Wasted time equals a neglected page. Never thought I would admit something like that. It’s been said to me many times throughout my life but somehow I seem to get by. But I’ve had some time to really reflect this past week or so and I’ve learned a few things about myself that aren’t very flattering.
Toss in the topics I’ve been preaching on the last few weeks and oh boy.
Let’s start by saying that self-reflection has never been my strongest trait. I tend to find what I like and stick to it. I’m not saying that I’ve never had a wake up moment but they are pretty rare. It’s easier for me to slide into the sin of pride than I’d like.
I take a lot of things in my life for granted and if those granted things go away I have a powerful tendency to turn my back on them. New things will come right? But what if I’m wrong? My strategy seemed to work for me. What if I had done things differently?
I know it’s a waste of time to dwell on the past. But what if it’s not?
If you look over my old posts you’ll see two characters pop up a lot.
I wrote about my struggle with these two and which was winning. I think my struggle is real but my analysis flawed. Let me explain briefly as an intro.
I always thought that Worthwhile ought to win but it was my pride that made me feel Worthwhile. Getting knocked down a peg or two and suddenly I’m Worthless and fighting to regain my stubborn pride, thinking I’m winning.
Sometimes I’m a moron.
Father God, all praise to You who created me. Forgive my sin of pride. Bless my mother who bore me, bless my father too. Bless my children with my secret hope for them. Bless my wife who loves me in spite of my failures. Remove my pride even if it hurts. I yield to you. Let Worthless win. Amen
More to come
Dear Heavenly Father You are the only one worthy of my praise, worthy of my worship. I honor You and believe in You. I believe that You created me for a purpose, and I count on You to guide my life such that that purpose will be revealed and accomplished.
I believe that you sent Your son, Jesus, to live among us perfectly, to bring us the Good News, to die on a cross and to rise again three days later to fully conquer sin and death. He is the Lord of my life.
I am sorry for all the times I’ve let you down. But I know that all my sin and iniquity are covered by His precious blood. Please continue to point out the error in my life so that my life will continually grow more pleasing to You.
Father God I am so troubled by the way events are going right now. We are more divided than we have been in America than at any time during my life. So many people are falling away from the faith or never even coming to it at all. Our leaders bicker and backstab. They are cowardly and lazy. There is corruption all around. We need You now more than ever yet You seem so far away.
Your Word says that all authority on Earth belongs to You. So take it away from those that use it for evil and harm. Deliver it instead to men and women that will use it in wisdom. Deliver to us justice and hope.
I am asking You to send revival to Your church. We are in dire need and only Your Holy Spirit can bring us back to life. Deliver to us the boldness and courage that we have lost. Prune any sin and error that You find.
For myself Father guide me in the way You would have me go. Bless the ministry that You have called me to. Stir up the Spirit that lives in me. Give to me good ideas and the courage to implement them. Let Your love shine through me so that all can see it. Mold me into a leader that You can use. Send revival and let it start with me.
At the beginning of the year I put out the call for volunteers at the church where I pastor. I made a list of needed help and called the church to pray for the right people to come to us and fill the roles that had been identified. I don’t know if anyone is still praying over our list but we did see some results and I’d like to publically thank those that stepped up to help out.
Brian thank you so much for taking on the task of maintaining our grounds. It is a very important task and I know that it takes up a lot of time. How the property looks is the very first impression that people have of our church and we want that impression to be a good one. Without your efforts that wouldn’t be possible. Paul and Junia I know that you have also pitched in and your help is very much appreciated. You two were also instrumental in the ongoing remodel of the new classroom. It was your efforts that really got that project moving again after it had gotten stalled.
Good first impressions continue because Sandy came forward and volunteered to take on the task of keeping the sanctuary, bathrooms, and other spaces clean and tidy. Your personal touches in those areas have really made a huge difference in the way members and visitors alike see our facility. I don’t know if anyone has thanked you personally but several people have asked me who has been cleaning because the place looks great. It feels like somebody actually loves it and wants it to look it’s very best. Your servant’s heart really shines through the work that you do. I pray that God bless you abundantly.
Stan and Kathy have continued to keep the kitchen and coffee room clean and tidy. I always know that you’ve been there even if I didn’t see you because of the smell of Pine-Sol in the air after you leave. You two have been performing this task for several years and it’s about time you got a public thank you for it.
Papa G, Stan, and Dan have done a lot of work in our new classroom and I am really happy to let you all know that we will be opening up one side of it this Sunday for use. These men have worked very hard to present to you all a building that you can be proud of. They’ve done demolition, put up Sheetrock, textured and painted. They’ve dug trenches, run wires, installed a bunch of stuff. Been up and down ladders countless times and made numerous trips to a variety of home improvement stores. Their work has been done with excellence and love. There is still a lot more to be done but I know that these men will be there to do the job and do it right. Thank you thank you thank you.
In one sense a church is just a bunch of people that get together once in a while and do church. If that’s all you get from it God bless you and expand your thoughts. Because really a church ought to be like a family with all that implies. A family does things together with a common goal and so should a church. I am certain that if you are attending a church somewhere that there are plenty of opportunities for you to serve. It is my prayer that you find that spot and fill it because you are necessary and important no matter what you think. God will use you if you make yourself available for use.
I know that I have not mentioned every person that volunteers in our church. Fear not I see all and so does God. There are many more blogs to write.
If God were easy to follow everybody would be doing it. If God always made you comfortable, if there were never any trials in your life because Of some kind of supernatural intervention there would not be any need for faith. I think that I like that He lets us face difficulty, that our decisions matter and we are made to face the consequences of the decisions that we make both the good and the bad.
It seems to me that today many people think that it is actually good to let themselves off the hook for the things that they do or think. I hear people say things like all ideas are good or that all lifestyle choices are equal. This seems absurd to me. One person says that it is society’s responsibility to take care of everybody and another says that each person is responsible for his own wellbeing. Those are quite opposite and can’t both be true. I know that is a extreme example but it makes the point.
This kind of thing gets truly evil when people think that they ought to be able to get away with stuff but you over there ought to be punished for the same thing. The more polarized we get the more that this mindset seems to rear it’s ugly head.
I know I’m being a little vague here by not pointing out some real world examples but I really want to stay a bit neutral while I think this through. I know that the us and them mentality has always been around I know that. I also know that long ago people were deeply divided by a lot of things that led to very extreme behavior but I thought that perhaps we had outgrown some of the really terrible ideas that had ruled interaction between people. I thought we had learned to be at least civil with each other, that we could share problems and solutions and be able to come to some kind of consensus. But Solomon was right. There really is nothing new under the sun.
So now I need to look into my own life to see if there is any of that in me. I don’t want to be the man that is shouting down somebody for what they did while excusing myself for my own misdeeds. I want to be the man that can listen respectfully to someone that I may disagree with and be able to have a reasonable discussion about it. I don’t want to be the man that looks past someone’s problems because I happen to agree with some of his or her thoughts or ideas. I want to be the man that is able to discern truth but not be filled with hate. I want to be the man that can be persuaded when I am wrong to see the error and make the appropriate change. I want to be the man that will gently but firmly hold fast to those things that I am confident are the truth. I want to be the man that is persuasive not belligerent. Mostly I want to be the man that loving and merciful to those around me wether I agree with them or not.
Lest I am misunderstood let me state that I will not tolerate evil. I do believe that there is real evil in the world and it must be opposed. But I must not allow myself to be evil to oppose it. Opposition must still come from a place of love and yes even mercy.
It is my prayer that after you read this you will join me in this self examination to find the condition of your heart and then follow me and make the commitment to love even those that you find youself opposing.