Tuesday, January 10, 2017

A Service, A Call, A Purpose

I went to one of the most God honoring funerals this weekend and by the newsfeed on Facebook, many others felt the same way. Our music and worship pastor and friend, John Bolin lost his father unexpectedly last week. John and his four brothers were in Israel when their father passed away. Out of this tough week of getting back to the states, gathering the family, planning the service and most importantly taking care of their mother, came such love and compassion in telling the story of a life well lived and well served. You knew that Don Bolin loved the Lord and invested in others knowing the Lord too. The service was more music than talking. The seven children invited us to sing with them, they told stories and Don's wife told a few too. Most all of us leaving with the thought in our hearts, I would love to be a part of the Bolin family.

Reading stories from friends and family on Facebook before Saturday told a wonderful story of his life and it was all confirmed there Saturday morning in the service. I briefly talked with John at the reception afterwards. I mentioned the fact that his father never served at a large church and yet, his impact upon lives is like a minister that has served in large churches...but unlike ministers at large churches where you hear their words and know their leadership from the stage, those who served with Don Bolin got to know the man and know his words served with him in the trenches. John told me that his father purposely served in smaller churches so that he could spend more time with his family and not have the demands a large church places upon him. Watching his seven children lead the service, you were assured that the legacy continues and God will be glorified and lifted up in their lives, their children's lives and those that are fortunate to know and love them.

This week and the coming weeks ahead will be difficult and a huge hole has been left in their family as they adjust to life without the leader of the band. Yet, they know and have the assurance that God is there, He has new mercies every morning, and great is His faithfulness.

Yesterday morning in church I sat close to the front. My usual spot is the back row in the balcony but since I am avoiding stairs with lots of people, the main floor in the worship center has been my choice for seating. The congregation heard some exciting things from the stage yesterday and the vision for the future...We also learned the church staff at all the campuses are doing the Daniel Fast for five days. I would think twice about calling the church this week because this means none of them have had caffeine. With First Baptist being a presence in downtown Houston since 1845, not too sure on the date... it is awesome to know that First Baptist continues to have the vision and care for downtown Houston in 2017 and beyond.

Life Bible Study, formerly known as Sunday School, was good too. Dena and Carole are teaching from a book by Robert Morgan and true to my inability to remember titles, I cannot tell you the name of the book. It has something to do with being purposeful and successful in life. Dena taught from the first chapter, what we can learn from a twelve year old. Of course that twelve year old is Jesus when he told his mom and dad he must be about his father's business. The other end of the bookend with this thought of what Jesus said on the cross, "It is finished." So we start the day thinking about doing our father's business and when the day is done, we say it is finished. Dena gave great examples of going into meetings at the office with the purpose of doing the father's business. What a good challenge for me to think and act through my day with a like mind even though I don't have meetings per se or having an effect on many. My days of course are known by God and He knows that most of them are rather mundane....I am not complaining, I have come to love the mundane. So being about my father's business is about treating sales clerks, food servers, friends and those I meet along the way with love and compassion...even when it is difficult to do so. I used to think back in the day, okay Lord, is this a push over the "money changers" tables kind of day for me? Purpose and success in my life is on a much smaller scale in the grand scheme of things and that is just so fine with me. Dena shared the story of Sam Wyche, football coach, who received the diagnosis of cardiomyopathy, and given only a short time to live....but a heart transplant saved his life. My own diagnosis of cardiomyopathy in 2008 and the healing of my heart by the Lord, put me on the path to live life in a greater way in the smaller places of life, where I began to experience more than just an existence.

The Saturday service that honored Don Bolin still has friends encouraged to serve and chose differently how to live life honoring the One who created them. A call or challenge from the stage to praying, giving and going. The emphasis for the month praying which includes fasting. A purpose of being about the father's business...being used in small ways, in smart ways, in whatever ways God has purposed.

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