Simple Trust

May 26, 2022.

A couple weeks ago was our grand-daughters 4th birthday. When Melodee and I arrived, I teasingly told Everly that this was her big day in which she was supposed to give all of her little friends a present. She corrected me that her friends were going to be bringing presents to her. But I persisted in my rouse and said, “No darling, birthdays are when you give everybody else presents.” Instantly, her eyes whelmed up with tears and she ran to her daddy crying before I could fix it. It was a case of a grandpa joke going too far. I felt terrible, of course. An hour later Everly came to me and asked, “Papa, why did you tell me that I would not be getting any presents for my Birthday? Because that is just not how the world works!” Oh my goodness…what a little doll!

#JesusStories: Mark 10 captures a time when the disciples were telling parents with children to stop bothering Jesus, to which he became angry and insisted that the children be brought to him immediately. Then Jesus said this, “I promise you that you cannot get into God’s kingdom unless you accept it the way a child does.” For any of us who desire our lives to flow with the kingdom, we must develop a simple childlike trust. This is not only true for our personal salvation, and it also true for our ministries and Christian leadership.

My father was a well-read, studied, and serious pastor throughout his life. I remember asking him one day whether or not God was truly faithful to us. I had witnessed a few things in which it appeared that Jesus had failed to show up. My father recognized my quandary of faith and gave four little words that changed my life, “I just trust God!” There were certainly times to look for logical answers, and he did that as a serious student of theology. But on this day he revealed there were times to rely upon a simple childlike faith. Through the years, I have faced numerous ministerial challenges that made me dig deep for practical answers. But I have also faced a few raw impossibilities and some deep disappointments. These became the moments when the Spirit brought back my fathers words, and I found myself bowing my head and repeating, “Jesus, I just trust you!” And with that simple prayer, my soul regained its traction. In our darkest moments, it is not our theology that will fix us, it is a simple childlike trust that will restore our soul and refresh the many promises of the kingdom.

#DinnerChurchQuotes: The average child asks 100 questions a day. By middle-age adults, it’s down to a handful of questions a day. As we grow older, we lose our inquiring sense of awe and wonder. We forget how to be childlike. (Michael Slaughter)

#PracticalStuff: What is your Summer Dinner Church plan? Some years ago we realized that our teams had been serving faithfully through Memorial Day Weekend, Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Years Eve, New Years Day, etc. We had not shut down our weekly Dinner Church gatherings for any reason nor any day they happened upon. We wanted our guests to know they were like family to us. However, our team was getting tired. So we decided to take August’s off, and turn our Dinner Church congregations over to other sister churches to host during those four weeks. This turned out to be powerful for many reasons: it not only rested our people, but it exposed other Christian groups to a different and potent way of doing church. Interestingly, our congregations felt well-cared for even while we were caring for ourselves. And guess who were soon wanting to open a Dinner Church congregation of their own? Yup, those who had filled in for us. We now have many partner churches hosting a Dinner Church of their own throughout our city. Is it possible that you can do some things this Summer that would be both restful and multiplication-oriented?

Blessings & Boldness,

Verlon

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