Pinnacle Presbyterian Church

Echoes Blog

Serving in the Kingdom: “You can’t feel grateful for something you feel entitled to”

I am so grateful for my ministry at Pinnacle Presbyterian Church.

Years ago, in a sermon, I heard the Word of God written by the Apostle John. I became aware of the gap between the Word and the results in my life. I had abandoned the dreams of doing good things for God. I was a pretty good person, but a complacent Christian. I came to realize that nothing that you have is something that God needs, but everything you have is something God can use. So, I entered seminary. Then, in seminary, I came to understand that the Bible described a system of evil based upon the interplay of the world, the flesh, and the devil. I was then sent out to understand how those who believe in the Bible can exist in this system.

This is a system where good enough leads to complacency; where abuse by those who are trusted is suffered; where shame can tether, like an anchor, to sins of the past; where rising above good enough leads to endless frustration; where opportunities are missed, yet their memories remain; where the memories of the hell of the trials of life can also remain vivid and fresh; where cynicism can increase with aging; where success on earth brings no eternal reward; where the dreams which you had for yourself no longer occur; where the greatest moments of life are past (not present or in the future); and where a life can be spent in aimless journey through …(fill in the blank).

I was sent out by my seminary…but I was “called” by Pinnacle Presbyterian Church. I was literally called by Shelly Core who knew me through her involvement with the Presbytery of the Grand Canyon. She made me aware of the opportunity of PPC and suggested I consider this congregation. In response to her “call” I met a “dream” mentor who would teach, coach, pray, praise, listen, smile, tolerate, and correct. I observed his integration of deep faith strengthened through intellect, scholarship, humility and the power of the Holy Spirit. When he is in the pulpit his amazing communication truly reflects the Cross behind … a Cross that stretches upward from humanity to God and outward from one to another to bring us into the arms of God and each other.

Following our worship and during the week, in our life together, we are strengthened to live in the system.

Upon the completion of my training I received the honor to be asked to remain with the congregation to participate in our life together during the week. I have provided a ministry to reflect the presence of God’s love and join in prayer. We are together in the presence of God in hospital rooms, surgery waiting rooms, emergency rooms, recovery and rehabilitation centers, care centers, memory units, hospices, home hospices and in the residences of the home-bound. For the remainder of the Senior Adults of PPC I have been present in Bible study, Spiritual Development, theological discussion (caffeine powered for Senior Adults and ethanol fueled for the 21-50 groups), fellowship, celebration, and mourning.

What I take with me is the experience of saints (those who believe) and martyrs (those who witness). Those who believe display their belief in their lives and in their lives with others. They witness their belief privately in their life and publically in their worship.

I have come to know that it was not my ego that had brought me here…it was God.

At the Christmas worship service, in service of the Lord’s Supper, I presented “the body of Christ, broken for you” to the faithful. These faithful are God’s creations that publically appear and partake…these are the body of Christ…the Church…Pinnacle Presbyterian Church. In a difficult world…our system… in an act faith in God, and a belief in salvation we are filled. It is an action. It is an act of God.  From this action I am made right with God. As a part of this worship experience I felt grateful…it was nothing I was entitled to…it was grace. My understanding of the words of the Apostle John came in the faces of these witnesses. This understanding then brought tears of joy.

Advent is upon us again and I am so grateful for my ministry at Pinnacle Presbyterian Church. It was nothing I was entitled to.