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Failure from God

August 1st, 2015 by Clint Kandle

Should that title have a question mark after it, or will you allow me to assume that sometimes God will intentionally allow us to fail in order for us to realize our dependence on Him, to show us we are creatures and He is creator? This week, several of the glass balls that I try to keep spinning have dropped to the floor.

Consequently, you are receiving the Friday Epistle on Saturday. I could blame it on the priest who did not get his message in on time. Oops, that was me… Or maybe the person who sets up the blog. Again, oops, that’s me. There is no one to point the finger at, but me. All week, people have been asking me, “What do you need me to do? How can I help?” But in my stubborn independence, I said, “No problem, I’ve got this…” God’s grace allowed the balls to fall, but not shatter.

So why point out my missteps?
- To highlight the fact that it is God’s Mission, not just mine.
- To highlight that even when we fail, God hasn’t. We work in concert with His efforts, not vice versa.

My week started out behind the power curve. First thing, Tuesday morning, I received an email highlighting the work that four of our youth had spent the past week doing. Immediately I thought, “How could I not have known?”

Lesson One: We need to rely each and every moment on God. And, even when we are beyond our power and fail, His promises are true and His mission will succeed.

Glen Starr and Jana Starr had a passion for Mission Interact. Each year, they worked to have as many youth from our church join with the youth from other churches to serve the local community. For one week, they worshipped in each other’s churches, build friendships and serve their local community. As a testament to our youth leaders and our youth, even without Glen’s direct involvement, four participated: Erin Reilly, Kathryn Hudechek, Evan Scarborough and Madison Sherrard.

Lesson Two: Seeds planted really do grow. Glen and Jana planted Jackie; Justin and the team have been watering and nurturing those seeds.

This year’s projects were not easy. I will mention only one. The students were asked to enter the world of a hoarder, show the compassion and love of Christ and then help that person transform, or at least begin to take the first steps by cleaning out the home. The goal was to help someone in need while realizing that the person was not “a hoarder” but Jane or John Doe, a child of God. In that way, both those who give and those who receive can be transformed by the Father’s love. God’s economy provides a need and a solution that transforms both ways.

Lesson Three: Whether a giver or a receiver, God has something for you to learn from the experience. Anyone can clean out a house, but only a disciple of Jesus Christ can point the way to a transformed heart, working to heal the mind, body and soul. Why? The healing ultimately comes from the Father, not our actions. We are graced to be contributors.

These youth have provided the perfect illustration for this week’s scripture readings. Following their example, I start with the call to action. Live worthy of your calling.

Join me tomorrow, as we examine the message that led to our calling and the importance of the context in which that message was received.
Grace and Peace,
Clint+

PS- The irony of the message about being a creature is that my wife is in the middle of running and attending a book convention as an author and I had the audacity to send her the draft to review before sending it out! Please pray for me. I am a bit hardheaded.

PSS- The youth have been so moved by their Mission Interact experience that they are starting a new ecumenical event next Saturday:

COLLECTIVE KINGDOM NIGHT OF WORSHIP

at New Covenant in the sanctuary on Saturday August 8th at 6:00 pm. All high school age students are invited to a dynamic, student-led night of worship. Our goal is to unite multiple denominations as one body of believers and worship Christ with everything we have before this upcoming school year. We will network and meet with other Christians from local area churches and high schools. Questions? Ask Jackie Fowler at 904-248-1094.

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Clint Kandle

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