Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Fresh Start 4: Joyful Through Hardship - Pastor Matt Messner




Thursday, January 04, 2018

Going to Uganda


For nearly 15 years I have been a supporter of a ministry in Uganda called Africa Hospitality Institute.  You should check out the link to the website. The founder is a close friend of ours and a remarkable person.   Our son, Levi, spent five months working there.  Heidi has been there with a team and we have sent numerous mission teams over the years.

Still, I have never gone.  The timing was never right.  I always wanted to go, but it just didn't happen - until now.

For the next couple of weeks I will be there to support the ministry of AHI while conducting a Pastors' Conference for rural Ugandan pastors.  I appreciate your prayers.  I will try to keep people posted through social media, although there is little or no connectivity where I will be staying.

Thank you!

Matt Messner


Tuesday, December 19, 2017

The Fight Before Christmas

‘Twas the fight before Christmas
And all through the house,
Not a creature was peaceful,
Not even my spouse.
The bills were strung on our table with dread,
In hopes that our checkbook would not be in the red.
The children were fussing and throwing a fit,
When Billy came screaming and cried, “I’ve been bit.”
And mom watching Hallmark, I picked up the remote
She said, “You change the channel and I’ll grab your throat.”

Ignoring her words I smiled with laughter
Not knowing now I was creating disaster.

Switching the channel to ESPN,
Deeper and deeper the hot water I was in. 

When what to my wondering eyes should appear,
The loss of all joy and an overflow of tears. 
The kids and mom, glared at me with great sorrow.
And Christmas was coming. It was almost tomorrow.

An amateur blunder, I felt like such a fool. 
How could I be such a world class tool? 

And then in the midst of my grievous sorrow,
I remembered the times I had promised, “tomorrow…”
“Not now, my children, but at some soon time,
Dad will play with you, and things will be fine.”
Now under conviction, I looked at my wife,
Where was my kindness? Why all the strife?
My heart quickly softened; I now saw my task,
Some love and attention was all they had asked.
I gathered my family and called them by name,
And told them with God’s help I’d not be the same.
We’ll keep Christ in Christmas and honor His plan.
No more fights before Christmas—on that we will stand.
My children’s eyes twinkled; they squealed with delight.
My wife gladly nodded; she knew I was right.
It was the fight before Christmas, but God’s love had come through,
And just like He does, He made all things new.

An adaptation by Matt Messner of the adaptation by Tony Cooke and David Beebe.

Encounter Part 4: Encountering Joy - Pastor Matt Messner