Do you remember a time when there were only three major TV networks, black and white TVs, and super expensive bag size cell phones? That was my childhood. A lot has changed in my last several decades of my life. Hundreds of networks, pocket size cellphones, and the advent of the Internet has made the sharing of information and ideas incredibly easier both for evil and good. It also accelerates the pace of change. With all the changes that occur I am reminded that Bob Dylan was right when he said “the times they are a-changing.”
I am the older part of generation Y (b. 1977-1994). We are often called the older Millennials even though that is debatable. In many ways my generation has been called Generation Why. We seem to question everything. Maybe because we are the children of the Baby Boomers (b. 1946-1965), who were raised by our grandparents (b. 1900-1945), and have lived our lives during some of the most unprecedented cultural changes in modern history.
This week I spent some time with some fellow pastors at the Honor Luncheon sponsored by Life 90.5. During our time of prayer these men shared some of the changes going on in their lives and ministries. It seems no matter who I have spoken to recently the theme is change.
Nearly five years ago a group of us set out to create a new local EPC in Hampstead NC. There was so much up in the air at that time. Where would we meet? Who would be in leadership? Who would come? What was going to happen in the upcoming national election? What was going to happen in our country? What about our personal lives? Jean-Baptiste Karr, a French satirical novelist and journalist, said “the more things change, the more they stay the same.” Karr was right in his observation that though many things seem to change, change is a constant in our modern lives.
Solomon, in the third chapter of Ecclesiastes, begins with his often quoted verses about a time for every season. It is after those verses on change that Solomon gives a summary on why change happens. “I have seen the business that God has given to the children of man to be busy with. He has made everything beautiful in its time. Also, he has put eternity into man’s heart, yet so that he cannot find out what God has done from the beginning to the end. I perceived that there is nothing better for them than to be joyful and to do good as long as they live; also that everyone should eat and drink and take pleasure in all his toil—this is God’s gift to man” (Ecclesiastes 3:10-13).
God allows change in our lives because it keeps us busy and he wants to make things beautiful out of those changes in his timing. The Apostle Paul would later build on this theme. “And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose” (Romans 8:28). God is using all the change form our personal lives to our corporate lives as part of Grace EPC for his purposes.
This week would you join me in prayer for those in our congregation going through personal changes?
Pray for Pastor Jeff and his family as they continue the process of moving.
Pray for Bryan and Ann as they are on the mission field in Tanzania.
Pray for the Mikules as they are expecting their son to be born anytime now.
Pray for Andrew and Norine Brunson (an EPC missionary family) as they have been illegally detained in Turkey and look to be illegally expelled from the country.
We have members that are recovering from car accidents, broken bones, and surgeries. Pray for healing.
We have members that have been effected by their jobs unexpectedly ending and looking for work. Pray that God would open door.
We have members that are learning what it means to be first time parents. Pray for grace and rest.
That’s a lot of changes.
We can rejoice together because we know that God has a purpose for it all. We just have to trust him. Maybe you can also pray that God will give us the grace to do that as well?
In Sincere Grace,
Pastor to Families and Children