Stand Strong!

"Be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord." 1 Corinthians 15:58

This spring and summer I had the privilege to be part of an incredible experience. My youngest son Aksel (14) played on a team that went undefeated in the regular season. He was picked from from players on two teams in the town of Edmonds to be on the All-Star team. He played pitcher,  shortstop and centerfield.

They went on to win the county championship in a close game against Everett, which was incredibly exciting. Then they went to the state championship tournament. In the second to the last game they were losing 8 to 1 and scored eight runs in one of the last innings to win the game 9-8 and play in the championship. This win was especially sweet since this team from a rival that had eliminated them last year in the state championships in the early rounds.

They ended up losing in the championship game and came one game short of actually playing on ESPN 2. I'm not saying this to promote a baseball team or my son but I, being a pastor, made some keen observations along the way.

1. These kids stayed humble and worked very hard on every level.
2. The team never gave up even when they were behind or things didn't look good.
3. Even when they lost certain players to injury they kept finding ways to get the job done.
4. Although they came from many different backgrounds they supported each other and chose to work as a UNITED team.
5. They also received instruction well from their manager and coaches.

Although they came up one game short they far surpassed the expectations of everyone. Anyone could see that they were proud of the second place medals that hung around their necks at the end of the tournament. No team in their age bracket from their town had ever gone that far in a state tournament.

After the tournament was over I found myself reflecting on the church. I looked at it and compared the church to what this team had just accomplished. Some interesting questions came to the forefront of my mind.

- Is it possible for us as a church to far surpass the expectations of everyone around us?
- Is it possible for us to persevere and not give up until we see God's will accomplished?
- When some people can't complete the journey will others step up and come alongside those who are fighting "spiritual battles" on the front lines?
- Is it possible for us to stay humble and choose to be selfless rather than selfish?
- Will we be led by the Holy Spirit and trust God for strength and understanding to accomplish the task at hand?
- Can we be steadfast, immovable and always abounding in the work of the Lord?

The answer to all these questions is an emphatic YES!

But we MUST choose to put in the effort and time it takes to be unified through prayer and selflessness. We must serve one another in love and look for ways to help one another and not let criticisms be the norm. It should be our prayer that we as sons and daughters of God look to be part of the solution rather than just adding to the problem. 

God loves to work in a spirit of unity and He loves to work amongst those who persevere and remain faithful to their calling and His will. 

As we finish up our summers and "gear up" for the fall let us pray like never before to be led by the Holy Spirit in all that we do. Let us not just do what we think should be done or choose to do ministry in our own strength. 

"Let us trust in the Lord with all our hearts and lean not on our own understanding but in all our ways acknowledge Him and He will make our paths straight.
Proverbs 3:5-6


Pastor Derek