Pastor's Blog

Pastor's Blog

Catching up

by Tim Mondy on 06/11/15

Well, after trip to our pastor and leader training (PALCON 2015) week before last and a week of vacation a few days later, I am finally back. A lot has transpired since my last entry, I have been accepted as a member of the Fair Trade Friday blogging team, and the congregation has moved in fast forward fashion toward VBS which begins Sunday evening. Check out our Facebook page to see images of the decorations: 

The Fair Trade Friday blogging group is a bit of a change up for me. Fair Trade Friday (FTF)  is an organization I discovered last fall. They help empower women around the world by selling products which are being produced in a variety of countries and then marketed in the USA. When the product sell, the proceeds go back into the groups which are producing the goods, and the women are earning a life sustaining wage in the process. Many of the women are from countries where unemployment is very high, like Haiti, India, Bhutan, and a number of other countries. Selling these products literally saves the lives of countless individuals as the women are able to purchase food, livestock, or school supplies for their families. Education is possible in many places it would not be without programs like this. Personally, I am a huge advocate of the idea education is key to life improvement. In addition to the FTF original group, they have now started a FTF Earring of the Month club. You can sign up for a one-time purchase, or sign up for recurring monthly subscriptions for either club. Either group offers the same benefits, but the Earring of the Month club is a bit less expensive on your part. Currently there are only a few spots available in the Earring club and no spots in the FTF club, but you can sign up for a spot on a waiting list if you are interested. Check them out:

Relationships Over Rules

by Tim Mondy on 06/01/15

I have tried to lead the congregation in ways I believe we should be living our Christian existence. Focusing on relationships and trying to live as God would want us to live. We have not abandoned the rules, we have simply focused on trying to live the example Jesus set before us. Rules are not bad per se , but they should never become the focus of our Christian experience. We should do what we do or abstain from what we don't do because of who we are, not because we believe it makes us something. 

Are you confused? I agree it is a fine line, often it is pretty blurry. Let me see if I can clarify. We will never measure up to be the people God wants us to be just by following rules, not even if they are Biblical. The Pharisees of the Bible fell into this pattern. However, if our hearts are in sync with the heart of God, we won't do the things He doesn't like, at least to the best of our knowledge and ability. Our relationship with God should drive our behavior, not the other way around. Sadly, I fear many people do not see the distinction. 

Recently I was at a men's gathering for our District. The speaker talked of a church he attends, and the motto they have really got my attention. "Love God, Love Others, Do Stuff". I wonder how the Kingdom of God would grow if everyone just followed the advice given in that simple motto? Personally, I plan to give it a try. Want to join me?

Being Childish

by Tim Mondy on 05/19/15

In just a few short weeks we will be having VBS. This year the theme is Custom Garage, and it looks like a lot of fun. The program is open to children ages 5-12, and I know our director, Tiffany Sanders, would love to have you bring your children, grandchildren, neighbors, or any other kids you would like to bring. 

Speaking of kids, on Mother's Day, we had a great group of kids in the service. There were 9 children under the age of 2 that morning. It is such a joy to hear their laughter. It seems really strange to me that the laughter of a child is contagious, but for adults it seem as if the grumps are more contagious. Seriously, think about it. When you see a child laughing and playing, it is hard not to at least smile. With adults, we tend to laugh at things that may be inappropriate or even hurtful. It would seem there is a greater ability to hold back on laughter where adults are concerned. On the other hand, when we see an adult who is grumpy and hard to get along with, we pick up on that pretty quickly and even allow our own dispositions to be tarnished by the attitudes of others. Oh sure, when a child is grumpy we adults often get a bit testier, but when the child goes to take a nap, we generally get over it pretty quickly. Yet when another adult says or does something that draws the grumps out of us, the feelings tend to hang around all day, or even longer. Maybe we should get a little childish and laugh and enjoy life. If it gets too hard, let's take a nap and see if it helps. 

Almost forgot...

by Tim Mondy on 05/14/15

I almost forgot to update my blog this week. I spent so many months not doing entries it is hard to get back in to the habit of making one.

Last Friday I went for a prayer walk. While I was walking and praying, I got just about as far from home as my walk was going to take me. It began to sprinkle, and I figured I would get drenched before I could get home. Not a really big deal, but not one I relished. Suddenly I was reminded of James 5:17 came to mind, "Elijah was a man just like us. He prayed earnestly that it would not rain, and it did not rain on the land for three and a half years."James 5:17 (NIV) 

I do not consider myself on par with Elijah, but I believed I should pray for it to stop raining. So, I asked God to stop the rain for a while so I could get home. It kept sprinkling, and I felt as if I should pray more specifically. So, I prayed that God would hold the rain off for 30 minutes so I could get home. I also prayed that He would give me faith to believe. I prayed that He would use the event to strengthen my faith, and I would be able to share my experience to inspire others to have more faith in praying. 

The rain ceased immediately. I continued to walk, and I made it home in 28 minutes. It never rained another drop on me the entire time. I walked into the house, and actually expected it to start raining in about 2 minutes. It didn't though. It waited about 17 minutes before it started. I felt as if God spoke to my heart and said, "You asked for 30 minutes, but I gave you 45 because you were slowing down in your walking." When it began to rain, it began as a downpour and did not let up for at least an hour. 

Sunday morning, I was able to share this story as I began to encourage others to pray more specifically. I am learning more about prayer than ever before. I hope I am encouraging others to grow in their prayer life as well. You don't have to be Elijah for God to make Himself known, you just have to be willing to see it for what it is when He does make Himself known. 

Prayer walking

by Tim Mondy on 05/04/15

Recently, I began to walk around Centralia's west side and pray for the people in that area. I detailed this a couple of weeks ago. Since that time, I have now gone up and down every street within the boundaries I had previously walked. According to my Fitbit fitness tracker, I have now walked over 90 miles during the past month with a majority of that coming during my prayer walks. One might ask, "Is it doing any good?" That is a great question, so let me try to give an answer.

Since I began walking and challenged the congregation to do the same, we have had a large portion of the entire city prayed over. We have begun to share the idea with other pastor's and others are getting curious about trying to begin this as well. Beyond that, we have told people who live in other cities about this and they also are beginning to investigate the idea. 

While I walk, I pray for all sorts of situations, typically without knowing the people for whom I am praying. I have noticed a good number of houses for sale in the areas I walk, so I have begun to pray for those houses to sell. I know the stresses of trying to carry a payment, or perhaps two, can disrupt finances, strain marriages, etc. In the past three weeks, three houses within my area have sold, and another house I have prayed the owner would be able to sell has sold as well. 

I have prayed for marriages to be strengthened, families to grow closer, and a wide variety of other requests on behalf of the people in Centralia, but most importantly, I have been praying that people will have a meaningful relationship with Jesus Christ. 

Is the prayer walking helping? I believe it is. Our congregation is gaining a vision for what God wants to do in restoring our city. On Thursday of this week, there is a Pray Centralia gathering at The Rock (formerly Orchardville's Centralia location), and I plan to attend. I want to be part of God's plan, and to that end, I plan to continue walking and praying as long as I feel led to do so. I can't fix the problems of the community, but I sure can pray for God to do it and that is just what I plan to do.