The Morgan Church Devotional

a pastor's thoughts about...uhm...stuff

Name:
Location: Morgan, VT., United States

follower of Jesus. husband & father. friend. pastor.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

A Well Rounded Year

this was an interesting year for me. i've never thought much of "synchronisity"...but sometimes you have to wonder.

in august, my wife and i celebrated 10 years of marriage.

in october i had my 20th "birthday" as a christian.

come january 2nd, we will have lived in/around morgan, vt and pastored at the morgan church for 10 years.

here are some things i've learned:

marriage:

"good love, there ain't no denying; bad love somebody isn't trying" (from "frying pan" by victoria willaims)

for us it has been no denying. i sincerely love and appreciate my wife more today than when we were just married. she's smart. she's sweet. she's beautiful. she's determined. she's fun. she's...lot's and lot's of other things.

i think we've "worked" hard at being happy in our marriage. i put the " " around work because it isn't really work...it's like fun work. like how some people view gardening. or how a musician views playing guitar.

dina and i are mutually committed to making this work. there is nothing either of us want more. and there is no length that either of us wouldn't go to to make it work. right hon? hon? hon? are you there?...lol.

seriously, i would chase that girl around the earth begging and pleading and promising and doing anything i could do to win her back, if i ever was fool enough to lose her in the first place. i have a deep seated and substantial belief she would do the same.

dina and i were friends for about 6 years b4 we started dating (long story). we are still friends...only better friends. i could bore you to death with how much i esteem her and her friendship to me.

i believe that any couple can have the same type of relationship we have. it's based on mutual selflessness and forgiveness (in the times that one of us isn't selfless). get with it, brother. get with it, sister. sit down together and sincerely look each other in the heart and make a promise you will live by:

i will be selfless with you. i will ask for forgiveness when i fail to be selfless. i will offer forgiveness to you when you aren't selfless (even if you don't ask me).

following Jesus:

"and on the road to salvation, i stick out my thumb and He gives me a ride" (from "elijah" by rich mullins)

i marvel at God's unfailing love. indeed, it extends to the heavens. i want to be faithful. i want to follow truly and fervently. i want to be pure and holy and full of love. i want to be like Jesus.
sometimes i get it right.

but, o the times i don't!

but what i've learned from God is this. He covers me. He forgives me. He receives me. He does.
i spent years trying to convince Him that i was worth loving. but i finally realized i would never be worth it, but He loves me anyway. that's the point where our relationship starts. His benevolent love and abounding grace. we start at the ground level...every day.

i used to try to please Him so that He would love me.

i've learned to try to please Him because He loves me.

there is a world of difference between those two statements...my prayer for you is that you discover the difference.

pastoring

"There's an oasis in the heat of the day, there's a fire in the chill of night; a turnabout in circumstance makes each a hell in it's own right" (from tip of my tongue" by mark heard )


i don't know if there is a job like pastoring a church. it is deeply, richly and amazingly rewarding. what a priviledge and honor to be invited to the nitty gritty of people's lives. what a great thing to share God's word with people (whether it's in a sermon or with our lives) and see the light go on. it's great.

growth. hope. change.

there is no reward greater than being a part of that. the difficulty is when someone resents that...i can't explain it. if i could, i don't think i would. but it happens.

if you attend a(nother) church. be kind to your pastor. pray for your pastor. say good things about and to your pastor. defend him/her. let them know you are for them...bc someone is doing the opposite.

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