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An end and a beginning….

The end. Arizona pulled it off, and little else needs to be said. The MVP going to the duo of Curt Schilling and Randy Johnson was not unprecedented: the 1981 co-MVPs were Ron Cey, Pedro Guerrero, and Steve Yeager. Two strong arms brought down the Yankee dynasty. It took both of ’em to win the Series, and both of ’em to win Game 7.
Interestingly enough, Cey, Guerrero and Yeager were members of the 1981 Los Angeles Dodgers. Their opponents were the New York Yankees.

The beginning. This was actually a fairly long process. Yesterday I proved that I can win an election in which I’m the only candidate. Our congregation elected three new officers yesterday, and I’m now a member of the Board of Directors.

I think the process got off the ground about a year ago. We had a banquet at church one Thursday night, a sort of thank-you for the church leadership. I’d just finished a stint on one committee and I was in the middle of a stint on another. We passed the mic around and shared testimonies. One of the girls sitting at the same table as me was looking kind of nervous about getting up and talking, so I slipped her a note. “This is everything I know about public speaking,” I said.

It read:
Remember why you’re here.
Be yourself.

She knocked ’em dead. She led off by reading the note.

The note made the rounds around the room. Near the end, I took the mic. Someone slipped me the note as I started talking.

I don’t really remember much about what I said. I told them about being told by three different churches, in one way or another, that they didn’t have much use for me, or that I should come back when I’d grown up. I found a church in Columbia that was different, but then I got a job in St. Louis and couldn’t take that church with me. Then I found this one. I said a lot of churches look for powerhouse, not promise. I thanked them for settling for promise.

And that night, I felt something change. I stepped over some line. I was a member of the club, the club my dad never cracked.

Now I’m a member of a slow-moving board that wields power and influence. Boards don’t have as much power as people give them credit for, and they rarely do anything quickly. My job? Look out for the needs of the members between the ages of 14 and 35. And do whatever I can to make that club a lot bigger and a lot easier to enter.

Yep, I guess I’m still young and idealistic. But maybe, just maybe, that’s appropriate now.

And this. I told you all about Emily last week. She was in church yesterday morning. Early service. Remarkable. She was leaving as I came in. She made it to a service I couldn’t motivate myself to get to. She had the right perspective. She said there was no place else she should be that morning, she was so blessed to be alive. I couldn’t disagree.

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4 thoughts on “An end and a beginning….”

  1. What a finish!

    I really thought that Brenly had blown the series with some of his pitching decisions. Not leaving Schilling in in game 3, leaving him in too long in game 7, when it was obvious he had lost control, leaving Johnson in too long in game 6.

    But boy was I stunned and delighted.

    I liked your comment that "a lot of churches look for powerhouse, not promise" but that your church settled for promise. The church I go to is called Vineyard Community Church. Vineyard churches had their genesis as a sort of offshoot from Calvery Chapels and the early ones were largely filled with people your age or younger. The emphasis was contemporary worship, biblical teaching, fellowship centered around home groups, and having the people do the ministry, not just the pastor or "powerhouses".

    This was one of the keys that the leadership emphasized, based in part on Ephesians 4:11-13, which talks about the function of the apostles, prophets, etc. as one of equipping the people to do ministry. My NIV Bible in verse 12 describes the job of these "powerhouses" as "to prepare God’s people for works of service".

    The "powerhouses" are to be trainers who help the rest of us learn to do the work of helping others. I haven’t done enough of that work in recent years, but plan to start doing more.

  2. Praise God!!! Emily has been restored to health and to the Church!

    After being World Series Champions three years straight (I think), the Yankees were understandably shocked when the Diamondbacks came back and won. But, empires come and empires fall.

    I liked what Steve wrote about how "powerhouses" are to be trainers who help the rest of us learn to do the work of helping others, because it tells us that we don’t need to be the next Billy Graham in order to make a difference in Christ’s body and that each Christian has an equally important contribution to make in God’s kingdom.

  3. According to Strauss and Howe, the next generation *capable* of producing a Billy Graham was born between 1981 and now.

    That takes a lot of pressure off us, Luke. All we have to do is be like George Washington and John Adams–equip and delegate and don’t be afraid of what happens next.

    Easier said than done. All of it.

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