I realize what a special gift I have been given over the past 10 years here at the Central church in Amarillo. Seldom in ministry does one feel like you have "a minister" or "an elder" and I have had both. Tim, only 6 years older than me, is one of the greatest shepherds I know. He has a rich inner life. His relationship with Jesus is contagious. He is tender and kind and ready with a smile. In fact, he is listed as The Tender Shepherd in my phone :). Tim and I try to grab coffee or lunch about once a month for catch up time. He hears about my Come before Winter experiences and lately I've been tracking with his reading as he goes through the Spiritual Direction program at Lipscomb. We share ministry struggles and thoughts about God and scripture. We have struggled with what it means to really be missional, to embrace technology and to make disciples. Lately we have been talking about Exodus. He has been teaching it and I have been studying it for curriculum writing.
One of the greatest gifts this friendship affords is the ability to speak words that have never been spoken before. Unlanded thoughts. Things you may need to adjust once voiced. Ideas you may not even really believe but they are floating around in your head. I do not take this lightly. Last week, while over eating at the Chinese buffet with Tim, I made a statement that has been mulling around in my head but I have never said with such assurance before. "Among other things, I think Exodus has provided me with the most important lesson about God that I have learned in forever. God's desire is to dwell among his people." We kicked that around awhile and happened to agree. I can't shake it. I keep thinking about it. It really does change everything.
It forms and informs our belief about:
When we live in the very real belief that God is fully present and can not be summoned and dismissed at will it gives new life and color to this life. Everything really is Spiritual.