Up, Up, and Away!

November 30, 2011

Pastor's Study

We have all had the experience, and it’s not a pleasant one.

A toy balloon filled with helium, purchased perhaps at a circus, is accidently released and rises, faster and faster, into the sky until it disappears from sight.  Most of us have stood by a tearful child and watched helplessly as the tiny globe shoots skyward, and have regretted that a toddler has to learn his first lesson in physics the hard way.

But did you ever stop to wonder what happens to the balloon?  How far, how high, will its new-found freedom take it?

Eighteen thousand feet according to the National Scientific Balloon Facility in Palestine,

At that lofty height, the helium in the small orb has expanded to 80% of the balloon’s
capacity, most likely the limit to which its latex surface can expand, and the balloon bursts.  Of course, specially designed experimental balloons, with ducts to vent the excess gas, can rise as high as 120,000 feet!

The Moral of the Story:  How high you can rise may depend on your ability to expand.  I think that Christians and churches work on the same principle.  As we soar heavenward, we often become too rigid for the expanding Spirit within us.  Some self-defeating desire to remain small causes us to contract.  As a result, we stabilize at a lower altitude and never know the thrilling experience of spiritual elevation!

Christians decide that once on Sunday is plenty of church.  Churches decide to remain the size that they are so that each ego can be carefully stroked.  We fear to stretch too far, so we tighten our boundaries, and end up shattered, spiritless shreds of a once-bright faith.

God help us instead to head for Heaven, expanding to all the possibilities, people and potential that God places in our path!  And when the body finally bursts, it will be at the gates of Glory, where a new body, without limits, awaits us for eternity!

Up, Up, and Away!

About Pastor

My Family: My wife and I have been married for 30 years (wow! that's hard to believe.) We have four wonderful children and EIGHT perfect grandchildren!! Education: I received my Bachelor of Arts degree in Pastoral Theology from Tennessee Temple University. After serving Bethel Baptist Church in Ontario, Canada as Youth Pastor and South Buncombe Baptist in Asheville, NC as Associate Pastor, we moved to Wake Forest, NC where I attended Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary. In 1995, I received my Master of Divinity degree (with languages.) From 1999-2001, I attended Southern Baptist Theological Seminary pursuing my Doctor of Ministry degree in Expository Preaching. Ministry: I have had the privilege of pastoring three wonderful congregations (Montwood Baptist 1993-1997; Union Baptist 1997-2002; and, South Fork Baptist 2010-present.) In 2010, God brought a very special group of people into my life. South Fork has become much more than a ministry to my family - it has become our home. If you are looking for a Church to call home, you will not find a better group of people than the family that makes up South Fork.

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