Cast – Partnering Problems

Cast – Partnering Problems

by Brock Benson

Sunday we continued on with another week of Cast in Luke 5 where we started back in the spring.  Our attention has been learning about Jesus’ calling of the first disciples and how we can become fishers of men. As we discussed Sunday, this entire passage and series is on the subject of evangelism and what it looks like to be a fisher of men. Sharing our faith isn’t easy. Especially when we are unsure what the person on the receiving end believes or thinks about faith in general.

It’s critical we remember the command to share isn’t an optional one but an expectation Jesus left us with. There are millions of opinions on what is right, wrong, and how far is too far when it comes to sharing Jesus with someone else. So much so we could spend an eternity talking about the best methods. But that’s not really the point. The point is we have a life changing proclamation of good news. It is the only cure for the human condition of sin.

During Sunday’s message we centered our focus on the response of Peter and the disciples to the miracle Jesus performed while on the boat with them. Luke 5:6-7 tells us the disciples caught such a larger number of fish upon obeying Jesus WORD that their nets were breaking and their boats were sinking. Peter was so convicted by the whole encounter he told Jesus to get away from him because he realized he was in the presence of true deity. Peter was beginning to see himself clearly and God more clearly. This was Peter’s moment. It was in this moment that Jesus drew even nearer to Peter as we will discover this week and next week. This is paramount for us as we rest in the gospel. The gospel is about us seeing who we are; sinners, and simultaneously seeing who God is – Savior. Peter’s response is a typical one you’ve probably seen if you’ve had the chance to share Jesus with someone before. I’m not worthy so get away. But Jesus doesn’t leave! Jesus stays! All the while on a boat!

Upon catching the fish there is a situation we see unfold in Luke 5:7. The catch Luke tells us was so great the fisherman on Peter and Jesus’ boat had to signal to their partners in the other boat to come to their aid. Asking for help is something first century fisherman or any fisherman for that matter are rarely accustomed to doing. But they did it in this instance because their mission had overwhelmed them. God’s mission is too big for one boat.

Another idea and observation we discussed was the act of retrieving the nets into the boat once Peter’s partners had been called. Were they on different boats because they had differing fishing philosophies to begin with? Was there friction during the excitement of getting the fish on the boat as to how best to go about the process? Some of these things we don’t know. But one important point is God’s blessings and power brings challenges and problems. New people to a team normally bring new ideas and thoughts which sometimes create real challenges.

One of the core principles I was always taught when it comes to bible study and bible teaching is called “crossing the hermeneutical bridge”.  In other words what is the passage saying for the 21st century believer me? Be careful when you ask this question because sometimes you really learn. LOL.

Tuesday morning driving to work I was in my normal routine of taking the trash to the dump and heading into the office when some of Sunday’s message hit me square in the eyes…literally and spiritually. I like to drink a big cup of Dunkin Donuts coffee in the morning with about a third of the cup filled with creamer. (Here is my man card.) Another abnormal trait I have is I like to drink my coffee out of a mug with no lid (so the mug doesn’t tear my lips up). (Again presenting my man card.) I had drunk about half the cup as I made my way down Sunset Road to the church office when I got lost in the moment listening to the radio. I set the cup on my thigh as I headed through the Sunset school zone when I hit one of our lovely bumps along Sunset road. Coffee went flying out of the cup before I realized it and made the proper adjustment. While it wasn’t a complete spillage it was enough to grab my attention.

One of the top concerns it seems like I’ve heard about Nolensville is how poor our roads are. And how bad they all are because of the construction. Is this true? Absolutely! Sunset Road looks more like a train track at some places than it does pavement. Often times I swerve driving down it so I can avoid the crazy potholes that are every 3 feet. It’s seriously ridiculous. But as this happened the hermeneutical  bridge came into clearer view. Sunset Road is a part of my community and it’s wrecked because new people are moving to our community seemingly overnight. Construction is booming and houses can’t get built fast enough. The havoc that is Sunset Road is one of those good problems. Like the nets breaking and the boats sinking. It means people are here. People are a part of God’s mission. This doesn’t mean wrecked roads makes us more holy as a town. It simply means more pavement is going to have to be purchased and crews hired to patch, build, maintain etc. But to fail to see the bigger picture I’m afraid is us missing the plan of God as it unfolds.

As we finish the week up and we look forward to circling back together as a family Sunday morning, look for the moments God’s giving you. Sometimes the moment is an irritating one and others might be really subtle. Part of being a good fisherman is learning to read the water. By God’s grace may we have eyes to see!

On the Journey with you!

Brock

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Back to School -Blues or Bliss?

Back to School -Blues or Bliss?

by Brock Benson

This morning marked our first morning of the fall semester for one of Revive Church’s biggest ministries to the Nolensville Community – Parents Day Out. Revive Parents Day Out, which formerly operated under the title of Stepping Stones, was started more than 20 years ago with one of our founding members, Toni Crosby, as the first ever Director.  Since its inception this ministry has been a part of many families’ lives in the town of Nolensville and surrounding communities. It’s always special for me to be a part of this ministry in the background and hear different conversations happening between our teachers and parents checking in after the summer of activities has passed and the formal grind of fall now works itself out.

 

Garner, Cassie and I’s second boy, attends Mrs. Laura’s class in PDO. And since he is used to the “routine” of going to work with Dad dropping him off was a breeze this morning. No issues, stress or tears. (Believe me it’s not always this easy…) I was thankful to see him adjust so well and am grateful I can spend more time with him even though he is in a different room while I’m in the office.

 

After I got Garner dropped off at class I proceeded to man the front door for our parents as they arrived into the building. Helping at the door is not something I do every day but the first day is always a good time to see the new faces to the program as they respond with mixed emotions of smiles, frowns, anxiety and everything in-between. I hadn’t planned on helping with the door this morning until it dawned on me that there’d be a lot of parents showing up with supplies who were also trying to corral youngster. It’s a recipe for disaster if you’re trying to get multiple kids into a building with an armful of supplies!! So getting the door was a small way I could serve and I am so glad I did because what happened next was deeply meaningful to me.

 

About halfway through drop off time I opened the door for two particular moms that caught my attention. As they exited and made their way back to the cars I noticed both of them had tears in their eyes. I don’t mean like “I got something in my contacts” tears. I mean real crying tears. In the most pastoral tone I could muster I told them both they’d be alright and we’d take good care of their precious little ones.  These young moms had dropped their babies off I presume for the first time ever at an organized program like ours and were feeling the emotional weight and it overwhelmed them. It makes even more sense to me now why Parent Teacher Organizations put on their boo-hoo breakfasts for all the Kindergarten parents each year. We need each other to help cope.

 

The emotion both of these mom’s felt today was something I first experienced two years ago when Kandler, my oldest son, entered the halls of elementary school for the first time as a kindergartener. No longer was he at home with Cassie or at Revive Parents Day Out with me, but he would now begin being shaped by others who I didn’t really know. Every parent probably has a similar story they could share when they were forced to recognize God’s sovereignty in a real way and this was mine. Kandler was, is, and will forever be God’s. Not mine. I must trust Jesus to shape him through his experience at school just as I must do everywhere else God will lead him in his life. NOT EASY!

 

On the other end of the spectrum the first day of Parents Day Out for others was like a long lost holiday that finally had arrived and been declared! Eager to have some personal time and get their affairs back in order, there were a handful of parents who instead of tears were grinning ear to ear. I guess the contrast comes in especially if you’ve never put a kid in school before. But to see it so clearly today really made me stop and think. Am I sad for another semester or happy? But more importantly why? What’s the reason behind my reason? If I am sad is it because I am struggling to rest in God’s plan and protection for my child? If I am happy is it because I see my kids as a burden at times to my own personal agenda? The answer to all of these is sometimes yes and sometimes no.

 

Solomon in Ecclesiastes 3:1 says “For everything there is a season and a time for every matter under heaven:” Right now many families are in the Back to School season and schedules are getting adjusted and plans are being formulated as we set in for the long haul before Thanksgiving break. With each shifting season of life it’s a great opportunity to look inside and ask questions about our hearts. What’s even more vital is to rest in the answer. Jesus Christ. The Holy Spirit is our living hope who knows we can’t handle the emotional toll of life and the decisions we all have to make for those we love most dearly. But He also intercedes with groaning for us in the middle of each of these moments. Whatever emotional climate your heart may be in during this season, gaze on the author of the story. I promise you the story He is writing is worth it.