MARCH 28, 1999
We have seen that before, haven’t we? The clip of a desperate, drowning person in the raging waters. We have watched as rescuers throw lifelines to these individuals, and we know that if they grasp the lifeline, they are going to survive, they are going to be rescued. But if they don’t, they will die. A lifeline is a rope, cable, or connection that brings a person to safety.
I want to make a statement right now that might take you back a little bit. So I want to warn you before I make it. Every person who is hearing my voice is involved in a rescue situation with lifelines. Not exactly like we just witnessed on the side screens, but lifelines in another realm, in even a deeper and more profound way. So I guess if we are involved in rescue operations, I guess if we are involved in using lifelines, we had better understand them. So this morning in today’s talk, I want to communicate to you the past, present and future of these safety devices we call lifelines.
Let’s look at the past. God is in the lifeline business. He really is. I think about Acts 10. Simon Peter was praying a prayer on top of his house. Back in Biblical days they prayed on the rooftop. And while he was talking to God, God heard his words, intervened, and challenged this Jewish man, this completed Christian, to toss a lifeline to Cornelius. Now this took Simon Peter back because he thought that Christianity was a Jewish thing, yet he obeyed God’s terms, and he tossed a lifeline to this man; and because of that, his entire household was rescued. What a story. Every time someone is involved in a rescue situation, you always have a story.
I think about Luke 19 when our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, was walking through the dusty streets of Samaria. I think about Jesus who locked eyes with a short, self-centered seeker named Zacchaeus. I can see Him tossing the lifeline of love to Zacchaeus, and I can see Zacchaeus watching it float by and then grasping it. And Zacchaeus experienced life change. What a short story.
I think about Acts 24 when the Apostle Paul had the opportunity to throw a lifeline to a powerful politician named Felix. And I think about Felix’s response to this lifeline. Here was Felix desperately drowning in the raging waters of despair, and he watched the lifeline float by. And he said, in essence, “I’ll call for you, Paul, at another time, at a more convenient juncture in my pilgrimage. You can toss me a lifeline then.” But that lifeline never floated by again. What a sad story of a possible and potential rescue.
The Bible is a book that shares story after story, account after account, of men and women who were saved through lifelines. I am sure that you might be saying to yourself, “Well, Ed, the stories you just shared are pretty inspiring, pretty challenging stuff. But they happened all the way back in the first century. How about today? How about this time in history as we stand on the brink of the twenty-first century? Yes, lifelines happened in the first century, but how about now?”
Well, if you are thinking along those lines, I am glad you are doing so because you are right with me. Lifelines from the past challenge us. They are important, but let’s look at lifelines in the present. I want you to hear some rescue stories of some people like you, some individuals like ones you might know who need to be rescued—lifelines in the present.
The first person I want to talk to is on the end, Jill George. Jill is a senior at Colleyville-Heritage High School. And Jill has quite a rescue story.
JILL: Well, I didn’t attend church much growing up. Easter of my sophomore year, my sister-in-law, Elsie, invited us to the Fellowship Church. We went and heard your sermon. I am very artistic and I loved the music. It really spoke to me. It was radical. It was unlike anything that my family had experienced. It was something that we could all agree on. We came back, came back, and came back. I started to get involved in Edge Student Ministry. I loved being a part of this church.
ED: So the life change for you was that as you attended you got plugged in to the Edge Student Ministry because the students at the Fellowship Church are on the edge. Right? What else happened? How did you actually receive the lifeline? How did that take place?
JILL: Even though I was involved in church, and we attended as a family regularly, and I was very active in the Edge Student Ministry and the Colleyville-Heritage campus team met at my house, I don’t think I knew Christ personally.
ED: Let me interrupt for a second. A campus team is a bunch of students who get together regularly in homes. And you had gotten involved in this. I just wanted to define the terms for everybody.
JILL: Even though I was very involved, I hadn’t given the ropes over to Christ yet. I was still in charge. I was still trying to make things happen, trying to do it my own way. I got into some trouble by hanging out with the wrong people my junior year. It was pretty bad. I got into trouble at home and at school. I was influenced in all the wrong directions. I decided that I couldn’t live this Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde lifestyle. I couldn’t go to church and be the perfect angel on Sundays, but then on Friday and Saturday nights go out and do what my friends were doing. I remember saying to my student council sponsor while I was in this heap of trouble, and we were deciding on my punishment, “I just don’t understand how you walk such a perfect life. I don’t understand how you can do everything so righteously.”
I decided that I was either going to have to choose a life of rebellion or a life dedicated to Christ, and I chose to dedicate my life to Christ. But from then on, I have been completely amazed at what Christ has done in my life.
ED: Jill, what are some things that have helped you to grow and develop in your spiritual relationship, your connection with the Lord?
JILL: Through Edge Student Ministry, I have learned a lot of things. Christ has allowed me to meet some really great people. Since I am so busy running from place to place, my friend, Leslie, has taught me to I wear my watch upside down so that every time I have to look at it I have to turn my arm all the way around and that helps me to remember that I have to add Christ into my life, that I have got to remember Him as I run from place to place. He has led me to meet some great people. The Bible used to be so confusing to me, but through Edge, I have been taught to read it with more ease. Every night I have a certain passage that I read, and the next morning, I journal what I read, that way I have to remember it. I also write down where I am going and what Christ is doing in my life. I thank Him for certain things and state my requests. I document where I am going.
ED: Jill, the Christian life is the ultimate life, but as you know it is not an easy life. You were sharing some of the decisions that you had to make, some hard. Would you go into that?
JILL: I am a varsity cheerleader at my high school. But as well, the last two years, I have been a part of an all-star cheerleading program which takes up a lot of time. High school cheerleading takes up a lot of time, but all-star takes up even more time. We practiced a lot on Wednesday evenings and late Sunday mornings. I just decided that if I was going to be involved in church, I would have to give something up. So I gave up all-star cheerleading in order to spend more time here at the Fellowship Church.
ED: I hope, parents and students, that you do not miss what she just said. And I want to say something to you in love, something that quite frankly breaks my heart concerning a lot of families. I am all for athletics and extracurricular activities. I am all for them. But when they encroach upon the most important relationship in the universe, when they encroach on the involvement in the local church, parents and students, you will wake up one day and find yourselves in trouble. Make the critical choice to make Christ a priority and His church the main thing. Have the boldness of a twelfth-grader to say “no” to some good things because there is a bigger “yes” for the great things. Jill, thank you for your story.
Let’s talk next to a husband and wife team, Chris and Amy Gloege. Tell me about what God has done in your life as we talk about lifelines. You guys have a fascinating story.
AMY: As children, Chris and I grew up in pretty diverse religious backgrounds, and neither of us were fired up to go to church on Sunday mornings. I was raised in the Mormon faith. At an early age, my family stopped going to church; so as a teenager, I drifted, churchless. The Mormon Church does not focus on the Bible so much, so I didn’t have that spiritual foundation at home. My goal in college was to figure out the God thing. So I took classes and tried to do it analytically.
Fortunately, I had some really loving friends and a great boyfriend, now husband, who led me to Christ. I received Him shortly after I graduated.
ED: You have explained to me how you guys actually found the church. But first, I want you, Chris, to go into your background. This guy has an interesting pilgrimage.
CHRIS: I was raised Catholic. Actually, before my Mom got married and had a family, she was a Catholic nun. She got a little rebellious and got out of that.
ED: Chris, it is amazing. We have so many people in our church from different denominations and backgrounds, and that is a great thing. God is not hung up on denominational backgrounds. He is hung up on a personal connection with Him, and that is what we focus on; we focus on the Bible. But we have so many Catholics and Lutherans and Baptists and Assembly of Gods and Bible Church people who have those backgrounds and come to the Fellowship Church. So we are interested in knowing Christ and making Him known and also in understanding the implications of a Christ-follower. I think that is a really interesting background with your Mom being a nun. As you grew up and became a Christ-follower, how did God bring you to the Fellowship Church?
AMY: Well, we decided to get married. We were big movie junkies. We were always going to the movies. When the AMC Grapevine 30 opened, we would go every Friday, Saturday, or whatever. We would see the “Innertainment for the Heart” slide right before the movie, so we became familiar with the Fellowship Church name.
ED: Let me break in right quick. What Amy is referring to is the slide, which we now and then put up at Grapevine Mills theaters and other theaters around the Dallas/Ft. Worth area. The slide promotes our church. One of our sayings around here is “Fellowship Church is Innertainment for the Heart.” I-N-N-E-R. And we are into entertainment. Why? Because entertainment defined means “to capture and to hold someone’s attention for an extended period of time.” It is amazing how much entertainment was used throughout the New Testament. Jesus and His followers who articulated the truths of life change held audiences spellbound for hours and hours and hours. They were entertained. So that kind of caught your attention.
AMY: We were both going through some career turmoil, to put it nicely, and we got the direct mail piece for your Corporate Makeover series. That really spoke to us, and since Fellowship Church was already familiar to us, we decided we would add it to our shopping list. As we were preparing for our wedding, we did not have a church. We didn’t have a pastor. We were trying to find somebody who would marry us. We realized we wanted to make Christ a big part of our family. We both come from broken homes, and we promised each other that if we got married, it would be forever. We really wanted to make it work. One of the verses we chose for our wedding was from Ecclesiastes, “a three-fold cord is not quickly broken.” We knew that we needed that third cord to make it work. We went around the Metroplex with another couple—a church here, a church there, every Sunday something different. Nothing felt quite right until we came to the Fellowship Church. We walked in and it was wonderful.
ED: I appreciate that. We have a lot of wonderful people here. I really think our church is the friendliest church, the most open and receptive of people of any place I have seen. Tell us a little bit about your reaction and your mindset when you first walked into the Fellowship Church. I love to ask people that question because the responses are so varied.
CHRIS: Well, it was a little bit overwhelming. As we pulled into the parking lot it seemed so big. Then when we walked into the auditorium. Wow, it was huge, but instantly I felt relaxed. It was a casual environment and everybody was so friendly. It was such a contrast to my upbringing as a Catholic where I would walk in, get the holy water, and go kneel immediately and be quiet. The music started and we got excited. The excitement grew with the message and afterwards we said that we were definitely coming back. And we have been coming back ever since.
ED: We look forward to seeing what God is going to do in your lives here at the Fellowship Church. We have some great things in store for you, to build your marriage, your faith, your parenting skills in the future if God blesses you that way. Thanks so much for sitting up here and sharing your life stories with us. I read three or four weeks ago in the paper that people fear public speaking more than death itself. I do this a lot, but these people up here, it is not a regular thing for them. So thanks for doing that.
I want to introduce you to another couple. They have an interesting lifeline rescue story. Tory and Steve Levine. Would you guys kind of share with us what is going on in your life and what God has done.
TORY: And how we got here?
TORY: Well, I grew up in rural Oklahoma in a small town whose whole population was 600. That would be basically the balcony here. I went to church every Sunday. My Father was a deacon, my Mom taught Sunday School. I left the small rural community to go to the big city for college and then law school. Then I moved to Dallas into a big, marble building. I picked up the phone one day, called my parents and said, “Hey, great news. I’m getting married. Yeah, Levine, that’s Jewish, but don’t worry about it. We have decided to raise our kids Christian.” Well, you could have felt the shock wave go over western Oklahoma. My family had never even met a Jewish person, so when I brought Steve home for the first time, everybody was kind of looking at him seeing if he was different from them. They did not stand too close in case that bolt of lightening would come down. But everything went fine. We ran on our little partnership tracks, no bumps in the road. Then we decided that we wanted to have a family, and we hit the first bump.
We had to go through some infertility treatment which, for anybody who has ever gone there, is a very trying time for your marriage and your faith. I remember praying, “God, if You bless us with a child, I promise I won’t mess this up.” We were blessed not only once in 1994 but again in 1997. But I really hadn’t kept my part of the bargain. Then God spoke to me through a letter I received from my grandmother. In our family, God speaks through Nanna Carney.
ED: God does have a way of using those grandparents.
TORY: The letter was simple, but there was one sentence that gave me a sinking feeling: “Do you have a neighbor who could take Alexis to church?” I thought “No, that is my child.” I have failed. It is time. I am going to get in gear. So I told Steve that it was time for us to start going to church. Loving spouse that he was, he said, “Sure, you pick.” I realized that was a huge decision. I had to pick something that was good for the kids at their pre-school age but would be great for them when they got to junior high and high school. Like Jill illustrates, I wanted something that would be a good influence on them when I lost influence. I was also hoping it would be a place to reach Steve given his diverse Jewish background. Coincidentally, I got D Magazine and they were doing a church review. The church man had gone to many different churches in the Metroplex and he told you about all the different ones. It was a critical review.
ED: Yes, it was.
TORY: For some churches he said, don’t worry about this church. They have 2,000 members, but 100 of them show up. It’s not that big of a deal. And then it got to the Fellowship Church. This guy had nothing critical to say. “You feel welcomed. The parkers park you. It may be big, but the greeters greet you. You know where to go. They make new people feel welcome. It is contemporary. They have this minister. He is a pretty good speaker. Five crosses for the Fellowship Church.”
ED: I don’t necessarily agree with everything D Magazine says, but I appreciate the article.
TORY: We came. The first Sunday we came it was at MacArthur High School, and Randy Draper was the speaker. We thought he was the minister they were talking about in the article because he was so good. We decided to keep going back, and we kept going back and back and back. I will let Steve pick it up there.
STEVE: Well, as Tory said, I was raised Jewish. I was actually raised by a single, loving mother who although born Jewish, did not attend a synagogue. She taught me very much what was right and wrong in life, but she didn’t necessarily tie it to the Bible or anything like that. When Tory and I were getting married, I did agree to raise the children Christian, but it was easy for me to do partly because of my upbringing and also because I had no true understanding of Christianity. When Tory said it was time to start going to church, I happily went along. I had read the D Magazine article also, but nevertheless, I was struck from the moment we pulled up by the greeters and the people in the parking lot. They had a big impact even before we got inside.
ED: You know we hear as many favorable comments about our parkers and greeters and hospitality people as any area in our church, and if you are a part of those teams, hey, our hat goes off to you. You know when you see someone involved on those teams, just stop and say thanks for being out there, for being on the front line. They really are difference-makers.
STEVE: We did come in and hear Randy speak. Then we continued to come and heard you speak and Preston speak. Everything about the church was very compelling. The music was compelling. The speeches were compelling. The people’s enthusiasm was compelling. However, I wasn’t going to say I was committed to Christ if I couldn’t feel it in my heart. I believe it was last August when you delivered a message which started out with you recounting all the unlikely events that God had led you through which resulted in you attending a baseball game. At the game you sat in the box eating an unlikely meal and you met the wife of a man. And at that particular moment, I had a very unusual feeling that I knew what you next sentence was going to be. And sure enough you said that the man was a Jewish man. I sat silently. My wife and I were in the balcony, but for that particular moment, I felt like I was the only person out there listening to this story. It was almost equally directed to me as to the man, Bruce Levinson. Moments later Bruce came on stage and he was baptized. I couldn’t help but think that every thing you had said had led you to Bruce and led Bruce up here, and that the next step, still unknown to you, was leading me up here as well. Bruce was baptized, and if that wasn’t compelling enough to me, the crowd reacted lovingly. I could see that through their strength and their love in Christ they fully accepted Bruce. I found Bruce afterward and thanked him personally. It led me right up to the line of Christianity, but my heart still wasn’t there, and I wanted to be irreversible in my commitment. So I began to study more about Christ through readings other than the Bible. But before I could come to a conclusion through my reading, God spoke to me in another way.
In September of last year I became fairly ill with an intestinal problem. As the problem worsened, doctors were trying to determine what was wrong. They could not find a cause and were treating me with medication at first. My conditioned worsened and they were preparing to do some exploratory surgery, but unfortunately I had a severe hemorrhage in my left eye. The hemorrhage was also unexplained. Even though I had very good doctors, they said it was rare for someone my age, that an eye hemorrhage usually happened to someone in their eighties. They treated the problem with guesswork, which amounted to blood thinners, which kept them from doing further work on my stomach. So my condition worsened and worsened. They said that in a matter of days, I could be blind, stay the same, or get better; that there was nothing they could do and nothing they could predict. They also could not predict whether it would spread to my other eye. We continued to come to church, and I continued very heavily to pray and to wonder where my life was heading. During a message, when you were preaching on tithing, I became so overwhelmed with my weakness and with the effect of the drugs that I stepped outside. I walked around briefly, and finally I went outside alone, knelt at the baptistery, and prayed for Christ to come into my life. I might add that that night I told Tory that regardless whether my health stayed the same, worsened, or got better, that I would be baptized at the next opportunity. And that was October 24, and shortly thereafter, we became members.
ED: Tell us what has happened in your life since then.
TORY: Well, one of the first things they tell you when you join the church is how much effort it takes to put together one of these services each weekend. Nine hundred volunteers, or something.
ED: Yes, to do everything from the worship service, the sound, the lighting, children’s ministry, our student ministry, the greeters, the parkers, all of that takes about 900 volunteers.
TORY: So the first thing we decided to do was begin giving back. We joined the people who first impressed us, the parkers and the greeters. Actually, this is our weekend and we missed serving; but we will make it up on Easter, I guess. We also volunteer in children’s church and the children’s choir at Christmas time.
Since we started coming to church, we have only missed two weekends. When we missed, we bought the tapes. I think that is very important. People always asked me throughout college and law school, “Well, how do you graduate with honors?” I always answered, “You don’t cut class.”
ED: That’s right. That is so inspiring to me and to many here and also very challenging. Something supernatural takes place when God’s people gather together in houses of worship and someone sings and someone opens up the book to teach about the truth of God. This is something else that I think many people are missing, even here at the Fellowship Church. It is so easy to let a race, a Cowboy’s game, a hunting trip, a little get-away to take precedent over church attendance.
Yes, there are times when we all miss. Yes, there are times when we are out of town. But what I have seen happen so often in people’s lives who have been Christ-followers for a long time is a slow and methodic drift aimlessly away from the anchor of the church. The evil one, Satan, does not just take you and say, “We are going to get you away from the local church. There you go.” He does it inch by inch, gradually, until one day you find yourself away from the harbor, out in the seas. One day you ask yourself, what happened to me? It begins with that slippage, taking God’s church and His people for granted. Thank you again. What a lifeline story.
Last, but definitely not least, Deb Wilson. She is going to have a rescue story that is really wild. I love this one.
DEB: My rescue story started one year ago today. I am an amateur cyclist. I train and ride for the Leukemia Society Century Bicycle Ride that takes place once a year. A year ago today, I had geared up, got all my parts in the car, put the bike on the back of the car, and swung into Starbucks. I headed down MacArthur intending to hit 114 and head out to White Rock Lake. At 114 and MacArthur, there was car after car after car after car. I thought, “OK, it’s a funeral. I’ll wait awhile.” Longest funeral I have ever seen.
I finally catch a glimpse of a man in an orange vest up on the corner. My patience is not where I would like it to be. I got out of the car, walked to the gentleman, and asked him what was going on. He said that he was from Fellowship Church and that the church was opening its new building on 121. He said the line of cars was a caravan from the old location to the new one. So I inquired about the number of cars involved. He said, “Several hundred.” “Wow, I guess I am going to be late for my ride.” The caravan went on.
I finally got to the race, set up my bike and started to ride, and the Lord started working. “Deb, you got mad at church people.” So I peddled some more. “You know you have been looking for a church.” “Yes, Lord, I have been.” I was raised in a church, and my father made sure that three times a week I was there and thumped on the back of the head if I fell asleep. I drifted as soon as I was old enough to make my own decisions. I was out of there.
Now I will fast forward to 1998, without mentioning the number of years I was away from the church. But 1998 started out tough. It kept working on me, try Fellowship, try Fellowship. It took about two or three weeks until I started coming to service. Ten rows from the back and about half way over was Deb’s favorite seat. I could just kind of blend in.
ED: You know, one of the good things about a larger church is that you can blend in. Smaller churches are great, too, but you seem to stand out if you are visiting. It is kind of like, “Be our guest, be our guest. Oh, you are visiting. Please place the giant, florescent orange name tag on your clothing.”
DEB: So it was really very comfortable for me. That was what I needed to get back into church. Then one day I was walking in and said to a woman how big the church was. She replied that I really needed to plug in, go to a Connection Class, and join a home team. That week I paid attention to the hand out. The following week I decided to get out of the comfort zone and go to a Connection Class. I went to “Real Life.” I am at this end of the stage on purpose: young, younger, young….
I did not know about the remote parking thing, and I pulled in driving by where I usually park out front. The orange vests keep directing me on. There’s the church. There goes the church. Maybe I don’t want to go to Connection Class.
ED: So how did you feel? Here you got caught in a traffic jam when we were moving and then you show up and are ushered over to remote parking.
DEB: It’s the extra effort, but the people did make the difference. They are smiling at you while they are telling you to park off campus. The bus is really kind of nice after you get used to it.
ED: Talking about remote parking, our remote parking days are waning. It looks like our brand new parking lot along with two new roads will be ready the middle of May if we can have some dry weather. But I do want to thank you folks for parking remote. We have some 500 to 600 cars each weekend that park remote. Let me tell you what happens when you park remote. When you park remote, you are providing an opportunity for rescue stories to take place and we thank you for your unselfishness.
DEB: I went into Connection Class, and immediately the folks there made me feel warm and comfortable. They were single and my age. I could connect with a lot of them. They asked me to go to lunch with them, but that would get me out of my comfort zone. But I did go. It was a very heart felt experience. I was touched. I was invited to a home team. Through Connection Class I got to know some really good people. Through Home Team I got some really good friends. What a difference my life is. I went through April, May, and all the way through August.
When I was growing up, church was about religion. I was starting to get the point that it is about a relationship, not religion. But I was still not quite there. In August, I quite unexpectedly lost somebody who was very important to me. After the funeral, I went on a trip. I was out on a boat while on vacation in Mexico and I remember thinking, what am I missing. I said, “OK, God, take my heart.” That is what I hadn’t given yet. I had been here on Sundays, done the Connection Class, done the Home Team, but I had not given Him my heart. So I did that in August. Then I came home and life had changed.
I was hustling. It was so different to come and to connect in and to feel the service and feel like I was being held in His hands. But something kept whispering to me, “I give to you everyday, Deb. I am making your life better every day. What are you giving Me?” That is when I learned about the give and take of the relationship. I was taking an awful lot and I wasn’t giving any. So, since December, I have really made an effort to give back and to get involved.
I do greeting. I work in the Connection Class. In the Sports Ministry I started out playing basketball, but they learned that I was not the Ed Young of basketball, so they recruited me to keep score. I do some outreach, working with the shelter. That is done through my connection here.
ED: Spiritual growth and spiritual development is getting outside of yourself. It is serving. It is loving. It is sharing. And it is tossing lifelines. We have looked at lifelines in the past. We have heard about lifeline rescue situations in the present. Now, let’s hit on the future.
There are literally tens of thousands of people that we rub shoulders with week in and week out who are drowning. They are desperately treading water and their arms are getting heavy; they are sucking down salt water and trying to use floatation devices that quite frankly, aren’t working. Money isn’t doing it. Fame isn’t doing it. Climbing the corporate ladder isn’t doing it. Relationships aren’t filling the void. Something is wrong.
Hey, Christ-followers, hey, believers, you are a lifeline. That’s right—God has given you a responsibility and an accountability to be a lifeline to people you come in contact with every single day. Are you a lifeline person? Something tends to happen after a while when some of us trade in lifelines for lounge chairs. And we begin to just worry about ourselves and just a few others who have been saved and rescued. We sit and soak up the rays and eat the good and rich food on our Christian cruise. We rarely look over the bow or the stern at the scores and scores of people who are desperately drowning.
If we believe the Bible, those without Christ are facing a Christless eternity. And scripture calls the place “hell.” We serve a God of love, a God who challenges us time and time again to throw lifelines of love to others. But I have got to ask you, are you just soaking up rays and getting spiritually fat? Are you just looking and worrying about all the others who are on deck? Or are you tossing lifelines.
It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that throwing lifelines was the focus of Jesus’ life. In Luke 19:10, Jesus said about Himself, “For the son of man has come to seek and to save that which was lost.” In Mark 16:15, Jesus said, “Go….” There is nothing about lounging here. He didn’t say “Yo.” “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation.” This rescue work, though, is tough. It is scary. It is frightening. You are going to have to get dirty. You are going to have to take some risks. But its worth it.
I ask you one more time. Who has God put in your life who needs to be rescued? If you are a part of the Fellowship Church and all you are doing is lounging, don’t crowd the deck. In a nice way, we don’t need you here. Go somewhere else. You are taking up space here. One of basic elements of discipleship is someone who gets off of their rear, off of their lounge chair and tosses lifelines.
I have a confession to make. Now and then in my life I feel spiritually dry. That’s right. I am a senior pastor of a church and sometimes I feel dry spiritually. And when I do I check my gauges. Usually what I do is go back to what Jesus commanded me to do, not as a pastor, but as a Christ follower; and that is to toss those lifelines. And when I begin to toss them, that is when everything comes together for me and I begin to grow deeper and deeper in my faith.
There are two men who will show up this weekend who I have been tossing lifelines to. And there is nothing like the adventure and the excitement of knowing that they are out there.