Posted by: Omar C. Garcia | August 17, 2010

Stone’s 3:30 Alarm

With Stone on Mt. Arbel in Israel

One of the things I enjoy most about getting older, and being one of the old guys on Kingsland’s staff, is the opportunity to spend time with some of our younger pastors. We are fortunate to have a great team of gifted young men and women who serve at Kingsland. Last week Brian Stone, our Singles Pastor, and I had lunch at the local Mongolian grill. Having visited Mongolia eight times over the past few years, I can testify that there is nothing Mongolian about the food at the local grill. But it’s a great place to sit and chat. Brian and I especially enjoy talking about how to properly exegete and apply Scripture to everyday life. In fact, Brian has an excellent blog on applied biblical theology. One of the things Brian and I challenge each other to do is to think deeply about God’s Word that we might live wisely. Often when we see each other at the office one of us will ask, “Are you thinking deeply?” and the other will reply, “Yes, and I am trying to live wisely.”

So, back to our conversation at the Mongolian grill — Brian and I were talking about the way in which God leads and how He prepares us for what He has prepared for us. We chatted about one of my favorite books entitled, “The Red Sea Rules” by Robert J. Morgan. In this excellent little book Morgan reminds his readers — “I am here by God’s appointment, in His keeping, under His training, for His time.” Brian and I reflected on the truth of Morgan’s observation by sharing how God shaped and equipped us at each of the places where we have previously served. God, we concluded, does not waste any experience in our lives. Brian spent two years serving as a chaplain at Union Gospel Mission in Dallas. He worked with the homeless, the desperate, and those trying to rebuild their broken lives. And, I started my ministry in an urban setting when Brian was only five years old. Like Brian, I loved being in the heart of the city where you can feel the pulse of hurting humanity.

Did I mention that Brian was five years old when I began my journey into full-time ministry? One of the best things about getting older is seeing how God has equipped and is using a younger generation of servants. After two-years at Union Gospel Mission, Brian was called to serve a church in Stillwater, Oklahoma. While there, he taught a series of lessons on the Gospel of John. Brian told me that when he was preparing a lesson on the third chapter of John’s Gospel he became deeply convicted about verse 30 where John the Baptist is quoted as saying, “He (Jesus) must increase, but I must decrease.” Brian wrestled with the meaning of the verse and how to incorporate its truth into his daily life. And, that’s when it hit him. He felt that he needed a daily reminder that it’s all about Jesus and that we should always seek to exalt Him and point others to Him. So, he set the alarm on his watch to chime every day at 3:30 PM. Since that time he has had the alarm on his watch set to the same time.

Don’t ever let anyone tell you that you can’t teach old dogs new tricks. As the old dog at the lunch table I was immediately impressed by Brian’s simple and yet very practical application of a truth we all need to remember. As a result of our conversation, I have set the alarm on my watch to chime daily at 3:30 PM. And, I am committed to leaving my alarm set that way for the rest of my life. I need this simple and humbling daily reminder that it’s not about me. I need to be reminded that I must live my life in a way that magnifies and pleases Christ. I need the sound of my alarm to deflate me at those times when I get too inflated with pride or think that I am more important than others. It’s amazing how the sound of an alarm can instantly bring me back to reality and help me to make sure that I am properly aligned with God’s purposes rather than my own agenda. So, thanks Stone, for teaching something new to this old dog!


Responses

  1. Omar I find that I awaken at 3or 3:30 and at the time I find I have the best conversations with God through my prayer. God likes to give you his messages in the middle of the night I heard once and I want to be there ready for his word for my day. Please pray for Pakistan with me this week I feel so out of the world not helping them. Where do I go Omar to start a mission or ministry I am not sure how to do this. All I know is I do not want to be the person who doesnt care about others. Where ever I need to be or how to learn I know I am close to your age but God gave me my life to use for him. All I know is I can cook and nurse a little from my old training and I can care what happens and I can listen and I can challenge myself for the Lord.

  2. I just set my alarm too!

  3. I don’t have a fancy watch with an alarm but set my cell phone alarm for 3:30 PM.
    Good practical reminder. Thanks!


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