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Read the Smallest Line

February 21, 2012

In the last blog I discussed why looking back can be a bad thing.  It’s not necessary for it to be, but often people get fixated on their mistakes, sins, problems, hurts, etc.  They become focused so much on these things; often becoming paralyzed toward their future because of the haunting of their past.  There will always be repercussions and responsibilities tied to our decisions of our yesterdays and yesteryears, but in Christ, we’ll have His strength, grace, and mercy in dealing with our past.  It doesn’t have to immobilize us.  So when looking to the past, I pointed out, it’s always best to look to the day Jesus Christ regenerated your soul, that day you gave your heart to Him, and let that be your platform to declare who you are and Whose you are for today.

In this post, however, I’d like to share a bit about the vision God has given me.  The vast majority of this has been in my heart for at least two decades.  Over the last twelve months or so the Lord has been churning all of this up in my spirit again.  While I once felt set on a shelf, He’s pulling it all up and reminding me of His calling on my life.  Maybe I was on the shelf for a time, due to a sinful and unrepentant heart, but once that changed, He’s letting me know there is still some use for me.  I can only hope that, unlike King David, I actually get to see my vision come to reality in my lifetime.

1 Chronicles 22:7 — David said to Solomon, “My son, I had intended to build a house to the name of the LORD my God.”

Verse 8 begins with the word ‘But’.  I’m sure that was difficult for David to hear.  His heart wanted to build the temple and to see the glory of the Lord fill His temple as it did when Solomon dedicated it to the Lord.  But it wasn’t to be.

King David, you may recall, had a heart to build the temple.  He bought and brought many materials for the building of the temple.  It was his intention to build the temple of the Lord in Jerusalem.  But the Lord told him because he was a man of war and had shed blood it would prevent him from actually building the temple.  That task fell to the hands of King Solomon.

I’m open to whatever the Lord would want, but my heart longs to actually see the completion of this vision I’ve held rather than share it, start it, then turn it over.  But the Lord’s will be done and not my own. I pray He is gracious enough to let me see this vision through until His coming.

So what is this vision I refer to?  Let me share the snapshot and then I’ll go into more detail in later posts.

My heart has always been bent to western New York.  I’m from the region, born in Rochester, lived in Geneseo, and attended school in Livonia.  We moved to the  bible belt in the late 70’s as I was entering high school because of my dad’s failing health.  In hindsight I’m not as sure about that being the complete truth, but it was the one us kids were presented and so we moved south.

I made my parents life more difficult than it needed to be for several years.  I didn’t want to be in Texas.  My heart was still in New York.  I begged and pleaded for two years to be allowed to move back … I was even volunteering to live with people I didn’t really like.  I just wanted to go back.

I was saved in the summer of 1979 through the witness of a neighborhood friend.  In 1981 I surrendered to the call of the ministry.  That was around the time I stopped begging my parents.  I was in love with Jesus and I just didn’t give NY much of a thought after.

In 1984 the Lord took me through several major changes.  In those stepping stones, or building blocks, I heard the Lord say to me that all He was teaching me spiritually were the very reasons I had been brought to Texas.  We don’t always see His plan, but He is always at work.  Suddenly He brought back all those longings for “home”.  By this time I was in college, dating a young woman, and in the next few years, was married with kids.

During this time I thought the Lord would send me back to New York, however our timing and His are often two different time zones.  This was the case.  I feel the Lord is bringing me back to the western New York region, though, with the working He’s been doing in me over the last three decades.

I believe I am to bring the gospel into the area and see a church raised that will be a central point of teaching, preaching and evangelism. And working with the existing churches in the community, we will help reach the area for the glory of Christ.  I long for revival for our country, but specifically for Livingston County.

There is much to this vision that I will share in future posts.  But for now, I’m praying. I’m seeking God’s face and asking for divine direction.  I don’t want my will, but His.

I’m called to pastor.  And my heart aches to be in that place, but for now, I’m being faithful to where I am today.  But I will continue to sign my posts in faith of His calling and use these posts to present to you the lineage of this church — this Grace Church — and how it came to be.  It’s often in the background and seeing God’s hand that enables us to go forward with an assurance that His hand has been in it and His glory will be made known.

— Pastor Rick

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