Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Rest Area Ahead!

I have been thinking about waiting on the Lord and what it means to wait. So often I grow impatient for the fruition of the plan that God vision that God has given me and confirmed for me, especially over the last few years.

I remember Moses who was impatient to be about the task God laid on his heart to be an advocate for his people Israel. Many of you remember the story how he took matters into his own hands and in the process of trying to do the right thing ended up becoming a killer and had to flee the courts of Egypt to save his life. He spent forty years in the palace of the Pharaoh only to spend the next forty years of his life tending sheep in the wilderness. It was only after eighty years had passed that God deemed him ready to lead the nation of Israel out of captivity and begin their journey to the promise land. He led his people for the next forty years of his life. It is interesting to note that a full two thirds of his life was in preparation for the last third of his life.

Then I turned my attention to David and how he waited fifteen years after he was anointed to be the next king of Israel before he sat upon the throne of his tribal family Judah. It took another seven years before he would rule a united kingdom of all twelve of the tribes of Israel.

I have to admit that I feel a little anxious thinking that I might be taking longer then Moses or even David to learn my lessons for the next phase of my ministry. Do you ever feel that way? Anxious for the next thing? Perhaps we are wishing our lives away.

I would encourage you to learn to rest in the Lord while you wait. Yeah I know easier said then done. I’m still struggling with this. Perhaps the problem is that I’m struggling! But I am reminded that God offers everyone of his followers a Sabbath Rest. His rest comes with a heaping helping of His shalom. (We often translate this word into the English word – peace. But it is so much more than that it is a fullness and contentment of the soul that leads to the Sabbath rest that the writer of Hebrews speaks about.)

There remains, then, a Sabbath-rest for the people of God – Hebrew 4:9

I desperately want to enter into that rest today. To allow cares and worries to fall away and rest in the arms of God safe, secure and at rest being content at what He has for me and for all who seek to find rest unto their souls!

Heading to the next Rest Area

Pastor Val

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Out of Left Field

Have you ever noticed how often God answers our prayers in the most unusual way?

Recently I’ve had a number of experiences where I cried out to God for someone in need, in need of help for myself, or even encouragement during an extremely difficult time. He has answered my requests just not the way I expected him to. For those of us who are Christ followers, if we were honest, we would have to admit that more times then not – no make that most of the time God never answers our prayers the way we think he should.

While musing on this fact I started calling it God’s left field answers!

Now the phrase "out of left field" is popular vernacular (first attested in 1961) meaning "wildly unrelated to the subject being discussed", and "out in left field" means "a little crazy". One theory involves the "Death Valley" in Yankee Stadium circa 1923–1988. During this time period, the shape of the outfield in Yankee Stadium roughly approximated an oval, with the "long" portion pointing to left-center. A left-fielder would thus typically be stationed further back from the action than the center or right fielders, as he would have a greater amount of ground to cover. Hence, "out in left field" meant one was furthest from the action taking place at home-plate, and the most likely to draw erroneous, fanciful conclusions about that action. Another, likely apocryphal, theory is that this refers to the popularity of seats in right field at Yankee Stadium while Babe Ruth was playing that position; buying a seat in left field would have been "stupid". Another theory is that this arose at Chicago's second West Side Park, home of the Chicago Cubs from 1893 to 1915. After the Cubs moved to what is now Wrigley Field, the West Side Park property eventually became the home of the University of Illinois College of Medicine. The U of I built its Neuropsychiatric Institute building in what had been left field. A fourth theory is derived directly from the experience of players. A runner attempting to score from third base will have ones's [sic] back to left field, thus a throw to the plate "out of left field" can arrive seemingly out of nowhere as a surprise to the runner. (My thanks to

When I pray I often imagine how I think God should answer my prayers. In fact I find that I often try to plan out all of God’s actions for him. After all I think I’m a fairly intelligent guy and I can’t imagine why or how God could come up with a better solution to the problem then I’ve envisioned. Then God answer my prayer and it rarely happens how I planned it all out!

I’m once again reminded of God’s greatness and his complete otherness to me, and the rest of humanity. I need his gentle (and sometimes not so gentle) reminder of the lack of a vacancy in the Trinity. That his plan is better by far then ours could ever be.

Isaiah 55:8-9 (NIV)

8 "For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways," declares the LORD.
9 "As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.

So Lord please keep answering my prayers out of left field

Pastor Val