Ancarrow..the blog

Welcome to "Ancarrow...the blog," a place for us to share some random thoughts as we help start new churches in MD.

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Sunday, August 14, 2011

Soggy Shoes & the prowess of the Burnetts

The downside to this morning: The hotel space where Revolution meets has been under renovation throughout the month. Long term, it will take a cool space and make it look even cooler. However, each week of the month, this will provide a curve ball of some sort. Today, we arrived to find out that the lower level, where all of gear is loaded through, was inaccessible. With that change, we lost the rain coverage of the parking garage- and had to move the truck to the front of the main entrance. In doing so, we lost time, rhythm, and our sense of dryness. All morning my feet felt like I had just ridden the old White Water Canyon ride @hersheypark.

The upside to this morning:
1. Josh Burnett is a man of many talents. He preached a great sermon, but watching the man back a truck and trailer through the light at Loew's/West Street is nothing short of impressive. Had his mirrors not fogged, he wouldn't have even needed a guide. I am told he gets this gift from his mom. If this is part of my church planting future, I am in need of much jedi training.

2. Hooray Baptism!

3. Happy Birthday, Matt Ancarrow

4. Our friend at Village Church Buffalo launched their preview services today. I don't have details, but I heard the morning went "great." Check them out here.

Quick Family update:
Emery starts kindergarten in two weeks. So far, there are no reports of "Butterfly Kisses" moments from mom and dad. I may, however, rock "Sweet Child O Mine" every hour of the first day of school. Additionally, Emery is signed up to play soccer this fall. Since I (Scott) am not coaching this summer, I've decided to try and assist in her league. So, when you see the 5 year olds running sprints and setting up set pieces, you'll know why.

Reese is not playing soccer on a team this fall, but is slowly conquering bladder/bowel control. Additionally, she's memorized her first Bible verse. Hooray for both.

Scott and Amber are still proficient in bladder control . Also, we love each other.

Monday, August 8, 2011

David, Saul, and "My God."

Today has featured some hard shell crabs, the 10th O's game I've been to this season, another O's Loss, and some time well spent with my brother and dad. As Monday turns to Tuesday, I find myself up late reflecting.

My reflections are stuck between two different trains of thought. On one hand, I'm trying to come up with a creative/catchy/funny/(you get it) title and trajectory of our upcoming fall sermon series. I don't like anything I've come up with, and am thus frustrated by the creative dryness. I used be good at this stuff. eh. Maybe there needs to be more buffalo wings at this late night session....that always seemed to work in Danville.

The other side of me has been wrestling with what I'm taking away from the David series that we are preaching at Revolution this summer. For the third straight week, the sermon has not ended with a pretty bow. The lessons we're learning from David seem to deviate from so many of the behavior modification-based OT sermons I've heard over the years. For the third straight week, David's life, even in making the right decisions, has been rooted in drama. He's been told no. He has naysayers...and those who are out for his head. David is indeed called to Kingship, but his "best life now" is a life of drama coupled with his need to trust that God will keep his promises.

My friend and I were talking about Saul this past week (OT King, not apostle), and how he contrasts David. We sometimes feel like it's easy to dismiss Saul as crazy; however, we fail to discuss what drives him to that point. Saul, at the end of the day, like to know the plan. He wants the details ,and to know how every story ends; specifically, when those plans affect him. In the end, it drives him to madness, divination, and fits of rage.

Is this all that different from us? Is our need to have "the plan" (an American god, for sure) the root of a lot of the crazy things that come out of us?

More than any other season of my life, I feel Saul's tension. The pursuit of "the plan" does the same for me. When it works, it gives me feed back and affirmation. When I know it and get it, or write it myself, it organizes things logically. It makes sense to me. When it goes wrong, I search for answers, try harder and harder, lose sleep, and spent time fearing what I've done wrong.

For three straight weeks , I've watched David simply trust that God's kingdom, God's story, is bigger and better than His own. Obviously, he wouldn't write the script the way that God does. yet, as of 2 Samuel 7, he submits to a bigger promise that doesn't yield immediate results.

I need to "be" like David in this: the role I play in being a child of God is of far greater worth and value than any plan or manifesto I can write for life, my kids' lives, or the lives of the people I love.

This is especially true as we seek to start a new church down the road.
The following goes through my mind frequently:

Where are we going?
Will the money come in?
What if no one wants to come to the new church?
What if I fail?
How do I know _______(this covers a myriad of things).
AND, most of all,

BUT I'm not like _____________.(insert successful stories here)

Saul lets what he doesn't know choke out what has been revealed to him in the narrative of 1 & 2 Samuel; namely, That God is real, His covenants are true, and He desires to be near. Saul exchanges what he sees for the pursuit of self-preservation.

In the past, I've always disliked the phrase "man after God's own heart" when it was attributed to David. It never really made sense to me - especially in light of the failures that are ahead in 2 Samuel. The meaning is becoming clearer to me as we study this summer. We often praise David for what he DID do, what he DIDN'T do, and what we need to avoid based on David's life. Rarely do we say, "David trusted God, waited it out, and was obedient to God's ways even when it didn't make a lot of sense. In that, God did some really awesome stuff through him - stuff way different than what he's draw up for himself. "

Yes, I'm called be a steward. But if I worship the "plan" over the God who's written it and knows what's best, I am driven to modern madness.

Here's what's going through my head today: If the Ancarrows fail by earthly standards, God is still good. If God refines this vision to something that doesn't matched what I've slapped on brochures and websites, I'm not a disgrace. I'm His child, and a part of His kingdom. Consequently, my job isn't to succeed for him; my job is to "be" - to live in Christ and showcase a bigger story than my own.

Forgive me Father for worshipping the pursuit of "the plan." Help me to "be."