very many funerals, then you know what it is like to sit through them and think to yourself "are they burying the same person that I knew?" "Am I at the wrong funeral?" It seems that everyone is a saint when they die. Well, today during the funeral the family wanted me to facilitate a time for people in the congregation to come forward and share personal tributes about Mr. Shelton. That is ALWAYS risky, but sometimes it can be very meaningful. Well, it turned out pretty good this time. The last person to get up and share was Jaye's older brother, Jerome. He is the eldest and only son. When he stepped to the microphone he thanked everyone for their kind words and support and then he began to share the real deal. He bragged on his Dad and then said...
"I am not sure who you all were talking about today, but my father was a mean man. He beat me regularly. He was a liar. He told me he would win me the lottery and he never did. He was a con artist....he said a few other things and then he bragged on his Daddy some more. He really loved him!"
It struck me when he did this, because so often at funerals we sit there thinking things that no one ever says. After all, we are all born human, so my guess is that we probably die human too!
Sunday, November 18, 2007
Seeing as how it is Thanksgiving this Thursday, I preached a message that invited our congregation to identify things that they are thankful for. At the end of the message, we all wrote on an index cards 2-3 things that we were specifically wanting to thank God for. After that, we all walked to the altar and placed our cards into a basket as a "thank offering". After that, we lifted the basket to the Lord (me and about 30 people in a huddle) as an offering of Thanks to the Lord. Psalm 50:14-15 & 23 set the tone for our offering of thanks today.
Sacrifice thank offerings to God, fulfill your vows to the Most High, and call upon me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you will honor me." He who sacrifices thank offerings honors me, and he prepares the way so that I may show him the salvation of God."
OK, it overwhelmed me to tears this morning to witness hundreds of people walking forward and extending their personal offering of thanks to God! It was evident as tears flowed in the room, that the Holy Spirit was moving this morning. The things written on those little pieces of paper must have been as various as the stories in the room. We destroyed the papers after the service. What was written was for God, not any of us.
Lord, to you be the praise for another great morning at CCF!
Saturday, November 17, 2007
Am I complaining? Nope! This time last year, all we wanted was to meet this little sonogram...now he is here and is lighting our life up! What a precious addition to our home.
Again, I am not handy, so I thank God for lots of good help. However, even though I am not handy, I will not leave a project undone for very long. I like to finish what I start. I promised Tricia a Christmas completion. Beat the deadline!
That's it for me for a few months. I am too busy to take on projects like this too often.
Friday, November 16, 2007
In order to finish it up, I had to make two trips to Home Depot, one run to a tile and marble store and one run to Duron. Between that and completing the work, it pretty much shot my whole day. My brother helped me a lot. Neither of us are master carpenters by any stretch of the imagination, but together we get it done (and enjoy hanging out). We closed our day together as a family with an evening trip to Target. Davis stayed awake until almost 10:00...and was a good boy!!
Almost Done! Will show you tomorrow.
Thursday, November 15, 2007
It was nice to see old friends, old teachers and administrators and connect with people that I have not seen in years. Honestly, there were more than a few times tonight where people were very warm and friendly and "so glad to see me again" while I had NO IDEA who they were! I am the faker, though. "Oh, so good to see you too...it's been a while (evidently)." Lord, forgive me!
Honestly, I thank the Lord extra tonight that I am an alumnus of 2 great schools! Both my high school (Lanham Christian School) and my college (Valley Forge Christian College) hold VERY special places in my heart. God used both of these places to form me and shape me for my call in life and ministry. I am thankful for that tonight!
While watching Barney and Handy Manny this morning with Davis, I kept noticing him moving his body back and forth in a weird way...almost like dancing. He has always loved music! Tricia got on the floor with him and started dancing. He joined her. This morning he began dancing on command. Of course he dances stiff and weird like a white boy should. He doesn't even walk yet (although he is getting close). Who learns to dance before they walk?
On top of that, we all know that dancing is a BIG SIN! So, my son needs delivered from sin already. Smile. Hopefully you know me well enough to sense my sarcasm.
Wednesday, November 14, 2007
May God be extra near and extra real to the Lindo & Shelton families during these days!
Tuesday, November 13, 2007
I am finding over the last few months that this is going to be a pretty awesome and effective way for me to keep up with myself and for others to keep up with me as well. I have really been enjoying it and now I can see why these Pastors have utilized this tool.
This may change over the years, but here are the reasons I blog for now:
- Forces me to slow down and process, think and reflect.
- Helps me capture my journey as a Christian, leader, husband and father.
- Allows other people a chance to get to know me more and have a window into my day and into my life. As much as I would like to know everyone in my church, I know that I can't. At least those that wish to know more about me can connect to my life daily through this blog.
- Accomplishes so many other goals from serving as a means of advertising, humor, confession, learning and teaching. One of my friends calls this "Digital Discipleship." Interesting definition.
Here is my question to you...
(I would love you to comment through the link below)
Do you find value in reading my blog? (Who are you?)
If so, how do you think I could publicize it and invite more people to interact with it?
Can you take a moment to comment?
Monday, November 12, 2007
My prayer is FLEE FLU...away from my wife!
I went in to get my morning coffee and I noticed that the menu was red, Christmas decorations were out and the THE RED CUPS were back!! Starbucks always switches to red cups for the Christmas season. I look forward the "red cup day" every year. It means that the holidays are upon us! I love the return of the red cups!
Well, I reacted aloud when I walked in and saw the red cups. I told the employees how happy I was that this day was here! The lady ringing me out said "thank you so much for saying that...people have been complaining all morning that it is too early for the red cups! It is good to hear someone positive!" When I handed her my money to pay, she refused it and told me to have a good day! Free coffee as a reward for a positive comment!
Man, I should have ordered breakfast and a new coffee maker!
After service yesterday, a young lady in our church approached me and told me that the Fearless production on Saturday night really spoke to her and when she went home, she wrote a poem. She often does this. She loves to write poetry and expresses her feelings this way. Her name is Jesse Coffey and she gave me permission to share this poem with you:
I fear only God, it's Him that I trust
To honor and love Him, this is a must
When you're going through troubles He'll carry you through
His strength and His love will help you renew
As I go through this life my worries are less
Your story has taught me to boldly stay "FEARLESS!"
Saturday, November 10, 2007
Guess what I am doing in the service tomorrow? Nothing! Cool, huh? Go Youth!!
To borrow the words I used when I closed the event in prayer tonight...Lord, please keep these young people dancing in the church instead of the clubs and please help us to encourage them to keep using their bodies for you instead of themselves or the world.
To God be the glory for and amazing production tonight!
I will write this one confession about yesterday. I was a bad boy! I did wrong, let me come clean! I took Davis to the doctor at 11:30. I arrived early (11:15). They called me back at 12:15. I waited 15 more minutes for the nurse, 10 more minutes after that for the Doctor, and 10 more minutes after that for the lady that gives the shots (Davis got the flu shot). So, if you were counting...that is a doctors appointment of over an hour and a half...with an infant...DURING NAP TIME!! You fill in the rest. I got really, really impatient and took it out on Tricia by blaming her for scheduling a nap-time appointment. I was wrong. She let me know it when I got home (wish you could have been there...perhaps I would not have got it quite as bad). Smile. I think we have worked it out. Marriage, Kids, Dads!
Thursday, November 8, 2007
When we were done we all played a game of darts together and Ismael (a friend in our group) embarrassed me (in my own house).
@ CCF on This Saturday at 7:00pm
This is a worshipful production of drama and dance that we have annually at CCF! I cry I every year through the whole evening humbled by the fact that young people are dancing for Jesus instead of the eyes at the club! Come out for this one!
Anyway, we got a new filter and fresh water and we are back in action. It is on tonight!
Wednesday, November 7, 2007
So, our master bathroom is gutted and stripped, mudded and sanded, primed and about to be painted (if Tricia would pick a color...I think she wants me to). After painting, we will lay new vinyl flooring, install new base and have my friend Chris return to install our new sink/vanity and toilet. Here is a picture of it for now. Wait till you see the finished product! It's gonna be extreme makeover...yeah right!
Tuesday, November 6, 2007
Here are a few quotes from the book that I want to stay with me:
- "When the Pilot does not know what port he is heading for, no wind is the right wind."
- "The trouble with too many of us is that we think God called us to be manufacturers when he really called us to be distributors."
- If we understand the idea above, Wiersbe says "You won't be frustrated trying to manufacture everything to get the job done; and when God blesses your work, you won't be tempted to take the credit."
- God makes divine resources available to us when we do HIS work. We call that Grace. John 1:16 says we have all received "grace for grace." This image is kind of like the idea of an ocean sending wave after wave ashore. On this idea, Wiersbe says "It reminds me of the poor woman who had her first view of the ocean and stood on the shore weeping. When asked why she was weeping, she replied 'it's so good to see something that there is plenty of.'" WOW!
- When we face difficulties as Christians, we should not ask "How can I get out of this?" Instead we should ask "What can I get out of this?"
- "In whatever a man does without God, he must fail miserably--or succeed more miserably."
Great Book! Maybe I will share more later. Love!
Monday, November 5, 2007
When we opened the meeting tonight I shared this quote from a book that I just started reading this morning.
The Book: "On Being A Servant of God" by Warren Wiersbe.
The Quote: "Ministry takes place when divine resources meet human needs through loving channels to the glory of God." I thought this was a good one!
Sunday, November 4, 2007
Last night was incredible as well. I was encouraged at how many people came out to Saturday night prayer. I sensed the Lord calling us to focus our time last night on prayer for healing. (I had sent a prayer email out to that end on Thursday.) We gathered last evening, read Isaiah 61 and James 5 and began sharing prayer needs (specifically for healing). We anointed people with oil and prayed for the sick who were not able to be there. It was a precious time. As we began, I read the words of Isaiah 61:1-3. I have read this text many times. We have even sang it at church. But last night it fell on my heart differently. It is so fresh, so encouraging and so real. It speaks to real people with real discouragement and pain...and it offers hope! Big hope! Hope that applies to you and me. Check it out.
The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is on me, because the LORD has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners, to proclaim the year of the LORD's favor and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn, and provide for those who grieve in Zion— to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the LORD for the display of his splendor.
This is what is on my heart...
Lord, this is one of those (many) Sundays where I really feel like I need you to do the talking. This your day. When I don't feel ready or prepared...you are! I ask you to make your impact in lives today. Fill your house...bring people out today that want to give you honor and also want to receive what you you have for them. Holy Spirit, drive our worship and inspire our hearts. I marvel at how you speak through people as broken as I am. Lord, do the speaking at CCF today and teach us how to be your church! All my love!
In closing, I ask you this...do baby's know about daylight savings? I think I hear a noise upstairs. I'm out!
Saturday, November 3, 2007
Well, I am rapidly learning that we cannot go anywhere anymore without seeing someone from the church. That is one of the byproducts of growth (a good problem). Of course we ran into 3 different people from CCF while we were out. They got the privilege of seeing my bummy side. Smile. Must brush hair (and add water)!
Friday, November 2, 2007
With today being my "day off" (dealt with 20 church things all morning) and Tricia working full time, Fridays are my day with Davis. I always mess something up though. Meaning, his routine gets thrown off when he is with me. This morning after getting up and playing and watching Barney, we went to the Grocery store. I promised mommy we would go and take with us her long list. Time got away from us and Davis ended up falling asleep in the grocery cart. I thought it was a great photo op, so I shot a picture and thought I would show you. I tried to keep him up but to no avail. I guess his 20 minute nap at the store was all he needed because he is upstairs in his crib calling me. So much for what I needed to get done this afternoon. Fatherhood!
Now, it's time to move on to the next project. I can only handle one every few months with the schedule we keep. Yesterday morning, a friend from the church came over and did the demolition on our funky Master Bathroom. So, that bathroom is now toiletless and sinkless. Last night, I ripped the baseboard off and today we are gonna keep at it. New flooring, new base, new paint, new sink unit, new toilet and BAM! All done. Sounds easy, huh? Maybe for you...but handy work is not one of my gifts. What a scene this is going to be. Pray for me. I promised Tricia it would be done by Christmas. Hopefully I will make it to the Christmas Eve service :-)
Thursday, November 1, 2007
Is there anyone out there who is reading this who can call him and tell him you need him right away?? He is the kind of guy who will be there for you...meaning he will be leaving here! Smile.
Yesterday impacted me. I visited 7 different people. In one day I visited 2 people that are likely living out their last few days on earth, 2 people that struggle daily with significant life-altering illnesses, 2 people that have no idea of how far the cancer in their body has spread and are just waiting for their diagnosis and 1 in the hospital.
I ended my workday yesterday torn between 2 strong feelings. I felt honored that God has called me to this ministry where I can bring hope and love to people and hear the words "you made my day" 4 times in one afternoon. On the other hand I felt desperate...desperate to know how to really love and care for people who are in such physical turmoil.
The famous question is just haunting me again recently: Do I run around promising God's healing or do I run around telling people that God is gonna do what he wants to do?
My theology of healing is simple (or at least this is the simple version):
- God can heal anyone he chooses of any infirmity with the sound of his voice or the touch of his fingertip.
- Jesus told his disciples to pray "thy kingdom come, thy will be done." God's will for our bodies and our will for our bodies are not always identical. ...And His wins!