by Pastor Tim White
I love the painting by Tissot (1862) illustrating the dramatic story that Jesus told about the Father (representing God the Father) waiting in front of the farm house for his son to return. The son decides to come home and when his dad spots him, he runs and gives him a hug and places a ring on his finger and a cloak over his shoulders. Wow what a powerful picture!
Recently I read in a business journal how to win back customers you have lost. It takes a long time to win a new customer and that is how businesses have traditionally been built. And churches have been the first to proclaim that it is more trouble than it is worth to try reaching customers who have quit for some reason. Rick Warren, who was my friend when we both were first starting out, made a big point of this in his Early Purpose Driven Church Seminars. But times have changed. It is no longer a battle over what kind of music we are going to play or power-plays within the church. We are an established church and we love people. I can’t think of one negative thought that I have had about anyone who has ever attended our church. Maybe my memory is bad or maybe I’ve inherited my Grandpa White’s personality, but it’s true. I have good feelings for everyone who ever helped in this beautiful dream of Building a Great Caring Network. I can tell many stories of the heroes God has used to save the day for Washington Cathedral. So, I have been praying that some of those heroic families will return. Life is too short to not see each other. And lately more and more people have been stopping by to say “Hi” as we reaffirm our love and friendship. One person pulled me over and, with tears in his eyes, said, “my wife and I will never forget that this is the place that we found Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior.” And I said, “I know you live a distance away but let’s get together more frequently.”
Yes, new families are coming. Most of them have young with children. But when old friends come back, that is truly a treasure. God is restoring this church and continuing to build a place that has an ongoing voice in this community. And it is going to happen before I go to be with the Lord - well I am already with the Lord, but you know what I mean.
Coming back from my illnesses at the young age of 63 - I believe in comebacks. They are not easy, but they are dramatic. And God has good things ahead for us. This week I am concluding our series on Growing in Trust of our God with the 4th reason to trust God. First, was “Because it is Biblical.” Second, was “That it is Practical.” Third, was “That it is Beautiful to Trust the Dream” by remembering that our imperfect dreams point to God who is behind them. And this week my title is “Smart Trust.” The title is taken from Stephen Covey’s book entitled Smart Trust and a second book entitled The Speed of Trust. In them he is showing how necessary healthy trust is in building a successful life. You don’t have to turn off your radar or your skepticism to be emboldened by healthy trust. Join us or rejoin us this weekend because we are in the inspiration business.
Your friend for the rest of my life,