The Other Hours

I am feeling a bit like Ebenezer Scrooge these days. So far this year I have been visited by what seem like ghosts from my past. They’re not really ghosts, they are just people from my past who happen to be coming to Phoenix for conferences. Because of creepy Facebook they know where I live and wanted to get together while they were in my town.

The first guy who reached out to me was a friend I made working at a camp in Bellingham, Washington during the summer between my sophomore and junior year of high school. He was—and still is—a good guy. As we had lunch he brought to the forefront of my mind memories that had been lying dormant in the way back corners. It was invigorating and funny to remember the younger me. It was interesting and funny for him to get to know the older me. He was a bit shocked when he found out I was a pastor. (For some reason it is very common for everyone who knew the younger me to be shocked that I am a pastor. Ha ha!)
Then today I had lunch with another friend from the past. This was a friend of mine from Grants Pass High School in southern Oregon. We talked, and I did my best to remember names and moments that were alive and vivid to him. It was slow at first, but then I began to remember more, and with greater clarity, as he jogged my memory. Again, it was invigorating and funny to reminisce about my younger years as an immature high school boy, free from responsibility. Shockingly enough, this friend actually said he could see me becoming a pastor someday because I did have some boundaries and wisdom back then. (Ha ha again.)
Both of these friends knew me before I really began to be a follower of Jesus. They knew me when I was just a fan of Jesus. They knew me when I had enough Jesus in me to keep me from being really bad, but not enough Jesus in me to experience the real good only Jesus can bring.

In the past, my life was compartmentalized into the little bit of time I would give to Jesus, and all the other hours that Jesus wasn’t a part of. I thought God just wanted to make me good at “churchy” stuff. I thought that once I died, Jesus and I would be in a meaningful relationship, but for now I was on my own. Later, I discovered God was very interested in my life here on earth. I found out I could experience the presence of God and hear the voice of God anywhere and everywhere I go. Since then, God has been enriching every part of my life. 
This Sunday we are going to start a sermon series called “The Other Hours.”The premise for this sermon series is that God does not want to make you good at church—He wants to make you good at the other hours.
Please join us and invite a friend who would benefit from hearing from God and experiencing His presence—especially those who have no meaningful relationship with God.
God be with you and bring you peace,