February is I love my church month at Trinity. We began this celebration one year ago and while we do not want it to become just another annual event, we do want to have times in which we focus on our love for this body God has given us. So, through the next several blogs you will read letters from our staff as to why we love Trinity. I want to encourage you to get your love letters in; you can send them to one of our staff by e-mail or you can hand deliver them to the office or ticket counter during one of our services. This is a perfect opportunity to work with your children to help them write letters. Men, don’t let your wife write one for the family; each person needs to write individual letters because Trinity has blessed each person in different ways. So, take the time and just express what this bride means to you!
The commitment we have not only to our Lord, but to one another reminds me so much of a marriage. In a day where commitments seem to change on a whim, ours has remained. We have had times of health and times of sickness, we have watched people move in and out of our lives but years have only seemed to help us. In some ways it seems like yesterday that we began our journey together, but in other ways it seems like an eternity. At times I smile at the memories and other times I can still feel the ache of an old wound. This is life together in the local family of God: it is not always easy but it is good, and it glorifies God. If I had the space and time to share with you all the reasons I love you, you would grow tired of reading before I grew tired of writing. But, as I thought through the last year, I realized we are like a newly married couple in that life changes happen quickly and they are excited as they know their love will become even deeper and stronger. When I arrived at Trinity I was in my mid-thirties with an 9 and 10 year old. I am now a officially in my 40’s with a 13 and 14 year old. Time changes all of us, some for the better and some for the worse, and I am thrilled to say that time has been kind to this fellowship.
I love you because of your hunger. As a body there is not simply an expectation for the Word, there is a demand for it. This has not always been the case, but it has now become the rule. I know of churches that just want “excitement” and unfortunately, that can be conjured up at any place not just a church. Ball games, concerts even wrong doctrine can cause excitement, but at Trinity your desire has become to “know Him.” Sometimes that brings joy and excitement and at other times it brings brokenness, but it always brings change. If we have excitement I want it to be based on truth, not simply on working up our emotion. Thank you for being a people that want the Word of God delivered consistently and thank you for being people who give me time to prepare to give you the Word.
I love you because of your grace. You love each other enough that when a brother or sister stumbles, you won’t let them stay there. It’s easy to love one another when everything is good, but you have shown your commitment to truth and the Word by loving enough to be out of your comfort zone and doing hard things. In most places this is where love proves to be nothing more than emotion, at Trinity you have shown that love is a commitment. You have shown that love doesn’t have anything to do with what your flesh is feeling at the moment, but what commitment demands that you do. That is not only refreshing in this world, but it is a blessing to me as your Pastor. You have not only shown grace by being willing to confront with truth and kindness, but you have shown grace by overlooking offenses. There have been mistakes that I have made and you have loved me through them. There has been truth stated that I could have stated with more tact, and you have received it and loved through it. God has used you to sanctify me and that is just one of the blessings of being part of this body.
I could go on, but I will end by saying that you have loved this staff. When I first came to Trinity, I knew we needed a Biblically solid staff that would make a commitment to plant their life. Through all the changes that took place with a new staff and "new everything" the first three years, you have loved these men and their families. I love these guys but constant discord and discouragement can cause the best of men to go elsewhere; you have loved and encouraged them. I walk in the lobby of our building now and see people smiling, praying and loving one another. I walk by conversations and hear people giving truth. I see a church who has become passionate about the gospel, the true gospel, and about carrying it to a lost and dying world. I love you Trinity! I look forward to writing an "I love my church letter" one day in which I talk about how my boys grew up watching your faithfulness and now have children of their own. I look forward to doing the weddings of our sweet boys and girls in Children’s Church. I look forward to us leaving a legacy of generations that will finish well because they have experienced truth and God’s grace. Thank you for allowing me to be your Pastor.