Blake Thompson daht Net

Like I was saying....

Tag: Jesus

We’re in the new building!

Back in January I posted a video from the first work night The Orchard had in the new building. That work night was on January 20th. And we’ve come a long way since then.

Last weekend Pat made the call to call it a 95% chance that we’d have church today (March 7th) in the new building. And I think that pushed us to get as much done as we could in the next six days. And there were lots of folks in and out of the doors. There was still painting, carpeting, putting together 200 chairs, hanging televisions, putting together children’s ministry furniture, setting lights, running sound system cable, building a stage, changing light fixtures, replacing facia board, getting the Fire Marshall to approve us, getting fire extinguishers, hanging posters, and probably a dozen other things. And all fo that was just this past week.

But there have been many, many people who have put in many hours to get the building to where we are. And today felt good. And one of the coolest things is that now we don’t need to spend near as much time before and after a service setting up things and then taking them right back down. We have had some great volunteers give their time and strength to that. We have been blessed. But now we get to reorient their efforts/focus to other ministry areas.

The new building still needs some more attention. There’s a punch list we’ll still need to knock out (did you see the bathrooms?). But it’s great to be in a building of our own. But we have to be careful that we don’t allow a building to define us. Sure, it opens up many opportunities and should also make other things easier. But it’s not an end all solution. Our heart, as a church, still needs to be focused on Jesus. And our passions need to be the same as His passions.

So while we’re quite excited about the building, we’re more excited about the opportunities it provides for The Orchard to impact Oxford for God’s Kingdom.

[I wish I had a few photos from this morning. Maybe next week.]

From one bucket to another…

We have an eight year old girl and a four year old girl at our house. That combination makes for some exciting times at our home. Some really fun times and funny times. But that combination can also produce whining, aggravation, frustration, crying, mean looks, and sometimes tears…and that’s just how I sometimes feel!

Just kidding.

An afternoon at Rowan Oak

But at times my two girls get along perfectly. You’d think they were custom made for each other. But more and more lately I’ve seen the two of them starting to act rude, mean, quite disrespectful toward each other. And amazingly often times it’s either perpetrated or perpetuated by the oldest. She seems to purposefully try to stir up and aggravate her younger sister. And my four year old usually is happy to comply and will answer with a snarl, shriek, whine, cry or other sound that I don’t like.

So I have had a talk with them. Actually multiple talks, but the last one was my most serious. I think I realized I need to not let my own emotions get stirred up when a fight breaks out. Usually I get frustrated by the sounds my younger one is making, frustrated by what the oldest is doing to make the youngest make those sounds, and frustrated why the oldest thinks it’s necessary for her to intentionally create this chaos. Why can’t she just act in a nice, loving, humble, kind, self controlled manner?

Of course the answer is that she’s a person. And all of us people have times we’re thinking wrong thoughts and sometimes we act out on them. But last night as I was lying in the still of the bedroom after the whole house was asleep I was asking God to shape their hearts to be more and more like His. And for him to pour into their lives the fruit of His spirit (love,  joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self control). But as I prayed I realized that He was asking me to help pour those things into their lives. That my wife and I are to be the primary shapers of who they become. And for me to pour anything into their lives (their buckets), it’s got to be in my life (bucket) to begin with. That’s humbling.

Joe Paslay told me that a long time ago as I was interviewing to work at Camp Lake Stephens. His talk was from the angle of being a counselor and pouring into campers as they are under your watch for the week. But the concept is the same. I can’t give, teach, show my kids anything that I am not already understanding and living out myself first. It’s a concept I have known for years! But as the kids grow up, parenting gets more challenging. I thought I was a smart and awesome dad when I had just one child. But it’s getting more challenging as they grow, mature (and sometimes seemingly decrease in maturity).  And I am going to want them to rely on Jesus more and more. And He is showing me that I have to rely on Him just as much or more in order to show Him to them effectively.

Now…add to the mix a boy who just turned 15 months old…and the next couple of decades of my life will be an exciting adventure!