This morning as I prayed for our country, I went back and carefully read the words contained in The Pledge of Allegiance and The National Anthem. In re-reading these beautiful works of words, I have determined that these writings were never meant to be divisive. These compositions were written to unite us. This morning as a Citizen of the United States of America, I can rejoice knowing that I have a voice. As a Christ follower, I should recognize the responsibility that I have and always give an account for the hope that I have because of Jesus. I am to do this with gentleness and respect.
I have been disturbed recently by the obnoxious post finding their way to my Facebook and Twitter feeds. I understand, and champion peoples need to express their views and thoughts. As Citizens of this great country, our founding fathers recognized the need for free expression and wrote into our Bill of Rights the first amendment, which affords us the right to speak out on any subject that we so choose. The question that I want you to consider as you read this post is “Do we need to respond and express our views on everything?”
There are 24 hours in a day! We have been given 1440 minutes to use any way that we choose. We each have 86,400 seconds available to accomplish our goals. For the creative soul, sometimes making the most of the time is a struggle. I have learned that creativity requires time, and most of us live in a time-starved culture. Our lives are busy with lots of expectations from others and by the time we get around to being creative, we are worn out. Sometimes we are so busy that we do not have a chance to disengage from the mundane just to be creative. This lack of creative time, my friend, is a travesty.
I want to take a moment to thank Governor Rick Scott and Mayor Lenny Curry for providing unprecedented leadership during the catastrophic emergency that we know as IRMA. I am thankful for the care, consideration, and calmness that both of you displayed under the most challenging circumstances. I am praying for you both and asking those who are members of the church I lead and readers of this blog join me in lifting these men before the Lord.
The Point is up and running! The power is on, and we are ready to assist our community. I need your help. We are going to mobilize saw teams and clean up crews this Saturday morning at the Church. If you are a Point member and need help, please call me so that we can add you to the list. We have several Church Members with large trees down on their houses. Please make plans to help. There are others in the neighborhood that need help. Trees are down, and cars cannot get out of drive ways. We need to step up and share the love of Jesus through our work.
It is early Monday morning, and the winds are finally dying down has Irma is moving north with a vengeance. Many people in the Jacksonville metropolitan area are without power as trees are down in every part of our beautiful city. I am currently watching the weather channel as their reporters are downtown Jacksonville (my neighborhood) reporting flooding and a rising river. Jacksonville is a city of seven bridges, and at this point, all of the bridges have suspended traffic.
I am perplexed; the English language has let me down. I am sitting in my favorite chair with plenty of hurricane snacks at my disposal. My family is safe, as the wind is picking up, and the rain continues to fall.
Today I finish up our acrostic for SERVE teams. Our fifth letter is the letter E. This E stands for EQUIP. My hope in writing these blog post is to help those who belong to the church that I lead to an understanding of the requirements needed to SERVE! I pray that each of our members takes on the challenge and finds a place of service. At the POINT, every member is a minister so applying these requirements is paramount in answering the needs of our guest. To recap the acrostic, we have the words Smile, Encourage, Reach out, Validate and today Equip.
Over the past couple of days, I have been listing qualifications that I believe we all possess. These same qualifications are those needed to serve on one of our SERVE teams. We pick up our requirements for a SERVE team member with the letter V. For our purposes is stands for Validate. I believe our guest at the Point wants to be validated. It takes so little effort to tell someone you are glad that they joined us for worship. We validate someone when we let them know that they add value to our lives. I am a better person because of those God puts on my path. I am thankful for the people that God loves. God loves all people, so the least that I can do is let them know how much I appreciate spending time with them.
We continue our SERVE team acrostic today, and we pick up with the third letter R. For our SERVE team purposes, I want the R to stand for reach out. This process requires intentional action on the SERVE team members part. My objective is to show each member of the SERVE team the Point that we are here to SERVE. Reaching out is a part of what we do! I am aware that sometimes it may feel a little awkward, but I also feel that it is even more awkward if we don’t reach out. Our guests come to us for a reason. Since they are making the first move by walking through our doors, we have to reach out. It is as easy and Smiling and taking a moment to Encourage. Reaching out calls us out of our comfort zone. I want to ask you to take the step. We need you on the front line reaching out to everyone who comes through our door. I want you to let them see Jesus in you.