Archive for March, 2011

Water is always water

As I was on my run this morning, I was thinking about God.  I was thinking about all the questions the students had about faith and believing while on Tunnel Vision trip last weekend.  I was thinking about how wild and sometimes confusing God seems to be.  I was thinking about how the character of God doesn’t always make sense.

How do you balance God’s love with his wrath?  How can we believe in a hell when God’s love is never-ending?  Is the God of the Old Testament (punishment, war, and wrath) the same as the God of the New Testament (loving, peaceful, and redemptive)?

Water.

On my run, I started to think of God as water.

Water can be the most peaceful substance.  The light rain after a drought.  The calmness of a lake.  The trickling of a waterfall.  The ice-cold glass of water after a hard day of work.  The calming sound of a small stream.

Water can also be the most dangerous substance imaginable.  A category 5 hurricane blistering the coast.  The unexpected and inescapable power of a tsunami.  The destructive nature of a flood.  The scorching hot dish water that burns the skin.

God reveals himself in 3 ways.  Father, Son, and Spirit.

Water reveals itself in 3 ways.  Solid, Liquid, Gas.

When we stand on the beach, we can look for miles and see nothing but water, and be amazed as to the height, width, and depth of the ocean.   Still, our eyes are only seeing a minuscule portion of the massiveness of the sea.

Nothing grows without water.  Water produces life.

Whether water is in a slow-moving river or a fast-moving tsunami, water is always water.

Whether God is healing the blind with water and mud, or destroying the earth with a flood, God is always God.

This helped me see God, and perhaps understand him, a little more.

I would not call myself a runner, but since I started training for a half marathon, I am finding my runs to be beneficial to my relationship with God.  I can think clearer, dream bigger, be in nature, and struggle through thoughts in ways that I cant by sitting on my couch.

When are the times that you feel most connected to God?  What is God revealing to you during those times?

Blessings,

Josh

P.S. –>  Coincidentally, my wife and I made a movie for Goss’s Passion day about the Blood:Water Mission, and organization that drills wells, provides water filters, and AIDS education to Africans.  You can view the movie HERE.

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Passion Day Follow Up

The following are links to the organizations that were presented this past Sunday from folks in our congregation.
–Seeing Eye Radio (Jim Heaton and Debbie Starcher)
http://www.goodwillakron.org/weye_home.asp
–Haggai Institute (Jim Cummins)
http://www.haggai-institute.com/home/index.asp
–Blood Water Mission (Josh and Kristi Miller)
http://www.bloodwatermission.com/

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3-13-11 I Corinthians 12:12-31

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Something Personal . . .

This Sunday is Passion Sunday at Goss, where we’ll hear from several people about their passions for various ministries.  On Wednesday’s blog, Josh shared a bit about himself.  For today’s post, I will follow suit.  Here are a few things about me right now:

  1. I am so thrilled to be married to my wife Julie.  She is an amazing blessing to me and to our family.
  2. We are praying about the future of our foster parenting.  We have been blessed so far and are excited to see what doors will open up!
  3. I am excited for baseball season to start.
  4. I am training for a full marathon in Columbus this fall.  I’ll be running a half marathon in May.
  5. People ask me all the time:  how is the transition at Goss?  I honestly answer:  it’s been very smooth and the church was well prepared for it.
  6. I truly do feel supported in my new role as Senior Pastor.
  7. There is almost always some problem to address.
  8. I love having my son David with me (and our foster daughter!) on Fridays in the office.
  9. I am thinking a lot about what I’ll teach/preach from the pulpit once the I Corinthians series is over.
  10. I am truly looking forward to Easter.

These are just a few nuggets of info from my mind today.  Have a great Friday everyone!

In Christ,

Pastor Kevin

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Things you might not know about this Youth Director

– I would not be able to do ministry without my supportive wife.  Just wouldn’t happen.

– The TV shows that I like to watch are The Event, The Today Show, The Office, and Shark Tank.

– I don’t have it all my theological thoughts together, but am OK with the wonder/mystery of it all.

– It is very rare that I have 3 or more nights a week with no church/ministry activities.

– I miss playing soccer.  Perhaps joining a Men’s League will be in my future.

– I often find myself struggling between grace and works.

– I wish I had more time to practice, play, and perhaps write music and develop as a worship leader.

– At times, I can be the furthest thing from a ‘prayer warrior’.  Definitely something that is in the developing stages in my walk.

– I secretly (not anymore I suppose) wish I could grow my hair out until it could all get pulled back in a pony tail.  Curse you societal expectations!

Random?  Perhaps.  Just thought I would share a bit about what makes me me.

Blessings,

Josh

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When Unity Fails, We Miss . . .

I want you to think about a church where division secretly lurks and people are suspicious of others’ actions all the time, therefore bringing about an atmosphere of mistrust and non-encouragement.  It might look something like this:

  • Someone is jealous that they are not the teacher of the biggest Sunday School class.
  • Everyone thinks the pastor is the only one who can visit people.
  • We have a hard time truly caring for suffering people because we think it’s another part of the body’s job.
  • We struggle with how we should relate to Christians in other parts of the world; worse yet, we secretly wonder why we send so much money to missions.
  • An individual thinks that because they are a new believer they don’t have much to offer in the way of being involved.  Worse yet; church leadership agrees.
  • It is difficult for people to feel like they have a ministry because all ministry is about programs and time slots that support the functioning of the church.
  • The use of spiritual gifts is confined to the church building.

Is this getting you thinking?  The body of Christ is AMAZING teaching, and our humanity can make the body (locally or globally) very ill very quickly.  I pray that we would strive to build up the body and promote healthy Christianity in all things at all times and in all ways.

Got you thinking on a Friday?  Good.

In Christ,

Pastor Kevin

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Spiritual Gifts

As we at Goss learn about Spiritual Gifts (as a consequence of studying 1 Corinthians 12), I thought it might be beneficial to provide a couple different websites that provide Spiritual Gift Assessments.  I find it to be encouraging and beneficial when we examine who God has created us to be, and how he may be wanting to use us.  These assessments are not designed to just make us feel good or gloat about what we have done (so be honest with your answers!), but rather to see how God is using us, and what gifts he may be developing even further.

Adult Spiritual Gift Assessments can be found HERE or HERE.

And specifically for youth: HERE

Isn’t it humbling that God even chooses to use us in the first place?

Blessings,

Josh

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