While speaking at a missionary conference in Turkey this past summer I was able to take Sandi and the girls to visit Hagia Sophia (Church of Holy Wisdom) in Istanbul (formerly Constantinople). This church was built by the Roman Emporer Justinian and was finished in 538 AD. It possessed at the time the largest free-standing dome in the world. Upon its dedication Justinian entered the church on his horse and declared himself to be greater than Solomon. Just a little arrogance there.
Monthly Archives: October 2008
Having close to a full day off for the first time in a while, Sandi, Meredith and I went to the Sarah Palin rally in here in Springfield today. We stood in line for 2 hours before even getting in. The ambient passion for either politics or Palin was amazing given that thousands of people stood even longer than we did in the cold, cloudy, windy weather.
I spent this (Saturday) morning with three visiting pastors and one of their wives. They are visiting Central this weekend to walk through our Fall Missions Celebration with us. Last night they had a meal with our Missions Leadership Team. Tonight they will join our Pastors, Board members, Missions Team members and guest speakers for another meal and prayer for our missions services tomorrow.
Each of these pastors was hand-picked to be with us by Benny Ferguson who travels the country helping churches build missions into their priorities. They are from Texas (Wade), Louisianna (Mo and Shontel) and Missouri (Nathan). Each one of these pastors inherited churches that they are transitioning into missional, Spirit-filled, multigenerational congregations. They have each shown a lot of courage and wisdom as leaders. It was inspiring to just sit with them and listen to their stories.
May we also rub off on them as they watch us loving and doing missions. Tomorrow will be a great day as we raise funds for the first of our 5 ‘Year of Missions’ Bible School projects. The first $10,000 that we give this weekend will be matched dollar for dollar by Builders International! More importantly, our hearts will be stretched even wider for the world Jesus loves.
After the worst week in history for the DOW Jones average, the markets are rebounding quite aggressively today. Who knows whether they will sell off before the closing bell or continue higher. Some Wall Street watchers are calling today’s action an ‘oversold bounce’ while others feel that a market bottom may have been put in this past Friday. Meanwhile President Bush and world finance ministers are trying to avert a further meltdown of the US and international banking systems.
As retirement accounts across the country ride the Wall Street rollercoaster, here are a few things to keep in mind as Christ-followers . . .
- Don’t tie your identity to this stuff;
- Resist fear and avoid making impulsive decisions right now;
- Keep focused on Kingdom principles in your living and your giving;
- Avoid stashing all of your investments in one pot (or stock!);
- Meditate on Matthew 6 and re-look at material life through Jesus’ eyes;
- Don’t obsess on the news to the neglect of spiritual priorities;
- Have faith — God does provide!
Through the activity of the Holy Spirit in us, peace can trump panic.
I was at at a pastor’s conference in Palm Springs this past week. Being in the area, I was able to connect with Pastor Craig on Wednesday morning.
Just like Central, they also completely renovated the lobby of their small church building to update the look and create conversation and fellowship areas. Tomorrow (Sunday) is their big celebration day unveiling their new church name (Shadow Mountain — named after the mountains that border that part of the desert valley). They had 80 or 90 in attendance last Sunday and tomorrow they hopefully will break 100. Craig is doing a super job. Let’s keep praying and giving and strengthening the leadership hands of the Cunninghams!