Tuesday, January 13, 2009

I can write the blog but I can't write the title. Go figure.

I really don't know how to blog about this. But my entire world seems to know so what's the point of ignoring it? None that I can see. I have not blogged much in several months and it's been because I don't know what to say. God has been working in me and, until now, I have not had the permission or the right to talk about it. And so I just ... shut-up. But now I guess it is time to speak-up.

Last Sunday I resigned as the pastor of the church that I have led since November 4, 2007. That's not a long time to pastor a church. Not at all. So why would a person leave after just 14+ months? I can only think of one good reason.

God told me to.

Yes, I'm one of those whack jobs that actually believes that God communicates with His people. If you are a frequent reader of this space you already know that. There are multiple ways that I believe God has revealed to Debbie and I that we are suppose to take this action but I am not going to go into that. When God speaks to you it is not required that you tell the world what He said. Unless He tells you to. And He has not told me to do that. And this is between my God and I. That's about the best I can do. I hope that is enough.

I know that I have caused pain in some people that I hold very dear here in northeast Ohio. I can't possibly spell out how sorry I am about that. Yet it is not something that I can fix. I am constrained by the love of God. Compelled by His grace to obey His every Word. No, I am not perfect at that. But I am better than I use to be. If I disobey God in this situation then I invalidate everything that I have tried to teach here since I arrived. "Walking-out" what I have taught requires that I "walk away." Rather odd.

We will be here with our church family near Cleveland through the morning worship service on January 25th.

On February 1st we will join our new family at Towerview Baptist Church in Belleville, Illinois. Anytime God opens a new chapter of life it is exciting. And that is exactly what I feel. It's such a paradox. Possibly hurting people in one place in order to obey God and hopefully bless people in another. Closing one chapter and beginning another. I never expected this chapter to be so short. But when you "sign-on" to serve King Jesus you relinquish the right to make many of your own decisions. The options are clear. Obey or disobey.

I choose to obey.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Words For Today (by Rainer Maria Rilke)

"All-loving Father, sometimes we have walked under starless skies that dripped darkness like drenching rain. We despaired of starshine or moonlight or sunrise. The sullen blackness gloomed above us as if it would last forever. And out of the dark there spoke no soothing voice to mend our broken hearts. We would gladly have welcomed some wild thunder peal to break the torturing stillness of that over-brooding night.

"But Thy winsome whisper of eternal love spoke more sweetly to our bruised and bleeding souls than any winds that breathe across Aeolian harps. It was Thy 'still small voice' that spoke to us. We were listening and we heard. We looked and saw Thy face radiant with the light of love. And when we heard Thy voice and saw Thy face, new life came back to us as life comes back to withered blooms that drink the summer rain."