There was a “bang” kind of feeling coursing throughout my body, locking every muscle in place. My heart couldn’t beat, my lungs couldn’t inhale or exhale, and even my mind had been locked, paused on the last scene of my daydream, as I stood looking like I had been frozen in time. Moments ago, while I was clearly not paying enough attention to the lawn maintenance I had been assigned at summer camp, my trimmer became entangled in some loose wires beside the horse paddock. I had no idea that they were connected to the electrical fence. When the pulse finally ended (it probably only lasted about a second, but it was a second that felt like an hour), my body launched backwards as I gained control of my muscles and violently threw myself away from the danger. This was the first time I felt overwhelmed by the power of electricity. But, not the first time I’ve felt overwhelming power running through me.
I listened to the professor pray while I sat beside the open window, more interested in the breeze partly drying my forehead than I was in participating – with so many people around me praying I stopped sensing the need to do it myself. I listened as he lectured through the Bible while I looked through the window, watching a few students lounging on the grass under the shade of a tree – with so many people reading the Bible to me I stopped sensing the need to read it for myself. I was a pastor in training, attending a Christian university preparing me to lead people closer to Jesus, clearly [in my mind] one of God’s elite, absolutely [in my mind] positioned above the average Believer. In reality, I had become so infatuated with my title, “Bible student and pastor-to-be,” that I had lost touch with Jesus.
I paused there wide-eyed, in mid-stride, just steps from my office as I was confronted with a rant rolling over my shoulder coming from close behind me, “He’s a chauvinist, out of touch, clearly only speaking for himself and the male gender, absolutely not applicable to me…” “I thought she wasn’t married,” I said to myself as I nervously turned to make eye contact with her. And then my eyes grew a little wider as I, with all my will power (and then some) stifled a laugh when I heard her say the name, “Paul.”
It was a slow journey making our way back through the neighbourhood to the church where we had started. We walked tall, spoke encouragingly, and did our best to keep each other positive. Door-to-door Gospel sharing is a rough gig, but what we experienced seemed beyond rough. Tonight one of our members took a heavy dose of unpleasantness. This would be her last night on the team.
As I stood on the platform and opened our Sunday morning Jr Church program I struggled to push down the feeling of awkwardness that I had been carrying with me from the previous two weeks – “Why is that mom attending Jr Church like she’s one of the kids?” I appreciate parents observing and helping, but this was different – I had the sense that this young mother of two boys actually wanted to be a participant. It was the only time in my life when I felt like pausing a Sunday service to dismiss the parents to go to their own program. Some healthy conversation and a few Sundays later I gained something that helped me come ready to serve the kids and her.
As I again drove up to the collection of apartment buildings in the east side of Scarborough I heard the familiar sounds of smokers’ coughs and angry yelling. The people who walked quickly by my van had their heads down, partly to avoid eye contact and partly to ignore the piles of old mattresses, broken tv’s, and other garbage piling up in front of the entrance to one of the buildings. This was my friend’s home and this was the place where we would share the Gospel for the duration of the summer.
“Christianity 101”, video series on Romans, begins soon
Here is a short video announcement about a new and exciting video series beginning here at RickGrundyLive.com!
This season I’ll be connecting busy people with Jesus in two ways. First, I’ll be posting devotional blogs, one passage at a time, helping you find some meaningful applications while you’re on the go. Second, and I’m very excited about this, I’ll also be posting videos as I teach through the letter of Romans.
I know your busy. And, I believe you can still connect with Jesus in your busy life. I’m looking forward to a great new season to help you, a busy person, connect with Jesus.
My wife, Michelle, was at the end of her semester heading into her final exams and deadlines for her term papers. Her anxiety was about as high as I had seen it since we started dating. Her confidence was quickly declining. She looked at me and asked with a quiet voice, “Will you still love me if I fail?”
Kids Night Crafts 2015 Announcement
Here is a short video, cut from a Sonic Dad video, giving you a taste of what’s in store for your kids during Crafts @ Kids Night! (Every Friday, 7-8:30pm, beginning Sept 18)
Sundae Sundays for Grades 6-8 Begins Sept 13
Our new TWEENS group called “Sundae Sundays” for grades 6-8 will begin Sept 13 @ Hillside Community Church led by our youth pastor Logan Geyer.
The tweens will be creating their own Sundaes during every meeting while engaging in an Inductive Study through Romans. The group will begin after the music at the beginning of our time of announcements.