Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Life changes

I have been absent from here for a long time and there has been a lot of water pass under the proverbial bridge.  I am so far removed from who and what I was when I last posted that I am not even sure where to begin. 

It has been so long I just discovered that I posted without even finishing so this is already and edit of what I posted.  Pretty good isn't it that I can figure out how to edit.  Wow what a world, I can post up edit and repost in just a few minutes and the entire world has access to the words.  Still am amazed at the whole social network thing and keep trying to step into it but find myself hesitating for some yet realized reason.

Enough of all that I am trying to get back and look forward to hearing from lots of you as I muddle into the blog world again.  Have had lots of thoughts just flitting away as there is really no way to gather them the way I have been going about life.  Hopefully some of them will resurface here and I will get some of your thoughts and ideas as well.

First one is I wanted to change the name of my blog to Frontier Outpost.  That would lose some of you who still have me on your blogs so thought maybe I would find a way to tag that into newpreachin and still make use of it.  The frontier is where I live and work so the world view here is different for many reasons and I would like to explore and share those with others.

Enough rambling for now will just post and check in later to see who is watching me. WaynO

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Newsletter January 2009

From the Pastor,
Here I am at the end of one year, peering desperately into the next year. Watching the news and listening to those who might be prophetic trying to get a glimpse of what is to come.
The negative outlook of many in the news world would be enough to make me want to go hide in a cave. This doom and gloom is okay for the world but I live in a different place. I live with a Savior who promises not to desert me. I live in a place where there is always hope and that this hope lies in something that this world cannot see but only believe in. I live in a place that calls me to share from the great abundance I have. I live in a world that is blessed richly.
This is the difficult portion of being a Christian in the world. We have this hope secured in us and at the same time face the difficulty of living in a world that appears to be consumed with self preservation and self advancement. This is a place where Christians and the world part company. As the scriptures make clear – (1 Corinthians 12:12 NIV) The body is a unit, though it is made up of many parts; and though all its parts are many, they form one body. So it is with Christ.
If this is true and you really believe it then I have a proposition for the New Year. The idea is that we begin to live as though we are all one. This would mean cooperation and sharing of all resources given to us not only individually but as a congregation and then as a gathering of congregations and then as a presbytery and then as a synod and then………………………
You see this has implications far beyond us but it must begin at the base. We become the base of the whole body, us and those like us. For a little more of the picture imagine we at this church, (either Stuart Community or Atkinson Presbyterian) begin to live as though we are one together. This means that when there is a project or program it is with us all, not just one or two but the entire group becomes the project. Mull this over a bit, try to see in your mind the ministry of the church is your ministry. Your response to it is very integral to its success.
I suppose to add a little clarity I would need to give some additional scripture so try to picture it like this (Romans 12:4 & 5 NIV) Just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we who are many form one body, and each member belongs to all the others.
As it says here we all have a place or function in the work of the church. Even when we do not totally agree with the majority we are to have a positive roll in the ministry of Christ. I hope a picture of each of us contributing to the whole is starting to grow in you.
The beginning of this vision moves us to the next level and that would be that we begin to see ourselves as part of the larger picture. Maybe you feel insignificant and unimportant but you are a very important piece of the whole. With a vision of being totally with the rest of the congregation lets step it up a bit and take it to the next level.
Two churches, separate entities yet filled with believers who are interconnected one to the other. These two churches then become part of the body with the same thing applying to them as to the individual. As a congregation you are part of the larger body. This is a vision of one church with two worship/ministry centers in two towns. This may be very difficult to assimilate as it will require a release of independence just like in your personal life. If you can take this step with me it will open a multitude of possibilities. You are already there in principle as you are a parish together.
If we begin to vision that there are not two churches but only one with two places of ministry we would see far more cooperation and work between the two. Imagine the resources that could be shared. I am not sure if anyone has considered what can be shared but maybe we could begin this journey by asking what we have to share.
I can already feel some anxiety growing and the accusation that there is a plot to undermine and do away with one or the other. This is not what this is about. It is about growing and doing more ministry. This is about living the Scriptures out in our lives. We need supported by and to support one another. I am suggesting that the work and the connection be joined deeper and moved further. I do not intend to stop a vision here either as it reaches much further so please stay with me.
If this vision is to get where I see the Bible leading then we must go on. There is the vision of each of us being a part of a larger body and most of the time we can deal with that as we are members of a particular church. The vision grows and gets more difficult as you move to a place that says you not only give up your personal identity (somewhat) to be part of a greater picture, but you are then asked to give up a lot of that identity to be a piece of an even greater picture.
If you haven’t thrown out the letter by now and determined to rid the church of my presence lets move to an even greater vision. Imagine if you can that these two churches now united as one join with yet another church. For ease of seeing imagine this same principle were added to the O’Neill and Bethany churches. (I have not talked of this with them so this is an example only.) As the body grows there is far more to it and it has even greater resources to share for ministry. Just look at the things we may have added; people, equipment, dollars, ideas, energy, prayer, and the list goes on.
This then begins to snowball and these congregations join with others and the cooperation and support begin to grow. There are now opportunities in education and ministry and mission. There are the tools needed to build greater relationships and to help even more people struggling to face life. Hope is given where hope did not exist and everyone begins to have needs met and finally there is a great outreach in the name of Christ.
As this grows we then have a Presbytery and then a Synod and on and on it goes. Well guess what we have done. We have built a denomination that is for the advancement of the Gospel and the building up of the Saints. It all starts with us and our commitment to Christ. If we are about protecting what we have and getting more then we have missed the mark. I cannot tell you what the future holds but I do know we are called to service and service is giving. If the body is called to service and you are holding back on your part then the body is being compromised. This is not something that can become in an instant but with work and dedication we can begin the journey.
This is the beginning of living a life in Christ. It has been with much prayer and hesitation that I put this before you. The risk is there that we lose much of what we have been but as with a new year I invite you on a new journey. I will begin walking this journey with you as the New Year opens its doors to us. I will need input from all who want to vision a greater kingdom. The church as well as our nation will be changed in the coming months and years regardless of our wishes. If we begin moving and relish the adventure we may accomplish great things. The danger of holding too tight and not moving was brought clear to me as I talked with a mentor and was told, “you only coast going down hill.”
I leave you with these thoughts as a new day dawns and the glory of Christ draws ever nearer.
Grace and peace to you, Pastor Wayne

Friday, November 7, 2008

Balanciing the budget

I heard on the radio today a financial program and the little I heard was about being faithful with the money God gives us. The guy said even if we got everyone in the world debt free he didn't think that would be God's calling to faithful with our money. He went on to say something about all that we have is God's and we are trustees not owners.
Any thoughts????

Sunday, November 2, 2008


Likely don't have the time to post now but better while mind will allow. Inspiration is sporadic these days and I keep busy with lots of personal property improvements. Have put in new sidewalk and putting building in backyard (hopefully so I can use wood working equip) that was purchased from city so must be moved by next week.
Jobs are full time or so it seems as I had funeral for 18 yr old who had pneumonia and then cardiac arrest. Real sudden so family in numb mode for now.
Sunday here and time change so seems like I have lots of it but will likely be late all day. ;o)
Read Shaun's blog and realized that as he said wife told him he does not like change I thrive on it. Likely both of us like our way for same reason, don't have to deal so much with reality. Shaun I am no therapist but I know I like change because if it comes fast enough there is no time to worry about cleaning up the messes. Then I got to thinking that the times when there is no change I can live a life of programmed response.
Enough of all that, just great to be alive in a world where one candidate is promising to take my guns or at the least raise the tax 500% and the other I am just curious about. Lots of stuff in this election and it will no doubt bring huge change to an already tumultous world.
Grace and Peace WaynO

Saturday, October 25, 2008

newsletter for November

I sent this out to a few trusted souls for comment and got from tears to you really need an editor for the grammar and presentation. Read on WaynO
As I talk about being missional and understand it is a lifestyle I often wonder what everyone else is thinking about it. If there is truly some change taking place in the lives of those who read what I write and those who hear what I preach and those who study the Bible with me? I wonder if I even get the whole thing at times but it is such a burden I carry that I have no choice but to try and share with others this strange life commitment and way of living.
At times I want to give up on this whole thing and just go back to living a comfortable and less stressed life. Then I get to be a chaplain to someone who is a hospice patient and to minister to their family. I get a chance to reach out to a young person and help with some struggle they are having. There is the life changing event of losing ones freedom by moving into an apartment or skilled nursing facility. Maybe it is a child moving out of the house or one seemingly going the wrong way down the highway of life. There is always a place in someones life I get to move in and be part of that life and hopefully be a positive and supportive presence.
Or maybe I get all that and then read something like this. It is this that most of us are searching for and don’t find for a plethora of reasons. Some reasons we understand and some we never quite get a handle on. Some of us find this and others will struggle through life trying to get here. The article here from the blog “Kingdom Grace” which I read regularly.

Communities of Transformation (October 16, 2008)
I wonder if this is possible.
Our communities are filled with people desperate to unburden themselves in the presence of another, to be known at a level where the only antidote to disdain is grace, to sink beneath death’s dark waters while in the grip of a set of strong hands that promise to raise them up into newness of life.
If we have no one we really trust, no one we can talk through our failures with then we are truly alone. It doesn’t matter what level of commitment we have to a group or organization.
One of the reasons why so many people find their way out of conventional churches is that they are lonely and disconnected in a sea of activity. For a long time they believed that sitting and listening was participating in community. They believed that being in a small group was being supported and loved. They come to sense a huge disconnect.
The heart of ministry is to be Jesus to one another. Too often we overload ourselves with activities that have value but have so captured our attention that they insulate us from each other. We avoid the heart of ministry because it is too hard.
We can’t flee from commitment to each other, we must give grace when we are harmed, and we must love when it is inconvenient. Becoming like Jesus is a sacrifice that most of us are unwilling to make and that is why we lack so much.
(The Heart of Ministry - Leighton Tebay)

Then I went to the blog Grace picked some of this from and found a deeper sense of what church is all about. It is from “Abductive Columns” another blog about why the church is falling apart. Following is an excerpt from it.

One Snapshot in Grace
We must ask why so few are willingly die to themselves in community. Why we so rarely journey from self-dependence through the valley of death to life in the Spirit in the presence of a connecting guide? Where are the spiritual leaders, the elders of God’s people? Where are the spiritual leaders, the shepherds of the flock? Where are the people who can listen well and guide us through our problems to the Father’s heart and regard it as their calling to do so? Whatever became of the idea that all believers are priest?
Our communities are filled with people desperate to unburden themselves in the presence of another, to be known at a level where the only antidote to disdain is grace, to sink beneath death’s dark waters while in the grip of a set of strong hands that promise to raise them up into newness of life.
In recent conversations, I’ve asked a number of Christ-followers if they had someone in their lives whose strength and wisdom encouraged them to make themselves fully known. Every last one of them answered the same way: “I’d give my right arm to have someone like that in my life. There’s so much going on inside me that I’d love to share, not to find answers necessarily but just so someone knew. But I have no one like that.” (FPeatross)

I apologize for the length of this letter but it is something we need to deeply consider and make some life change in regard to. There is a song I think was sung by the Gatlin Brothers that said something about “looking for companionship but it just gets in the way” and often it is this that keeps us from sharing in the lives of others or others sharing in our lives.
As it is in the blogs, a very costly thing this giving up our lives to gain them. Letting someone in so close to our hearts that we can feel their heart beating with ours. Dropping the curtain of protection and reaching out without judgment but in love and concern and holding that other being close enough that we feel the heart beating. It is a two way street and that is what being one in the body of Christ is all about. Being one means we feel each others pain and joy, we dance together as we move through life holding each other up. We don’t get to pick and choose who it is we walk with, it as if God puts together those who need each other even when we would not choose to be close to the other.
This is a move on a personal level that will ultimately take us to a place beyond any we ever imagined and will offer a chance for change in the entire “Body of Christ.” Consider this an invitation to participate, an invitation to take a chance on a new life. If you are a real believer in Jesus Christ you are called to become a “new person” filled with the Holy Spirit, and on a journey into the “Kingdom of God.” I will be here waiting and watching to walk this journey with all of you.
Grace and Peace, Pastor Wayne

Friday, August 29, 2008

newsletter for September

From the Pastor,
It is amazing when I think that summer is almost past and fall with all of its colors, fresh crisp air, harvest celebrations, school beginnings and the church resuming its full and vibrant self is right here in front of us. Amazing when I stop and consider all that has gone into the summer and all that is about to go into the programming of fall and winter. The amazement is how everyone begins to move together, regroup, and set on the journey of education and serious learning about God and his son Jesus.
Almost as amazing as the effort that everyone puts into the church is the vast amount of opportunities that present themselves for our enjoyment and our growing in Christ. I have been searching for these chances for all of us to participate in and you will find many of them listed in the rest of this newsletter. As I looked at them it would seem there is something that almost everyone would be interested in and would benefit from attending.
For the lasts several years I have attended “Beyond Survival” hosted by Sheridan Lutheran Church in Lincoln. It is amazing how relevant it is to working in ministry and the new thoughts and transformations that can come to those who attend just in the worship provided.
In the past I have attended “Wee Kirk Conferences” in various locations. You can read about it as well in on the places to go page. Dean Seger has been attending regularly and can describe it far better than words on paper. It is designed for churches just like this one, small and committed.
Other opportunities are out there and I hope as many as can, will go and get energized so you can come back filled up and get the rest of us going. If you would like to attend and there is not enough money for you let me know and I am sure it can be worked out.
Along with the opportunities to get out and learn new things is a chance to think about stewardship. The stewardship team at the Atkinson Presbyterian church has come up with some interesting ideas and challenges for all of you. It is along the lines of a life change or maybe it is recognizing that we have much of this in our life already. I want to encourage you to read what they have and consider how you might make your life more effective in your community.
Lastly I want to speak a bit about being missional. It is often that I find scripture to address something right in the lectionary I use each Sunday. If you would take a moment and read all of Romans chapter 12 it would be great. However if special attention is paid to verses 9 to the end you will find an apt description for missional living.
It is precisely that we enter each others lives to the point we know who weeps and laughs. That we know who in and out of the church needs attention and help. That we are careful about what we say to one another and about one another. It is the need we each have to live in community remembering that being a Christian is individual but that it is not done alone. Remember that God is the one dishing out the punishment and we are simply called to care for one another.
If we put it all together living a life focused on a stewardship lifestyle, participating with other believers for learning and support, caring for “the least of these” we will strengthen the kingdom for Christ. That is the work for this season, “Strengthening the Kingdom for Christ.” Keep in the game and lets make this a winter to remember for all that we do.
In Christ’s grace, WaynO

Saturday, August 23, 2008


I can't believe that it has been so long since I lasted posted. I seem to get busy and just let this go which is likely a good thing to neglect.
At any rate I have made the decision to call the churches I serve to task on missional. I am not sure that is the best word but it is the one in use at the moment. I am not sure how this is to happen or what it will look like but it is the focus and discovery is the excitement. I pray this works or at least we end up someplace that is closer to a calling of the Body of Christ into action.
Not a lot to post but will have new letter up for newsletter next week.
Grace and Peace WaynO