Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Springfield Today, January 30, 2018

February 8, 2018 by  
Filed under Blog

Good Moanin’ Springfieldians,

I have a little book that includes letters written by children to their pastors.  It’s pretty insightful.

One little boy named Arnold wrote, “Dear Pastor, I know God loves everybody, but he never met my sister.  Yours Truly, Arnold.”  (I’ve got a feeling there might be some people in your life that you feel that way about.)

Here’s another, “Dear Pastor, Please say in your sermon that Peter Peterson has been a good boy all week.  I’m Peter Peterson.  Sincerely, Pete.”  (That’s funny because Dave Buchanan sent me the same note this week.)

Here’s another, “Dear Pastor, I’m sorry I can’t leave more money in the plate, because my father won’t give me a raise in my allowance.  Could you have a sermon about a raise in my allowance?  Love Patty.”  (Now that’s a creative reason for not tithing.)

Stephen, age 8, wrote, “Dear Pastor, I would like to go to heaven someday, because I know my brother won’t be there.”

One little guy had a good strategy for growing a church.  He wrote, “Dear Pastor, I think a lot more people would come to your church if you moved it to Disneyland.”

And I really liked Ralph’s letter because it probably expresses the sentiments of many.  He wrote, “Dear Pastor, I liked your sermon, especially when it was finished.”

I do like how one preacher finished his letter to those Hebrew Christ followers.  He wrote: 

May the God of peace, who through the blood of the eternal covenant brought back from the dead our Lord Jesus, that Great Shepherd of the sheep, equip you with everything good for doing His will, and may he work in us, what is pleasing to Him, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen.” (Hebrews 13:20-21 NIV)

And I suppose the question all of us should ask of our self is – If God has already equipped me to do His will – am I doing what I have been equipped to do?  Am I making financial decisions, and time management decisions, and relationship decisions – based on what God has called me and equipped me to do?

I have an interesting little book entitled “On This Day” and for every day of the year, it tells a story from church history of some event that took place on that particular day.

The one for today, January 30th, illustrates perfectly what we are to be offering to God.  Henry Stanley, who David Livingstone, the first modern missionary to Africa led to the Lord, was in Uganda and he was given permission to speak with the then king, Mutesa.  Stanley showed him a Bible, and the king said, that the Muslims have also brought a book called the Koran.  “How do we know which is better?  I am like a man in darkness.  All I ask is that I be taught how to see.”

Well, Stanley published the king’s words in the London Daily Telegraph and added, “Oh, that some pious, practical missionary would come.  What a harvest ripe for sickle.”

His plea aroused such a passion that the Church Missionary Society soon appointed a 27-year-old Scottish bachelor, Alexander Mackay, to lead a party of eight, to Uganda.  Mackay didn’t go blindly though.  Before he left he wrote, “Is it likely that eight Englishmen should start for Central Africa and all be alive six months later?  One of us, at least, will surely fall.  When news comes, do not be cast down, but send someone else immediately to take the vacant place.”

Mackay himself was injured in a wagon accident in Zanzibar.  Two others defected.  Another was murdered.  Another contracted a deadly fever.  The remaining three set out from Zanzibar to Uganda.

On January 30, 1877, they reached King Mutesa’s court, but two of the three were soon killed, leaving C.T. Wilson to begin Sunday services alone.  Mackay soon joined him, and the two labored for years before baptizing their first convert.

Just as their work was accelerating, King Mutesa was succeeded by his son, a teenager, who promptly had tortured a group of Mackay’s younger converts for refusing his demands.  Mackay survived the tyrant’s threats only to die of malaria while translating the Gospel of John.  He was only 40 years old.

But his efforts weren’t wasted.  The church grew faster than it perished.  The church in Uganda thrived in spite of the time.  Thrived in spite of Idi Amin’s persecution of Christians in the 1970’s. It has thrived in spite of what the AID’s epidemic has done to the country.  It has become one of the strongest Christian nations on the entire continent of Africa.

But it all began with one man who understood he was equipped to do God’s will and made the decision to follow God’s will knowing that God would work in him and through him.

God doesn’t call us all to be missionaries – but He has called us and equipped us, and then even asked us to pray that God would send out workers in the fields for they were ready for harvest.

Will Jesus prayer request be answered because of you?

Will you make the decision to do what you have been equipped to do?

 

What You Need to Know….

So far we have received $7,180 toward the replacing of the heating/cooling unit in the kids area. That is a great start. Thank you to those who have given.  The total cost is $12,000.

Do you have your trivia team yet? “Wonderful World of Disney” Trivia Night is this Saturday, Feb 3 at 6:00pm.  Sign-up at the Welcome Center or call the church office 529-6771.  Teams are made up of 8-10 people.

Velocity Superbowl Party is Sunday at Pastor Jay’s house (53 Partridge, Chatham) from 5:00pm-end of game.  The party is free with chips and soda provided.

A multifunction printer is available free of charge if you are in need of one. Call the church office for information. 

Organic Outreach Intensive Training – A Deep Dive into Organic Outreach for your Church

March 21-22, 2018 Decatur First Church of the Nazarene ~ $150 Registration includes 2-day intensive training; 2 breakfasts, 2 lunches, and 1 dinner; Resources for 3 full years, help in designing a customized outreach plan for your church; Opportunity to join a leader’s cohort for 2 years; 3 Organic Outreach books. Register at www.illinoisnaz.org as soon as possible. March 21st starts with registration at 7am and sessions starting at 8am and concluding with dinner at 5pm. Sessions begin again on March 22 at 8am and will conclude after the session at 2:15pm.

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