Monday, January 11, 2010

Monday Miscellaneous

- From a "shepherding" standpoint, it's been one of the toughest weeks I remember for a long time. Wednesday night, a family in our church lost their 3 month old baby boy. It was awful! A few of us were over their house Wednesday night just trying to be there for them and grieve with them. Needless to say, it was heartwrenching and when I got home on what would have been Thursday morning, I crept in to Mercy and Ezra's rooms while they were sleeping and just prayed over them and thanked God so much for them. Then on Saturday afternoon, a man from our church was working on his tractor outside and it fell on top of him crushing his leg underneath. His daughter (who just returned this week from over a month of radiation treatments for a brain tumor) ran outside to help him and, her already weakened body, then fell in to complete exhaustion from overexerting herself trying to pull him from underneath the tractor. Both went to the hospital and several of us were at the hospital with them. While at the hospital, we discovered that another dear lady from our church had just been admitted for chest pains. Then, on Sunday morning, we learned that the mom of another dear, dear family in our church had passed away. Sunday afternoon, we had the heart-wrenching funeral for the 3-month old little baby. This morning, a lady from our church who just gave birth a few days ago now needs to have her gall bladder removed and another lady from our church starts chemotherapy treatments. I admit that I'm a bit emotionally drained at the moment, but am thankful for the opportunity to try to be "in the picture" for those people. It's times like this that I feel so "underqualified" to be a pastor ... what do you say to people in all of these types of situations? It's a helpless feeling but I also realized that I'm not called to have all the answers in times like this. I'm called to care.

- At the funeral yesterday there was a time given for people to share. The ER nurse who was taking care of the baby came up and said, "You don't know me, but I'm the ER nurse who was taking care of your baby that night. I know that you were not allowed to be in the ER with your baby. I wish you could have been there, but since you were unable to I just want you to know that your baby was tenderly cared for. We swadled him. We held him. We prayed over him. He was tenderly care for and I just wanted you to know that." I just lost it! I went up to the nurse after the funeral and simply said, "As a parent, that is exactly what I would have wanted to hear. Thank you for sharing."

- I start 5 Star again this afternoon at the Goshen Middle School. 5 Star is a great organization that plants itself in local schools teaching core values to kids. Since it's in a school setting, they cannot teach kids from the Bible ... but everything they teach is Biblical. They then promote a summer camp all year at the school and it's at that summer camp where they share the Gospel with kids and they have literally seen hundreds of kids come to know Jesus at this camp. Exciting stuff.

- We had Mercy's first birthday/dedication celebration this past Friday. I'll be posting more about that later with some pictures hopefully. Just a quick story from it, though ... I was planning on a bit of a late night cleaning things up after the party but what was sooooo very cool is that several of the people from the party just jumped in and cleaned everything up for us ... without even being asked. They just started cleaning. It made me think two things:

1) That's the type of person I want to be ... someone who does things without being asked ... who serves just to serve ... who sees a need and meets it.

2) Why didn't I ask them to do this in the first place? I was just planning on doing it all myself and it made me ask the question, "Why was I unwilling to depend on and lean on other people for help?" If I were asked to do this, I wouldn't have hesitated to say yes, but for some reason I often feel like I'm inconveniencing people when I ask them for things ... I need to get over that and not say someone's "no" for them.

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