Sunday, November 23, 2008

Roadmap '09 Meeting

Today we had a rich time of worship. Our text was Revelation 21:1-8. What a salvation! I can't wait for the renewed earth.

In the mean time I guess we'll continue to proclaim the gospel, plant churches, and wait (and golf).

After our worship we had a church-wide meal. The head custodian and principal at Goynes Elementary are both tremendous men--so gracious to allow us to stay an extra hour. During our meal I shared our vision for the next year. We called the presentation Roadmap '09. Not very original, but you get the point.

From day one our vision has been focused on seeing the gospel transform the entire city and cities like it around the world (briefly stated). Today we honed the vision a bit further to say that we hope to plant an additional four churches in North Las Vegas, and two churches internationally over the next five years. Is it aggressive? Too aggressive? Maybe, but I'm looking forward to seeing what Jesus decides to do about building His church in North Las Vegas.

Initially each church plant will be identified as an additional site for worship in a neighboring community. Members of each new site will be involved in the same kinds of discipleship and leadership training we are already engaged in at City-Wide Redeemer. Eric and I will preach and lead worship for at least the second site which we hope to establish by February or March, but several details need to come together before we launch out.

Our whole family is sick tonight. Upper body respiratory stuff. Thank God for phenol!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

The Gospel is Tough to Believe

The more I speak with people the more I am realizing with greater awareness that folks just don't really understand the gospel. I'm not slamming people for being ignorant. I'm not calling people stupid. I'm not talking only about people who are outside of the visible church.

I'm seeing more and more in people that aspect of our fallen nature that believes we must contribute something to our salvation. For some it is just the moral piece of the puzzle that they want to straighten out. For others it is a return to some religious practice that they experienced growing up as a child. It seems to much to first believe that Jesus really did do everything required for our salvation.

Intuitively non-Christians understand that worshiping the one true God instead of themselves and all of their other life-long idols will result in a different agenda for their week. They will do some new things and abandon other activities and thought patters that used to take up space on their weekly schedule. In short, they will increasingly take on the God's character in all that they think, say, and do. But it seems as though that is where we want to go first. In the middle of a desperate search for peace we grasp for something we can do.

Maybe this will help make the point. Often in our search for peace with God we look like someone trying to learn how to line dance in the country-western bar. We see the moves that happy, peaceful people are making. We want to be happy; we want peace, so we begin trying to pick up their steps. We assume that their attitude and outlook must be related to their dancing. The only problem is that Christians who really get the gospel didn't start with the moves. Rather they first heard the music. Someone else played music that brought their dead and depressed bodies to life. Their dance steps are in response to music. Dancing doesn't make music come out of the speaker. Music makes us dance.

How I pray that people in our community will begin to hear the music of the gospel. I am trying with all my might to communicate that reality to people who see what we do as a Christian community. If they only see our moves, but never hear our music then we will never bring an ounce of real hope to Vegas. Rather, we will only push people back into their previous religious experiences where they will labor in despair and restlessness in a dead-end search for peace and an assurance that God is for them.

I'm off to play more music.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Doctor's Visit...Warning: Graphic in Content

I've been half-limping around for the past couple of weeks with a very sore right knee. Probably a Baker's cyst. I was excited today when I looked at my Outlook calendar and realized that today I was finally going to get into the Dr. When I called my assigned health care provider last week to say that I needed to see a Dr. quickly the receptionist said, "O yes. Here we go. We can get you right in on the 18th. How does that work?" Considering that I was calling on the 12th I wasn't sure what she meant by "right in."

The doc was great. X-rays will be read in the next couple of days to help determine exactly what is going on.

About half way through the exam she asked the question. "Mr. Glassmeyer, have you had any wight gain?"

"Yes, yes I have."

"Has it been pretty recent?"

"No, I've gained 220 lbs over he past 34 years or so."

[laughter... followed by an earnest gaze]

"I think that whatever is causing the painful condition in your knee, you will benefit from losing a few lbs."

"Yes. Thank you. I'm sure you're right"

As I stood in front of the mirror tonight I contemplated the decisions that I typically make regarding food each day. I'm often very busy, traveling from one appointment to the next and in need of a quick meal when he hunger pangs come calling. I usually don't have a plan (bad idea). I usually am making a decision about what to eat in the middle of four other activities. (also a bad idea). I need a plan. I need something around during the day that will help me remember why I need to be making better decisions about food. Maybe a string around my finger?

Then I had an epiphany of genius. As I looked with despair at my growing waist I realized that if I stopped wearing a shirt in public I would begin to make radical and rapid changes in my daily eating patterns. That is not an option, but I know it would be effective.

I'm sure that this falls under the (too much information) category, but as far as I'm concerned it's a part of being human. It's also an area of my life where I'm going to have to allow gospel freedom to be the motivating factor in how I do make changes in my diet and exercise patterns.

Nothing is easy, is it?

Thursday, November 13, 2008

She Got Fired!

I love dinner time at our home. You never know what any of our children might share. Here's a snippet from my conversation with our six year-old daughter tonight.

"What did you do today in school, sweetheart?" (She's in the first grade)

"I helped Alissa feel better."

"Oh no. What happened?"

"She got fired from her own club that she started."


"Yes. Some jerk girls came over to join her club and after a few minutes they decided to fire her from her own club that she started."

"She had a job in her club?"


"What was it?"

"Her job was to invite people into the club and to serve them their food."

"So let me get this straight. She started the club and gave herself the job of inviting other people into the club. Then some people she invited joined her club and promptly fired her from her club that she started. Is that right?"



On a more serious note...our friend, Glenn, is still trying to find work. This has been a great discouragement to him. He has come so far since we first met him in his wheelchair in front of the Bellagio Hotel and Casino downtown. His prosthesis is working very well. When he's wearing pants you can't even tell that he has it. He wants to work. Hopefully a breakthrough will come soon.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Time with the Kids

I'm not the father I want to be. I don't find often that I have the ability to manage the many different priorities that present themselves each day in such a way as to demonstrate to my kids that they matter to me.

This week I think I took a small step forward. Maybe it is better to say that I fell forward a bit. I was able to spend three hours of 1-on-1 time with each one of our children. Two of them opted for the air show at Nellis Air Force Base. Both yesterday and today some really gracious friends allowed me and one of my children to tag along. Without this kindness I would not have been able to pull off two trips to the Aviation Nation Show because of the hours it takes to park at the Las Vegas Raceway and to then shuttle over to the base.

My kids each loved it. They loved the big airplanes. They loved the fast airplanes. They loved the root beer floats.

I have never seen the F-22 demo before. It was incredible. At one point the plane was standing perfectly still in the sky. At another time it was slowly falling to the earth in a flat spin. There wasn't anything we could imagine that it couldn't do.

Just as the demo was finishing, and we were all noticing that our mouths had been hanging open in disbelief, my neighbor's wife said something really insightful. She said, "I can't believe that during that demo there were so many people just shuffling around with no interest in what was happening in the sky." I agreed. Then I pondered her point. How many of us are living in a world filled with God's general revelation as though we have no sense of what is going on around us, or what our context of reality points us to each minute of the day? The heavens declare the glory of God, and yet we rarely give it thought.

Worship today brought great refreshing. We enjoyed the company of more first-time guests and some other new friends who have just moved to town. God continues to grow City-Wide Redeemer in number. I don't pretend to know what He is doing.

We are just two weeks away from our Roadmap '09 meeting for CWR. There Eric and I hope to express some sense of the directions God seems to be presenting for us as a church over the next year. The opportunities are very exciting. We are holding our plans loosely, though, because if we had held tightly to the plans for 2008 we wouldn't have been able to experience half of what we saw God accomplish through our meager efforts this year.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Back Yard

When we moved into our home in January we knew that the Home Owners Association had a requirement that the back yard be landscaped within the first year of occupancy. With the year winding down I'm trying to get to that when I have an extra thirty minutes here or there. I actually enjoy landscaping and gardening, as many of you know, but there is a major challenge with the piece of real estate. The dirt is as hard as limestone rock. My joints have joints that hurt from digging a trench for the drip irrigation. I'll be glad when this is finished and I can just sit on the porch in a chair.

Conversations with many who don't yet follow Christ continue to increase in frequency and depth. More and more I enjoy sharing our faith and great hope. And of course, we aren't loving people for the sake of getting to "convert" them. Rather we are sharing the gospel of grace with them because we love them. I have said that for years, but just now feel as though their is congruity between that statement and my heart.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Beautiful Simplicity

Tonight I was tucking our youngest into bed. He'll be five on New Year's Eve. I asked him why it is that he wanted to participate in the Lord's Supper the past Sunday.

"Because I like God so much."

"Do you know what the bread points us to?"

"Jesus' broken bones."

"What about the cup?"

"His blood."

"Why did Jesus die?"

"To save our lives."

"What are we saying by our participation in the Lord's Supper?"


"What does it mean that we join the others in the supper?"

[more silence]

"Do you want to participate because you believe that Jesus died for your sins and because you want everyone else to know that too?"

"Dad, you know I believe Jesus."

[silent pause]

"Why are you asking me all of these complicated questions? Did you think I forgot or something?"

I smiled and reassured him that I didn't think he forgot. I just like to hear about his heart. He smiled. When he prayed he thanked God for ladybugs (and something else equally as precious that is not coming to my mind right now). I love his simple trust. I love his thankful heart. "Who needs to learn from who?" I thought to myself as I headed down the hallway.

The second and third groups in our Equipping the Church series are both winding down. Those gatherings are incredibly encouraging to Eric and me as we watch people grow in their understanding of God's purpose in their lives. Their sense of His love for them is growing. Their sense of His love for others is growing. Their sense of meaningful involvement in the mission is growing. I'm so thankful for that.

At the last gathering one of our current ETC participants noted that City-Wide Redeemer is not a church where 80% of the people sit back while the other 20% work themselves into disenfranchised gospel frustrations. He's right. As I do a quick mental survey of the people who now make up CWR it must be over 80% who are actively using their gifts for the sake of His kingdom, both in their vocation and when the church gathers for worship. People are active in local tutoring programs and with the local food bank. Others are using their hospitality gifts to welcome their neighbors. What a joy. God gets the credit.

Me and Angie

Me and Angie
December 2010