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Moving On Again in 2023

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I TENDERED MY RESIGNATION at Community Church of the Hills after eight years of fruitful labor.

When I got there in 2015, the Elders told me that they were two weeks away from shutting their doors permanently.

As I leave in 2023, the fellowship has the largest attendance ever in over a decade with record offerings.

They are even in the middle of a Capital Campaign to remodel the Youth Wing.

The congregation ranges from young’uns, to young families, to middle-agers, to those in their late-eighties.

A 40th Anniversary celebration was had in late April with a commemorative 20 minute video made by a former Hollywood Reality Show director honoring the founders.

The reason for my departure was ultimately a fundamental disagreement in ministry philosophy and objectives, primarily, my emphasis and practice of evangelism and discipleship.

Pray for me as this has been the most difficult event to ever happen in my life. And pray for this wonderful congregation. (Read the whole account of what happened when I moved from California to plant a church in Texas 10 years ago, culminating in this post.)

If you’d like to know how I actually feel about this,
here is what I wrote in my daily devotionals,
of which a book is coming in December.

“IT WILL BE WORTH IT ALL SOMEDAY.”

Those song lyrics ring in my ears when facing another disappointment, because it’s true. One day this vale of tears will be lifted, and life lived seen only through a glass darkly as we walk through the valley of the shadow of death, will one day end.

“In this life, we have an incomplete view of God’s dealings, seeing his plan only half-finished and under developed,” writes J. R. McDuff (1818-1895). “Yet once we stand in the magnificent temple of eternity, we will have the proper perspective, and will see everything fitting gracefully together.”

Our hope is Heaven and all we experience prepares for it, making us even more anxious to see our Savior face-to-face.

“We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed” (2 Corinthians 4:8-9).

All for God’s good purposes.

Charles Spurgeon says, “Many people owe the grandeur of their lives to their tremendous difficulties.”

A godly perspective will get us through the tough times now and tomorrow.

“Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal weight of glory” (2 Corinthians 4: 16-18).

Can you pray like the Puritans prayed?

My God,

I bless you that you have given me the eye of faith, to see you as Father, to know you as a covenant God, to experience your love planted in me. Lord, awake faith to put forth its strength until all heaven fills my soul, and all impurity is cast out.

Amen.

To be continued in 2024. Stay tuned. Something is happening! Again.

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