Archive | March, 2018

Slowing Down

28 Mar

There is something to be said for SLOWING DOWN.  Believe me.  It seems that lately I have been meeting myself coming and going.  A funeral here.  A meeting there (and here and everywhere).  A handful of fires.  A computer goes down.  Projectors blink.  It.  Never.  Stops.

I had an opportunity to come to Columbia for two days of uninterrupted study.  A chance to get away.  To pray.  To work on upcoming sermons.  To plan for the remainder of the year.  To take a breath.  Honestly, once I slowed down and took a deep breath, I was shocked at the things that flowed out.  Almost like taking a sip from a fire hydrant.  A TON of ideas worth praying over and pursuing.  But it makes me wonder …

What if I took the time to just slow down once or twice a week, just to close my eyes and listen to God and to what is going on around me??  I wonder how much more of an asset to the Kingdom of God I would be if only I could do that???

I am not sure, but I think we are going to find out.  I think I’m gonna give this a try.  We shall see!!!

Here is where we are

25 Mar

Almost 23 years.  That has been my tenure at Ebenezer Baptist Church.  First as Minister of Youth and Recreation.  Then, as Interim Pastor.  And now Senior Pastor since 2001.  In all of these roles, I have watched.  I have spoken out.  I’ve been chastised.  I’ve been encouraged.  I’ve seen a lot.  But every day I realize I haven’t seen it all.

There is a trend that I am seeing.  An alarming trend.  Some of you will read these words and be angry with me.  That’s okay …  Although I might know you well and even love you like family, I do not answer to you.  I answer to the One who called me to this post in the first place.

Almost 20 years ago I was talking to a friend about Sunday evening worship at Ebenezer.  It is quite discouraging to see 500 people on a Sunday morning and then less than 20 on a Sunday evening.  He told me to “get over it.”  That Sunday evening was his family time, his time to unwind.  The only time he had to spend with his family because life has them all so busy during the week.

I got that.  I understood what he was saying.  I didn’t like it, but I understood his point of view.  But that trend has grown.  That answer expanded.  Now there are some that use that answer for Sunday mornings.  I am once again alarmed.

We sell short the value of the Kingdom of God and the Family of God in our lives.  One of the forces that always has helped me strengthen my relationship with Christ is the Family of God.  The fellowship of my church.  When I am gone, I miss Ebenezer.  In Ebenezer I have encouragement, accountability, help, care, and from those things and those people I draw strength.  When I see the Holy Spirit at work in the lives of my family, it wells up inside of me.  Sometimes I get around my brothers and sisters at Ebenezer and I am ready to charge the gates of Hell with a water pistol.  The family of God is a source of strength and encouragement for me.  I would hate to do life without them!!

So … Those who choose not to engage with the Family of God are, in my humble opinion, selling themselves short.  Denying themselves of a tremendous blessing.  Possibly trying to dodge the accountability.  Or, maybe just too busy during the week.  I also believe Satan works to keep us so busy that we cannot breathe until Sunday.  It makes dodging weekly worship easier when we feel we have an excuse.  If you are okay with that, you really don’t know what you are missing.

And another thing:  Don’t sell your family short on your time.  Sunday shouldn’t be the only time in the week you have to spend with your family.  We make time for the things that are most important to us.  WHY AREN’T YOU MAKING TIME FOR YOUR FAMILY EVERY DAY???

But, then again, what do I know??