Monthly Archives: September 2014

Wedgwood Baptist Church Gave Me a Gift

While living in Fort Worth, Tx, my family and I were members of Wedgwood Baptist Church. Many people have probably heard of this church because of the tragic shooting that occurred there. However, they are known for more things than that.

Just before we arrived, it became known to WBC that a fellow church near by was in danger of closing its doors. I don’t know the details of why this was so. However, I did see the response of Wedgwood. The pastor asked the congregation of 700+ if any would be willing to move their membership to this struggling church (Now that’s Kingdom-minded). The best I can remember 100+ accepted.

This struggling church was in a prime location. It was in need of people and life and funds. A light had grown dim but this surge of people brightened things up. Again, I do not have details but what I do know is the church is thriving and reaching people for Christ. Praise God for Kingdom-minded churches. Thank you Wedgwood.

I encountered a similar opportunity. The example of Wedgwood greatly influenced me to consider being Kingdom-minded. We were members of a great church. Great relationships. The decision was h.a.r.d. You would hope it’s hard to leave a church. Trust me…it was.

I promised in the last post to give more context to the decision I wrote about. As you can see, God used Wedgwood in that decision among many other things. We followed their example and are blessed. This was a precious gift…a gift by way of example…the gift of Kingdom-minded.

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God’s Slow, Steady, and Wise Hand!

One year ago today, the Lord began stirring in me a desire to move to another church. Granted, I cannot explain how this “stirring” works. This stirring is like feelings. They can’t be trusted. This stirring could or could not be from the Lord. Therefore, it must be tested. John tells us, “Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world.” (I Jn 4:1). I think “spirit” is partly “feelings.” So, your feelings need to be tested with scripture.

The main point I want to make in this post is slowness. We live in a world that wants, whatever it is, immediately! A dear brother pointed out to me that God is content to work in decades, centuries, and long periods of time. The entire Bible begs this point. I don’t say these things as one who does not struggle with the temptation of wanting things to happen quickly. Nor am I saying that some things don’t need to happen quickly. They do. However, waiting is often not an option for us.

I have a journal entry to show how God worked “slowly” with me and all the others involved. In fact, that slowness is still part of the scenario. I see this slowness as healthy and good. May God grant me [us] patience and mercy through this transition.

Journal Entry September 20, 2013

While praying yesterday morning, I prayed part of Psalm 69 “Deliver me from the mire and do not let me sink.” I began to think of moving my family to Davis Memorial. I imagined what it would look like for my family to be there. I really was encouraged by the thought. I need more evidence that I should do this. My feelings are not firm foundations. Actually, they can be “mire.” We will see how the Lord might lead and confirm.

Our first Sunday at Davis Memorial was July 9, 2014. I became convinced early on. The evidence was slow. I ran it by my wife first. It took time for her to see it, but she did. I ran it by the pastor of Davis Memorial and it took time for him to see it, but he did. In time, I hope the members of Davis Memorial will see it.

I am aware that some of the members might read this. If you do, do not feel rushed. Take as long as you need. I hope you are encouraged by this post to wait on God. Also, I hope to reveal more of the process and reason for moving in later posts. If anything, I hope you see this was not a spur of the moment decision. Also, don’t see my process and understanding of this without error. I trust that God was working things out long before and He is still at work now. To God be the glory forever and ever!


A Letter to My Brother in Christ

I am aware that you need more context to understand fully what I write here. However, that will not be provided. I hope it is of value as it stands.

Journal Entry:

September 12, 2013

I don’t think a church plant will happen…at least not right now. The letter I sent to various people did not reveal much interest. Therefore, I will push on doors elsewhere. If you hear of any opportunities please pass them along. Thanks for all your help and prayers. All that you poured into me is still bearing fruit brother…it was not in vain.

I am thankful for the time I have had after seminary. Seminary was good for me in many ways but I needed to adjust to life outside the academy. I was not ready to deliver truth with mercy and patience. I had a packaged deal (that had many flaws) that would not fly very quickly. I would have lorded it over them. I would have pushed my agendas. But now, I am ready to walk with them (whoever they are) for however long it takes. I will have compassion instead of compulsion. Discipleship rather than dictatorship.

Also, I think my marriage is better as a result of waiting. I think I am a better father having waited. I have learned a ton! Many adjustments along the way. The Lord has been so merciful to me.

Seminary students don’t know what they need because they think they know. They don’t know…most of them. I hope you will encourage them to hang around the church for awhile before going into ministry. They need to be around you. Brother, you have such a gift from the Lord. I thankful for the time with you.

At the end of the day, God has not called me to be a pastor but to trust in His Son. The process of following everyday in everything is far more important than ministry. I could be so consumed with seeking a ministry position that I become faithless to the ministry of my family and those I am in contact with everyday.

I could tell you a story about Stanley who was our delivery guy where I work. I spoke with him about Jesus each week even though he claimed to be a believer. A few months ago, the Lord got his attention and he and his son went to church, heard the gospel, and believed. Now his wife is believing. They are making backpacks for the homeless. I could go on and on about things like that. God is using me right where I am…a husband, father, and hardware salesman.

I am in a discipleship relationship with two guys. We meet at McDonald’s every Saturday morning. I see fruit in their lives! Yet I long for more.

I feel like I am doing nothing for Christ. I ponder giving it all up because I can only do so little. Then God sent this to me: “Nobody made a greater mistake than he who did nothing because he could do so little” (Edmund Burke).

May the Lord do with me as He pleases. May I be content with the small ministry that I have. I will give an account for them too! Pray for me…I so need it.


Seeing Evidence of Grace in My Life

Journal Entry September 5, 2013:

I reflect on the amazing grace in my life as I fill up an entire notebook even before the year is up. This is a first. I have been unable to do this for more than a week at a time in the past. Yet, this time consistency stayed. I don’t say journaling is some superior discipline to be achieved. Its value will be in remembering what the Lord has done for me resulting in more trust and more praise. May it be so. My plan is to begin blogging again starting January 1, 2014. I hope to review the corresponding entry on the same day of the year and use it to write a post. This will have me looking back and remembering and it will help me in writing. Writing in this form will hopefully restart some of those gears that sit idle for the moment. And lastly, I hope the blog will be a help to others. May the grace You have shown me Father be used for your glory!

O Lord, may I see and hear Your word now!

~Jason


Illustration of Grace

A story told by one of our elders during members’ class. Of course, all illustrations have their limits but this is very helpful:

Pretend that someone came into my house and killed my only son. If as he was fleeing, I took a shotgun and chased him down and killed him, we would call it revenge. If, [however] I called the police and they arrested him and he was sent to prison, we would call it justice. If I went to the jail and told him I forgave him and did not hold anything against him, we would call it mercy. If I forgave him and got him out of jail and took him home and adopted him into my family and he became my son with all the privileges of sonship and full inheritance rights, we would call it grace. That is exactly what our Lord did. We killed His son and yet He forgives us and adopts us into His family with full inheritance rights. Amazing grace!

~Jason


Still Believing!

Journal Entry Tuesday, September 3, 2013

I am still believing today! I am sure I will be tomorrow and the next…not because of me but because of Christ. I need you O God my salvation again today, for my soul is sinking. I feel like letting go. But for some reason I don’t. Therefore, I say to my soul “Why are you downcast? Hope in God, for I will again praise Him.” Waiting….

 

Rise up, be our help and redeem us for the sake of Your lovingkindness!  


The Temptation of More

The title could lead you in multiple directions. So, I need to begin by stating what I mean by “more.” I’m sure you understand what it means to be tempted. You could think from the title that the temptation is about “more” stuff! And that is a common temptation. It is one that needs to be subdued. However, the “more” I speak of is more ministry.

I am going to quote from my journal. The date was September 2, 2013. At that time, I was a member of a church waiting for God to open a door for ministry.

I was renewed yesterday (Sept. 1, 2013) to press on today! O Lord, renew me today that I might press on tomorrow. A quote that was helpful to me: “Nobody made a greater mistake that he who did nothing because he could only do a little” (Edmund Burke). I look at my life and think I am doing nothing for Christ (wasting my life). Yet the enemy would have me believe and desire more, more, more. More, for me, has not come. Therefore, I am tempted to stop what little I do if I can’t have all that I want. O how subtle! Father help me be faithful with the small ministry. May it bear much fruit! May I be content. Grow me in grace. Forgive me for giving in to the “more” temptation. It was consuming me. Lord, if you never give me more than I have right now, I will still follow you.

May I hear from your word today!

Today is a different day. It has much more. I still your grace!

~Jason

Here is something I heard from the word that morning:

From 1 Samuel 26, we again see David patiently waiting for the throne. Though David had lost his place in Saul’s kingdom, he had not lost his place in God’s Kingdom. David was doing nothing for God while hiding from Saul. Yet, God was at work in David. He was being prepared for what was to come!