“Remember the Alamo!”…that’s what they say anyway. Sitting here in the San Antonio Hyatt it’s kind of hard to forget the Alamo, since it’s right out my widow. What is it that we should remember about the Alamo anyway? I do remember being here at the Alamo about 30 years ago and I remember from Peewee Herman that the Alamo has no basement, but I’m pretty sure that’s not what they mean.
For Davy Crockett and Sam Houston, the Alamo was a disaster. That was over 170 years ago, but for some reason we still want to remember it. There have been many disasters since then: How about Custer’s Last Stand, the Titanic, Pearl Harbor, the Bay of Pigs, Vietnam and of course who can forget 9/11. We remember these and more. Why? Are we a morbid people who just like to remember “train wrecks” or is there something more?
I think it was George Santayana who said “those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” If only Hitler had remembered Waterloo we might be living in a much different world today. So, it must be a good thing that we do remember these tragic events so that we can learn from them. Nevertheless, there are definitely some “indiscretions” in my past I would like to forget about. Unfortunately, my friends and family already know about them and consequently, I cannot erase them from the past.
Paul the Apostle had some of those “indiscretions” too. He was talking about sin in the Bible when he said: “I am the chief” (of all sinners). When I first read that I thought, if that’s true, then who could ever be a good person and go to heaven? The answer, of course, is, nobody. So, why was Paul not condemned and what if anything, can be done to save us from condemnation?
God said that if you believe that Jesus died to cover your sins, then: “…I will be merciful to their (your) unrighteousness, and their (your) sins [b]and their (your) lawless deeds I will remember no more.” (Heb 8:12).
So, bottom line is: You and God both remember the Alamo, but only you remember your sins because when He looks at you, He only sees Jesus and all else is cast as far as the East is from the West. Your sins are no more.
San Antonio, 2018
“An empty stable stays clean, but no income comes from an empty stable” Prov. 14:4
As I look around my office I notice that it’s a bit messy on first impressions. Sticky notes are placed all over, files are stacked, and yes there is a little dust! I’ve got papers I need to go through for ministry areas, projects we are working on currently, and people’s information and such to connect with. I’ve tried to keep things clean, but it just turns messy again. To some it may look like I’m “out of control” or “don’t care”, but to me I know where everything is and the timing of it. I see the mess different than the outsider. Then I realized something: Ministry is meant to be messy.
It’s messy not in a sense of carelessness in activity or callousness to the call, but in the sense of activity for forward progress. There is always something to do for the glory of God.
You see, Jesus wants His Church to be a light in the community, salt n this earth, busy about his work & witness. That takes planning, preparing, vision, and action. That takes a bit of getting messy. Sure there are costs and risks to take (sometimes we all just want things nice & tidy), but messiness is part of the progress for His kingdom’s sake.
Here’s a few things I’ve learned from the messiness of ministry:
1) MESSINESS KEEPS ME DEPENDENT UPON GOD. When He is in control, I’m not. When I’m a bit over my head, it’s actually a good thing. It’s where God must step in and work and I must step back and let Him.
2) MESSINESS KEEPS ME PRAYING. Knowing there is much to do I find myself praying for these things God is doing. I’m praying for the people it effects, the plans to go forward rightly, the power of the Spirit to be revealed, and the Person of Jesus to be exalted.
So as you look at your day, or your ministry, and think, “What a mess! What am I going to do about it!” Know that it’s never about you getting done a task to check off your list. It’s about you thriving in the mess to let God shine through you.
Words of encouragement from the leadership at Calvary North.