A few months ago, we got a new puppy we named Lily. This puppy is so cute that I can’t stay upset with her on a long-term basis. I say that because she wakes me between 4:00 and 4:30 each morning. Most of the time I’m okay with this ritual, but sometimes I get a little frustrated. Between the puppy and my age, getting up early is not the problem it would have been when I was younger, but somedays her early risings are a little tough on me.
Back in the 70s a man named Randy Bachman wrote a song entitled, “Taking Care of Business.” The thought behind this song could be applied to many areas of life: take care of your job, family, health, or other areas needing special attention. As I pondered this idea I applied it to those who serve in ministry.
Several years ago Dr. Paul Meier, Dr. Robert Hemfelt and Frank Minirth wrote a book entitled We are Driven: the Compulsive Behaviors America Applauds! The book addresses the driven mentality that afflicts Americans. I experienced this first hand on a mission trip to Mexico.
Do you remember the last time you thought you gave a bad sermon? Last Sunday was one of those Sundays for me. If the truth be known there are probably many Sundays when our preaching is bad, but most Sundays we don’t recognize it. LOL!
Do you remember an occasion when God showed up in a special and unique way? My experience was a night visit. I had been serving as a pastor for approximately ten years when this occurred.
I was tired, discouraged, and burned out. In addition to these emotions, which pastors encounter on a regular basis, I was hurt by the loss of a large group of people from the church I was pastoring. The hurt was intensified by several people making disparaging remarks, as they were leaving the church. The disparaging remarks were like pouring salt into a tender wound.
Do you ever feel torn between the flesh and the spirit? This morning my wife and I said goodbye to our son and his family, who are missionaries overseas. We shared a refreshing ten-day visit in our home. We said our goodbyes at the airport at 5:00 a.m. The last image I have in my mind is our seven-year-old granddaughter standing at the door of the airport, waving goodbye to us.
Be patient! Does this exhortation eat at you as much as it does me? This gnaws at me because I am an impatient person. I inherited this tendency from the males in our family. I think it runs in the Irish bloodline.
Have you ever observed the past upsetting the future? This can happen in a number of ways: being in the wrong place at the wrong time, painful experiences that haunt you down the road, poor decisions, failed relationships, inappropriate behavior, moral failure, and the like. The bad thing about the past upsetting the future is that our past should compliment our future, not delay, sidetrack, or cause defeat as we face it.
I recently spent time with a group of pastors walking through John Maxwell’s book The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership. I found myself comparing Jesus’ leadership with those advocated by John Maxwell. One principle, in particular, stood out like a golden nugget as I considered Jesus’ leadership. That principle was Empowering Others.