The next Life Builder I want to write about is Don Nordin, our current pastor at C.T. Church (C.T. stands for Christian Temple). After Pearl and I left Quail Valley Church in Missouri City, our plan was to look into some of the Assembly of God churches in the area, beginning with the closest. We began with CT Church because it was closer than all the other AOG churches. We went there a few times and knew right away that this was the right church for us. That was about five years ago. So yes, we’ve been there long enough that the church has made a difference in our lives and I feel it’s time to write one of these Life Builder posts about our pastor.
My Life as a Christian
For you to understand why I have chosen to write about Pastor Don as a Life Builder, you have to know at least a little bit of my past as a Christian. I gave my life to Christ at a very young age. I cannot be exactly certain how old I was, because it wasn’t at a church where they document that sort of thing. It was most likely when I was in first or second grade, living in Pennsylvania while my father was teaching electronics at Army school in Virginia. Because I was so young, I have no memory of a life without Jesus.
I’ve been studying the Bible since I was first able to read. In fact, reading the Bible has been a life style that I neglected only rarely since I was a youngster. Because of the fact that my father had to move so often for the army, I never attended one church long enough to assimilate into the local church culture. That means my faith as a Christian is almost 100% Bible based, not cultural. My Bible was the only constant in my life, outside of my parents, moving from one army base to the next.
That’s why it is important to me, extremely important, that any church I become a member of must be in line with what the Bible says. I don’t need a “motivational message.” I don’t need someone to make me feel good about myself. I don’t even need to go to a church where I “enjoy” the music. None of that matters to me. What I need is an oasis where I can “come home to” and be nourished by the Word.
Word Based Preaching
Part of how I make my living is playing at different churches. I’ve been playing professionally at churches since the early 1980’s. I have heard messages/sermons from probably more than a hundred different pastors from all of the major denominations. I know from experience just how far some preachers can stray from the Word. I often walk away from a church shaking my head and thinking, “I could never become a member here.”
It’s funny. Some churches remind me of that old saying, “a nice place to visit but I wouldn’t want to live there.”
In contrast, I often say of Pastor Don Nordin that every message I have heard him preach has been in line with what the Bible says.
I am not suggesting that I agree with everything he says. Ha! I’ve never met ANYONE who I agree with everything they say. And really, this is not about agreeing with him or not agreeing with him. It’s about Pastor Don’s messages agreeing with the Bible, and his do! End of story!
Yes, that’s a big part of what I need from a church. No one has read the Bible enough times that they can say “I know it all already.” The more I read the Bible, the more I realize that I need to dig even deeper than I already have. And where I am at this place of my Christian walk, Pastor Nordin has been feeding me at the maturity level that I need to be fed at. He is giving me the so called “meat”, instead of the milk, and as a result I have grown in my walk.
That’s the main reason we are at CT Church and also the main reason I am writing about Pastor Don as a Life Builder. I am not close to our pastors. I don’t want to give that impression. But you don’t have to be best buds with someone for them to make a difference in your life.
Walking the Walk
Another requisite I have for finding a church home is walking the walk, putting things into action. I could not be a member of a church that only preaches, but never actually does what a church is supposed to do. Put your money where your mouth is, right?
CT Church is, as Pastor often puts it, “the most givingest church.” When you look at just how much this church does for the community, it is staggering. Really, in all my life as a Christian, I’ve never seen anything like it.
I couldn’t possibly list all of the things CT Does for the community, but they include giving food to the needy, not just during Thanksgiving or Christmas, but several times per year (I just learned that we give food to the hungry three weeks out of every month – praise God!!!!). Along with giving food to the needy, we also provide free health care. On other days we provide free services to the community. The attitude of giving to the community is a constant buzz throughout the year, not a seasonal thing. And all of this is over and above the typical church stuff, like the special seasonal programs and celebrations, offerings to missions, the bible studies and various life groups (cell groups).
These are people who are making a big difference in this community and in the world at large. I don’t know about the inner workings of the church, but I assume that Pastor Nordin is a big part of the reason why CT Church does all of those things.
So yes, these were always the two most important things for me in finding the right church: the message needs to be Word based and the church needs to be walking in God’s will. CT Church fits those two criteria very well, in my opinion.
Thank You Pastor Don Nordin!
For readers who are unfamiliar with my Life Builder series, this is my way of putting into practice part of the famous “love is” list from 1 Cor 13; “love is not proud.” In my two year study of 1 Cor 13, I discovered that pride is when we fail to recognize how God or other people have contributed to our success (when we take credit not due to us). For years now I have been trying to exercise love by acknowledging the people who helped me get to where I am today. Part of the way I do that is through these Life Builder posts.
And yes, Don Nordin is one of my Life Builder. I sometimes work at other churches, so we are not there every week, but we knew that going into our membership here. When we became members at Christian Temple, the Holy Spirit told me that we needed someplace to come home to between adventures. So no, we don’t really know the Nordins very well on a personal basis, but this church has been our home for a little over half a decade. We’ve been here long enough that it has grown to occupy a very important place in our hearts.
So thank you Don Nordin! Thank you for staying true to the Bible. Thank you for your commitment to honoring the fruits of the Holy Spirit. And thank you for leading this Church to be an example of what Churches should be doing in their communities.