This past week has been a pretty big one for me. I will try to get it all out, but this week there have been a few changes in the way I think and look at life. Now I have to say that all these changes didn’t really occur overnight or in the course of a week. I have been learning over months and years.
My work laptop crashed last week. That allowed me to slow down a bit and read some blogs a bit! Where to start…for the past few years I have had a strong interest in the Emerging Church. It is a philosophical and theological and lots of other “icals”. And I ran across a website for Emergent Nazarenes. There was a really cool post there that asked folks to share ideas about ways one can cultivate humility in their lives. One of the comments was by Monte. Well I knew this just had to be Monte Asbury, a pastor friend from the Nazarene church I grew up in. And sure enough it was! Monte is still pastoring in Washington, IA. And he has a lot of insightful things to say. And so I began to read his blog.
MONTE ASBURY CHANGED MY LIFE
Monte is one of those people that has a way of making huge impressions on you. Now I am sure if you ask Monte about me he will say that I was some kid that grew up in a church where he attended before he was a pastor. (And actually he will be MUC kinder and he will remember more than I think!) I am sure he knew who’s kid I was, but other than that I was some young kid and he was a married guy with children. He wasn’t a youth leader. He also might remember that I saw him again a few years ago at a Robbert Webber worship conference (I JUST discovered that Robert Webber died? OH MAN I’ll get back to that in a later post). We were both older. And he recommended a book to me: A New Kind of Christian. That was one of the best recommendations ever.
Monte Asbury had a HUGE impact on me when I was in high school. There was a gentlemen in our church that died of cancer. Bernie Herne. Bernie was a patron saint in our church. He was so Christ-like and holy. He was so cool, he was humble and gentle and loving. He is one of the folks that I identify with being sanctified and filled with the holy spirit. At the funeral many were quiet and mournful. Except for one. This one guy, he kept talking out load during parts of the service. Someone would talk about the life of Bernie and the love of Christ and this guy would proclaim, “yes” or “Amen”. And then someone sang a song and the message was that living here is alright and heaven must be cool too, but if they had chance to choose between the two they’d go home, to be with their Lord in heaven. AND THIS GUY, HE LOSES IT! He is shouting and almost hollering, “PRAISE GOD” and “AMEN.” I get teary-eyed just thinking about it. You see Bernie was at peace. He was home! He wasn’t in pain anymore. But more than that, he got to finally be in the presence of his Savior! He got to meet the Christ that he had faithfully served. I didn’t fully understand that. But Monte sure did. He got it. And it made him so happy to know that this guy who he called friend and brother finally went home where he belonged! Monte is another person who I think of when I think of what it means to be sanctified. That memory is burned into my mind. It was so powerful to me. Monte really understood something that I wanted to get. And not much has changed.
Look for more changes…