Ready, Fire, Aim

Well, here we are two months, almost to the day, from Church Plant LAUNCH DAY. When I think about how much remains to be done it is fairly overwhelming – mildly put. Sometimes, this church plant business seems so extremely risky…but then…Cathy and I have been taking these sorts of risks for quite a while now. The list is long….dropped out of UCLA to be part of a church plant team in 1978 (I was pre-med)….moved from comfy Pasadena to Caracas, Venezuela in 1986 (with two toddlers in tow! We survived two coup attempts)….left cushy sales job (taking 50% pay cut) in 1999 to come on staff at the Miami Vineyard…and now…the latest adventure…church planting in Miami. What a ride!



The ride gets a bit scarier…as I reflect on the reality that I am now a bona fide “ELF”….yes…an E.L.F. That’s my newly coined generational designation for a forty going on fifty year old in utter denial. ELF stands for Extremely Late Forties. I know, sheer desperation right? Think of a guy hugging a palm tree in a gale force wind - hanging on for dear life. That mental picture puts it in perspective. If you’re in your late 30’s you have no idea. It’s much worse at 40-something. Bottom line, the insurance companies already categorize me as….sigh…50! Well…at least I could pass for 46! There’s some joy in that.

I mean think about it…almost from the get go I have to start grooming my understudy or protégé – right? Well in the immortal words of The Gipper when asked about his advancing years and whether the age factor would be significant in the 1984 Presidential campaign… “I will not make age an issue in this campaign. I'm not going to exploit for political purposes my opponents youth and inexperience."

But seriously, pre-historic ages aside, I take great comfort in Jesus’ well known words… “…I will build MY Church”. I like that. It’s His. Yeah, I know there are a few churches out there He probably would like to disclaim, but the Church is His.

There is a lot I do not know, and cannot know. I know this is a risk. I know there are no guarantees. But one thing I do know and that is this – the Doral Vineyard Church Plant is His Big Idea too (and by BTW, He’s a lot older than me – being the Ancient of Days and all). This is after all, Kingdom of God business. And, I’ll be happy to ride this Kingdom Wave for all it’s worth….and I’ll watch it extend, develop, expand. Yes, we are going for a ride…that’s for sure, but there is a lot of comfort knowing that this church plant endeavor is not some isolated little thing. It is, in fact, part of a very old, oft repeated prayer… “Thy Kingdom Come. Thy Will be done on earth as it is in Heaven.”

Even so, let it come Lord. Come Lord Jesus. Would you pray this prayer for us?

Best to all,

Ralph

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