Monday, June 30, 2014

Sick people everywhere...

I have sick people everywhere.  Okay, maybe not quite everywhere, but pretty close.

The Minion (the child formerly known as the Ewok - we decided her native language was more Minion than Ewok) started us off with fever and vomiting and so forth.  After a trip to the ER to evaluate the impact on her heart, all is good.  Just a virus.

But the Ninja came up to me after church yesterday with the sad eyes and sickly voice.  "Daddy, I don't feel good."  Sure enough, he was running fever.  Not puking.

In the past 24 hours, I have been puked on and peed on.  I have changed clothes.  I have been incredibly grateful for the Queen.  We have been inestimably helped by friends.  Just a normal weekend in the Henderson household.

So as my kids lay around like old dogs, grumbling or whining when they have to move, I pray for them.  And some still, small voice seems to bubble up from the carnival that is our life.

"Hey.  When my kids hurt, I hurt too.  And I long for their wholeness."

Sometimes we participate to a large degree.  Sometimes we just show up to the party.  God brings deliverance and healing and wholeness.  That's His agenda.  That's His Father-Heart.  For a condition far worse than a virus and for people far more loved than I even love my own.

But that's just me thinking thoughts...

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

My hopes for the SBC gathering this week

The denomination to which I belong, the Southern Baptist Convention, is gathering in its annual meeting this week in Baltimore, MD.  I'm not there for multiple reasons, but I do have some hopes for that gathering.

I'm just a pastor of a medium-ish-sized church in Texas.  So, you can take these or leave them.  But here we go...

1.  I hope they don't embarrass themselves.  No resolutions or commitments that give the media fodder.  I'm not talking about being biblically unfaithful.  Far from it.  But I am talking about not passing a resolution that is inflammatory without need or without consequence.  Sometimes I think they pass stuff because someone brings it to the floor and no one wants to vote against it.  But that's just it:  someone please say out loud, "Hey, I think we're all on the same page here.  And this resolution has no teeth, no consequence or binding authority on any church / entity / individual that breaks it.  Therefore, let's shut up and sit down and not spend time on inconsequential things like this."

2.  I hope they questions that need to get asked actually get asked and then get answered.  There are some big ones, I think, that are lingering in Southern Baptist life.  They need answers, even if it's, "Man, we really screwed up there and don't see a good out, so we're going to stay the course for the next 12 months until we figure it out."  Humility seems to buy a lot of goodwill and patience.

3.  I hope they don't do anything that further restricts the autonomy of the local church.  Previously, entities have acted in such a way that the action was seemingly outside an entity's purview and without Convention approval.  As a for instance, the IMB restricted the circle of applicants by denying certain spiritual gifts (and the individuals who were given them by God) and tightening the definition of Christian baptism.  But in Baptist life, it should be the churches telling the IMB who they are sending, not the IMB telling the churches who they can send.  The top-down stuff has to stop.  More examples are readily available.

4.  I hope the people who invited James MacDonald to the SBC Pastor's Conference check their heads and their hearts.  He, along with some other prominent evangelical pastors, seem to be a little big for their britches these days.  Controversy about character issues should at least deserve a second look before an invitation is extended.

5.  I hope some genuine pastors have some time for genuine encouragement and genuine refreshment.  I hope there are some genuine moments of prayer.  And I hope God genuinely continues to use this group to advance His Kingdom, however falteringly, for the glory of Jesus.

Monday, June 2, 2014

The difficult simplicity of remembering

This past week was the normal kind of insanity around our household (thus, the lack of blogging).  I really do think my wife and I need to keep better story logs.  There might be a "no way could this happen to one family" book in them.

Tuesday night, I watered the dog as usual.  Moving the bowl from the sink to the tray outside is all of about 25 feet and somewhere along the way I spilled about an ounce.  On the tile.  In the middle of the walkway...or in our house, the runway.

You know where this is going, right?

Peanut runs.  Peanut slips.  Peanut falls.  Peanut cries.

After several minutes of crying and a pretty significant goose egg, Peanut asks the Queen, "What day is today?"


And it got worse from there.  I had promised her a dollar because she had helped me clean up something.  She didn't remember it.

"What did you have for dinner?"  "Uhm...was it breakfast for dinner?" (no, sloppy joes)

"How did you get home today?"  "Uhm...riding my scooter?"  (no, mom picked you up)

Hello E.R. visit.  Hello doctor bills.  Hello concussion.

We kept cheering for her to remember.  She didn't.  Her memory did return about an hour or so later.  But we were E.R.-bound long before then.  Scary stuff.

She was concentrating, but she couldn't call things to mind.

One of the most potent condemnations of God's people in the Old Testament was that they didn't remember.  They didn't remember what God had done at the Red Sea.  They didn't remember the manna from heaven.  They didn't remember the laws on the tablets.  They didn't remember His promises to them about a land.  And on and on I could go.

Before I go casting stones (or before you grab yours), let's *ahem* remember that we are good forgetters too.  Forgetting that it wasn't the blood of bulls and rams that saved us, but treating it lightly by loving sin so easily.  Forgetting that His mercy is a daily renewable quantity but our ingratitude even toward something simple like air is our living testimony that we don't believe in mercy.  And I could go on and on.

Maybe take a second.  Maybe see if His goodness and faithfulness and mercy toward you haven't been present.

Maybe see His love.  I think that's one of the reasons the cross is so graphic.  If I forget His love, all I have to do is look at that horror captured in a historic moment.

Maybe I can remember better.  Maybe you can too.  Maybe that will prompt us both to meaningful praise.

But that's just me thinking thoughts...