Making new disciples of Jesus Christ
for the transformation of the world
Sunday Morning Worship Times:
8:30 Casual & Informal - Family Life Center
11:00 Traditional - Sanctuary
Sunday School: 9:45
To make new disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.
CHRISTMAS EVE SCHEDULE:
A MESSAGE FROM PASTOR JASON:
“I am reminded of your sincere faith, a faith that lived first in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice and now, I am sure, lives in you. For this reason I remind you to rekindle (NIV translation says “fan into flame”) the gift of God that is within you through the laying on of my hands; for God did not give us a spirit of cowardice, but rather a spirit of power and of love and of self-discipline. (2 Timothy 1:5-7 – NRSV)
A few years ago, I was given the gift of a Big Green Egg – one of those egg-shaped ceramic smoker-grills that I have thoroughly enjoyed. Although one is never supposed to use charcoal starter-fluid and only use all natural lump-charcoal with no additives, it’s surprisingly easy to get a good hot fire going in there. It’s designed with a very efficient bottom to top flow of air, and both the intake and the chimney are adjustable, which allows the temperature to be fairly precisely controlled and constant. When both are wide-open to get the fire started, I’ve been amazed at how hot it gets, as it pegs-out the thermometer. I think I could probably melt lead in there – not that I ever would.
I saw a ridiculous Youtube video recently, in which a guy had lit a similar contraption – a chimenea – and then got out his leaf blower, and started blowing it into the air intake. It stoked that fire up to the point that it was shooting a fairly tall jet of flame up out of the chimney several feet. (His wife could be heard off-camera protesting his stupidity and pointing out that he was burning her hanging plants.)
It’s amazing what even a little breath of air can do to a small flame or embers that have burned low. A little fresh fuel and a little breath of air can get a fire that’s almost out back to a roaring bonfire in no time.
The same is true in our individual spiritual lives and in the life of the church. At times it seems like the best is past, and we’re destined to sort of coast out the rest of our days inevitably declining, but then something happens – a little success, a spark of life, a new door opens and allows the wind to blow again, and things start happening.
Not too long ago, I visited a church in Florida for a continuing education event, and the lead pastor told the story of his arrival there. The bishop and cabinet had said the traditional words to him: “We’ve got a great church for you to serve in Cape Coral…” and then they sent him in. He had barely begun to unpack boxes, when there was a knock on the door, and it was the church treasurer, “Pastor, we need to talk…” It turns out there was only about $29 and change in the checking account, and there were lots of bills, including a mortgage payment, coming due. So, his first task as their new pastor was to call an emergency meeting of the church council and “pass the hat”. Talk about something that can absolutely suck the wind out of your sails. But he began to pray, as did other leaders in the church, not just for the financial picture of the church, but instead for the mission of the church, “Lord, send us the ones nobody wants. Send us the ones nobody sees.” Pastor Jorge Acevedo prayed that prayer over the seats in the sanctuary every week, and slowly, but surely, God honored the prayer, and send them not only the invisible and unwanted, but also the resources and talent to make disciples and transform their community. Now, 20 years later, Grace United Methodist Church has five campuses, to which approximately 2600 people come worship God in the name of Jesus Christ each week. They also have one of the largest and most effective recovery ministries in America.
First United Methodist Church of Burnet
301 East Graves
Burnet, TX 78611