Community and Unity

The Newton church has had several larger events recently that have happened and all of them have been good events but have spoken to the character and nature of this church. For starters almost two years the church rallied behind the need for a full time pastor. Not long after that I was called along with my family to serve the church full time as I had been part time for nearly two years. This past summer we started a summer outreach ‘Movies on the Lawn’ event. There was no shortage of participants or volunteers! God blessed this event. The church rallied behind the need for a new set of bylaws and this past Sunday they passed unanimously. That in and of itself is no easy task but what an amazing adventure! And the height of all of this was yesterday evening.

The Taste of Newton is a large food festival. Advertised by some as the largest food festival south of Chicago it definitely satisfies the taste buds. This is also the largest fundraiser the church does. Last night we ran out of everything except candy, chips, and pop. Typically our menu is Hamburgers/Cheeseburgers, Hotdogs, Polish Sausages, Nachos, and a variety of smaller items. The line on average was 15-20 people long. I cannot say for sure but I think it was one of the longest lines at any booth. While all of those numbers and people are amazing it does not truly speak to the most amazing thing of the evening.

The community that was bonded, formed, and once again established speaks of the church! From all of the events of this past year and yesterday evening we all have something to be proud of. After a day that began at 1pm and did not end until 10:30pm there was still a sense of community and comradery amongst the volunteers. Believe it or not there was more than enough help the entire time. The Bible speaks often of community. In both the Old and New Testament we are told that we should support each other, carry each other’s burdens, and always encourage. While the Bible may not have speaking directly to a food festival it was no doubt speaking to the community that makes up the church. This even extends outside of the church you attend. It speaks to the other churches in your community. Last night we had three different pastors or their families from three different churches come up the booth say hi and ask how the evening was going! This was only the ones I saw!

Psalms 133:1 says “Behold, how good and pleasant it is when brothers dwell together in unity.” Last night it was good and pleasant! I encourage all of you to find a house of worship this weekend. Be part of the community and find how good and pleasant it is for your own life when you come together and support and help carry each other’s burdens. Peace, Pastor ClintBlog

Back to School

Since we do not live in the Newton School District our boys start school on different days than Newton (the city in which I pastor) does. On top of that, our oldest son goes to an even different school district. I have a hard time keeping up with three different school districts but thanks to Google Calendars I am able to do it! This morning was the first day for three of our boys. Landen (11), Braden (8), and Kenton (5) are all in school now! I love all of my boys but I was glad that school was starting.

It was obvious especially the last few weeks that summer fun was starting to wear out. They were getting bored, I was running out of energy, and the new school shoes were begging to be worn. Kenton, since it was his first year in school was so excited to be going! Last night was open house and he got a package of fruit snacks from his teacher. You would have thought it was Christmas! On top of that there was an ice cream social at the school. So he did not fall asleep until 9:30 pm and was awake at 6:45 and school does not start until 8:30!

My wife and I flip flopped rolls when I went back into pastoring full time. Prior to this I had to be to work every day no later than 6:30am and would not get off until 4:45 pm. My evenings were often filled with church business as I was interim pastor at the Newton church. Becca was responsible for all morning care of the boys and I was physically exhausted at end of day. Now I have more flexibility and she has less as she has taken on new clients and became busier at work. Often times I am Mr. Mom and she is the extra hands when I need it. I am thankful God made both of us able to care for our family but it is hard!

But as we were getting ready for school this morning it began to hit me. All of my boys that I care for and love so much were now in school. The hedge of protection I keep around them, well, is now gone. I am not able to be by Kentons side to make sure he doesn’t stick his fingers in his mouth after touching the toilet. I cannot make sure his shoes are tied before he runs because nothing makes me hurt more than seeing my children in pain. I have to trust the teachers to do that now. And by all means our boys have had and currently have some of the best teachers you could ask for! We love the school they attend. But let’s be honest, no one can do it like mom & dad!

We got to school just in the nick of time and got the pictures and all that taken care of. I went back out to my truck and began to get a few tears. I was ready for them to go to school but not ready to trust someone else too take care of them. And then God spoke to me. Through the sun shining through the trees and the cool air of the morning. Lamentations 3:22-23 (NIV) came to mind and it says this, “22Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for HIS compassions never fail. 23They are new EVERY MORNING; great is your faithfulness.” My emphasis was added.

It is a new day in the McBroom household. Dad is not bombarded with 1,000 questions of why and how things work. Mom will not come home and dad will be standing there stressed asking for root beer (my comfort drink). Mom and dad will look forward to later nights now with the boys. Our days will have to be planned better now also. Because along with the school comes a host of other activities. But for now I am finding comfort in the faithfulness of God Almighty. I will stress again tomorrow morning when I drop them off. But once again the Lord will remind me that daily His mercies are made new.

You may be like me and wish you could hover over your child. There is a term for that-‘Helicopter Parent’ because like a helicopter you want to hover overhead. But find comfort in the creator of your child. He knows what your child needs! Ask for His protection and presence to fill the school and specifically your child’s classroom. Pray that your child may find themselves in the center of God’s will. Friends, we serve an amazing God and He desires to hear the words that come straight from your heart no matter what they may be!
Seek His Love and Mercies today friends! Pastor Clint

The Golden Rule

Luke 6:31 says “Do to others as you would have them do to you.” This is a popular verse and even popular not as a specific verse reference. Many people could tell you the golden rule: Treat others the way you want to be treated.

Unfortunately we live in a society that teaches the polar opposite of such a rule. If you disagree with someone you have every right to speak it loudly and blatantly even if you do so disrespectfully. Social Media has given people a platform that they may not have had if it was not for Social Media. They are allowed and think they have a right to condemn others, speak hate, and even tear people down through what is known as cyber bullying.

But as Christians we are called to a much higher standard. The golden rule or this idea of treating others fairly is evident in all religions but it is only Jesus that taught that love for all people, including enemies, as being the fundamental ethic that governs all behavior. Jesus tells the disciples in John 13 that others will know they love Him by their love for another. See, being friendly isn’t enough. It is actually a love for others that Jesus requires of us.

So today, I challenge you to not just be friendly to one another but actually love them. And I am humbled and excited about the love that I see at Newton First Church of God. From the minute you walk in the door to the second you leave you will be welcomed as part of the family. Regardless of your appearance, your past, your current state, Jesus loves you more than we ever could but we try to love you just as much as He does! And for my friends and family that attend already, well, you know that you are loved and I can always fell the love being shown!

God is good! But He requires a lot from us. Let’s prove that we are worthy of being His disciples by the love we show others.
Pastor Clint