Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Holy Thursday

We welcome you to Charter Oak Church during this Holy season.

Thursday, April1, 7:30 p.m.
Christian Life Center

A special service celebrating The Last Supper.

Communion will be served around a table in groups of twelve.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

PD's New Role

We welcome Pastor Dave back at Charter Oak Church as the new Pastor Emeritus. This is a great way to honor PD and recognize his faithful service to the people of Charter Oak Church and this region. Pastor Emeritus is an honorary title and is not given out very often. For us, it means he will be preaching periodically, which we all know is one of his gifts from God. He will not have an office in the church or office hours. He is still retired, but getting to do what he loves - care for the people of this church and share the love of Jesus with us. It's a pretty good deal for him and us. Below is what was read on March 13/14 when he officially became the Pastor Emeritus of Charter Oak Church.
“Recognizing your pastoral leadership of this congregation since the year 1992, we bestow upon you the honor of being known to us and to others as Pastor Emeritus of Charter Oak Church.”

“We remember with regard your spiritual leadership, biblical preaching, heartfelt teaching, and incredible pastoral care.

“In conferring this honor, we join with you in a continued appreciation for the pastoral office. And though you will no longer actively serve as pastor, your integrity, commitment to Jesus, and a heart for this church help us to regard you and the pastoral office you held in our midst.”

In conferring this honor, we pledge ourselves to continued concern for your health and happiness. We will hold you in our prayers and cherish the contributions you have made.”

If you promise to uphold Pastor Dave with your prayers, encourage him with your words, and support him with your actions, please stand up. If you really mean it say “we will!”

Friday, March 12, 2010

A Cabin in the Woods

Mark Batterson wrote...

Change of pace + change of place = change of perspective

I'm going on study leave Sunday evening. The leadership of Charter Oak Church holds such a high value on my spiritual health that I am able to take two weeks a year to change my pace and change my place so that I can change my perspective. My pace becomes God's pace, my place becomes the feet of Jesus, and that leads to a whole new perspective.

Easter is on the horizon. The series we are creating to follow the resurrection of our Savior is going to be incredible. This is my opportunity to get away to a cabin in the woods to be on the same page as God. God's vision for the people of Charter Oak Church and this region is so huge we cannot accomplish it apart from God.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Book #7 - The Imperfect Board Member

For the third or fourth time I have read Jim Brown's book, The Imperfect Board Member: Discovering the Seven Disciplines of Governance Excellence. This time I am reading this book with our Church Council. The leadership of this church is too important not to work at it and have a clearly defined path and expectations to achieve what it is that God is leading us to do.
Over the next seven months we are going to study the disciplines of governance excellence. I want our Church Council to be smart and healthy.
If you are on a board of directors, if you lead a board, or if you want to understand in greater depth how a healthy board operates, I highly recommend this book to you. I also challenge you to read it with your board, struggle through it to become the very best board of directors you can. God is counting on us to lead well.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Book #6 - The Prodigal God

This is the first book I have read by Tim Keller. I am preparing to talk about grace starting in May and I want to use the story of the Prodigal Son as the launch point of that discussion. As I read The Prodigal God: Recovering the Heart of the Christian Faith, I quickly realized how superficial I have been taught about this parable of Jesus.
Keller states that he wrote this book for the seeker or the new believer to help explain the foundational truth of the grace of God. I have a better understanding of grace because I read this book. No matter where you are on the spiritual spectrum, I highly recommend this book.
When I preach the series on grace in May, I will suggest to our congregation that they get this book, read it, then pass it on to someone in their circle of influence.

Listen Carefully

I was reading Numbers 20 yesterday and I can't shake it from my brain. The Israelites are in the Desert of Zin. It's hot. It's the desert! The people complain against God that they should have stayed in Egypt because they are now going to die in the desert. God tells Moses to speak to a rock and water will come out of it for the whole community to drink. Moses and Aaron gather the people, Moses uses his staff to strike the rock, and the water comes gushing out. Problem solved. People happy.

God is now hot. God is angry with Moses and Aaron. Why? Moses used the staff and did not speak to the rock. It is so easy to miss this. For this reason, both Moses and Aaron will not be allowed to enter into the Promised Land. As a matter of fact Aaron will die before the end of the chapter.

Do you see what is going on here? When God speaks, when God tells us His will, His expectation is that we will listen carefully and follow perfectly. I cannot tell you how many times I listened to God, fast forwarded to the end result, and then made my own plans on how to get there. That's what Moses did. The voices of the Israelites were ringing in his ears as God spoke with the solution to the problem. He didn't follow God's exact command. The fallout was not good.

I wonder how many times do we hear from God, understand what God wants, but we make decisions on how we think it should be done instead of continuing to listen for how God wants it done. This challenges me to be all the more sure I am listening carefully, that I am developing my relationship with God more intentionally, and not hurrying off to do things my way.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Book #5 - Linchpin

When Seth Godin writes a book, I buy it. As soon as I heard Linchpin: Are You Indispensable? was released I went to the book store to buy it. I'm telling you, I was not disappointed. It was what I expected and more.
We really are in a new day and what you bring to your day, whether it is at work, home, school, wherever - you can add tremendous value. A linchpin is someone who invents, leads, connects to and with others, they just plain make things happen. The speed that a Linchpin lives is very different from everyone else around them. They are truly indispensable.
This book inspired me, it convicted me, it reminded me of dreams I once had about how I wanted to contribute to making everyone around me better. I asked myself time and time again, what if we had more Linchpins in our church, in our conference, in our country, in our world - what would be the result?
I know I want to be a Linchpin - I am called and gifted to be one. Are you?