Please note the following info for a retreat taking place at Seal Cove Baptist. My wife and I have attended one of these retreats and they are excellent. I would also recommend them for couples who may be getting married in the near future.
I greatly appreciate the Roundtables.
We met last evening with an open agenda and relaxed conversation. The potluck was a great primer. Don’t ever feel guilty for not coming. Most of us could stand to slow down and thin our schedules a bit. Every once in a while, when the time seems right, join us.
Three great ideas emerged from the evening. I won’t outline those in this post just now. The point is to reaffirm that this meeting is an effort to listen to God through what each of us are experiencing, discerning, etc. One idea in particular was a compilation of thoughts that a couple of us have been mulling over separately.
We talk a lot about following God but it seems that default mode is to lead Him. Our good intentions produce good ideas … we get excited and we are off to the races. Many times we exhaust ourselves and our resources trying to “do something” for God rather than seeking to participate in what He is already doing.
To follow is where the adventure lies and where we are invigorated rather than depleted. We each decide whether Christ is the Head of His Church or the figurehead. If He is the latter then we are the ones who are usurping His place and perpetuating an impotent organization.
I beg you my brothers and sisters. Let’s find the inestimable value of true follower-ship.
We are in the final hours before the Christmas event that we are all so accustomed to. Elaine has been wrapping presents for our kids as they visit over the holidays. She has made our home an absolutely beautiful place and seems to draw energy from the process. Excitement radiates from her and I am so grateful for those who bring joy to us in these special days.
I have added a few sliders to the website, www.community-life.church … these will bring you up to speed with some new things happening at CLC.
I had the privilege this week to be a part of the annual, Action Ministries Christmas box distribution. It is an absolutely amazing effort that makes me proud to be a Christ-follower and a Grand Manan’er to boot.
I admit to being obsessed with raising awareness of God’s goodness in this season. I think what I really want is for people to experience the Christ in Christmas more than anything else. Advent always serves as a time that helps me to re-center and find the heart of all the activity. When I do, I fall in love with Jesus all over again … truly.
“It is impossible to conceive how different things would have turned out if that birth had not happened whenever, wherever, however it did … for millions of people who have lived since, the birth of Jesus made possible not just a new way of understanding life but a new way of living it. It is a truth that, for twenty centuries, there have been untold numbers of men and women who, in untold numbers of ways, have been so grasped by the child who was born, so caught up in the message he taught and the life he lived, that they have found themselves profoundly changed by their relationship with him.” -Frederick Buechner
The world around us would prefer a Christmas without Christ. People would substitute a hundred other less offensive options. It is so silly when you think of it … the lengths to which people will go to avoid a helpless baby born in a forsaken manger, love personified, God in flesh.
And yet here is where the meaning is found. There is no greater beauty that we can create with our hands, no gift so all-encompassing that can stand in such a timeless manner.
A part of me believes that Jesus is not the problem … religion is. It is such a poor substitute and yet we seem to be so enamoured with it. I really have never met anyone searching for organized religion to meet the deep soul needs that we have. Most people simply don’t like organized religion. Our response … let’s get more organized.
Whatever our motives may be, letting go of the need to control is the hard part and so often, organization is a tool that serves those who would like to control things. I pray that you would find less need to manage the affairs of others this season, that you would be able to trust that God who relinquished the power seat when he wrapped Himself in flesh, could find His way to your distracted and perhaps calloused heart in these days … that you would know a better Christmas than you have ever known.
Merry Christmas …
Karl and Elaine
If you have some free time tomorrow, Sarah Dawn is packing her moving van from 11:00a-2:30p. She needs lots of hands to do this as quickly as possible. Maybe you just have a minute or two to stop by and wish her well. We are so grateful for her participation at Community Life Church and we wish her well in the upcoming adventure that begins tomorrow.
Join us on May 31st, 7:00pm at Community Life Church for a concert by “Infinitely More”. We are partnering with the North Head Baptist Church to bring this musical duo to Grand Manan. Please invite your friends and share this post to help us spread the word.
I am just thinking this may not actually bring people out …
Actually we want to pass out our Toonie mugs to all those who are willing to help us raise funds for a family in need. Our target return date will be Easter Sunday but will be totally pleased if you need a bit more time to fill those mugs to the brim.
Lent is a wonderful season which lends itself to an “others mindset”. There are so many on our island community who need a Presence in their lives that offers Hope.
Special thanks to Bonnie Morse for her help in getting our mugs selected and on site.
Hope to see you all tomorrow.