Thursday, March 1, 2018
Dreaming About Church Meetings
"He has told you what is good and what He requires of you."
When speaking to law enforcement officers and others in part of my call as a police chaplain, I'll often begin, "I've been a Kopp all of my life."
Well, I don't know if this is a trend or what pero the last two KD guests are cops.
For professional churchy gals and guys, this one could provoke a little defensiveness; especially for those who live for process over action and talk about organizational stuff and developing mission statements for sooooooo long that the opportunities concomitant to kairos evaporate before incarnation.
Parenthetically, though I told the cop that wrote this one that I think one of the reasons why churchy folks keep designing wheels that they never roll is because, uh, well, uh, they really like to talk eloquently about doing nothing while anesthetizing the brains of all around 'em including theirs, I may be wrong.
Three memories come to mind:
1. Dr. James I. McCord, who may have been the last fearlessly faithful P of two very renowned institutions, speaking to some mush-brained and over-educated seminarians on the fifth floor of Baltimore, Maryland's Hilton Hotel in the mid-70s: "Boys, get out there and do something for Christ's sake! You can't keep talking about what you'll never do! I don't care if you fall or fail or... But get out there and do something for Christ's sake!" He said that while cradling one of the most beautiful Churchills that I'd ever seen.
2. Moody to some mainliners, probably Presbyterians or Lutherans or Methodists or Episcopalians or UCCers or other franchises that decreasingly walk with or talk about Jesus, that were criticizing how he did evangelism: "I prefer the way I do it to the way you don't do it."
3. Buechner: "A prophet's quarrel with the world is deep-down a lover's quarrel. If they didn't love the world, they probably wouldn't bother to tell it that it's going to hell. They'd just let it go."
As with most KDs, you get to surmise if it's an inspiration or indigestion; doing nothing about the former as usual and feeling smug about doing nothing if it's the latter as usual.
Pero maybe, just maybe, God is speaking through this cop about how He'd like us to direct traffic.
Oh, yeah, the author is Bill Villont who is a retired cop (Belvidere Police Department), elder and treasurer of our family of faith, and member of Blackhawk Presbytery Council.
He had a vision/dream/inspiration/indigestion - You decide! - the night after BP Council met on February 27, 2018.
Last night, after our Council meeting, I went to bed, as usual, and I slept better last night than I had in a long time, I didn’t have to get up once or twice as usual, but during the night God was speaking to me and I was troubled because I really didn’t know for sure what was happening. I sometimes struggle with that little voice in my head and I am questioning, is this me thinking, (which can get dangerous), or is this the Holy Spirit trying to tell me something Well once again, it was one of those times because, well because……… Here is the just of what was said to me last night………….
What is wrong with you guys, look around you, there are people, communities, nations, and they are all calling out for leadership. You have one of the greatest opportunities to set the example, to show strong leadership and you sit around and try to re-write what has already been written. You argue among yourselves, you discuss many things and accomplish nothing. You say many things, some good, some not so good. Here me now:
I have already given you all the tools you need, just put them to use.
(my thoughts) When I got up my mind was whirling and so I had to write. When I attended my first Presbytery meeting, when you all were arguing over the GA amendment to allow same-sex nuptials God sent me to that meeting with a message, and just as I was to deliver HIS words, the biased leaders cut me off from sharing a message from God Himself. God has not forgotten that, and He whispered to me again last night, (the night of our last Presbytery Council meeting, February 26th). He repeated to me almost the same words to me that night as he did before that Presbytery meeting. "I have already given you all the tools you need, just put them to use".
He continued, “The Council wants you to read a book about MY mission” Is the author’s" (I believe the author’s name was Alexander something, I didn’t write it down), "is the author's words BETTER than MY words that I have already given? Read MY book of wisdom and you can do many things. Look around you, you, they, you are the leaders of My churches and you cannot even agree on how to set the example. You are MY disciples, that I have chosen to lead MY church. Read My Book where I have already written down MY instructions for great leadership and direction.” Look to me and I will show the way.”
I went back to bed and I barely slept as I pondered what had just happened. I got up at 4:00 am on Wednesday morning, and at 4:22 I got my daily scripture suggestion on my cell phone, as I do every morning, and what I got that morning stunned me, it was Matthew 21: 22, “But Jesus was matter-of-fact: “Yes-and if you embrace this kingdom life and don’t doubt God, you’ll not only do minor feats like I did to the fig tree, but also triumph over huge obstacles. This mountain, for instance, you’ll tell, ‘Go jump in the lake’, and it will jump. Absolutely everything, ranging from small to large, as you make it a part of your believing prayer, gets included as you lay hold of God.”
So, what are we trying to do here? Why does the Council need a NEW set of guidelines for what is already before us?
With that, I thought I was done, God had spoken, NOPE!
I started my daily devotion and I turned to one of my blogs I read and again, I was stunned, again. Everything led me to the same message I had just gotten. Here is what lay before me:
When God Changes Our Plans
The Good Book Blog
By Dave Keehn
There is nothing like changes in one’s travel plan to reveal how we truly handle change. For myself, traveling with my family is a sacred obsession. I plan months ahead to get the best flights and reserve the “perfect” hotel to accommodate our sightseeing interests. As a family, we read travel books and blogs to find the out-of-the-way restaurants. With an itinerary in hand, we embark on our journey, only to be met with forced changes that were unforeseen. To say the least, I don’t deal with a “change in plans” well, especially when I am on vacation. Changes for me equal stress, hassles, and more work.
However, there is a common saying, “If you want to make God laugh, tell him your plans!” While I don’t think God is malicious in his laughter; I do believe he wonders why I thought I had the right to determine my course in the first place. Proverbs 16 is filled with wise sayings that give the true perspective of who is in charge of “making plans.”
“In his heart a man plans his course, but the LORD determines his steps.” (Prov. 16:9)
Many of the wise sayings in Proverbs 16 identify that while it is natural, if not even good for me to make plans, I must recognize my future plans often may seem right to me but are truly selfish and lead to bad results (Prov. 16:1, 2, 25). The good news is: God is in the business of changing our plans to His plan, resulting in something much better than I could hope for. This is what he did with his own disciples.
There is more to this story but I shortened it, as I have spoken too long now.
I TRULY BELIEVE GOD HAS SPOKEN. THANK YOU FOR YOUR INDULGENCE, THANK YOU FOR GOD’S INDULGENCE.
Blessings and Love!
Shatter the sound of silence!
Wake up! Look up! Stand up! Speak up! Act up for Jesus!
Salt! Shine! Leavenate!