Work Weekend Report

Good Morning!

I am sending you this on Sunday evening. Just back from excellent work weekend – something over 80 came. I am a very satisfied…VERY tired person. Worked with up to 7 people sorting through/straightening the wood shop side in Maintenance – third work weekend I have worked at this. All screws, nails, bolts, nuts and washers have been worked through – sorted 23 containers of mixed up screws, nuts, and bolts – the people working on the screw sort had over 30 separate piles of screws – separated out from the containers. Same for bolts….almost as many for nuts. People, over many, many years have brought back what they did not use and dumped into any available container. I am certain the $ savings from the work is well into the hundreds.

Should have done IPWG before I left. No way can I do now.

Have a wonderful Memorial Day celebration. DL closed for a couple years during World War II – many Deerfooters have died for our country. Many now serve.

chief chuck

Susan Sea: Out of the Wheel Chair #60

When Susan rolled into my office, I quickly learned that she had been officially told she could not participate in the paraplegic Olympics.

Sue and I had previously talked a few times, but nothing serious. Sue was single and in her early 20’s. She and her parents were members of Christ Church of Oak Brook. I had learned a little of her situation through my conversation with a physician in the church. Bottom line: For 7 years she had been unable to use her legs – could not feel a needle stuck into her leg. Doctors had been unable to understand why.

She was angry about not being able to compete and wanted me to know about it, and so I listened… and listened. Without much thought I asked her if she would like to be healed. Her quick response: “Of course I would!” Was she sure? Her response was even more intense!!!

Not knowing what else to do, I suggested we ask the Lord that, if it be His will, she would be healed. As she calmed down, I placed my hands on her knees and prayed for her healing. Nothing happened. I admit that my expectations had been at about the 5 % level. We talked a few more minutes, and she left.

Two days later Sue called me. On the way home her legs had twitched, almost jumped. I invited her to come back and we would “try again”. I was probably more shocked than she was. I had asked the Lord to heal people before, with no obvious results. I tried to reconstruct what had happened, and I could not remember anything unusual about what I had prayed. When Sue wheeled into my office this time, there was a big grin on her face. Again I put my hands on her knees… prayed… and nothing. We both felt a let down, and she left.

A few days later Sue called – she had regained her bladder control. Could she come back? In she came and, as I had done previously, I put my hands on her knees and asked God, if it be His will, that Sue would be healed. As I prayed I could feel her tears hit the top of my hands. When I ended the prayer, the tears continued to roll down Sue’s cheeks. She then very quietly said “I can feel your hands”. We agreed to tell no one.

There was no instant, complete healing, but gradually she was able to regain the strength in her legs. On Christmas morning Susan slowly pushed herself up out of her wheel chair and walked very carefully over to her parents. As a thank you, her dad, a carpenter, gave me a set of Craftsman wrenches I still have, as a reminder of this miracle.

It was very clear to me that all of this was of the Lord. What had motivated Sue to come to see me? Why did I put my hands on her knees? Why did God heal her, but only little by little? Was there anything special in what I had said? Did it matter if this was a physical healing – or a psychological healing? I had no answers. When people in the church asked what had happened, we had little to say.

Imagine my flood of emotion as I waited for Sue to slowly walk down the long church aisle on her father’s arm – to be married. I have no clue what God will do next, but I do know that He is able. My challenge: to live In Partnership with God.

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart. Lean not unto your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will direct your path”. –Proverbs 3:5-6

Good Use of My Time? #59

The second Christ Church of Oak Brook family camp was again a very rewarding experience for the 50+ participants. Those who came were a wonderfully diverse group: new church members and long term members, several “church leaders’, others that almost no one knew, from toddlers to seniors. Out of this group came the suggestion that Christ Church should buy its own camp located, not 7, but 2 hours or less from the church. A few were very serious about this and had the financial resources to help purchase the camp. Spirits were high!!!

Every Monday morning the senior pastor and I would meet to evaluate, discuss, plan, prioritize – what ever was required to keep the church organized, moving forward. Soon after my return from family camp, at our Monday morning meeting, the senior minister suggested that spending a week with so few people was an inappropriate use of my time. I was stunned! He was serious!!

Jesus focused the three years of His active ministry on just 12 people. Jesus and the twelve were together almost 24/7. Why did Jesus choose these particular men? We will never know. Four were fishermen, one was a tax collector, and the other nine? We have no clue what their previous vocations were. The only mention of three of the men is in the context of the list of the disciples. Yet Jesus chose these 12 to be the primary communicators of His truths to the world – and it worked.

Jesus demonstrated how people should live while He established that He really was the promised Messiah. Much of what Jesus did was done before many people: He turned water into wine at a wedding party, spoke to the multitudes, fed 5,000 plus women and children, healed the leper, the blind, the cripple, the demon possessed, raised a man from the dead, confounded the Pharisees. But only the 12 saw Jesus do all of these things, plus calm a storm, enable Peter to walk on water, go apart to pray, wash their feet. One the 12 had the opportunity to be taught by Jesus, to ask Jesus questions. After the resurrection it was to His disciples, gathered in a house with the doors locked, that “Jesus came and stood among them and said ‘Peace be with you!’ Then he said to Thomas, ‘Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe.’” John 20:26-27.

Did Jesus waste His time when He focused His three year ministry on just twelve men?

Which is the more effective way to share the Good News of Jesus Christ and to equip His followers? Is it to minister only to people gathered in large groups, or is it to focus on a select group of people while also ministering to larger groups of people? Jesus chose to focus on a few while also ministering to people gathered in a variety of situations.

In a large church, often there is one person who is best able to communicate God’s truths to people gathered in large groups. If this church, with its gifted communicator, is going to grow solid Christians, to reach out into the surrounding community and even to the world, small groups within the church are necessary. As the believers in a small group grow in their understanding of God’s word and His desire to be personally involved in our lives, people emerge who are equipped to minister in an almost limitless variety of ways – including the leadership of a new small group of people. As this disciple building process continues to continue, a strong church can continue to grow, and not just in numbers. Both the ministry to large groups and to small groups of individuals are necessary.

When the senior minister suggested that spending a week with so few people was an inappropriate use of my time, I was stunned! He was serious!! I am certain we both felt the tension when this weekly meeting was over.

If you are ministering to a small group of people, perhaps to a few individuals, do not be discouraged!!! Others may not understand what you are doing. They may even suggest that you are wasting your time. Your challenge is to live In Partnership With God, and like Jesus, He may have you working with a small number, and like Jesus, not every person you work with will become “leader”. Someone may betray you. Hang in there!! Learn from Jesus, walk in His ways.

Important Memories #58

While at Honey Rock, Christ Church Family Camp people could swim, canoe, sail, paddle the war canoe, go on whale boat and pontoon boat rides, enjoy riflery, archery and camp craft. Fran Hull, the retired art teacher, helped with crafts, and she was good! Maury would lead nature hikes and show how he took such great pictures. The camp wrangler took those interested on horseback, donkey, and horse drawn wagon rides. The food was excellent including a breakfast and supper cookout.

This was, in many ways, a family paradise.

While driving home, family camp dad Bill Shean asked his son Skip:

“What did you like best about family camp?”

Skip’s answer: “I liked looking for mushrooms the best.”

Bill: “Why?”

Skip: “Because it was just you and me Dad.”

Our three grandsons, Jashton – 8, Tobiah – 6, Corban – 2, stayed with us this past week so their parents could take a vacation. I trust they enjoyed the “just you and me” times as much as I did.