Tag Archives: renewal

It is because it is.

It is.

What is?  Where? When?

Here, now, it is.

It is visible and obvious.

It is painful and present and powerful.

It is purposeful and poignant, and pauseworthy and praiseworthy.

It is a King and a kingdom conquering…

It is light exposing darkness…

That is all too austere.  Not clear enough.  Nothing to sink my teeth into.  Not unambiguous.  Not ambiguous.

What I mean is… there is something visibly present that I am experiencing as the planter/pastor of west valley pca, which is as invisible as it is concretely present.

I can see that we see it, and yet we all know that we haven’t even begun to see it all.

Yes.  I mean what I am saying and am unsure of what I don’t mean.

God is renewing people.  The King is kingdoming.  I mean that.  I depend on that.

In the past  48  hours I have experienced a window into the soul of wounded, addicted, scared, skeptical, converted, longing, ravaged, curious, afraid, thrilled and worshiping… people.

I have tasted and labeled and trusted in the efficacious call of God on impossible hearts.

In the past 48 hours I have experienced the Word of God by the Spirit of God draw people into the gospel of God.

I have listened to people recount that they want it… because they see that it is.  That is kingdoming.  It is.

I have watched  women who are longing… and men who are breaking… that is kingdoming.  It is.

I have enjoyed the thought of people resting in the freedom of righteousness and regretlessness and rescue of their past… suburban sinners sensing the impossible…. that is kingdoming.  It is.

It is here because it just is.

Kingdom.

King.

It is.

Come Lord Jesus Come.

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the sound of renewal

What is the sound of renewal?

What should we be listening for when God’s people gather as a collection of individuals all uniquely exposed to the renewal of the gospel in their lives? Or, what should I be listening for when I sit across a table at Starbucks, or Perk on Main (our local coffee shop), talking to a broken person whom God is redeeming in the present through the past work of Christ and the continual work of the Spirit?

I have been thinking about this.

I have been wrestling.

As regards West Valley PCA… we are a church that is growing.  Every Sunday when we gather, the critical mass is expanding such that the SOUND of our gathering should crescendo just the same.  But what is that sound?  What is the sound of a people gathered by God, whom he has been renewing daily, personally, and thus corporately?  How does renewal sound when we call to God in worship, or sing in celebration, or collectively repent in liturgical prayers?  How does renewal sound in small groups and coffee shop meetings?

I want to know the sound of renewal that grumbles within people.

We should know the sound of renewal that the gathered of God should be known for.

While pondering all this, I happened upon Ezra 3.  Immediately, I knew I was being informed by the Word of God about the SOUND of RENEWAL.  This is the hope of my soul… that I would pastor a church that has the acoustics of redemption.  That my family would sound this way… and be part of the sound.

It’s an honest sound, to say the least.  But let me not analyze it…I will leave the Word of God to you.  The context of Ezra 3 is simple: God’s people have been brought back from exile, and are privileged (by the decree of Cyrus) to rebuild the temple which had been destroyed.  Upon the completion of the new foundation, the people all gathered in worship.  They were back in the land promised them by God!  They were together!  They were experiencing a renewal of God’s plan and place and presence!  What was that sound???

Ezra 3.10-13 – And when the builders laid the foundation of the temple of the Lord… they sang responsively, praising God and giving thanks to the Lord, “For he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever toward Israel.”  And all the people SHOUTED with a great shout when they praised the Lord, because the foundation of the house of the Lord was laid.  But many of the priests and Levites and heads of fathers’ houses, old men who had seen the first house, WEPT with a loud voice… so that the people could not distinguish the sound of the joyful shout from the sound of the people’s weeping, for the people shouted with a great shout, and the sound was heard far away.

Yep.  That sounds about right.  God’s people, renewed by God yet struggling because it is all still so broken, so imperfect, so not quite finished.  Yeah, to me as the pastor of West Valley PCA and as a man and husband and father… what I hear from the renewed is all so, indistinguishable.  People weeping as they long for MORE, God, please MORE!  People shouting as they taste freedom and see the glory of God in their lives for the first time.  That is the life.

Sounds like renewal to me.  Sounds like reality til Jesus returns and the weeping fades away (Revelation 21)…

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