Right now, I’m reading a book on blogging, so, it inspired me to make an entry 😉 Nothing special…..
As I continue to try to get my life inline with what Jesus would want, I’m finding that many things that I hang onto, I should probably rid myself of. One of the things I’m trying to let go of is my many books. It is amazing really. I know I probably won’t read these books again, but I like having them around just the same. My hope is by summer to at least get rid of half of my books. Some of the books I have, I haven’t read yet, so I plan on reading them first. If they are good (meaning I can use them to help my sermon prep, I will keep them, otherwise, it would be best to get rid of them.
One of the things I’m finding is that it would be good if I spent more time on sermon prep. I find preaching fairly easy which is both a blessing and a curse. I don’t have to do that much prep, but God still deserves my best and if preaching is an area God has gifted me in, it would be best if I worked at that area.
I just bought a new Tungsten E palm. At some point, I might put on information about programs that I’m finding very helpful in sermon prep and scripture study.
Guess I’m just in an odd mood this morning. Every now and then I have a sense of discontent. Not sure why. I’m discovering how important relationships are in life. I have too often been swept away with my own wants, needs, concerns and have allowed them to get in the way of relationships. It is when I focus on those around me that I find the goodness in life.
As a pastor, one of the things I get to do is perform a funeral. At first, funerals really bothered me. However, now, I feel more comfortable. I am glad that I can serve in the capacity to help someone or a family through a time of grief. After all, death isn’t the end, but rather a transition.
Anyway, there are times when I am asked to do a funeral of someone I don’t know, or don’t know very well. Those are hard. After all, I want to leave the family with words of comfort and words of grace. I want to be able to lead a celebration of life. However, there are times, when the person really didn’t live a life of grace and peace. That saddens me. It saddens me that I can’t honestly share that the person was loved by all that knew him. It saddens me that someone didn’t live their life in a way that touched the lives of others.
One of the things that is sometimes said about sports figures is that they were able to make those playing with them better. I guess, that is the type of life I want to live. A life that allows those who know me and interact with me to be better people. I realize that I’m not there. However, some things are coming into better focus the older I get.
I no longer am driven to ‘succeed’ any longer. In fact, I’m not even sure what that is. The American Dream isn’t really a dream after all…for what good does it do to gain the whole world when you forfeit your soul?
At the end of my life, I want others to be able to celebrate a life well lived. I want others to say, “He made us better people.” Of course, the only way that I can do that is to continue to point people to the One who can really change lives.
Here I find myself. Sitting in a nice office within a nice church that is located in a nice city. My life is pretty good when I take time to look at it correctly. Four children and a wonderful wife are waiting for me at home. My wife is probably preparing supper while my children are doing homework.
Yet, somewhere in this world there is another pastor. Doing what God is calling him to do. Only he is sitting in prision. He won’t have a nice supper tonight. He won’t be going home to his family. His life is much, much different than mine.
How in the world can I be at a place where the “problem” of pain is an issue of faith. There are faithful men, women and children who endure sufferings for their faith. What must I endure for my faith? My suffereings are not having enough money to go to a movie I would like to see.
My fear is, I have allowed my culture to cut into my committment to Christ. My fear is, that instead of heeding the full call of God I am following a call that has been disformed by the culture in which I live in. I spend $30 for books and bibles, while other faithful christians pay with their life to spread the Good News. The Good News..how ironic. I wonder if I could call it Good News if I knew it would cost me everything. I know some do and some are. They have a faith that makes mine pale in comparision. They are the ones who have heard God’s call and experience God’s grace each and every day.
Hmmm….. It is been qite a while since I’ve made an entry. Blogger has changed some things too. Not sure what the number above is (or if it will show up on the post).
Anyway, the past four months have been interesting to say the least. I’m now at my new appointment….still trying to make the transition. I’m learning that I was in denial before I moved. To make a long story short, I made quite a few changes (career, location, house, etc), but I didn’t think it would be that big of a deal. Now, I’ve slowed down a bit.
To be honest, things are going fairly well. The kids have adjusted quite well and really like their new school. That took quite a bit of pressure off.
I’m trying to ‘relearn’ how to be a pastor. Actually, I’m not sure I knew how to be a pastor before. I was all about building a kingdom and trying to impress other people. Now, I’m trying to remember that there isn’t anyone I need to impress. My goal is to listen for the movement of God and move in that direction. At times, I feel like I should be “doing”, but I keep hearing God’s voice moving me in a new direction. Some of my old goals and directions have changed.
I’ve been reading a book by Philip Yancey. I love his writing. It rings true with my soul. Everyday, I’m dealing with people trying to understand what it means to be a christian within the context of their lives. I feel like many times the church doesn’t help with the struggle. Instead of helping people to become all God is calling them to be, the church puts demands and asks a lot of their time of energy.
If there were one thing God was calling the church to do….what would that be?
That question haunts me. My fear is we are so busy doing many things…we aren’t doing the one thing.
enough for now…..Dave.