Friday, December 09, 2005

NEW SITE
As you can tell I haven't published any thing recently. That has been purposeful. It has been brought to my attention and I have verified that this site has potential negative ramifications. I am currently trying to eliminate the possibility of visiting an offensive blog from mine or else I am going to have to find another site to use. Blogger.com has too many pornographic entries (one is too many) for me to be associated with. Any suggestions on how I can continue to communicate without causing others to be tempted?

Saturday, December 03, 2005

IT IS WHAT IT IS!!!!!!!!!!
That's a cliche that is repititiously heard from about every arena these days, and the ministry is no different. It is what it is, and that's a good thing. I need reminders along the way to help me to see that there are short term sacrifices for long term effects that must be paid if we are to be successful in the work of the Lord.
One such reminder was yesterday. The call came in Friday about the passing of one of the first adults that our Lord privileged me to lead to faith in Christ. Her name was Ruby Barton. She was an illiterate drug dealer, madame, alcoholic who peddled bootleg beer and liquor from her home in the mountains of South Carolina. The reputation of her establishment was enough to fend off any would be door to door solicitors.
One day the Holy Spirit prompted me to stop and share Christ with her. I drove on by only to turn around and come back. I found her passed out in a back room. After buying a pack of crackers and a pepsi, and sensing that I had fulfilled my obligation to the Lord, I gladly got in my car and drove off.
About two weeks later the Lord nudged me again. Reluctantly I turned in and was able to share the gospel and about the point she was ready to say yes, we were interrupted by an incoming drunk. Once again I pronounced myself victorious and left, hoping to never have to return.
Only a few days passed and guess what? The same beckoning call. After going through the same presentation Ruby was just about to say yes when once again we were interrupted by a loud and demanding drunk. This time however, Ruby looked at me and said, "tell him I am closed".
She knelt down in that same back room and was gloriously saved.
The next day a four word poster was nailed to the side of her house/joint that read " Goin out of buzness". Drving by a day later the 'goin' was marked through. I went inside and where the pool table once stood there was a dining room table. Where the pinball machine played there was a sofa. And all along the walls where once hung calendar pictures were portraits of the Lord. It was a site for anyone to behold.
For the next 30 years Ruby Barton served our Lord faithfully.

Seeing her lying in that casket yesterday, I yearned to shout about the glorious life-changing power of the gospel of Jesus.
IT IS WHAT IT IS
While tears fill my eyes, I hope all you preachers never lose sight of how important it is to make those short term sacrifices for the long term benefits. Benefits like seeing the Ruby Bartons of this world experience a life change.

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Monday has come and gone, PTL!!! As I finally arrived back home last night, I was reminded of a meeting last week with a pastor of a single staff church running about 200 in attendance. He asked me what I thought should be his first staff addition. His idea was to bring on a pastoral care minister to alleviate some of those duties that he didn't particularly enjoy doing to free him up to do what he does best and enjoys the most.

As I settled into my Lazy-boy I thought to myself, "I have 15 other staff members and a host of other assistants but I am still doing what I did when I was all alone pastoring a growing flock".
The reality of the role of a senior pastor is that you still have to comfort the bereaved, encourage the saints on a daily basis, confront sin, minister to the staff, prepare sermons, keep family a priority, find some solitary time, and react to whatever the situation of the day presents.

So, I concluded a long time ago that bigger just means more of the same, only with a lot of others to help you do more than you could possibly do by yourself. The role doesn't necessarily change. There are still things that you cannot delegate.

Thursday, November 24, 2005

It is Thanksgiving day and Kathy, Andrea and Lance plus Karis and Kayden are with me here at Sunset Beach. While the kids are watching Nemo, Lance convinced me to start this blog. You should have heard Kathy's rebellion to all this. She told Lance that he needed to find something to take work off me, not put more on me. Sounds like a protective wife to me. What about you?

Monday and Tuesday this week I met with three pastors here in the area to encourage and support their efforts to reach their communities for Christ. One church just relocated, another was a new church start and another was an older traditional church. WOW, what a diversity!! The good thing is that the principles are all the same. I really look forward to seeing what the Lord is going to do through these ministries in the next year. I have already heard from one of the pastors, and he is really excited about enacting some of the ideas with his people.

I ate too much!!

Love you all,
Mike