Brain Dump

I woke up in a funk today.  Even my daughter's abundant cuteness and immense sweetness couldn't crack my shell.  I was snapping at everybody and I knew why.  A late-into-the-night set of meetings left me in a funk that carried over, affected my sleep, and probably caused the overcast skies this morning.  Things sometimes just don't seem to go right and I was feeling it today.

I hate (love) when God uses me against myself though.  As a church, the people of Mt. Bethel are reading through the Gospel of Matthew over the next 7 weeks.  We started Monday and we'll wrap up at the beginning of March.  Today we're on the third chapter, but I'm ahead - reading the fourth.

In Matthew's fourth chapter, Jesus calls his first disciples and promises to make them fishers of men (people).  One commentary I'm reading comments that if Jesus had been talking to farmers, he probably would have said, "I'll make you planters of the seeds of faith," or to a carpenter, "a builder of the community of faith."  This is a reminder to us that first, Christ chooses us before we ever choose him and second, that our work is that of evangelism and reaching out.

I've been bogged down in some major distractions.  We're going through major staff changes, a process I can't say I enjoy, and we're dealing with property issues, a process I enjoy even less.  On both issues, everyone has an opinion on the matter and, without any general consensus, everyone feels VERY strong about their opinions.  Throw on the annual obligation to complete end-of-year reports and I can currently find the cloud to any silver lining.

I'm praying over what I'm reading and studying.  I'm suddenly reminded of the other conversations I've had over the last week:  a young man that wants to discuss faith openly and deal with his own skepticism, a fairly new believer that is working through a call to lay speaking ministry, another friend that is sharing his faith openly for the first time and is seeing results in his "fishing", more people sharing their faith in word and deed and asking, "what do we do now?", a couple emailing to tell me that their specific prayers were answered by a children's sermon I gave last week, and several new visitors to the church with an interest in not only becoming members, but becoming active members.  

As I fill out my end-or-year reports for 2010, I find that the system has flagged a large number of my responses because of significant increases over 2009 - increases in worship attendance, bible study participation, professions of faith, and stewardship.  There is much to be thankful for and here I am, allowing money, mold, and personalities steal my joy.

So here it is...Lord, forgive me for screwing this up.  Forgive me for being cross and stubborn.  Forgive me for not thanking you.  Forgive me for being distracted.

Thank you for blessing me and blessing this church.  What can you and will you do now?  I'm ready and watching.