More…

I’ve waited a little bit to write this post because it has just seemed wise to do so. Things around here have been insane. If you haven’t read my previous post below, you should start there. After the incidents at my church, two subsequent incidents have taken place at my home. First, on last Friday, I receive a threatening note in my mail box. I will not go into the details of that note, as an investigation by the local police and FBI is ongoing. Secondly, this past Tuesday, my home was broken into and trash. Picture frames, painting, vases, glass, keyboard, lamps and other things were thrown all over the floor and things were just left a mess. My dog was also missing. His collars had been taken off (seemingly to indicate that he was taken and not just run away) It was not a fun night and an even worst morning.

Today, Scruffy was found on the side of the road, dead. Apparently he had been hit by a car. I was told to find peace in the fact that he didn’t suffer, but somehow that doesn’t make me feel any better.

This whole thing has been incredibly overwhelming. Speechless is really the word that comes to mind. I checked my calendar today and it is 2008, but it sure doesn’t feel like it. A friend of mine sent me this passage of Scripture the other day and for now, I will let it speak for itself. I will write more later when I am able to.

Psalm 91

1 He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High
will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. [a]

2 I will say [b] of the LORD, “He is my refuge and my fortress,
my God, in whom I trust.”

3 Surely he will save you from the fowler’s snare
and from the deadly pestilence.

4 He will cover you with his feathers,
and under his wings you will find refuge;
his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.

5 You will not fear the terror of night,
nor the arrow that flies by day,

6 nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness,
nor the plague that destroys at midday.

7 A thousand may fall at your side,
ten thousand at your right hand,
but it will not come near you.

8 You will only observe with your eyes
and see the punishment of the wicked.

9 If you make the Most High your dwelling—
even the LORD, who is my refuge-

10 then no harm will befall you,
no disaster will come near your tent.

11 For he will command his angels concerning you
to guard you in all your ways;

12 they will lift you up in their hands,
so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.

13 You will tread upon the lion and the cobra;
you will trample the great lion and the serpent.

14 “Because he loves me,” says the LORD, “I will rescue him;
I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name.

15 He will call upon me, and I will answer him;
I will be with him in trouble,
I will deliver him and honor him.

16 With long life will I satisfy him
and show him my salvation.”

February 8, 2008 at 3:45 pm 9 comments

Seriously, Racism Still Exist?

Disclaimer: The nature of this post contains some racial and perhaps unfortunately language. Though it is not my language, I want to warn you before hand that the contents of this post are unfortunate but are reality.

Recently, my church was vandalized. Actually, my church has been vandalized twice in the past 4 months. Each of these incidents have taken place on a Saturday night, seemingly so that the results could be discovered on Sunday morning. Each of these incidents have resulted in someone, writing things on our property. The first time (back in October) someone wrote “Nigger Lovers” on our windows and on one of our brick walls. The last incident, the perpetrator(s) decided to use spray paint on the brick and this time the message stated, “Die Nigger”

For those of you that don’t know, I am a black man who lives in Pea Ridge Arkansas: a predominately white town. I also work/serve at a mostly white church. (By mostly, I mean about 99.4 percent 🙂)

If you recall, sometime last year I wrote a post proclaiming that racism in America still exist. (Racism Post) These two incidents, however, have been pretty sobering for me. On both of these occasions, I happen to be the guy who was scheduled to preach that particular Sunday. I’ve managed to preach both times, despite the obvious distraction. This past Sunday was actually youth Sunday, so I had a lot of responsibility and worrying about this externally really wasn’t an option. We talked about it with the congregation, and made them aware of the situation. (Which was good. My church family is wonderful and I have gotten a lot of encouraging hugs, calls, notes, and even kisses 😉)

I am going to do something that I almost never do on this thing or in life in general. I am going open up and tell you how I really feel about the situation. Not what I think, but what I feel. That’s hard for me…First let me tell you what I think. Obviously, I think whoever did this is an ignorant fool. Honestly, that’s putting it very mildly. I think it’s really unfortunate that someone has so much anger that they feel like they need to or have a right to write such hateful words on others property.

I feel hurt. That may sound weird, but I do. I work really hard and that’s mostly because it’s what God has called me to do. I pour myself into my work, which are people. I have worked and will continue to work, very hard to build, maintain and nurture relationships with those around me. I think that despite me, God is doing some incredible things in Pea Ridge, and at my church. I am blessed to be a part of that. It hurts that anyone (even if they are a fool, which is obvious) would do anything to violate or harm that progress. I feel violated. That was hard to type, in fact, I erased it 3 times, but it’s true. My church is where I minister and it’s my passion and my love. Someone violated that and that violates me. (Not to mention that the violation was aimed at me)

I feel a lot of things, and it’s taken me longer to gather my barrens on this one. I preached and did all the things I was supposed to do on Sunday, but when I stopped to think about it, it hurt a lot. I really hate to admit that. I will say this; I’m not going anywhere until God tells me to. I’m here because He has called me here and ONLY HE can call me out of here. So, though this was a bit painful for me (and perhaps a little scary on some level) I will remain faithful to God’s calling. Thank you Jesus for the incredible support and love you have put around me! We will fight the good fight, and through Christ, continue to press toward the mark.

 

January 28, 2008 at 9:09 pm 12 comments

I’ve MOVED!

Pastornoah.wordpress.com  is now:

noahdmitchell.com! So if you have me linked, make changes accordingly! Peace! (Oh and there’s a slightly different look too 🙂

January 24, 2008 at 4:12 pm 3 comments

Not So Fast! Process, Process, Process!

This past weekend, I decided to re-do my bathroom. I wanted to replace the countertop, light fixtures, shelving, and decorations. I awoke early Saturday morning and began the long process of gathering all the new stuff. I went to Wal-mart, Lowes, Home Depot, and Bed Bath and Beyond. It was a long morning. I got all the new stuff, went home, and began the process of changing my bathroom. I like change, so for me, this was a wonderful process. Within about 24 hours, my bathroom was different. Actually it was more than different, it was completely altered. Throughout that day and subsequent days, people that had seen the old bathroom, walked into the new one amazed. Everything was better; everything had changed for the good, and all in one day.

             I fear that we expect this type of change in people. We expect ourselves and others to change instantly and without trouble. The reality is that change usually comes in stages and with some pain and trouble. With the New Year here, we have all undoubtedly seen things in our lives that we want to change. Some of those changes are easy and others are extremely hard. My message for you is simply, change takes times and we should be committed to the process no matter how long it takes.

            I wish I could wake up tomorrow, decide that I wanted a specific area of my life to change, go and get the new product, install it and watch this new beautiful me. Unfortunately, it usually doesn’t work like that. What I’ve found is that I expect others to change this way too. I expect for people to identify an area of weakness and just change it. I mean after all, it can’t be that hard! W can easily have unfair expectations for others that stem from this quick fix mindset.

            I usually start the New Year with a list of things that I want to change. This year’s list is long! As I look at the list, what I have come to realize is that some of the things just might be on my list again next year. My job, and may I suggest that it’s your job as well, is to stay true to the process.

            So maybe you’ve vowed to be a better husband or wife, or to swear less, or to drink less, or maybe just to be a nicer person. Maybe you just want to tell the truth more, or control your anger more, or perhaps you just want to listen to people more. Maybe you want to read your Bible more, or start reading it for the first time, or perhaps you want to start applying what you’ve read. Whatever it is, you should know that it likely won’t be easy and you won’t have results within 24 hours. It won’t be as easy as replacing a shelf with another one. In the end though, the process of change leads to transformation; real life change. Stay the course, and be encouraged.

(If you are thinking, I remember Noah writing about change before, you are correct! Change Post)

January 8, 2008 at 7:35 am 2 comments

Blog Vacation

In case you didn’t notice, I am taking a Blog vacation until the first of the year. I pray everyone has a great Christmas and a wonderful New Years! Peace!

December 24, 2007 at 9:04 pm 1 comment

Crazy Tears

I don’t like to cry. Actually, that’s an understatement, I hate crying with a passion! A deep deep passionate hate actually. I can tell you the specific times I have cried in the past 5-7 years. It happens that seldom and is that big of a deal. This deep seeded disdain for crying fits my personality well. I’m a down to earth, very logical kind of guy. Emotions really aren’t my specialty. I understand them, I respect them in other people, but I always tend to think of emotions as something that gets in the way of reality.

The last few weeks has changed all that. I have been going through something the last few weeks that has caused me to cry more than I have the past few years. Actually its something I’ve been going through for a number of years… I know most of you have no idea what I am talking about, and that’s really ok. It’s not totally crucial to the point of this post. (Perhaps one day I will fully disclose what exactly I am talking about here)

What I’ve learned is that crying is ok. Actually, crying is more than ok, its necessary, healthy, and refining. It helps us remember that we’re humans with feelings and emotions and sometimes those get so overwhelmed, all we can do is cry. No words, just tears.

Crying makes me realize that I don’t always have the answers and that’s ok. It makes me realize that I don’t always have the exact right word to sum something up, and that’s ok too. Crying helps me understand I am not in control and I don’t have to be. Crying is surrender and victory all rolled up in one.

Even as I type this crazy post, I find myself freed up through my tears. That’s crazy, that’s life…

(You know there is so much more to come…)

December 8, 2007 at 12:00 am 3 comments

Jesus, the Republican…

 

I saw a bumper sticker yesterday that read: “I am a Christian, NOT a Democrat” The implication seemed to be that the two are mutually exclusive; one can not be a Christian AND a democrat. Let me just say first, that I have a degree in political science and I am very interested in politics, government, law, and current events in general. I am no expert, but I love politics. I am neither a democrat nor a republican.(I have voted for both a democrat and a republican president) I have had several frustrating conversations with Christians about politics and this bumper sticker pretty much summed up the sentiments of many. (But certainly not all)

 

Here’s what I think. I think that if Jesus came back tomorrow, both democrats and republicans would have a plethora of “representatives” in hell. To crown either as the party of Christianity is both ignorant and unbiblical! (That’s my own opinion) If you feel compelled to vote for a particular party always, that’s your right and is ok by me. However, if you think that by voting republican or democratic or not at all, you are some how a BETTER Christian than someone else, you my friend need to read the Gospel one more time!

 

This is sort of a harsh post, but I don’t apologize for that. I am tired, oh so very tired of hearing that the Republican Party is the party for Christians. Granted, there are some very important issues that republicans tend to vote in a more evangelical conservative Christian manner. (abortion, gay rights, etc.) However, there are certainly other issues one should consider. (I would be more than happy to discuss those with you)

 

I guess I get upset about all this because I see a bigger issue. We as Christians can get so caught up in the “big issues” (like abortion, homosexuality, etc.) that we loose site of other things. It doesn’t mean that we don’t deal with those issues, but I don’t think that dealing with those issues stops or even starts by voting republican. I had a conversation a few months ago where I questioned someone about why they ALWAYS vote republican. The answer I got was, “Well because I don’t believe in abortion.” That’s great I thought, neither do I. But I also have beliefs about other stuff. When I began to ask about other issues (education, health care, immigration, domestic and international security, the war, etc.), he had no clue where any of the republican or democratic candidates stood on those positions. He just knew that he didn’t believe in abortion, so he votes republican. (Ironically enough, the current leading republican believes in partial abortions).

 

The reality is that whether there is a Republican or Democrat in office, our position needs to be the same. Constantly, and without ceasing praying that the Savior of the Universe would continually intercede on our behalf. Praying without ceasing that God would move in our WORLD. Praying that God would bless the very Cosmos that He created. We need to vote, we need to be active in our political structure. We DO NOT need to make little gods out of political parties, people, or positions.  

 

PS: There is so much to say about this issue, this is just me venting. If you would like to have an intelligent conversation about this, or make comments or whatever, I would love to continue this dialogue. By no means is this post a representation of my complete thoughts on this matter.

December 4, 2007 at 11:01 pm 7 comments

Older Posts Newer Posts


Stuff I am reading:

The Ultimate Priority
The Ultimate Priority
John MacArthur

How Soul Change Leads to Social Change
The Heart of Racial Justice: How Soul Change Leads to Social Change
Brenda Salter Mcneil

The Dangerous Illusion of a Manageable Deity
The Trivialization of God: The Dangerous Illusion of a Manageable Deity
Donald W. McCullough

Books I want to read soon….(In the on deck circle)

Making Disciples a Few at a Time
Transforming Discipleship: Making Disciples a Few at a Time
Greg Ogden