Pilot Mountain is one of those amazing geological milesstones as we make our way out of North Carolina.
Passed a truck today in West Virginia... from Prince Edward Island!
It’s been a long day of driving, and I am now clean and cozy behind my computer at a Hampton Inn somewhere just outside of Pittsburgh. We are on route to Drayton. Vacation as a church planter is a bit of a hybrid experience, so I will be preaching at Drayton Reformed Church this coming Sunday. Looking very much forward to seeing folks from this church again. Last year I preached at their annual outdoor service and got to play baseball afterwards. With a week that is nearing its end, I thought I would simply include a snippet of the sermon I am planning to preach with hopes that it can serve as an encouragement to you wherever you are right now:
Paul once wrote to a bunch of broken Christians in Corinth: “Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Sprit who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own.” [I Corinthians 6:19]. Paul is reminding fellow members of Christ’s Body: Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you!? In other words, if our bodies move, so goes the Holy Spirit. You are tabernacled by the Holy Spirit, and as such you bring God’s presence to your business, to your farm, to your family, to your neighbour, to your friend, to one another.
When you look at church history, we see this trend of the church trying to contain Jesus’ presence. The church has had the tendency to put up protective layers around Jesus, thereby making Jesus inaccessible. We pronounce times, people, places and things as holier than your bedroom. Yes, there were good people. Yes, there are special places. But where you stand, where your body is, now that’s holy!
The challenge for us is to stop thinking that there is a separation between the physical and the spiritual. We need to use our brains here. Because we aren’t our own, and we have been tabernacled, that will affect how we conduct business, what movies to watch, where we go on a Saturday night, how we view money, or alcohol, or women.
See, the body God has given to you matters. What you do with it from Monday to Saturday matters. Going to church on Sunday doesn’t make you holy, being tabernacled by the Spirit does. The Spirit doesn’t leave. Old Testament Jews had no word for secular, because the word ‘secular’ is a modern illusion. It doesn’t exist. There is no such thing as secular music, for example, because everything permeates with some form of spirituality. See, if one’s faith isn’t vivid from Monday to Saturday, then we have to ask whether it’s valid. All life is religion, and as Christians, our bodies are no longer our own, but they have been bought.
Jesus bought them when his body stooped over and stopped pumping blood. The synapses in his brain stopped firing. His arms and feet were pierced and he dangled from nails with his wrist bones holding him up for all to see.
You want to see the price he paid to own you? It’s in the picture of the Cross.
July 1st marked Canada’s Birthday and it also marked the half waypoint of 2014. I thought I would take some time in this week’s blog to reflect on two major developments over the past few months. At the beginning of the year we were eager to do something ministry related. This is a tricky thing when you do not know a lot of people. Still, we were eager and so we decided to host a Bible study in our home. We prayed, planned, and invited folks we knew to study the Gospel of Mark together using the curriculum from Christianity Explored. The goal is that Christianity Explored, and the follow-up program called Discipleship Explored will provide inquirers or new believers a fundamental understanding of Christianity. This Bible study served two main purposes. First, it allowed us to get to know some friends on a deeper level. Nothing like eating and studying the Bible together to enhance relationships. Second, it gave Heather and I an opportunity to go through this curriculum together in order to get comfortable with leading more of them and training others to lead them in the future.
The second major development is the ways we are working towards a leadership team/core. The beginning stages of this process are slow because nurturing tried, true, and authentic relationships take time. But God has been so good and we are thrilled with some of the people He is putting into our path. Creating a leadership team is important to do right. We are looking for folks with specific gifts who are wired and talented in different ways than I am. We also have enough people to put together a worship/music team. Those who know me know how important music is to me and how much I love playing it. I miss playing guitar on a regular basis as well, so I look forward to our first worship casting meeting/jam session!
These two developments are key in how Resurrection Life is coming to life. A few puzzle pieces have to fall into place yet before we have our first monthly worship service on October 5, but we are getting there. One puzzle piece, for example, is a place to gather for this worship time in the area we are seeking to plant. It is striking to me how difficult it is to find a place. The new buildings in this area like to protect themselves from ‘church going vandals’, I guess. One person told me this past week, “We don’t rent to churches. They take up all the good parking during peek times and you wouldn’t be able to afford us anyway.” It was a short phone conversation.
For those of us following our journey, thanks for your ongoing curiosity and support. Through all these developments, we trust that the Lord is in charge every step of the way. It is a daily act of faith, but we do pray for courage and success as we move in His direction.