Whenever people come together to accomplish something for the Lord but face opposition, if there’s a book of the Bible they should read for encouragement it’s Nehemiah. You’ve got the Jews returning from exile trying to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem but facing resistance on all sides. That’s sort of what it felt like this week, but instead of rebuilding walls, WCC was conducting VBS, and instead of facing Sanballat and Tobiah it was sewage. Tuesday is when it all started…
I was sitting in my office feeling thankful VBS was going so well when someone burst in: “You have to come to the nursery…it’s flooded!” While I’m in the nursery trying to figure out where the water is coming from someone else says, “The boys’ bathroom is flooded.” A third person arrives, “There’s water all over the floor of the girls’ bathroom” and finally to make the parallel with Job 1:13-19 complete a fourth person arrives, “The floor in the kitchen is flooded…and I alone have escaped to tell you!” I know you’re on the edge of your seats wondering how I’d handle such a disastrous situation, but I’m not a pastor for nothing…I knew what to do: call Dave Zumstein. He came over and in about three seconds said, “The sewer is backed up.” It took all Tuesday night, but we fixed the problem….until Wednesday evening, when we fixed the problem again…and then Thursday night we fixed it again.
Last Sunday I preached on the spiritual battle that takes place around us and that’s basically what the kids learned throughout VBS (the theme was Kingdom Chronicles). I’m not going to lie about this week: digging up a parking lot every night until a few hours within kids arriving for VBS isn’t how I wanted things to go; however, there was something cool about the whole situation: it really felt like there was a battle being fought to keep VBS from happening. When the kids left each day it was like we were in the middle of a fight to make sure they were able to return the next day. Nehemiah said, “When Sanballat, Tobiah and the rest of our enemies heard that I had rebuilt the wall, and that there were no breaks in it…they thought to do me harm” (Neh 6:1-2). They heard the work was going well…they heard it wasn’t interrupted…they heard there were no breaks in the wall, so they tried to mess it up. Nehemiah had a fantastic response for them: “I am doing a great work, so that I cannot come down. Why should the work cease while I leave it because of you?” (Neh 6:3). Don’t let the opposition make you cease.
From the Pastor,
A friend of mine in public education sent me an e-mail about a student he’d be receiving in his class this year named Lucifer. That’s his first name and it’s not a nickname. The mom has an assortment of kids named Damion, Valeck (not sure of spelling), and a child named after a vampire character from some 80s book or TV show. The mother has a pentagram on her hand, and the child’s teacher the year before tried to talk to her about calling him anything other than Lucifer, but she insisted on that name. Obviously my friend didn’t want to be stuck using that name for nine months, so we’ve been e-mailing back-and-forth this week about the situation.
Our e-mails were taking place in the middle of VBS, which really had me thinking of the literal battle that’s going on. Here’s what I mean: in my opinion, VBS is about winning children to Christ, but at the same time Satan is looking for people to “take captive to do his will” (2 Tim 2:26); this woman, obviously being one of his victories, and her children unfortunately constituting some of the collateral damage.
My friend’s story helped remind me last week during VBS why we were doing what we were doing and why it was so important. We were trying to further the Kingdom of God, while Satan’s trying to thwart it. Satan’s trying to steal as many children as he can, while we’re trying to deliver them.
You could say God provided us with two awesome blessings last week during VBS in “the battle”:
- 80 children we had the privilege of serving and ministering to for His glory.
- A number of awesome servants willing to come out engage in the battle. For those of you involved in VBS (even those from the church who came out Friday night to support the kids), thank you all so much for all your effort!
From the Pastor,
We have a big week ahead of us! A number of people have been working very hard to ensure VBS goes wonderfully. As of now we have forty-five kids registered online, and lots of them don’t attend our church! That’s great as last year it seemed like most of the kids attending were our own. As you pray for this coming week’s success, pray especially for the salvation of the kids and that the kids’ excitement for God would be passed along to any unbelieving and/or unchurched parents. Hopefully we’ll see some of these children and their parents in the future if they aren’t already plugged in to church somewhere.
This morning I’ll be preaching at Clover Valley. They’re in the same position we were in two years ago looking for a pastor. During that time they were very gracious to us providing pastors to preach for the months until I was hired. Now we want to return the favor and try to help them out. That means they might call on our church again to provide a sermon for them.
This will be the first Sunday morning I’ve missed since coming in December 2010 and I have to say that although I’m looking forward to being with the people at CVCC I’m not looking forward to being away from WCC. I’m thankful though that God has brought Chris here to cover for me. Sure his jokes aren’t that good and he rambles on and on and he laughs really hard at the things he says and he talks a lot about graduating from DTS, but he has a high reverence for God’s Word and he does a great job expositing the Scriptures.
This also allowed Robert to cover Sunday School for Chris and Matthew to cover the Thursday night study for Robert. I like that because it’s letting the young men see how they feel teaching. This brings up a point I’d like to briefly discuss: we want to make sure we’re aware of the way God’s gifted us and how He wants to use us. Even though I’m the pastor I’m far from the only gifted teacher in the church. We should be looking at the people coming up in the church seeing how God has gifted them and see if there are ways for them to be using their gifts for the edification of the body. Maybe some of the younger men might feel inclined to preach at CVCC.