Such as I have …

I just finished a Facebook exchange with a Talluri Roni Joseph, a pastor in a third world country who cares for orphans.  I have talked to him several times and each conversation leads to an “ask“.  He pleads with me for money to help with the orphans.  This is “pure and undefiled religion” according to James.  I think he may be for real.  I think these orphans may be for real … there certainly are far too many in our broken world.

Each time I tell him that I would donate if he could establish a relationship with a credible organization, through which I could give.  Otherwise I won’t.  I know of too many, relatives even, who have been scammed out of thousands of dollars over the internet.

Today, he told me that God would send me to hell for failing to respond to his need and then he blocked me.  My wife and I have always been involved in organizations like Compassion because we know that what leaves our hands, finds its way into the hands of those who need it most.

I hope God doesn’t sent me to hell for failing this person.

What I forget is that I have no contact with this person and no knowledge of the situation directly.  All that I can say for sure is that there is someone typing back at me from “God knows where“.  

But I still feel bad.

I feel bad because I have so much and others have so little.  Comparatively speaking, I have nothing … nothing to complain about.  I feel bad because I can’t share the biblical testimony of Psalms 37:25, “I was young and now I am old, yet I have never seen the righteous forsaken or their children begging for bread.”

I think I have seen that.  Not forsaken spiritually, but seemingly neglected by both God and man.  And I have seen them begging.  As little as my wife and I are doing, we are responding at some level but it seems so minor in the face of such great need.  And I still feel guilty. 

There are people that I see everyday, whose circumstances may not be so stark as the orphaned third world but they need help as well.  Sometimes I am able and other times I find myself a penniless beggar as well. Nothing to give.

Peter and John, going to the temple to pray, encountered a man who went there daily, a regular attendee.  But he wasn’t there to pray.  He was there to beg for money enough to survive.  I am certain that Peter and John must have seen him there before.  Perhaps on other days they had silver and/or gold and likely tossed coins his way.  But this day, they had nothing except a prayer … and they prayed it. 

“In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk.”

I wonder if they were as surprised as he was?  I’ve prayed prayers before and then been shocked, even surprised when God answered them.

It is sad when you think that a man could have been coming to the temple, the church, for years, looking for financial help when his greatest need was something else.  It is sad when you think that believers respond financially as though that were the greatest thing that we could do for people.  

If Peter and John were carrying cash that day, what might have happened?  They would have flipped a couple coins his way and nothing would have been different … just like they may have done times before.

Lord help us not to spend our lives trying to deal with issues that are not the main pain.  Help us not to fasten our hopes on the resources and generosity of others when our help comes from You.  Help Talluri Roni Joseph and the orphans that he cares for.

“Such as I have, give I unto thee … “

 

Two Spots Left

Countdown to the Retreat

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We are at 18 of 20 available spots for our Fall Retreat.  Brad Jersak just confirmed that he will be staying overnight on the 23rd and speaking at Community Life Church on September 24th.

If you know of anyone, sitting on the fence re: registering for the event, send them a note and let them know that we are close to capacity.  Our decision to cap registrations was to provide for a more personal experience where adequate interaction time is provided with our speaker and others who attend.

I am incredibly excited about this time.  We will compile a waiting list for those who miss a registration opportunity.  Have you purchased “A More Christlike God” yet.  Whatever reading that you can do ahead of time will be very beneficial.

“But God sometimes permits men to retain certain defects and imperfections, blind-spots and eccentricities, even after they have reached a high degree of sanctity, and because of these things their sanctity remains hidden from them and from other men.  If the holiness of all the saints had been plainly  evident to everybody, they would never have been polished and perfected by trial, criticism, humiliation and opposition from the people they lived with…be satisfied to let God lead you to sanctity by paths you cannot understand.”

— Thomas Merton

Retreat Update 05/02/2017

It is a foggy … I mean … F … O … G … G … Y, Grand Manan morning.  And I love it.  This kind of weather does something to me.  In its own way, it draws me to God.  I spend time thinking, praying, listening for His Voice.  Maybe it is because my eyes are less distracted.  I know there are things out there that I cannot see and my inability to see does not diminish their existence.

This has always been where God seems to have met me in the most transformative experiences of my journey … in my incapacity.  This is where He has revealed Himself to me.  In my weakness He is strong.

Lest I get to preaching, I have an update …

We now have 15 paid registrations of the 20 available.  There is a good mixture of island and mainland folks.  I will begin a “Waiting List” if it becomes necessary.  But if you do want to make certain that your place is reserved, please get me the funds.  eTransfer to karl.ingersoll@gmail.com or snail mail check to “Community Life Church” is fine.

Google “Accommodations Grand Mana” for relevant info.  There are several ladies who come to our church (www.community-life.church) who run Bed ‘n Breakfasts and even a motel.

  1. Surfside Motel – Carly Fleet
  2. Ferryview BNB – Shelia Tate Hornjak
  3. Blossoms and Blooms BNB – Lorraine McNeil
  4. McLaughlin’s Wharf Inn – Brenda McLaughlin
  5. Pa’s Place – Tammy Brown

It should be easy to find accommodations at that point in the tourist season.  Anyway … thanks to all who have made reservations.  We still have 5 available seats.  If you know of friends who are considering attending, let them know that they need to register ASAP.

Blessings …

“Our idea of God tells us more about ourselves than about Him.” – Thomas Merton

Brad Jersak Retreat

    Contact Info

  • Additional Info

  • Please Note

  • Please note that we are limiting the registration to the first 20 paid participants. When we have received your payment we will confirm your spot. You can email transfer to karl.ingersoll@gmail.com or send a check payable to "Community Life Church". Checks should be mailed to: Karl Ingersoll, 1842 Rt 776, Grand Manan, NB E5G-3H2
 

Verification

Retreat Update 04/28/17

We are currently at six paid/confirmed registrations for our rally.  Our capacity is twenty.  If you have interest in combining a visit to Grand Manan with an exceptional opportunity to enrich your spiritual walk, please register ASAP.

Our financial goal is merely to meet expenses.  We have limited our registration in order to facilitate the kind of gathering that we envision to be most helpful.  The teaching times with Brad, conversations with a group of people, small enough to get to know and the beauty of creation around us offer us what stands to be a rare opportunity.

I am attaching a YouTube video that you might want to watch in order to get a sense of who Brad is and what flows from his heart.

Please feel free to share this with your friends.  You can eTransfer to karl.ingersoll@gmail.com or send a check made out to “Community Life Church“, to secure your registration.  When we have received payment we will confirm your registration.  The address for snail mail is Karl Ingersoll, 1842 Rt 776, Grand Manan, NB E5G-3H2.

“Letting go is not in anybody’s program for happiness, and yet all mature spirituality, in one sense or another, is about letting go and unlearning.”

— Richard Rohr   OFM

Friday Morning

It is a gray Friday morning on Grand Manan.  Hardly a breath of wind to stir the leaves or raise the limp New Brunswick flag that hangs from our back deck … and it is warm already.

The summer has passed as a wisp.  We are awaiting the arrival of some old friends from the youth pastor days in Jamestown, NY.  We’ll have the joy of showing them this beautiful place over the weekend and seeing it once again, for the first time.

I’m shaking off a work trip that robbed me of two Grand Manan days and simultaneously thanking God for the beautiful friends (Bill, Louise & Patti) and family (Karl & Alyssa, Mike, Erin & grandkids) that we have abroad.  They are far too many to mention.

There is a connection that is not geographically challenged, limited or defined.  It is not time bound.  It is the eternal expanse of relationship … the Church at its best … the people of God.  Build walls around it and it becomes something far less.  Define it doctrinally and it dies.  Organize what is organism and and it becomes our idea or notion rather than God’s.

We can’t resist trying to make it our own.  Our shrink-wrapped versions have a shelf life.  God’s Church … His family, lives on regardless of the tide of public opinion, the philosophical flavors of the day, the political curse or blessing.

We can’t attend this family or see it as it is in a particular location.  We are connected as many parts by the One Head, Jesus Christ.  He is the Vision.  He is building His Church.  We are invited as participants, not architects.

This is the Church that I love.

Psalm 151

compassHere We Go Again

(A grateful, abstract reflection for my local spiritual family)

One person’s hardship

Is blessing to another

I wasn’t looking to do this again

You were trying to make sense

Of a broken set of circumstances

In so many ways, we all were lost

We found each other

 

A common journey now

Step by step, moment by moment

Not distracted by a destination

There is such joy in each new discovery

We find that in our lostness we were never alone.

 

Not a single one of us …

When we don’t know where we are going …

He knows.

That’s really all that matters if He calls us to follow

 

“If any man will come AFTER me … “

That’s followership, not leadership

Everything in God’s upside down Kingdom rises and falls on followership.

When we follow we also lead. You can’t follow without leading but you can lead without following.

It is His following that is the issue, not ours.

You see, when we lead we find ourselves where we lost ourselves, floundering around in our brokenness.

So I think I’ll follow Him …

  • Not The Donald …
  • Not the Piper …
  • Not the Hybels and I really like the Hybels …
  • Not the Warren …
  • Not the proven Graham …

You have my ear, my heart, Lord

You call my cadence. I hear the faint sound of a distant drum thundering in my soul.

I know your Voice …

And I have my island family to walk among and with.

Thank YOU!

And thank you CLC!

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