Ponderings for March 23 2018

I got a phone call from my friend, Sherm King. How encouraging it is when those of the “experienced” generation desire to share their lives and wisdom with those coming after them. That was the purpose of Sherm’s call.
 
In appreciating the focus of our capital campaign as one that looks ahead to “those still to come,” Sherm shared the following poem with me. It has to do with an “old man” building a bridge—not for himself but for the “fair-haired youth” that was still to come. Really timely words.
 
Enjoy these verses as the Lord prepares your heart to pledge on behalf of Trinity’s future. A noble investment indeed!
Thanks, Sherm.

“The Bridge Builder”
Will Dromgoole
 
An old man going a lone highway,
Came, at the evening cold and gray,
To a chasm vast and deep and wide.
Through which was flowing a sullen tide
The old man crossed in the twilight dim,
The sullen stream had no fear for him;
But he turned when safe on the other side
And built a bridge to span the tide.
 
“Old man,” said a fellow pilgrim near,
“You are wasting your strength with building here;
Your journey will end with the ending day,
You never again will pass this way;
You’ve crossed the chasm, deep and wide,
Why build this bridge at evening tide?”
 
The builder lifted his old gray head;
“Good friend, in the path I have come,” he said,
“There followed after me to-day
A youth whose feet must pass this way.
This chasm that has been as naught to me
To that fair-haired youth may a pitfall be;
He, too, must cross in the twilight dim;
Good friend, I am building this bridge for him!”
 
See you Sunday,
Pastor Paul


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Ponderings for March 20 2018

With the sun shining—and yet still a chill in the air—I write down these Ponderings today.

I am truly looking forward to the next two Sundays! April 1 will be Easter Sunday. A great day where we will celebrate and affirm the resurrection of Jesus Christ. A day where we will also celebrate the public commitment of several believers as they commit to the waters of baptism! April Fool’s Day! What a great day for Easter! Count me in as a fool for Christ—wholeheartedly believing that he rose again on the third day. And unwaveringly following wherever he leads!

This coming Sunday will be very special, too! Palm Sunday: the day our Lord rode triumphantly into Jerusalem. On Sunday, five sets of parents will be dedicating themselves and their young children to the Lord. They will be promising to raise their little ones in the Christian way while asking the church body to support and pray for them. We will indeed!

Also, this Sunday we will be culminating our series on “For Those Still to Come.” Our three-week capital campaign will come to a close as we give our pledges—measurable expressions of what God has done in our hearts—to invest in the future of Trinity. Truly, it will be a defining moment of the campaign. But not the only defining moment. 

As we break ground on the new and beautiful Gathering Space out front—that will be a defining moment.

When we actually get in and enjoy our new and renovated spaces and see many new faces—that will be a defining moment. 

When our cars can drive smoothly over the newly paved parking lot—that will be a defining moment.

In three years (or less) when we pay off the bank note with our pledges—that will be a defining moment.

And there will be a very, very important defining moment this week—before Sunday. It will take place in our homes and in our hearts. 

It will probably go like it did for me and Sue: in our kitchen, where we prayerfully decided to use some of our savings and retirement monies to pledge to the campaign. 

Your defining moment this week may sound something like this: “Hey love, Pastor Paul and the Elders have been talking about the new Gathering Space and some needed renovations. They have been asking us for several weeks to pray about our level of financial support for it. What has God been saying to you?”

And your defining moment this week may look something like this: your family wrestling together with God about your level of commitment. And the moment may include budget sheets and calculators and open Bibles and open hearts and lots of prayer. And what makes this moment so defining is that it is all about transformations, not transactions. It is about commitment levels, not comfort levels.

As we have said all along, this campaign is a spiritual journey. It is about spiritual growth. And when your family decides to trust God in a way you’ve never trusted him before—and then together watch Him provide in amazing ways—that will be quite a defining moment!

So here we go! May your week be a meaningful one. It is indeed an important one. As we get together on Sunday, along with proclaiming our Palm Sunday praises to Christ (“Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord. Hosanna in the highest!”), we get to bring our pledges to the Lord. This will be a moment in time that will be for the generations to come!

See you on Sunday.
Pastor Paul
 

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Ponderings for March 15 2018

The difficulty and awkwardness of sharing one’s faith in Christ to coworkers and neighbors was one of the topics at our men’s breakfast study this morning. We all sense that, don’t we? Whether it’s taken as cramping someone’s style or invading a person’s space or crossing a private line—to talk about Christ and eternal things and purpose in life is now only getting harder and harder in our culture. 

That’s why it’s important to do the small things and the kind things. To tell someone you are praying for them as they experience difficulties will not offend. To exhibit kindness and grace when everyone else is shoving and caring only for self will speak loudly. And to have a church that you can invite others to that will be warm and the pastor won’t say dumb things and the presentation will not embarrass you is crucial. From Trinity leadership and staff: We work hard at and promise to deliver on the excellence I just mentioned. 

This Sunday we will discuss the kind of hearts the Lord desires us to have as we study Paul’s words in 2 Corinthians 8 and 9 together. 

“For Those Still to Come” continues through Palm Sunday as we envision our part in the future of our fellowship. Many are already responding and inquiring about some specifics of the capital campaign. We will be collecting pledge cards on March 25, but you may turn or mail them in early if you like (as some already have). You can also pledge online by going to trinitymentor.com/pledge.

It is exciting to see the Lord stirring—even stretching—hearts as we pray and decide how to participate in this important gateway to Trinity’s future. This is important, too, as we discuss and consider how to best share Christ with those in our lives. 

That’s all for now. Sunday’s coming and we will be glad and rejoice in him! 

See you around the bend. 
Pastor Paul

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Pondering for March 8 2018

Greetings, Trinity Nation! How’s your week going?

Mine? Glad you asked! These days I am crazy busy! Running here, speaking there, going over there… This morning, I had two breakfast meetings. I know, that makes me a Hobbit.

It’s just a brief season though…
Sue is crazy busy, too! She’s planning things for the women’s retreat next month, along with all her other stuff!
So, at least we’re both occupied at the same time. 🙂

I recently read this Japanese proverb when I was traveling somewhere:
  Stillness is what creates love,
  Movement is what creates life,
  To be still,
  Yet still moving—
  That is everything!
 Pretty good.

Okay, allow me to quickly think out loud about this weekend.

I am so looking forward to fellowshipping with the guys at our Men’s Breakfast again this Saturday morning at 8:00am. Hanging with men of all ages…the atmosphere has an air of anticipation that some significant things are going to happen among the guys here. I will also be doing a little teaching…sort of a bit of overflow from some personal time I’ve spent reflecting on the seasons of my life. See you Saturday, guys!

Now, I am not given to overstatement (I don’t think). But this Sunday morning kicks off three of the most important weeks in Trinity’s life. We will envision what God has for our future as we choose to go on a new spiritual journey together. We will be capturing a great momentum that will create new life and love beyond our present moment. See you Sunday morning, everyone.

I also have the privilege of being with our teens Sunday evening at The Mill. As I get to share, I will talk about the fact and implications of knowing that the Christian life is meant to be exciting and not a bore! See you Sunday night, teens!
 
Oh, and don’t forget: This Saturday night, we “spring ahead.” So get to bed early as you set your clocks ahead by an hour (I guess our smart phones and computers do that automatically).

See you around the corner—and this weekend.
Pastor Paul


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Ponderings for February 21 2018

Child, where are you walking that your God would rather you not?

As I sit in the Philadelphia airport I watch a young mother chasing after her little son time and again as he tries to get on the “people mover.” He barely has mastered the skill of walking and yet he thinks how fun it would be to run on this moving sidewalk. 

Oh, the folly of childishness. 

There he goes again. 

And there she goes again. After him. 

To him, his mother is randomly prohibiting his adventure and fun. What a killjoy! Why can’t she just leave him to his explorations?

What does she know that he doesn’t? What are her good intentions for him that he can’t see? How will this battle of the wills end?

Will someone get hurt? Or will someone be obeyed?

Child, where are you walking that your God would rather you not?


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