Dee Ellison: Meet me at the goal post
Published 12:00 am Sunday, April 19, 2020
Several weeks ago when more information was made available about the coronavirus and after our church service, I heard the Lord speak to me: “Meet me at the goal post.”
It is not unusual to hear his voice for me even though sometimes instead of “yes” I have been known to say “what?” I began to think about the fact that children would be out of school and that knowledge concerned me because I care not only for the At The Cross (ATC) children, I was concerned about the children in the community. As I was thinking, I felt that I was being called to at least find a way to do something for them. Yes, those children that come to the basketball goal, shoot hoops, throw the football around and just have fun. The same ones that when I walk out to speak to them, engage them, and invite them to church; I remind them that they can’t leave their soda/bottles, chip bags, candy wrappers in the yard. Clean up behind yourselves, I say, and thank you. Some respond with an OK, yes, and a couple seem to sing “yes ma’am!”
When I picked up the newspaper on that Tuesday after having talked to my husband Julian on Monday about the kids and my fears and concerns; I learned that the school system had plans to feed the children. I am elated … but Lord, the goal post thing — what am I to do? I’ve learned that it is OK to ask the Lord questions for my experience is that he will make it plain. After all, they could still play basketball and they would not be hungry.
By Friday of that week it was clear to me that I had misunderstood; I had researched a couple of things and suddenly that still small voice said, “silly girl, the goal post is for the church.” I begin to think and rejoice because I know how gracious God has been to this ministry and the church; He has met our every need so I realized that while all around us there is uncertainty, confusion, disappointment, trials and tribulations, closures, alternate methods of meeting goals and fear. ATC had been given an opportunity to step out on faith and do something different. Did I mention that on some Sundays, we may have 20 and on some we may have 15 in service; I am not complaining because we understand our mission for that is to serve God and to be a diligent help in the community and we spend as much time in the community serving as we do the walls of the church. We have a no-questions-asked food pantry, we include the community in the events we have, we speak to our neighbors and we show love. You are probably thinking that we are a lot like other churches and I would say wholeheartedly you are correct, but this ministry is so very important to us. When you are given an assignment, it is so important that we accept it because in these uncertain times there is so much work to do. Friday and Saturday was a time for preparation and members of the church stepped up as we groomed our yard, put up a pop-up tent, placed a small table under the tent with a few chairs. All in preparation for our “POP Up Worship Service” which would be held around the goal post. Invitations went out to join us for service — meet us at the goal, don’t dress up, breakfast refreshments would be available and no pressure they could worship from their car, from a chair, or standing because we also want to heed the directions we had been provided for safety sake. Who would come or where they came from did not matter; did I mention that ATC has been blessed?
As a pastor, preparation includes providing information the Bible says in Hosea 4:6: “My people perish from a lack of knowledge.” I realize that as Christians we can’t stick our heads in the dirt or cry out all the time that the sky is falling. As a church, a community, loving and caring people we can provide information that is helpful to the people to help us prepare. I am amazed and thankful to the health professionals, teachers, organizers, volunteers, clergy, pastors, communities, adults and youth who have pulled together whatever their profession or skill to move beyond fear to help in these times. The Bible gives as solace as Paul in 2 Timothy 1:7 says “For God has not given us a spirit of fear but of power and love and a sound mind.” Being in constant fear keep us from fulling the destiny we have been given as well as our purpose; we have got to prepare ourselves as in 2 Chronicles 20: 15b says, “The battle is not yours it’s the Lord’s.” For those who know Christ, we understand that fear does not come from him; let’s impart this wisdom to others who are in need.
Finally, God placed in my spirit that we are not confined by tradition; have faith and trust Him through the Word of God and it is important that we must use all of the resources He has provided. Our Sunday service looked a little like the old drive-in theaters, but have no fear it was worship. Psalm 34:1 says, “I will bless the Lord at all times: his praise will continually be in my mouth.” I know that God has not brought us this far to leave us so I ask that we pray for each other, do good in the neighborhood, impart wisdom, and accept the opportunities you have to bless each other. Times will change when this is over; so my prayer is that we will remember where we’ve been and continue to do good because it’s the right thing to do.
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This is the 10th year anniversary of the church ministry which includes the Word of God for the people of God radio ministry program on Sunday at 10 a.m. at 103.3 FM and 1280 AM.
For more information, go to www.atcministries1nc.org .
Dee Ellison is the founder, teacher and pastor of At the Cross Ministries located at 201 W. D Ave, Salisbury.