In the last 6 months my life has become a weird mixture of stuff I never anticipated…
- self employed (always liked the idea, but never thought it would happen)
- NOT working in pastoral ministry (which I thought I’d be doing until Jesus returns)
- engaged in all kinds of business activities (which never interested me before)
- and about to become a grandpa (which I never imagined would be the case at 46 years of age).
But it’s amazing how changes like these can hit you out of the blue, and the LORD gives the grace to roll with it all. He’s kept me focused on Him throughout and actually eager to be engaged with Him in the process.
It’s been quite a ride.
My main life-lesson through it all has been this:
God is in control – so relax.
It’s amazing how little I’ve worried, felt stressed, or been in a place where I’m anxious about the future.
It’s all glory to Him really, and I’m a bit amazed by it (OK, a LOT amazed by it).
A cool thing to go along with it is that my wife has been in the same place too!
Thank You LORD, for Your faithfulness and presence.
I’ve been working on a family economics related website lately, which is…
- A community
- for believers in Christ
- a brainstorming environment
- an experience sharing experience
- a resource for small or home based business
- family oriented
- aimed at being Acts 2 and Acts 4 in a business sense
- an opportunity to develop relationships and possible partnerships
- exploring how families can work together to produce multiple streams of income
If you’d like to check it out, there’s an introductory video explaining exactly what family economics is… how it works… why it’s important… and what you can do to become a part of this growing, but age-old movement.
Personally, it seems like a no-brainer to me. The entire family working together toward greater ends than any one of them might have… and all for the good of them all.
Check it out at www.cfemastermind.com (Christian Family Economy Mastermind).
- A teacher
- A mechanic
- An engineer
- A plumber
- A farmer
- An artist
- A computer technician
New life is for real… and it really matters!
I just finished up the first session of a 10-session video curriculum that I’m putting together. It’s got a workbook to go along with it, or you could use the workbook by itself.
Think Beth Moore.
Think “Experiencing God” by Henry Blackaby
It’s called, “New Life Is No Joke” – and it covers the wonderful biblical truths regarding our new life in Christ.
Here are the session titles:
- SESSION 1: New Life Starts with Jesus (free, at the top of this page)
- SESSION 2: What Happened to You – pt. 1
- SESSION 3: What Happened to You – pt. 2
- SESSION 4: Identity Crisis
- SESSION 5: If I Have New Life, Why Do I Still Struggle So Much?
- SESSION 6: Where Did You Get That Flesh?
- SESSION 7: Breaking Mental and Emotional Bondage
- SESSION 8: Putting It To Work In Real Life
- SESSION 9: New Habits of A New Life
- SESSION 10: When Life Is Hard
It’s a great study of the topic and truth of new life in Christ that can be used individually, or in small groups, Sunday schools, home church groups, etc.
The first session is online as a “sampler” – absolutely FREE!
Sometimes God redirects you…
As a Pastor for the past 20+ years, I’ve often bemoaned the statistics that are regularly released about the number of men who leave the pastorate. It’s hard enough to find a good man, the right man for your pastoral need… so it’s tough to see them leaving church ministry altogether.
Many years ago I received a very clear call from the LORD into pastoral ministry. Over the years, and a lot of trial and error, I figured out that God had assigned me to smaller churches specifically. I assumed, out of my own limited view of things, that a call like that would be for the rest of my life – or until I couldn’t work anymore.
It’s funny to think about that mindset – because changes come, and they have come to me.
Now, just as certainly as I sensed God’s call into church ministry, I’m sensing His call out of it.
Just last week I sent out a letter to my church family, informing them of my decision to leave pastoral ministry. My wife and I have been walking through the process of making this decision with the help of my Elder team for months.
I can see from this side of the issue that the LORD is indeed sovereign, over calls and over situations. He’s used a variety of means, both joyful and painful, to redirect me, to show me that my time in pastoral ministry is coming to a close.
I still love the local church, though I am rethinking a lot of how we actually “do” church, in light of my experiences. I still love the people in the church. But the LORD has removed my zeal to serve as its shepherd.
I guess I’ll be one of those misconstrued statistics that people bemoan… but I believe this is a good thing.
A right thing.
An act of my sovereign LORD for both my good and the good of His church.
In weeks to come I’ll be writing some “lessons learned” from 20+ years of pastoral ministry, for the sake of those who are in the ministry and for the sake of those who are part of the flock. I believe I see some things clearly now that I was unable to see when in the thick of things. I hope you’ll stay tuned, and interact.
Much like Abraham, I don’t have a solid plan. I just know the LORD has told me to go. I do believe that He’s leading me to develop my other ministry to a point it can support me full-time, but I know that could take a while. So, I’ll be figuring out how to support the family, in whatever ways the LORD provides, while I work toward that end.
I’m curious what you think of a Pastor simply quitting the ministry?
The final installment of our sermon series “Why You Do the Things You Do” took place this past Sunday, with the sermon “Love Addict,” taken from Romans chapter 7.
You can find the sermon for download or listening below!
I think we all struggle to be patient. It’s especially hard in our microwave/instant/fast-food culture. If you don’t think you have a problem with patience, might I suggest you have a problem with self-awareness that is a bit more important?
Anyway, now that I’ve offended half my readers, I want to say this.
Patience is hard. Really hard. But I’m beginning to learn some things about it…
The LORD has shown me recently that patience is necessary because HIS timing is best, without fail. So… for me to be IN His will is for me to sometimes have to wait.
I don’t like that truth yet, but I feel I’m beginning to understand it a bit… I think.
What are your struggles when it comes to patience?
POWERFUL – worth EVERY MINUTE of the 14 it will take you to watch this video.
I began a new mini-series that is covering the issues of walking by the flesh OR walking by the Spirit. This first sermon was called “Why you do what you do.”
You can find the sermon audio below as well as the presentation slides I used.
Revelation 3:2-3 Wake up, and strengthen what remains and is about to die, for I have not found your works complete in the sight of my God. Remember, then, what you received and heard. Keep it, and repent. If you will not wake up, I will come like a thief, and you will not know at what hour I will come against you.
I’ve often heard folks say, “Don’t waste a moment.” While I understand the idea behind the statement, I don’t think it’s very helpful. Two reasons…
- If you are paranoid that you’re going to “waste” a moment, there are a lot of needed things you probably won’t do (movie night with the family, for example)
- It’s not about the moments really… it’s about the totality of life.
The reality is that the clock is ticking on LIFE… the day will come when it will all be over. In the words of Jesus to the church at Sardis, do you or I need to…
- Wake up?
- Strengthen what remains?
- Remember what you have received and heard?
This is stuff we should take seriously… because we do not know at what hour He will come.