What are 1 or 2 things the Lord has been teaching you in lately?
As you can imagine, this past year of dealing with the effects of COVID have taught me the most.
The positives: The shutdowns and closures have reminded me of what’s important. Brenda and I spent more time with each other, studied the Bible more, and prayed a bit more. Our girls are no longer at home so we couldn’t spend more time with them but I would imagine families with children at home had more time to spend as a family without all the running around to different activities during the week. I think of it as the Lord’s way of taking some of the busy-ness out of life to focus on home life and those closest to you a bit more.
I think the social unrest, shortages of supplies, panic over illness, presidential election, etc – all of those reminded me of how broken this world is. It was very easy to get into an attitude of fear and anger given all that was going on. I believe God is reminding us (me) that He is sovereign through it all. Reminding us (me) that our time here is temporary and to keep our focus on eternal things. Reminding us (me) that only He knows how many days/hours/minutes we have here so we should not worry.
The negatives: I’ve been saddened by how much the mask wearing controversy has caused hurt feelings in the church. I personally don’t take a stand on either side of it but hope that wherever you find yourself that you are reminded that we are all sinners saved by grace. We are all called to forgive and show mercy and grace to others just as the Lord has forgiven us.
As an elder team, we’ve learned a lot while trying to navigate this challenging time. I hope that everyone recognizes how much we’ve tried to bring you the gospel in new ways while accommodating everyone’s beliefs on what social distancing looks like to them. Online streaming, outdoor services, streaming/seating in the Shed, mask only services, and mask optional services were all done to continue to share the gospel even when “normal” was disrupted.
Besides serving as an elder, where and how do you serve within the church?
I’ve been a member of the building team since it was originally formed to purchase and renovate our current building. I help with activities behind the scenes like mowing and maintenance items around the building and property.
I help out with the IT and AV teams where needed – researching and purchasing of equipment, installation and setup, etc.
Brenda and I lead a small group that meets every other Sunday after church. I also help coordinate the men’s group that meets on Saturday mornings.
What is one of your greatest joys serving as an elder?
What is one of your challenges that you face as an elder?
I feel that both of these questions have the same answer as it’s been a joy and a challenge to read the prayer requests we receive each week. Let me explain…
So many times, interactions with each other at church on Sunday are short and quick so you don’t know what someone may be going through. It can be common for us to answer “fine” when someone asks “how are you doing?” It’s hard to open up to one another about what’s really going on even though the Bible says that we should carry each other’s burdens, speak life to one another, and lift each other up. I think Matthew West’s song “Truth Be Told” speaks to this so perfectly.
It’s very humbling that you would open up about what’s going on in your life to share with me (us) so that we can pray for you and walk with you during the tough times.
This is not to say that all prayer requests are “bad news”. There are many praises as well. Praises that bring joy to know that God does answer some prayers!
How can the church pray for your heart and life?
I pray that God will continue to open to my eyes to how he sees people. To bring up another song, “Give Me Your Eyes” by Brandon Heath comes to mind.
I pray for an approachable demeanor that allows people to see me as trustworthy, willing to listen, and offer truthful, biblical advice whenever possible.
Movie: Just about any movie based on a true story. If it’s a faith-based true story – even better!
Restaurant: That’s a tough one as I don’t really have one. Olive Garden for lasagna. Fiesta Ranchera or Los Potrillos for burritos and nachos. Buffalo Wild Wings for wings and onion rings.
Food: Anything baked – cookies, pie, etc.
Book: Besides the Bible? 😊 Where the Red Fern Grows has been a favorite since I was a kid.
Hobby: Working outside, working in the garage, golf, fishing