Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Fire of God

I've had enough people ask me to post the words to my song that we did this past week to cause me to assent. The song is called Fire of God.

I actually started the song years ago, but it just sat dormant and felt unfinished. I picked it up again 3 or 4 weeks ago when I began studying Mark 9:49 and meditating on what it might mean. I was really wrestling with the whole idea of the purifying fires of God and how the Holy Spirit uses this part of the sanctification process to to purify our love.

I thought I had finished the song again but as I was singing it for Chad, our worship pastor, it just didn't feel right. He said he liked it, and we were going to do it a couple of Sundays ago and then again the 28th, but something just didn't feel right about it, so I yanked it. The next week, I wrote a completely new melody and changed some of the words to how we did it this past Sunday.

I thought Chad and the band did a great job with it in the Auditorium services and I heard Terry Adkins and the band who were leading worship in our video venue in the RNC, did a great job with it too. (Thanks guys!)

I wanted simple words and a simple melody so the song could be learned quickly and sung as an expression of a heart crying out to God.

Fill me Lord, with Your holy love;
Come Wind of God, blow through my life.
Fire of God, ignite my heart to love.
Spirit come.
I want to love like You.
I want to be more like You.

So, fill me Lord, with Your holy love;
Come Wind of God, blow through my life.
Fire of God, ignite my heart to love.
Spirit come.

Let the Fire fall!
I give You my life, I give You my all.
I dare to draw near to Your Holy Flame
Fire of God, purify my love
Fire of God, purify my love
I surrender all.

“Fire of God”/Words and music by Jim Mindling/© 2010 CrossWinds Music

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Happy Birthday

This past week, both my parents, Jim and Pat, celebrated birthdays. Both of them are in their 70’s and are 3 years and 3 days apart in age. As I visited with them on the phone this past week, I was struck once again both by the privilege of being raised by godly parents and how they continue to model what it means to live surrendered to Christ and his mission. My parents have never been on the official paid staff of a church but have poured themselves into every church they’ve been at, serving as volunteers in the ministries of the church and living “missional” lives in the community.

They have served under many pastors in several churches over the years. All of these pastors come and go, but my parents keep serving, keep loving, keep building relationships and in my humble opinion are the backbone of their church. They have not slowed down but it seems to me have picked up momentum, displaying lives of servanthood and stewardship in every aspect of their lives. I have often thought, wow, what if one could develop a church loaded full of “Jim and Pat Mindlings” what a difference a church could make in a community! It would be nothing short of revolutionary! And yet, that is exactly what Jesus had in mind! Living out the gospel in everyday lives, engaged with their neighborhood, their community, “being” the church, not “going” to church.

May I challenge us all to stop “going to church” and grow in “being the church”? What could happen in our communities if we did?!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Favorite Moment This Weekend

I experienced a lot of moments this weekend where I saw the people of Open Door loving, serving, and being the church. I love the serving heart our church has! It was also exciting seeing the CrossRoads full of energy at the Burger Bash. It was wall to wall people, and the burgers were awesome! Our new Student Ministries Pastor, Joel Zaborowski is doing a great job with our students and they raised over $3800 for missions trips to extend the love of Jesus Christ beyond North Central Ohio. (51 volunteers served over 1000 burgers.)

But my favorite moment this weekend was Saturday morning in our 5B Evangelism Seminar where the energy and excitement in the room was palpable as people told stories of loving their friends to Christ and learned tools and skills to better reach those around them with the life-changing love of Jesus Christ! Is there anyone you love so much that you want them to experience the life-changing love of Christ? God, fill us with your love!

Friday, March 5, 2010

Favorite Moments From Sunday

My favorite moment from this past Sunday: Lucille Porter giggling like a little girl after I gave her the 2010 Servant Award for Christlike serving and asked her in the service if she found fulfillment and satisfaction in serving. When’s the last time you heard a 96 year old giggle?

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Second Post

One of my core values is authenticity. I believe with all my heart that God loves each of us just the way we are. He delights in us as we are, not as we think we ought to be. He winces when we try to be someone else. (But it's a wince ensconced in a smile.) Be you.

1 Samuel 17 records one of the most popular stories in the Bible, the story of David and Goliath. The story is full of powerful life lessons like trusting in God and taking a stand for God no matter what the odds. Yesterday, I heard someone draw an application from that story I'm not sure I had ever noticed before. Before the battle, King Saul tries to dress David, who, remember is just a little boy, in Saul's armor. But it doesn't fit. David stumbles around in the oversized, ill-fitting helmet and armor in a scene that has Abbott and Costello all over it and finally concludes he can't do battle in somebody else's armor. David's discovery is true for all of life: don't try to do life in somebody else's armor. It's exhausting and futile (and sometimes comical) trying to be someone you're not. Be you. Be authentic.

So it's ironic and somewhat troubling that the first post in my blog is inauthentic. I didn't write it. But my blog says I did. Let me explain. There it is, in my first post, right underneath the words "Test Post" in deceptive gray letters: POSTED BY PASTOR JIM. Let me come clean right off the bat with a confession: I had writer's block for my first post and a ghostwriter actually ended up writing that two word first post. There I said it. I don't want to start my much belated foray into the world of blogging going against one of my core values. So I'm using this, my second post, to come clean. Confession is good for the soul. I feel authentic. For now.

I believe authenticity is essential for Christ-followers. But it raises a question: if the mission of our church is "leading people in the adventure of becoming like Christ" how does that fit with authenticity? If the core of our mission is trying to help people be like someone else, i.e. Jesus, is "authentic Christ-follower" an oxymoron? Tell me what you think.