One of the hardest parts of being a pastor is to be “ON” 24/7. Because, no matter what is going on around you or in your personal life, you have to be ON. Everyone has a bad day, and who you gonna call?? Maybe your pastor (at least, BEFORE you read this). And he had better be there for you, and be ON.
When you think about the fact that everyone is human, then it makes sense that everyone has a bad day. Everyone has times when life gets tough and everyone deals with it in their own way. I will admit to you that there are times when I need to withdraw . . . Just be quiet and think through things. And, that is almost impossible when expected to be ON 24/7.
Not to whine, but I had a rough day yesterday. On several levels. And when a rough day occurs on Sunday, it is four times worse, because IF a pastor is allowed to have a bad day, it had better not be on Sunday. So what does a pastor do?? SUCK IT UP AND MOVE ON. That is all you can do. And that, in itself, is tough at times.
Pray for me today . . . in all of this, I am starting to (GULP!) like watching Bobby Knight on ESPN. There must be something wrong with me.
Yes, there IS progress happening on our New Facilities project. Progress will be hard to see in this first few weeks because of the types of things that are happening. Our architects have issued contracts that are now being reviewed. Once these are reviewed, they will get to work FIRST on the youth assembly building and then on the overall project.
Randy Fails and I met with our RSI rep last night and started the wheels rolling with the fundraising process. We are now in the stage where strategy and planning begins. One of the keys on our end will be to COMMUNICATE, and I promise to do my best to help that happen.
One of the greatest things I have EVER seen is how God is working in all of this (I know that might not be grammtically correct, but I am at a loss for how to express this. It really IS breathtaking)
It is 5:53am, and I am about to get into my car and go to the church. I really should just put a bed in my office for Thursdays like this . . . The fourth Thursday is my turn to cook prayer breakfast for the youth. The menu?? Chocolate chip pancakes and bacon. YUMMM!! (Well, the kids sure eat em up.)
Prayer breakfast is a great ministry. I remember years ago when we started it as a monthly thing. It has really evolved into something good. It is really neat for me to still be here at Ebenezer and see God working through the years on things that were once thought trivial! It just confirms to me that there are very few trivial things in the kingdom of God!! Everything has a purpose!
(Okay, maybe Diana and I are not elderly YET, but this is us)
Today’s funny from Mikey:
While on a road trip, an elderly couple stopped at a roadside restaurant for lunch. After finishing their meal, they left the restaurant and resumed their trip. When leaving, the elderly woman unknowingly left her glasses on the table and she didn’t miss them until they had been driving about twenty minutes.
By then, to add to the aggravation, they had to travel quite a distance before they could find a place to turn around, in order to return to the restaurant to retrieve her glasses.
All the way back, the elderly husband became the classic grouchy old man. He fussed and complained and scolded his wife relentlessly during the entire return drive. The more he chided her, the more agitated he became. He just wouldn’t let up one minute.
To her relief, they finally arrived at the restaurant. As the woman got out of the car and hurried inside to retrieve her glasses, her husband yelled to her, “While you’re in there, you might as well get my hat and the credit card.”
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God is doing so much around us, and it is exciting. AND we need to pray, pray, pray about all of it. Pray for each other, because we have some families that are really going through the fire right now and need all of us. Pray for God to unite us: A friend was telling me about an Ebenezer member openly talking about how awful it is that we voted to build, and how they are probably going to leave. My first prayer is that God will align their hearts with what He is doing, and if not, that He will lead them to the right place. Pray that the devil will not be able to work his way between us. Pray that we will be strong in the face of temptation, because temptation will come. Pray that we will be obedient in every way when the time comes to obey.
Are you part of a family?? I KNOW you have parents . . . But, are you part of a family? I several families in this world. Of course, my parents and their families are tight-knit, and that is a good thing. Diana and I do make it back to Greenville ever-so-often as we did this weekend. It was a short trip, but something we love to do.
I have families in Greer and New Orleans as well. In Greer, there are still some folks at Fairview Baptist Church that remember me serving on their staff. I would say that they are family. I also have family in Harvey, LA, and other points on the map, from our days at Woodmere Baptist Church. I have gone back for weddings, get e-mails and cards, and they are still considered family by me.
And, of course, there is my Florence family . . . Ebenezer. We have been here for almost 13 years. This is home, and my family. And I love my family. Easter used to be a depressing time, because it is a family holiday and we could never go back to Greenville . . . Now, I love spending it with my Florence family.
Family is something we have at Ebenezer. All churches do not have it or even desire it. But it is perhaps the greatest trait of EBC, and I am thankful.
JESUS is not in His grave! Friends went to His grave on that first Easter Sunday 2000 years ago and He was NOT THERE!! He is risen, and because He lives, we face life with an all new outlook and gusto! We have NOTHING TO FEAR from sin and/or death!
So, when the ol’ Easter Bunny tries to steal the thunder today, remind your kids and those you love of the REAL meaning of Easter . . . Jesus Christ. And, you Ebenezer people, COME to CHURCH today!!!
He always is at work around us, inviting us to join Him. And His work is always fantastic . . . Beyond our description and even our imagination. God is up to something this year on Holy Week, and I can’t wait to worship on Sunday!!!
Pray for our church, and pray for those around us who do not understand the true meaning of Easter. Pray that they will somehow see that true meaning in us!!!
(By the way . . . Bobby Knight on ESPN??? Still not gettin it.)