Thursday, July 26, 2012

Toxic Waste

I was in a meeting the other day when a friend made this statement:  "We let our passions for what is good separate us from what is best."  Isn't that true?  Sometimes we allow the good things of life keep us from becoming the best that God wants us to be.  We sacrifice the great by settling for what is simply good.

What are some examples of this?  When parents are willing to involve their children in every sporting league and encourage them to compete in tournaments to the point their children are no longer regularly in church, I think this sends a signal to the kids that church isn't important.  I know parents are trying to get their kids to earn scholarships and other honors, but how many actually get these awards?  How many kids burn out on the very sport they are passionate about?  Another example would be choosing to pursue a relationship we know isn't in the center of God's will but we allow ourselves that liberty.  What does that say about our values?

Don't get me wrong.  There is life outside of church!  There are going to be times when some events conflict with the church calendar and your participation may be necessary.  However, I think each of us knows the difference between what is good and what is best.  Are you struggling in this area? 

I'm going to do a sermon series in August on this topic.  Let's explore this together.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Longevity or "Old?"

I received a certificate on Saturday at our district conference.  It was for 30 years of service in The Wesleyan Church.  As I stood on the platform with pastors who had served 25, 30, 35 and more years, I thought, "All this means is that I'm getting old."  The good news is that I felt (and hope looked) younger than the other men on the platform.  I guess that's my perspective and I'm sticking with it. 

Our General Superintendent did make an interesting comment:  Nearly 50% of those who are called to and start out in ministry quite within the first five years.  Wow!  I'm not sure what to make of that exactly, but it's an interesting stat.  I guess after 30 years it says I'm too stubborn to quit! 

On a serious note, I tip my cap to all those who serve in pastoral ministry for whatever period of time, and particularly to those who have been at it longer than I have.  Thank you for your faithfulness!