15 Comments

Time for Reflection

On August 16th, 2012 we posted our very first thought for reflection.  We being, Pastor Andrew Steinke and Pastor John Cordrey (that’s me).  Since then we have posted 112 different posts that have taken us through key parts of the Bible from Genesis to Revelation.  In that same time we have had a total of 26,193 views and 781 comments made.  We have averaged about 50 views per day during that time with our best day having over 250 views.

A good friend of mine, Dan Riemer, has become the primary contributor to this blog over the last few months.  He now totals 328 comments.  His wisdom and guidance, insights and applications have been highly beneficial to the community reading this blog.  For that I am thankful.

At times I have had people come to me in person and comment how much they enjoy reading the blog and the insights shared but do not themselves share.  Some out of fear that they won’t sound smart, others out of laziness (which is where I fall far too often).  My favorite part of having this blog has been hearing and reading the comments from my fellow Christians.  As a pastor it is ingrained in me to try and help others dig into and apply the Word of God to their lives.  This blog has given me opportunity to see this in action.  It has also caused me to grow in my faith and see some of my weaknesses in my devotional life.  The strength of comments and the consistency with which a number of our viewers post is inspiring.

The vision for this blog was always a simple one.  To get people into the Word of God and meditating on it together.  I believe, that to an extent, this has been successful.  I had high hopes of having 100 comments every week and growing.  When I have looked and seen only a few comments I have wondered if I needed to change the format and go to a more standard blog where I share my thoughts with you.  But the goal was always to get people into the WORD, not my word.  So, I have left it alone.

As I look to the future, I am wanting to put my absolute best into this piece of ministry and not have weeks where I unintentionally ignore this online community.  So I have begun to pray about what the future of this site looks like.  To be honest, I’m not sure.  Have we here at Trinity started something special that needs a little more time and care for it to blossom or are we simply producing more stuff to launch into cyberspace?

In Advent we always consider the future – we look ahead with HOPE and ANTICIPATION for the future coming of JESUS CHRIST.  And so, over the next few weeks I will be praying about the future with hope and anticipation that God will reveal to me and to us as an online community, what He desires for this blog.  I want to encourage your thoughts and your feedback.  Let me know what your experience with this blog has been.  Even if you are not a regular “poster” but just a “reader” I invite you to comment this time.  It will help me in my evaluation of this ministry tool.

Here is a poll to help with your feedback.  I look forward to hearing from you!

Pastor John

15 comments on “Time for Reflection

  1. I viewed the blog from day 1, and was blessed by the comments and insights and applications of the pastoral staff and members. I did not feel compelled to comment, but checking the blog first thing in the morning became part of my daily routine. The blog complimented the “Daily Disciples Devotional” and Dr Dobson’s “Devotions for Married Couples” that I received via email each day.

    Something changed along the way, and I was led to comment at least once for each new text. My contributions were usually toward the end of the week where my comment would blend in with other comments and perhaps even be lost in the mix. The stakes changed in Lent when a new text was posted each day. I took the challenge and commented with each new text.

    I have heard that it takes 27 days to make or break a habit. Well, posting with each new text during the 40 days of Lent was habit forming for me. Grounding myself in the Word for 15-60 minutes each day is a breath of fresh air. I still glance at the 2 devotionals that I receive electronically each morning, and these devotionals sometimes serve as the basis for my comment on the blog, but they cannot replace the connection that I feel with Trinity staff and members through daily meditation on the same scripture.

  2. What do you want for Christmas? That’s the question that Laura posed to me yesterday in an email message after telling me about her day. I was in Covington, Louisiana wrapping up a long day of travel and meetings in my client’s office, but I was determined to respond so she could start thinking ahead. I quickly replied with 4 things that I could use. As soon as I hit the send button, I was convicted with the words Hope and Wonder. These are the gifts that Pastor Singer talked about putting on our wish lists the past 2 Sundays. Alas, I had fallen into the trap that he talked about of being too familiar with the Christmas story.

    My hasty response gave me pause to reflect and wonder at the marvelous things that God has done for me and my family. We are truly blessed to be a blessing, with opportunities to serve at Trinity- as CREW leaders and at the Advent by Candlelight dinner this past Sunday and as a MOPS mentor and as a member of the Church Plant Committee; with opportunities to serve the community through the Food Pantry and English as a Second Language (ESL) and 45& Hope; with opportunities to serve abroad through Trinity Ablaze in Kenya (TAIK).

    There is reason this season to have WONDER. As the lyrics to “Earth and All Stars” go: “He has done marvelous things! I, too, will praise him with a new song.”

  3. Wonder – As I contemplate a trip to New Orleans this afternoon with Laura, I reflect on the last time that we travelled together, and I wonder what opportunities we will have on this trip to be a light to the world.

    On a return flight from St. Louis at Thanksgiving, Laura and Tim and Emily answered the flight attendant’s call to give up 3 seats together so a mother with 2 small children and an infant who barely made her connecting flight could sit together. Not only was the young mother blessed, but everyone on the plane noticed the self-lessness of a family that voluntarily gave up the comforts of sitting together as they were escorted to remaining open seats next to strangers.

    The Tangible Kingdom at work…

  4. Pastor, I appreciate the blog. I find it easier to meditate on the selected scripture for the week when you present a specific question/challenge along with it. I particularly appreciate the conversational aspect of the blog that comes from your comments, reflections and encouragement throughout the week. That is all.

  5. Wonder…

    On Tuesday, I received an email message from a colleague and friend from Tyler, Texas inviting me to participate in sending a Bible verse to the first person on the list and then forwarding the message to 20 people. I have a long-standing practice of not participating in chain mail. I decided to send a Bible verse to the first person on the list, but then responded to my friend that I was not going to forward the message because I do not subject my family and friends to chain mail.

    the next day, I received the same email message from 2 close friends at Trinity. I was filled with wonder that there was some connection between my Tyler friend and my circle of friends at Trinity. Nonetheless, I replied to my Trinity friends the same way; sending a Bible verse to the first person on the list but then letting both friends know that principle kept me from forwarding the message.

    As I reflect on Pastor Singer’s sermon about wonder, and recall the images of the wide-eyed child and of Scrooge, I wonder whether I acted like Scrooge under the guise of standing on principle?

    • Chain letters are predicated on emotional manipulation. Emails cost us almost nothing to send, but we should not abuse that power. Unsolicited communications should be personal, timely, and relevant. Don’t spam me, bro.

  6. Wonder…

    The Bible verse which keeps ringing in my head and which gives me that star-eyed wonder is the verse that I heard my children recite when they attended Trinity Lutheran School::

    For unto us is born this day a Savior which is Christ the Lord. Luke 2:11

    Awesome sauce!

  7. wide-eyed wonder…

    I see that I miss quoted Pastor Singer by saying star-eyed rather than wide-eyed. So what gives me that wide-eyed wonder? Yesterday it was returning from a 2 day trip to New Orleans. The history and architecture and food were delightful, but Laura nailed it on the ride home from Hobby when she said “there’s no place like home”, even as we encountered traffic and gloomy weather along the way.

    Today I wonder at the faith of Joshua, and reflect on his immortal words:

    As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord. Joshua 24:15

  8. I agree with Mark’s comments, and also found it especially meaningful when the scripture was related to the coming sermon.

  9. Wonder…

    The Seven Wonders of the World has historically been a listing of seven sites known to the Ancient Greeks as the most notable locales in their known world.

    Since then, many have developed lists of the “modern” Seven Wonders of the World. The only list that really stands out and has stood the test of time for more than a decade is the Seven Wonders of the Modern World, developed by the American Society of Civil Engineers.

    The Astrodome, dubbed the “Eighth Wonder of the World” when it opened in 1965, was recently rejected by Houston voters as worthy of renovation and will likely be demolished.

    As I reflect on my Savior – the virgin birth, the servant life, the sacrificial death, the resurrection and the ascension – I stand in wide-eyed wonder at this message of mercy and grace that has stood the test of time, unlike the lists of modern and man-made wonders I eluded to above.

    That’s my king! Do you know him?

  10. Peace Throne

    As I reflect on this weekend, and the times that I was not at peace with someone or something, it is easy to see that I had the wrong person sitting on my peace throne. Thank-you Pastor Singer for illustrating this important point in your sermon yesterday.

    When things aren’t working the way I want them to, or I feel I’m surrounded by problems, the solution to the problem is usually my attitude. “Life is 10% of What Happens to Me and 90% of How I React to It”.

    When problems arise today, I pray that I will look to my Savior sitting on my peace throne, and seek His will before I react. Amen

  11. Peace or Conflict…. the choice is mine.

    I prayed yesterday that I would place Jesus on my “peace throne” and seek his will before reacting in order to avoid conflict. I failed miserably. I let conflict manage me because I failed to set and communicate clear expectations. I did not let Christ’s love rule my heart.

    “And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.” 1 Corinthians 13:13

    Today is the first day of the rest of my life. It is the oldest I have been, and the youngest I will ever be. As Matt Maher says in the chorus line of “Hold us Together”:

    Love, will, hold us together
    Make us a shelter
    to weather the storm

    And I’ll, be, my brothers keeper
    So the whole world will know
    That we’re not alone

  12. Know Christ… Know Peace!

    “He’s the pathway to peace.” One of many accolades by Dr. S.M. Lockridge in “That’s My King”. I listen to this video often ever since it was played at the beginning of worship at Trinity several weeks ago. Very inspiring!

  13. Unity

    I could really relate to Pastor John’s graphic during the Family Advent Service about conflict causing distance in relationships and how sin creates walls that separate us from God and from man and how Jesus used the cross to remove the walls so we can have unity with God and peace on Earth.

    Great object lesson Pastor John!

  14. What do I want for Christmas? Peace..

    When I delivered a meal to Trinity yesterday that Laura had prepared for the Hickford family, Sheryl Albers was preparing room 116 to serve family and friends following a funeral service. So much pain and suffering and grieving, and yet somehow we find comfort in sharing a meal with loved ones.

    As we gather with family and friends this Christmas season, we will pray many times over a prayer that our daughter Christine brought home from college several years ago:

    “Bless the hands that prepared this food; and bless this food as nourishment for our bodies and our bodies for Your service. Amen”

    May peace abound this Christmas season in our gatherings and in our service.

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