It has been quite a while since last posting on my blog; I have been lost in the land of social media: Facebook, Twitter and Google Plus. While trouncing through the land, I have made many friends and learned a great deal about any number of subjects. For the most part, ministry has been my goal while walking through the land of endless chatter and updates. Though this post is being written for my blog, I am not going to abandon the other forms of writing – at least not yet!
Blessings from God come in a variety of shapes and sizes through a seemingly never ending caravan of resources. Don’t misunderstand me here on this very important point – God is our source; he uses resources to bless us and move his kingdom forward. God never did send his people out to work in this old world without equipping us to complete the task at hand.
Let me tell you about what God did for us at Liberty Lighthouse Church of God several months ago. This is a fascinating story – one that needs to be told so others can see the hand of God working in the lives of his people. Even now, I am amazed how God brought this about. He put people together in such a way that it would be impossible to doubt his guidance in the matter.
My youth group had been meeting upstairs in the old sanctuary for quite a long time. They practiced drama there, conducted Children’s Church and even taught a Sunday School class in that huge room. They even held the first Youth Spiritual Explosion in that old sanctuary, worn out carpet and all! We even had a luau up there. Let me just say, there have been a lot of tears shed and victories won upstairs in the old church building, and we’re not done yet.
Shortly after the luau, I was walking outside the parsonage one morning and looked across the street to see quite a surprise. There was carpet on the ground in front of the old steps. Well, it wasn’t long until I was upstairs looking at one of my youth leaders ripping up that old, raggedy, worn out carpet. “You said we could do what we wanted up here!” That’s exactly right. I began ripping carpet right along with him. Pretty soon we had piles of the old carpet stacked outside.
We called for a work night and on a Tuesday night a sizable group of people, young and not so young, showed up to continue the project. At this time there really wasn’t a clear cut plan regarding the direction we were headed or the project’s goal. We did know all the carpet had to go, though. It took quite a while to get the carpet out of the sanctuary, but it did happen after many hours of work. What was left was another story.
All we knew to do was scrape the floor with shovels and putty knives. The old glue was stuck to the old pine floor and wasn’t coming off very well, but we kept pressing forward. We spent many Tuesday nights scraping and cleaning as much as we knew how. It was a sight to see all those young and older people working together to get the job done.
Here’s where God came to our rescue. Some of our people were with family at a restaurant in town, and they met a man who owns a floor business, Beautifying Floors by DeVere. Oscar came by the church one day and to look at our project. What a wonderful man! Oscar and I hit it off and we began deciding the direction we would take to complete the project. Oscar gave his time, energy, expertise and love to the table in order to help us turn the old sanctuary into something beautiful. The meeting in that restaurant was no chance happening at all.
The word of God declares in Psalm 37:23-24 “The steps of a man are established by the Lord, when he delights in his way; 24 though he fall, he shall not be cast headlong, for the Lord upholds his hand.” I do not believe in happenstance or luck in the lives of Christian people. God orders the steps of those who put their trust in him.
The sanctuary walls were in bad shape, too, and needed quite a bit of repair. Once again, the Lord sent someone by to help in our time of need. One of our new people works at Sea World in maintenance and knows how to do all sorts of things relating to construction and repair. He voluntarily spent a couple days of vacation time to repair the walls. What a blessing! I am also thankful for the volunteers in the church who spent hours preparing the walls for the work that followed.
Under that old carpet was a diamond in the rough. It turned out to be one of the most beautiful floors I’ve ever seen. It took a long time, but was worth all the effort. The walls that were in such bad shape are not that way any more.
God blessed in ways we couldn’t imagine. He orchestrated the whole affair, and we are not done yet. There is still more to be done, but we have no doubt the outcome will be amazing.