Monday, March 31, 2008

A New Beginning

Today marks a new beginning in the history of the church I currently attend.

Yesterday, at the end of each of the morning worship services, the congregation packed up the hymnbooks and pew Bibles. Then, they carried the 77-year-old pew cushions out to a dumpster (or took one home for a variety of uses).

This week, workers will begin the process of restoring and renovating the sanctuary and chapel. What excitement!

New beginnings always have a way of generating excitement. It is my hope that this time of new beginning will also have some symbolic significance in the life of this church. Wouldn't it be wonderful if this time of facility restoration and renovation could also be a time of restoration and renovation in the spiritual lives of the members and friends of the church?

I, for one, will be praying that God uses this time to move on us all in a spirit of true revival. He has placed us very purposefully in the heart of this city. May His mercy and grace overwhelm us and equip us, by the power of the Holy Spirit, to do His work and to obey His will.
Copyright © 2008 by Dean K. Wilson. All Rights Reserved.


Thursday, March 27, 2008

We don't want to
miss the blessing!

In Alvin Toffler’s Future Shock, published in 1970, he suggests that people need “islands of stability in times of rapid change.”

Where do you find your stability? Here’s a true story about where I find mine.

“Daddy, why do we always go to Church?” I had reached the ripe old age of seven. Spoiled beyond measure, as an only adopted child, I asked lots of questions. Dad always had lots of answers.

“We go to Church, Son, because God wants us to gather together to worship Him and serve Him. He wants us to go to Church prepared to reach out to the people He loves. Besides, we don’t want to miss the blessing.”

“Miss the blessing, Dad?”

“That’s right, Son. We never know when God might do something really spectacular at Church. We wouldn’t want to miss that, would we?”

Looking back on that conversation from my vantage point 53 years later, I realize how wise my father was. He understood that we attend church, first of all, to honor God.

When believers in the Lord Jesus Christ gather together for worship, the presence of the Holy Spirit, within the corporate body of believers, ignites a special “fire of grace.”

We believe that God has given very special and very particular spiritual gifts to each member of His body. When those gifts come together in one place—the Church—the power of the Spirit transcends the power available in any one person.

As those gifts begin to work in our midst, every person gathered for worship receives the blessing of those gifts. The power of the Living Christ to transform lives comes forth within the spiritual gifts of his devoted servants when they gather in one place for worship.

Secondly, we come to Church so we may stand ready to serve in helping meet the needs that our brothers and sisters might have. Because God, through the power of the Holy Spirit, has filled us with His love, He wants us to let His love flow out from us and touch the lives of those around us.

What a better place for the spiritual gifts God has given us to find a place of service than in meeting the needs of our fellow Kingdom citizens.

God expects us to lovingly care for each other. As He brings healing to us, as a corporate body of believers, we can then use His equipping to reach out beyond our walls and touch people in our daily world who need His special grace.

Until we receive His healing, we cannot possibly expect to effectively minister to others.

Lastly, He wants us to gather together expectantly. He stands prepared to bless us in a new and fresh way every time we join in worship. If we do not take the opportunity He has provided for us to gather together in His house to worship Him, we might miss that blessing.

The Church, as a body of believers, exists to encourage and equip us for Kingdom work. God’s special blessing on our times of worship grants us a rejuvenation, a refreshing, a reviving that enables us to march out into the world, each week, prepared to allow God’s love within us to touch everyone who crosses our pathway.

All three of these reasons for attending weekly worship lay a foundation of stability. This means that our Church—our wonderful, magnificent, glorious, rejuvenating, refreshing, reviving body of believers in the Lord Jesus Christ—can become our “island of stability in times of rapid change.”

When my dad told his seven-year-old son that we go to church to honor God, to be ready to serve our brothers and sisters in need, and to wait expectantly to see what God intends to do in our midst, he gave me a valuable lesson in stability that I carry with me to this day.

So, dear friends, why do you come to church? What can we do for you? How can we follow the pattern of our Lord and connect with you in a life-giving way?

If you prepare for bed on Saturday night and you stop to think about whether or not you intend to go to Church the next day, let me urge you to consider the words of the writer to the Hebrews: “Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.” Hebrews 10:25

Looking for an island of stability in our rapidly changing world? Why not join us for worship?

Come to worship this Sunday. See if the sense of Christ’s Presence will bring you peace, comfort, stability, a sense of belonging, and inexpressible joy.
Copyright © 2008 by Dean K. Wilson. All Rights Reserved.


Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Never A Blogger, Never!

Okay. So I once said I would never, never create a blog.

I have finally given in to the burst of technology and risen to support this method of free speech.

For years, I sent out an almost daily e-mail newsletter to an ever-growing list of "friends." Some said they enjoyed what I had to say. Others followed the instructions I offered and asked to be removed from the e-mail list.

Now, I guess, it will be up to each reader to decided whether or not to return and see what has spilled out of my no-longer-so-fertile brain.

Did you wonder why I chose the name "Suppressing-the-Fire?" Starting from the age of 12 I have had an interest in fire protection. Until disability overcame me, I worked all of my adult life in the field of fire protection. Since it is likely that the majority of these posts will deal with spiritual matters, the title may seem somewhat strange. All the better to capture someone's interest, I suppose.

I have no grand plan laid out as I begin to wind my way through the blogosphere. If you wish to hop on board for a while, I extend a welcoming hand to help you up. Perhaps together we can share some moments that will prove beneficial to us both.
Copyright © 2008 by Dean K. Wilson. All Rights Reserved.