Wednesday, January 19, 2011

My Kitchen Table

As I sit at my kitchen table tonight, I find myself overwhelmed. The little ones are asleep and our home group has all departed for their homes. Tara is diligently packing for a quick trip we are making this weekend. The only noises I hear are the sound of an ipod playing praise music and the washer and dryer performing their daily tasks. While I initially sat here to prepare a lesson plan for our Bible study teachers on Revelation 11 (and will still do that), I have found my heart and mind pondering many things. I find my heart full from having the privilege to walk alongside a group of people for 5+ years as their pastor. I've been blessed by the Lord to see fruit in each of those years both in our church and in my own life. I find myself thinking about how we have sent over 60 of our folks to replant a church in mid-city Baton Rouge. I rejoice in the Kingdom implications and pray other congregations will be like minded. I find myself disappointed in the Cooperative Program percentages of our state convention. I do value the work being done in Louisiana and believe it's just as important as anywhere else. I just also desire that we might be able to send more funds to more places who have never heard the name of Christ. I find myself overwhelmed that today people perished in our world without ever hearing the name of Christ, without ever holding a Bible, and without any eternal hope. I find myself burdened particularly for Pakistan. It seems that there are almost daily headlines of suicide bombers, turmoil, and persecution of Christians. The only hope for Pakistan is the Gospel. While the immediate chapter of my journey may not be in Pakistan, I find myself feeling that perhaps someday I might have the privilege of declaring the Gospel there. Should the greatest sacrifice be required of me, then may I stand with those in Rev. 12:11 who "loved not their lives even unto death." I find myself pondering the reality that life is a mist, a vapor, a wave, and then we proceed to eternity. I find myself wondering if the amount of treasure I've stored in Heaven will actually reveal that I thought more of the present world than the world to come. I find myself thinking I want to seize each day as an opportunity to love Tara as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her. I find myself realizing I need to do better at this. Yet in all this pondering and pontificating, I also find myself rejoicing. Rejoicing that one day a trumpet will sound and loud voices in heaven will say, "The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Christ, and he shall reign forever and ever." Rejoicing that Christ was slain and by His blood He ransomed people for God from every tribe and language and people and nation. Rejoicing that we who were dead in our trespasses have been made alive by God because the record of debt that stood against us has been cancelled as God nailed it to the cross. Rejoicing that Christ will destroy every rule and every authority and every power and even the final enemy, death. Rejoicing that the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a cry of command, with the voice of an archangel, and with the sound of the trumpet of God. Rejoicing that the dead in Christ will rise first, then we who are alive will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. Rejoicing we will always be with the Lord. Oh Father, help me to love you deeply, to live for you daily, and to lead my family and congregation diligently for the sake of Your name and renown. The washer and dryer have stopped.