Tuesday, February 26, 2008

One of Those Days...

Yesterday was one of those days. I haven't been feeling well lately and it seemed to peak yesterday. I overslept, (woke up to one of my employees calling, wondering where I'm at.) I rushed out of bed, skipped my shower, put on the wrong shoes, (I prefer to wear steal toes around the warehouse,) and stumbled out the door into the snow.

I got in my car and turned the key..... nothing. My always reliable 95 Cutlass was dead. (MikeT, go ahead and get your "I told you so" in now.) I called my Lead Driver to inform him that his fearless leader was running even further behind and proceeded to try to diagnose the problem with the car. After apparently failing to figure it out, I gave up and drove the "Grocery Getter" to work, with the plan of using my lunch break to go home, pick up the five year old and take her to school.

Here is the problem: When I finally got to work and things started to slow down, I found myself whining at God. "Why do you let all these terrible things happen to me?" "I try to do a good job at work. Why would you let me oversleep." It's funny how people tend to blame God wen things go wrong. But it's not the blaming God that really bothers me about my demeanor yesterday;

When I went home to pick up the kid, I tried the car that had been sitting on a charger all morning. It started. I had a wonderful drive to school where my oldest daughter impressed me with her knowledge of the first five Presidents of the United States of America. Everything went fine at work, a friend who I haven't spoken to in ages called me and we caught up. All and all, It turned out to be a wonderful day. However, after all the whining I presented to God that morning, when my day was going terrible, I failed to thank God when my day ended up great.

It's the classic "God in a Box" scenario. I pulled God out of the box when things were going bad and tucked him back away when they turned around. I suspect this is a trap we all fall into occasionally, but the question is, how do we stop?

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Jesus is Not my Homeboy

Don't anyone get me wrong. As a tennager, I owned every Fear Not shirt there was. Every event I attended with my youth group gave me a T-shirt with a catchy saying designed to make someone ask a question. All that being said, I have absolutely no problem with people asking questions. What I do have a problem with is a saying that brings Jesus done to such a low level.

"Jesus is my homeboy," basically takes Jesus and makes him out like he is just another guy. Someone that I hang out with and play cards with. The reality is that Jesus is God. He is not someone I hang out with. He is someone I worship and adore.

I guess what I'm getting at is that a saying like this does not give God the respect that he deserves. He is the creator of the universe and deserves nothing short of our worship and praise. When I finally see Jesus, I won't give him a high five. I will fall on my face before him.

Saturday, February 2, 2008

The Minister of Music

Continuing my "Get to Know Timm" series, here is the letter I wrote to the deacons at Valley Farms Baptist Church in application for the Director of Music job:

To whom it may concern,

My name is Timothy Rees. I am a licensed pastor through Valley Farms Baptist Church, in Lansing, Michigan. I have learned of your opening for the position of Music Director, and I believe I would be a perfect fit. I have a passionate love for music and an even stronger love for God. I would like nothing more than to be able to combine these passions to lead your congregation in Spirit led praise to God.

I am twenty six years old and have been a born again Christian since I was thirteen. Through the work and grace of God, I was granted an opportunity to get into the ministry as a pastor. I have been given many opportunities to preach and teach, but my passion is in music. I believe God has been preparing me for some type of music ministry for a long time.

I have been involved in music in some form since I was eleven. In sixth grade, I picked up a trombone. Since then I have also learned to play baritone, tuba, trumpet, saxophone, french horn, drums, piano, bass guitar and guitar. In the twelfth grade, I was selected as the drum major of the Lansing Everett Marching Band. Through the training I received as Drum Major, I also learned to direct bands and choirs. Through my independent studies under Josh Hicks in high school, I was able to pass out of my first year of college level music theory. I completed my second year of theory before I left college to pursue other opportunities in life.

In high school, I worked with the contemporary praise and worship team at Pennway Church of God. For the past seven years, I have been working closely with the praise team at Valley Farms. I have been singing and playing the piano and drums for many years, and have gained valuable experience through these opportunities. Now I believe that God is calling me to lead the praise and worship myself.

Through past jobs such as Youth Director at Valley Farms, and my current full-time, customer service based job with Staples inc., I have developed and proven many of the organizational and leadership skills demanded from this position. I have organized field trips, mission trips and weekend excursions for anywhere from 4 to 30 adults and teenagers. Throughout my life I have developed and utilized my people skills to the point where most would tell you that I can coexist with and work with just about anyone. I have developed a great rapport with the musicians I’ve worked with in the past, and I have the knowledge and experience to put together a wonderful musical presentation.

I am certain that the combination of my love for God, my passion for music and my experience in the field of praise and worship makes me the perfect candidate for this position. Given the opportunity, I’m certain I can make the pastor, deacons and congregation at Valley Farms proud of their music program. More importantly, I’m certain that through the work of the Holy Spirit and a willing heart, I can please God with my work as Director of Music at Valley Farms Baptist Church. Thank you for your time and consideration. God bless.

In Christ,
Pastor Timothy Rees

Friday, February 1, 2008

Rebels for God

A few weeks ago, I had a great conversation with MikeT over at Code Monkey Ramblings about Romans 13 and how to apply it to our lives as Americans.

"Everyone must submit himself to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God. Consequently, he who rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves."--Romans 13:1-2

Then I ran across this story this morning:

"Church leaders expressed shock and outrage on Friday at a police raid this week on the Central Methodist Church in downtown Johannesburg, during which hundreds of immigrants were arrested.

Eddie Makue, general secretary of the SA Council of Churches, said for many years the Central Methodist Church had welcomed Zimbabweans and others who had been displaced by political conflict and economic turmoil in their own countries.

The police raid was an attack on the "ministry of radical hospitality" that had long been pursued by the Central Methodist Church.

"The leaders heard that roughly 50 police officers forced their way into the church in the middle of the night without a warrant or any prior discussion with the church's minister, Bishop Paul Verryn, or other church officials."

Let me first tell you that I am writing this under the assumption that these were illegal immigrants and not legal refugees. My initial thought was that of shock and outrage as well. Then when I really started thinking about it, I wondered if this church should really be housing and aiding illegal immigrants. Our Country has clear cut laws about immigration. Anyone who comes to our Country in a way that is contradictory to those laws is breaking our laws.

I also know that God would have us take care of the needy and the poor, but I'm wondering how these two ideas meet in the middle. If I house an illegal immigrant, am I rebelling against the authorities, thus bringing judgment on myself? Like wise, if I do not help these needy people, am I ignoring a clear call from God to help those less fortunate than myself?

I know the Apostles ignored the laws when they were spreading the gospel message in the first century, but it seems they had a clear calling from Jesus to do so. Where is the line in this scenario? Perhaps I should feed them, clothe them and turn them in.