Now It's Time


Now It’s Time!
June 6, 2010

Adams and Rangas

The Adams Family (left) and the Ranga family (right)

Solomon said, There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven: a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot, a time to kill and a time to heal, a time to tear down and a time to build, a time to weep and a time to laugh . . . [Ecclesiastes 3:1-4]

There is a time to remember . . .
Over the past 12 years, Kerri-Sue and I have been blessed to be a part of the church originally known as the Syracuse Church of Christ, then with increasing vision known as the Central New York Church of Christ, and now with hearts set on evangelizing the world, known as the Syracuse International Christian Church. Though names of human institutions may change, one thing that is unchangeable is the advancement of God’s Kingdom! Thankfully, our kids have grown up amidst true disciples of Jesus”a great cloud of witnesses—who love God and His Kingdom with all their heart! What has shone brightest are the fruits of His Spirit in their daily lives. We as a family have not only seen real faith lived out in the manifold wisdom of God’s church, but we’ve been transformed by the love the brothers and sisters have shown us and each other . . . and for that we are forever indebted to all of you, our disciple-friends here in Syracuse!

Zakiah Ransom Baptised!

Zakiah Ransom baptized in New York City

There is a time to plant . . .
Four years ago, Chris & Theresa Broom gathered a fired up team of CNY disciples and embarked on a missionary adventure to plant a church in Chicago, leaving the Syracuse church in the trained hands and hearts of a young, dynamic couple they had raised up to lead in God’s movement. Then just two years ago, this slightly older couple (Andrew & Patrique Smellie) pulled their moving truck onto Interstate 81 and along with a group of like-minded adventurers, headed south to Washington DC, as the Holy Spirit set them apart to build a church of sold-out disciples in our nation’s capitol. Kerri-Sue and I cherished the time walking with them, learning how to inspire, lead, shepherd and build up the church we had been honored to be a part of for more than a decade. We are so grateful for the hearts of all the disciples here in Syracuse for their incredible sacrifice, love, patience and loyalty that they have shown to God and to all the leaders God has chosen over the recent years. They certainly gave us the time we needed to “grow into our new roles. However, we could never thank Mike, Pam and Megan O’Donnell enough, for the selfless way they have loved us and served side-by-side with us for the work of the gospel here in the heart of New York, not only the past twelve years, but especially over the past two years.

There is a time to build . . .
Paul reminded the Corinthians that while one man plants and another waters, God is the one who makes it grow. All who have shed tears to strengthen a weak disciple; all who have exhausted themselves to serve a brother or sister or the poor in need and all who have lost sleep studying the Bible to bring another lost sheep into God’s pen . . . you have planted and you have watered and you have allowed God Himself to use you to make His church grow.

There is a time to rejoice (laugh) . . .

Alberto Mulero

Alberto Mulero is restored to the Lord!

Paul described having to tear themselves away from beloved disciples when they said goodbye on a Mediterranean beach. Although there has been and will be many more farewell tears as we leave Syracuse and travel down the Thruway to New York City to serve in the ministry of the Empire City International Christian Church, this is actually a time to rejoice because we know God will meet all our needs in ways that are more than we could ask or imagine! Over the past three months, God has already begun to shower those blessings on the church here, starting with the loving leadership of Steve and Kithy Ranga and their extremely zealous boys, Jonathan, Dylan and Daniel!

So now it’s time! It’s time for all of us to take the seed bag and the watering can and with all our might, in whatever field our great God has planted us: IT’S TIME TO GET BUSY harvesting a crop of righteousness. And I believe with all my heart that God is going to keep us all laughing”all the way to His side, as we live and die, bringing glory to His name.