Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Springfield Today, August 1, 2017

August 1, 2017 by  
Filed under Blog

Good Moanin’ Springfieldians,

The neighborhood I grew up in was a kid’s paradise. Most of the parents in that neighborhood were all about the same age.  For most of them, this was the first home they had ever bought, and now they were raising their new families.  Everyone knew everyone in that neighborhood.  And everyone watched out for each other.  And none of the parents would let any of us kids get away with being disrespectful or doing something that was wrong or harmful.

You see, I knew if I did something I wasn’t supposed to at Duane’s house, or Larry’s or Ray’s – my parents would know all about it before I even got home, and they wouldn’t have defended me and my right to be an obnoxious brat; they would have always taken the side of the other parents, every time.

They were all just good neighbors, and they looked out for each other, and looked out for all the kids.

On my street, in just one block, there were probably about 15 boys all within a year or two of each other, and we were always finding something that we could do together.  Either we’d be down at Frankowski’s Field playing baseball or football and eating the green apples Mr. Frankowski let us pick from his trees; or in the heat of the summer, we’d be swimming at Rory’s house, because he was the only one who had a pool, and it sort of became the community pool.  Or we’d build forts in the woods, and snow forts in the winter.   I mean it was always a great adventure, I don’t ever remember being bored.

One of the things that we all loved to do, right after it got dark, (You see, the rule was, I think at everyone’s house, when the street lights came on you had to come home.)  But we’d all get permission to stay out after it got dark.  And we’d play a great game of Hide and Go Seek.

We’d do the one potato, two potato thing to see who was it.  Or “Engine, Engine #9 going down the Chicago line…”  And when someone was caught, and they were now “it,” we’d yell, “Allie, Allie in free.”

You remember those kinds of carefree days, don’t you? They were great!

But what I discovered about the difference between being a mediocre, run of the mill Hide-and-Go- Seek player and being a world-class champion, was #1 – you had to have a good hiding place, and #2 – you had to have patience.  You really needed both.  No matter how good the hiding place was, if you didn’t have patience, if you didn’t learn to wait to leave the hiding place until you heard “Allie, Allie in free,” chances are you’d get caught, and you’d become “it.”  And no one wanted to be “it.”

But on the other hand if you did have patience, but you didn’t have a good hiding place – you’d also be caught, and become the dreaded, “it.”   You had to have both, if you wanted to be a world-class, champion Hide and Go Seek player – you had to have a good hiding place, and patience.

When we first started playing I didn’t understand the importance of both of these qualities, and so I was always getting caught, and always having to be “it.”  Finally, when I got tired of being “it” all the time, I decided I had to improve my selection of hiding places.

And I came to some profound conclusions about what makes a place a good hiding place. (Is there a point to all of this?  Maybe.)

Now here’s what I learned makes a great hiding place.

#1 – It had to be your place.  If others knew about it, they may take your place before you get there, and for sure when they were “it,” they’d look in your place.  So, it had to be your place, and you couldn’t tell anyone else about it.

#2 – It had to be an unlikely place.  It had to be a place where the person that was “it”, wouldn’t think to look.  It just made sense.  My favorite hiding place, that which propelled me to the championship level – was in my dog’s doghouse.

Now I’ve got to tell you, it took some work to get in there.  I had to get down in the dirt, and squirm and squeeze to get through that small opening.  And once in there, it wasn’t very comfortable, and it stunk. (Oh, did it stink.)  But it was a great hiding place, because the one who was “it” never thought to look there, and my dog would always bark ferociously at whoever might approach

But that brings us to the third profound conclusion I came to about hiding places.  It was absolutely crucial that I never forgot the purpose of the hiding place.  The purpose was to keep me hidden, to protect me, to keep me from being “it.”  It wasn’t to make me comfortable or warm.  If I wanted that I could have stayed in my house.  It was crucial I didn’t forget the purpose.  If I forgot the purpose of the hiding place, I would have ended up not choosing a very good place, and ended up being “it” all the time.

Well, you know what, those three conclusions I think apply very directly to our lives and this incredible journey we’re on to live a life of significance, where we are really being used by God to make a difference.

It’s not a game we’re playing, but the principles still apply – because we have an “it;” you have an “it” – you have an enemy that attacks, and his whole purpose is to defeat you, and to try to destroy you, and destroy your family, and marriage, and friendships, and every significant relationship you have.  And in those moments when the “it” of our life is mounting his attack – it’s crucial that we have a hiding place to run to.

And I want to propose to you that God has provided us a hiding place, if we’re willing to listen to Him.  If we’re willing to go, and if we have the patience to wait until we hear Him say, “Allie, Allie, in free.”

The hiding place is all about relationship.  It’s all about this vital, living, dynamic relationship with the Lord.  It’s not about doing more for Him.  Too many of us have allowed good works to take us away from the hiding place, and we spend no time with Him – when that’s exactly what we really need.  You see the hiding place is all about maintaining and growing, and knowing more intimately, Jesus Christ.  It’s about surrendering.  It’s about abandoning your plans for His plans.  Your will for His will.  Your desires for what He desires. It’s allowing Him to be the Lord of even those things that make you angry, or hurt you, or frustrate you.  It means following His will for your marriage, or that relationship that is so frustrating and hurtful.

It’s where you get alone with God, and you read His love letter to you, over and over again.

It’s spending time with Him.

It’s resting in Him.

It’s going to Him when you’re afraid, or lonely, or weak, or you just don’t know what to do.  It’s what the Hebrew preacher described as a place of rest. It’s making sure nothing is hidden from Him.  No secret sin in your life.  No sinful attitudes.  It’s coming clean before Him and admitting how much you need Him.

It’s not running from something, it’s running to Someone.  Escapism is when we run from the problem, but we have nowhere to run to.  Having a hiding place means we’re running to Someone.

Have you learned that He is your hiding place?

 

What You Need to Know….

Youth Back to School Bash – Friday, August 11 at Sky Zone and Knight’s Drive in Movie.  More info to come!

Children’s Skyzone Jump Night, Wednesday, August 16, 5:30 – 7:00 PM.  Sign up with Kathy Hedden if you plan on attending.  Open to children ages 4 – 6th grades.

Church Picnic – Sunday, August 27, 5:00 – 8:00 PM.  More later.

Karate – Mondays and Thursdays at 6:00 p.m., and Saturdays at 9:00 a.m.

Summer Kids! – Wednesdays at 6:30 p.m.

Velocity Student Ministries – Wednesdays from 6:15 – 7:45 p.m.

Brenden Gardens Bible Study – Thursdays, 6:30 p.m.

Open Gym – Saturdays at 7:00 p.m.

Connect Groups – Sundays at 6:00 p.m.

 

Please Pray For:

Fran Herwehe

Carol Tandy

TJ Ballog

Betty Colvin

Amy Earl

Hettie Kinman

Janet Gille

Janet Castleman

Mary Bishop’s grandson, Bannock Galloway, has cystic fibrosis

Julie Duncan – Aunt Joanne Boyce diagnosed with lung cancer

Abby Heppe – sister-in-law, Liz, has liver and gall bladder cancer

Lucas Gebhardt – medical testing to be done…keep praying

Charles Camp

Wilbur Hunt

Ross – Geoff & Jody Sarginson’s brother-in-law has blood clots and more colon surgeries

Ernie & Jean Pickett Family – Pray for the entire family as Ernie’s brother, Frank, passed away Saturday.

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