Today is Canada Day. For those of you living south of “The Great White North,” it is the day Canadians set off fireworks and celebrate their birth as a nation. Clothes sporting red and white or a maple leaf are the norm. With the day off from work and barbeques flaring up, you’d think it was the Fourth of July.
Of course, that’s just a few days away. July 4 will see a similar celebration as Canada’s cousin, the United States, enjoys its own celebration. Fireworks, barbeques, and red, white and blue. As an American abroad, it’s fun to enjoy both days. I even have both flags flying on my porch.
Though few tend to mention it, these two days are very different. The holiday I grew up with is “Independence Day” while my current home but not native land celebrates “Dominion Day.” Independence and Dominion are not the same. In fact, if you mix them up, you’ll find yourself in a big mess.
A pastor has an enormous responsibility to the Church. Before all of the tasks of church life and ministry, they are entrusted with a vision from God, a Dream Church. This special message reflects on how this burden affects a pastor, as well as three characteristics of my personal Dream Church.
Without God’s strength, we are all weak. Maybe you don’t agree with that statement, but it is true. If you are only depending upon your own physical, emotional and mental prowess, you will eventually fall under one of the weights the world will throw at you. And there are many.
Previously, I wrote about finding the strength of Jesus. In Christ’s victory over death and the grave there is no weakness, only strength. It is greater than any power or strength you can build on your own. Actually, it requires our weakness to be present. It seems we only invite the strength of God into our lives when we come to grips with the truth of our personal weakness.
In Psalm 18, David wrote an incredible description of the strength of God at work in his life. But before that, he started with one incredibly loaded sentence. Learning the power of this sentence helps us receive and recognize God’s strength as our only strength.
In high school I was a distance runner. I would run on the cross-country team in the Fall and for the track and field team in the Spring. Our training involved running every day. Another part of training was hitting the gym a couple times each week. Every time I entered the gym I dream of what it would be like to have muscles and be strong.
Many of us wish we could be strong. It takes a lot of discipline, dedicating yourself to continued time and effort. You can’t quit training once you start. If you aren’t purposeful in continuing your strength will waste away.
Though our television shows, movies, magazines and the internet are full of well-toned bodies, the majority of us are not. We gave up on the routine, or never started it all. As a result we are weak. Strength and muscles remain a dream. But there’s more to strength and weakness than we realize.