Friday, August 29, 2014

Humble Pastor, really?

To be a better pastor you truly need to follow the John 13 model Jesus set. He gave an example of true leadership and servant hood. It is called servant leadership. A leadership of serving others, not only leading the way, but living the way. Jesus taught His disciples, being good leaders you need to be good servants.

Meeting the needs of those by doing and not by just saying it! Jesus set the model when He humbly girded Himself and got down before the men He loved and taught them be example! Humility is not easy for leaders, though they think they have it. Peter is a good example of how tough humility can be when Jesus started to wash his feet.

John 13: 6 He came to Simon Peter, who said to Him, "Lord, do You wash my feet?" 7 Jesus answered him, "What I am doing you do not understand now, but afterword you will understand."

Most of us know what took place following, Peter tried to refuse Jesus service, and Jesus told Peter if He did not wash his feet he had no part or share with Him. What Jesus meant was he needed a leader with humility. True servants, men who would not only teach the flock but touch them personally. Jesus is the truest picture we have of a humble servant all the way to the cross. (Philippians 2:8)

If Jesus set the example why then do we not have the humble servant in the pulpits we need? Men who think of others more highly than themselves? What we have are job seekers, book writers, and lecture and life experts who are daily struggling themselves, sadly watch the news!

We need men in the pulpit who follow the Jesus servant leadership model. Men who know exactly what God called them to do. Watch the flock! Feed the flock! Serve the flock! Care for the flock with the love of Christ! Doing these things Pastors will also be served by the flock, it is a natural process God set up in scripture, and Jesus led the way in John 13.

I am not saying don't write books, lecture, etc... What I am saying, if you are a Pastor those are all secondary to the flock! Know your calling, if indeed you were called, if the other things are more important than the flock of God you may need to seek God's true calling on your life!

We need foot washing Pastors again. The church is struggling and fracturing people are leaving because of the lack of compassion in the church, which starts right in the pulpit! How about you Pastor? Foot washing beneath you? Well maybe it's time for a lesson in humility re-read John 13 often and be reminded of your call to be like Jesus!

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Never Give Up!

I know a man who was born to fail, never succeed, destined to quit everything he attempted! His father told him always he would never amount to anything. He was stupid and he should just quit! So he did, he lived down to those expectations and never finished anything he started. Sports, school,  friendships, even the Military kicked him out!

The only thing he did well was quit! It became so easy as life went on to just quit, give up blame everyone else for his failings! He quit so much even his father who taught him so well became disappointed in him! A mother who loved him even came to the point of acceptance that her son would probably not live long, most quitters do not, and that is so sad!

It became so easy to give up that it was the one successful thing he could do, and do well! He had no friends, except three he could think of yet ran them off for years! Again he was successful, again it was easy to quit even close friendships! Quitting became the norm of success for this man, he was taught well and encouraged by family, though that was not really so!

He acted so badly most times his family came to expect nothing less or more from him! His family loved him, but there was nothing they could do. They just watched as he spiraled into drugs and alcohol, bitterness seized him, anger surrounded him like a cloud! He could not be reasoned with at all. Confusion would set in as he did all to please his father, lived down to his expectations, did exactly what his father taught him.

Only to see disappointment and more discouraging looks and comments from his dad! That confused and certainly angered him more. If he was doing all his father had expected of him than why was his father not proud? He would later find it was all in reflection, he was the reflection of his father, a mirror image that reminded him of his failures!

Though he raised his son to fail, it reminded him of his failings, something he never wanted to deal with either! Watching his son fall apart and nothing he could do made him helpless, so it gave him more reason to quit also! His son knowing this and feeling the pain, wanting so much for his dad to just love him and be proud on anything, failed even more!

Nothing he did mattered, not anything he could do well would make a difference, people just knew it would not last! He would quit, because the one person he sought to please, the one he sought to prove things too, could never come to the place or find the words, son I am proud of you! You see, his father was a quitter also, for him to expect any good thing from his son he would have to see some good in himself and it was just not there!

His son did not know these things because his father could not share these things. So this man continued down a road that was destined to kill him if he did not change something! Thoughts reeled in his head how he could do things people would remember him by! The sad thing, these were all thoughts of how he could die in a big and exciting way people would remember him for!

Little did he understand, people would only remember the sad life this man lived, he would be leaving them nothing else! But who would know that this man had a plan for his life? A plan that would change peoples thinking of him. Even he would be amazed, though hopeless now, he would come to see how valuable he would become!

Though he was rejected, as he felt all his life, it would be through rejection that his life would be transformed! Being asked to leave a place he loved so much because his actions were so bad. He felt he had failed again, letting down a man who loved him so much! But being a quitter by profession it was easy to leave, but this time he left with something no one else gave him.

It was something that would take another ten years to grab him. But it would change his life forever and make him a winner he never thought was possible! Through what he thought was rejection, being asked to leave, was actually an invitation to be accepted. An acceptance that would make this man hunger and desire to go back to the father, who had done so terribly raising him and seek his forgiveness!

It would be an acceptance that would give this man a purpose in life, a reason to live, a reason to never give up and quit again, at least not without a fight or a right reason! As I said though, it would take another ten years from that day he was asked to leave! Another ten years of failure, quitting and rejection of many! A time when he would even move away from his home town to escape his life.

Little did he or would he understand until later. No matter where he would go, he was always and be would be always there, there is no escaping you! Yet being away did not change the fact he still wanted to impress his father, do that one thing that would get his attention and show him how wrong he was! Remember the man who asked him to leave his property?

I hope you do, I hope you are asking, just what did he give this man when asking him to leave? He gave him hope, he gave him purpose, he gave him love, he gave him what he had been given years before when his own life had none of these! He introduced him to a man who had also experienced rejection from his own people.

A man who was sent by his own father to these people, a father who would have to turn his back on his own son for doing what he sent him to do! A man who would love him and bring him out of despair. Teach him to love those who had rejected him and forgive those turned their backs on him! Deliver him from the anger he had for his own father and to fall in love with him!

Desiring to share this mans life with his father because his father deserved better! Sharing this man with his wife and children because he failed them miserably and they deserved better! He shared this man with others because it was through this man he was able to hope again! Never wanting to quit, never wanting to give up he had hope.

He found he had a future! Today is no different for many, there are many like this man, who have felt the pain of rejection and loneliness. The put down of fathers and mothers! A life of quitting and failure never seeing a life worth living for! But there is a man who wants to make a change in your life, a man who gave it all so you can have it all! A man who loves us like he loved the man in the story above! Before having been asked to leave, an invitation was given.

An invitation and introduction to the man who could change his life! It was a life changing introduction to a man named Jesus Christ!  The man in the story was told if he would ask Jesus into his life he would be transformed! One day in a little room next to a bed this man fell down broken beyond broken! Cried out to this Jesus he was introduced to, claimed the promise of a new life!

That day would never be forgotten, for when he stood up he was changed! Nothing he could do himself, he tried everything, but the best he could do was just quit and give up! This day in 1979 was different, it was a day he emerged from his room different, changed from the inside out he was changed! He wanted to share this change with his father.

How do you know he was changed you ask? He never quit, he never gave up til he got to his father many miles a way, and many months after his change! Quitting was not an option anymore! Something miraculous had happened he felt like a winner for the first time in his entire life! He no longer wanted to go out in a blaze of glory, he just wanted to share his new life with others!

People saw the change yet watched for a time, they knew him, they knew it was just a matter of time and he would quit and let them down again. But this time was different  as years passed he remained the same, not perfect but changed! What happened to his relationship with his father? Well he first shared his faith in Jesus, asked him for his forgiveness!

His forgiveness, really? Yes, he need to move on with his life, so whether his father accepted it or not this man could move on and not look back! His life would be free from his fathers baggage, he could begin with a clean slate! But the one thing he did not receive that day he so desperately wanted, just one thing! To hear his father say four words, I love you son! It did not happen that day, But he man never quit, never gave up!

With every phone call, before they hung up, the man would say I love you dad! Dad's response would always be, me too son! Never quitting, one day after a phone call, the man finished by saying I love you dad. His father for the first and last time said, I love you too son! The man just wept and thanked Jesus for that one special gift he still carries with him in his heart!

Sharing Jesus with his father was the nest step, every time his father's response was he did not need a Savior! On the day of his father's death, four hours before, he got a call from his sister, dad just got saved he knows Jesus! The man wept thanking Jesus for this gift, not knowing in four hours his father wold be gone! He did not give up, he did not quit praying!

This man was a quitter never finished anything gave up on it all, had no hope was a failure destined to a life of no hope nothing! Jesus made a difference, Jesus gave him to hope to hang on and never give up, even on the man he had come to hate! He never gave up! How about you?

Quitter, hater, hopeless, are you like the man in the story? By the way this story is true! Come to Jesus, He never gives up on you, so you never have to quit or give up! You are special, so special to Him that he died for you, yes he gave it all so you could live! John 3:18, Romans 10:9-13, 2 Corinthians 5:17-21

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

I want to know!

I for one, want to know your hurt and pain. Please never hide it behind a smile or a joke! You are important to many. Many love you, you are special! It should never be an embarrassment that your life takes a turn from what we think is normal! Sometimes being down is alright, but share it with those who care. Those who will pray for you and hold your hand without judgement! 

There are so many choices to make, but the worst is to think know one cares, we do, I do, but most importantly God does! There is not a person who does not get depressed at times. The sadness comes when you think no one else struggles with depression! Depression can be a prison with no escape. Only if you throw away the key to life around you, and those who are reaching out to help you! 

Open those prison doors, as only you can, come out from the darkness into the light and talk about it! People want to know, people want to care, people truly will never reject you if you will just help them understand! Understanding that can only come from you, at a time you think, you don't understand what's happening to you! 

Understanding comes from not locking yourself away from the world, but sometimes forcing your way back into the world by being proud of who you are! Knowing you are not alone, there are many of us out here who need to hear your cry! We need to see your tears and understand it's alright and we are alright! But it helps to know that depression can be a tool to life, and a tool to live, only if we reveal it's pain without shame! 

I for one, want to know. I want to hear. I want to walk beside you on your journey. You are not alone!
We need to reach out regardless of the results and the hurts, depression should never win we need to fight! 

Matthew 11:28 (NKJV)

28 Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.