Monday, July 20, 2009

Church Picnic Brings Out the Soreness in Some of Us...

Yesterday was the 4th annual First Baptist Church family picnic at Sherwood Park here in Odessa. We had a blast just hanging out and being a family together. My pastoral staff did an outstanding job in coordinating the activities - especially Earl Claypool our Pastor of Junior High and Recreation. Thanks Earl!

Each pastor spent time in the dunking booth with my allocated time being 5:30. Now I have swam in some really brown lake water before, but I'm thinking this is pretty close to the top on the dirty scale. Could it be because I got in the water after my two music guys? Not sure on that just yet.

There was an egg toss that transpired while I was being dunked. Afterwards we had an old-fashioned sack race. Yes I fell down because it was hard! Finally, the old guys took on the young 15-18 year olds in a game of football. Now that was fun! I haven't played football like that for quite some time and it was a blast. Of course, the old guys won in spite of my having dropped a touchdown pass in the end zone. I have never felt more like Terrell Owens that at any other moment in my life. But truly, it was all tremendous fun... and now I'm sore, but it's a good sore.

Yesterday reminded me of the four connections we need in life to make our lives most enjoyable. First, every person needs to be connected to God. This glorious connection is made at salvation and is the supreme connection that stands above all others. If one is connected to God, they are ultimately secure and can have peace regardless of what they encounter in life. Second, every person needs to be connected to God's church. Here is where we learn to live the Christian life in community and grow in our relationship with the Heavenly Father. Hebrews 10:25 says, "Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another." What a blessing to be part of God's local church and worship Him in Spirit and in truth with others in the Christian community. Third, every person needs to be connected to their earthly family as so much of our lives are spent investing in those to whom we are related. When these earthly relationships are broken, we suffer. My prayer for all who are struggling in a relationship right now is that God will be allowed to be central in the members lives so healing can occur. Fourth, every person needs the connection of friends.

Yesterday I witnessed all four of these connections played out in the lives of people I encountered. It began yesterday morning as I celebrated Jesus Christ in worship with my fellow believers. Then, at the picnic, I witnessed the Christian community having fun as they laughed and played together as part of God's family. Yesterday was a living testimony of Psalm 68:6, "God sets the lonely in families." I'm thankful for my earthly family and my church family. I am doubly blessed (and doubly sore today)... and I love it!

God bless and have a great week!