ON this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hell will not overcome it. I will give you the keys of the Kingdom of heaven and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven. Mt. 16:18-19
So I am playing in the community adult hockey league. There is nothing more savage (2pts) than men's league hockey. All these guys who were never any good, releasing their aggression on each other. It is fun times to be had by all and anyone watching by accident. I don't have the wheels I once had, but luckily I fall alot more and my pants don't fit as well. good times.
So Julie and I are doing leadership course at our church. It actually is quite cool, we are going through books I have already read and talking about things I am sick of talking about. Such as, "what kind of leader amI", "what style of leadership is the best" and " who is the best leader you know?". The good part of the whole thing is there are like 150 leaders of leaders to be at our church that are in smaller groups discussing, challenging and encouraging one another. At the end of the day, I know that God uses people to lead in different ways, with different styles, abilities, gifts, etc.. I also understand that a part of the growth and sanctification process is honing in and working to refine the those gifts, abilities, etc..
THere is a ton to think about when trying to pigeon hole what makes a leader, a leader, or what different kind of leaders there are. Leaders who push, leader who pull, leaders that are just there and people follow, micro managers, the other kind or managers. Can leaders be made or just made better? I would love to hear ideas on what makes a good leader and what then makes a bad leader.
So Julie and I babysat Donny, the older of my parents foster children. My parents were at a mandatory retreat. ( it is a retreat but you have to go and have to participate in stuff... isn't that a mystery? ) Anyways, so I am running around cooking up patty melts which Donny didn't eat. geeze he's like 1 years old now, he can handle a toasted burger with onions. Well, he wasn't too content and so we settled on yogurt.
NOw the swimming 15 minutes after you eat applies for leg horsey on babies and for several hours after the meal. Donny proved the theory by throwing up in and amongst his laughter at being bounced on my knee.
THat was gross only to be topped of by the worst diaper in the history of diapers. I cannot begin to describe the depths to which the poo hath wrought. The entire inside of the diaper was covered. Elastic to elastic and tape to tape. I instantly almost threw up myself while donny seemed content to kick around in it. I went through nearly a whole box of whipeys try to peel what was like sweet potato caserole off every possabile place the diaper had touched. Other than that it has been fun.
About my choice of blog title. "holding the keys" comes from Matthew 16 as is referenced under the blog title. Jesus tells Peter that the church is going to build from His profession of CHrist as God. THen he says , "I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heavn , and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in hevae/ The prhase "holding the keys" also comes again in Revelation. Jesus says that He holds the keys of hades and death. There is an authority that is portrayed in the Revelation phrase. Jesus has authority over death, specifically because He is Life ( Jn 14: 6). He has authority to judge. Now the other passage, from which my title comes, is a bit tricky to connect what that means for the church. THere is an authority that Christ gives to Peter that I as a Christian often times miss the gravity of. In this passage, Jesus is talking about a different set of "keys". THey are not keys that give the authority of judgement and open up death. They are keys that open up life. My dad is a pastor and now and again growing up I would get to use his keys to open the church or to get smoething from his office. It was always a bit of a power trip. Yeah, my dad is boss, and I, by association am also boss, look I have his keys. Any place you want to go I can take you, chapel, upstairs apartment, office, band room, food pantry. ( THose in the SA know what I am talking about) He didn't have a ton of keys on his ring like Bill the maintenance man, he just had the right keys, the master keys. Its funny to think that Jesus used this metaphor in a similar way to my dad's keys. He says to Peter, " I am going to build my church, the gates of hell will not over come it. I will give you the keys to the kingdom of heaven..." I feel like he is including the rest of us in what is now the church ( Big C) when he says I will give you the keys. At that point, Peter had no conept of the CHurch, and Jesus is beginning to explain it to him and us. It is awesome how when Jesus talks about the church, Sunday morning never comes up, how to do music never comes up, open gym never comes up, small groups curriculum never comes up, how to best give sermons that connect with everybody never comes up. He does however say , " I will build my church", I have the authority, it lives and dies with me. I am going to give you authority as well. I am giving you the keys, you have access to me and to what is important to my church. So often I, like so many others feel pulled to make things ( activities) happen at the church. Sunday morning has become our entire Christian experience. Sabboth, tithe, worship, teaching/ learning, communion, almost fellowship, prayer. Too many CHristians, myself included get deceived inoto feeling like we have fulfilled our CHristianity on Sunday. It isn't the lion's club. I as a Christian am joined with Christ, along with the rest of my brothers and sisters inCHrist. We as the body, the church ( Big C), have been gievn authority, we have been given the keys to the kingdom, most challenging is the repsonability I have to open the Kingdom of heaven for my neighbors. I hold the keys, you, if you're a Christian hold the keys. OUr faith does not revolve around Sunday, but rather around the charge Jesus gave to make disciples of all the nations. My dad never gave me the keys with a detailed out line of all the aspects of what to do with them. He understood that I would know because of who I am what was right and wrong in key usage, and if I didn't he would continue to teach me. He was bigger than any wrong door I could have opened. Jesus has given us the reponsabibly to spread the gospel to people, oftentimes I feel like I keep the keys in my pocket and get stuck staring at the door. I want to be the kind of CHrist follower that opens the door, that sees the church as door openers, movers and shakers instead of decieved into thinking it is fine now that I am in.
I am an old school Steelers fan. I began when I was very young, growing up in Pittsburgh in the days of Mark Malone and Louis Lipps. It was not until I was a bit older that I fully understood just how vast the depths of victory to which I was aligned. From the glory days of the "steel curtain," to the lows that we knew as the Brister and then back so close year after year in the Cowher era. Kirkland, Green, Woodson, Stewart, Anderson, Lloyd, Dawson, Morris, Foster, Lake all were so close to hoisting the trophy. And now we find ourselves poised to make yet another run. The Bus, Big Ben, Hines, El, Palamalu, Von Olehaffen, ah yes, two steps left. After a huge victory over the team picked to win it all, the Steelers stand poised to go to the Bowl.
It was an awesome game yesterday. IN the end, I found myself way too excited for comfort, but that's why they play the games. Victory. Good times.
So, do any other bloggers feel like this is a journal that everyone can read. I am immediately drawn to type out something deep and profoundly life changing due to its complexity and the mere challenge it invokes to smiply understand the sentence. Perhaps if it is good enough I will get quoted... they can use my picture to go along with it. hmmm.... Whatever I'll be deep later. Go Steelers!
ps. just got the blog so it is currently a real work in progress