Tuesday, May 22, 2007

My Sincere Thanks

I am so blessed by the outpouring of support that I was shown during and after Sunday mornings' message. I should not have expected anything less from such a wonderful body of saints.

I thank you for your understanding and encouragement as I set this time aside.

I was also met by many who longed to go along with me. I understand that most can not take this amount of time away from work or from being mom or dad. I am humbled by the privilege I have been given to do so.

But I want to encourage you to do a mini-version. Take a day and go up the McKenzie with a sack lunch and sit by the river with your Bible and journal. Take a hike up Pisgah and spend a quiet morning in sloitude and worship; get up an hour early and sit in the backyard while the sun rises and meet God.

Take... no... make the time! Somewhere, somehow, someway to spend time with the Lord of the Sabbath.

My Aim

I am aiming pretty high in my expectations. in fact, I plan to be fundamentally changed as a result of this sabbatical. I also am very eager to see what the Lord does at LSC in my absense. Anxious to allow these men to teach and tend the Lord's precious flock. I am expecting the Lord to do some surprising things while I am gone.

All that to say, dont miss it. Keep coming, keep serving, keep worshipping, keep praying, keep giving :), and watch and wait to see what the Lord will do.

I dont think there are any of us who would be satisfied to just "do church", to just go through the motions. I desire to see a radical work of God in Eugene. A move of God in this stronghold of the enemy. And the gates of hell can not overpower it (Mt 16.18).

Would you please pray!

  • Please keep me in prayer.
  • Pray for the leadership of the church who will be left to lovingly tend you.
  • Pray for the ministry of LSC, for the ministry of the kingdom of God in Eugene in all the churches.
  • Pray for a revival, not at LSC, not in the church in Eugene, not in the Chrush globally, pray for a personal revival of your own passsion, submission, love, devotion to our Lord and Savior Jesus Chrsit. The rest will follow.
  • Pray for an insatialble hunger for His Word.
  • Pray for a true prioritizing of the Kingdom of Heaven
  • Pray that you would, once and for all, realize victory over the strongholds that remain in your life.
  • Pray for a heart to worship God as you will on that day around the glassy sea.
  • Pray for a heart to give sacrificially.
  • Pray for a heart to serve with diligence and with joy
  • Pray that you would love unconditionally


And we will all be able to give thanks to God for the good things HE has done!

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

Why Forty Days?

Why 40 Days?

Kind of rings a bell doesn’t it? This period of time comes up frequently in the Word. Consider with me the men and the stories surrounding the occurrences of “forty days” in scripture and I believe you will see, as I did, some pretty cool “reasons” for taking that amount of time.

Genesis 8.6 Noah A Fresh Start
In this story 40 days was the length of time it rained. And as it ended a whole new world awaited Noah and his family. It has been a great seven years so far at LSC, I look for a “new beginning” upon my return. “8” by the way, is the number of new beginnings.

Numbers 13.25 Spies To See Where We are Headed
Without vision the people perish (Prov 29.18). The spies looked over the land for 40 days. Seeing where they would be heading, the land flowing with milk and honey. May we be ready and willing to move in to the life of faith ahead.

Deuteronomy 9.9 Moses To Hear the Word of God
Moses was on the mountain waiting to hear from God. He waited forty days before God spoke. I am hoping for a shorter wait but will anticipate hearing whenever He speaks.

I Samuel 17.16 David To See the Obstacle Removed
The Philistines and the Israelites were at a stalemate in the valley of Elah. The giant roamed the valley daring anyone to come and face him. Then David showed up and the rest, as they say, is history. The obstacle, the enemy was removed, the victory won. I would covet your prayers for the same for our congregation. Whatever the obstacles might be.

I Kings 19.8 Elijah For Divine Provision
What a meal. It sustained him for forty days. I will be seeking the Lord for that life-sustaining milk, meat and manna of the Word.

Jonah 3.4 Nineveh For a Change of Heart
Nineveh was given 40 days to repent. Confession, repentance, placing my life once again on the altar in a fresh way. I seek the Lords’ work in purifying this vessel.

Matthew 4.2 Jesus For Testing/Perfecting
Jesus was driven by the Holy Spirit into the wilderness where he was tempted for forty days. It was not intended to do Him in but to show Him off. I don’t know all that lies ahead, but I will trust the one who does.

Acts 1.3 Disciples Encountering the Resurrected Lord
Jesus walked with them and continued to talk with them until He ascended into heaven. A personal encounter with the risen Lord… sounds pretty good. A literal vision of the reality of heaven as they watched His feet disappear into the clouds. Open my eyes Lord, I want to see JESUS.

So, forty days was used purposefully in the lives of God’s children throughout history. I believe He will use it in my life as well. It is pretty ambitious! I don’t know how much of this the Lord and I will get to, but I am hoping for… a lot!

Would you do me a huge favor and pray for me concerning these things. Maybe you would even want to join me in praying these things through for your own life.

Tuesday, May 8, 2007


As you may have heard, I am planning on taking a Sabbatical...

I wanted to explain a little bit about what it is and why I am going to take it. It could be a little upsetting to hear that the "Pastor is leaving", I want to assure you right from the start that this is not the case. I am setting apart some time to seek the Lord with every intention and great anticipation of returning to Lawrence Street Chapel.

Below is an article that I think gets us off to a good start in communicating what the Sabbitical is intended to accomplish. I will post additional thoughts and perspectives over the next few weeks so keep coming back to check -

God bless you dear saint.

A Season of Rest

In the last hundred years, sabbaticals have become primarily identified as the time off used by professors in universities who want to study a subject for a concentrated period of time, usually in a location away from home. Prior to that, however, sabbaticals were used as a means for clergy to recuperate and restore their physical and spiritual vigor.

The word sabbatical does not appear in the Bible in reference to people in any profession. Instead, it comes from a section in Leviticus that mandates a season of rest for the land: every seventh year the fields were to lie fallow to allow for the replenishment of the soil (25:1-7). That makes good ecological sense, but it is not the primary purpose of the sabbatical law.
· For six years you shall sow your land and gather in its yield, but the seventh year you shall let it rest and lie fallow, that the poor of your people may eat; and what they leave the beasts of the field may eat (Ex. 23:10-11).
· At the end of every seven years you shall grant a release. And this is the manner of the release: every creditor shall release what he has lent to his neighbor. He shall not exact it of his neighbor, his brother, because the Lords’ release has been proclaimed (Deut. 15 1-2).

The sabbatical law had more to do with the people of God, Israel, and their dependence on the land for their sustenance. God's intent was to ensure the Israelites dependence on Yahweh—and not the land—for their needs. If God's people became too attached to the land as their source of food, they would begin to treat it like an idol.

In fact, Baal, Yahweh's principle "competition" in the hearts of His people, was the god of land and fertility. As history proves, the Israelites found it easy to forget Yahweh's care for them in favor of Baal (1 Kings 16:32, 2 Kings 21:3), who they believed gave the land its fruitfulness.

The sabbatical's purpose for the Israelites was that once in every seven years they would stop producing food from the land. This meant not only that they would be dependent on God for one year, but for three: They would need to depend on Him for the year before the sabbatical, because He promised they would see dramatic increases in production. They would need to depend on him for the Sabbath year, while the ground was fallow. And they would need to depend on him for the year after the sabbatical, since no food was gathered and stored ahead for that year.

A Bell Tower

I have often likened pastors to bell towers: unless they are careful, they will ring one bell in their tower repeatedly. What do I mean? Even the best of preachers can begin to repeat the same theme and tone over and over in their preaching. A staleness or tired familiarity—one bell—begins to ring week in and week out. Why?

This exists, in part, due to fatigue. The role of pastor-preacher, if done faithfully, is one of the most taxing jobs in the world. It demands so many skills. It’s emotionally taxing. And it’s both so regular (that sermon is coming!) and so variable (who can predict funerals, illnesses, or member crises?). Congregations need to be aware of this and make provision before the "one bell syndrome" sets in.

One way to care for the pastor is by offering a planned and regular sabbatical. What do I mean by sabbatical? I don’t mean the biblical "sabbatical year" spoken of in the Old Testament, I do mean the kind of sabbatical that our culture typically understands today.

The Sabbatical

One way to care for the pastor is by offering a planned and regular sabbatical. What do I mean by sabbatical? I don’t mean the biblical "sabbatical year" spoken of in the Old Testament, I do mean the kind of sabbatical that our culture typically understands today.

Sabbaticals are not vacations. We would encourage the pastor to see vacations as time completely away from his regular work (and geography, if financially affordable) and with the focus aimed squarely on his family. Sabbaticals on the other hand are not work-less and not aimed at the benefit of his family. They are specifically aimed at reinvigorating and renewing the mind and heart of the pastor through research, purposeful travel, writing, etc. In other words, the goal is to begin using some forgotten bells and to hang some new ones in that bell tower for a fuller, clearer, and louder sound.