Temporary Home

The month of October has reminded me how temporary and changing life can be. Most of the change took place within one weekend. We have seen several of our hospice patients leave this temporary earthly home, our church is moving to another temporary home, and our family moved this past weekend. Through it all, God has been faithful and is showing us that He is in total control.

I want to leave you with a thought about something else that is temporary – your difficulties. Second Corinthians 4:17 says, “For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory.” This song is an appropriate ending to this post.



People Vote with Their $$$

I have discovered in every area of life that people vote with their money. It is no different in church life. Here is what they are saying if they are giving:

  • I believe in the mission of the organization.
  • I believe in the leadership of the organization. 
  • I trust that my money is going to good use and will not be wasted or mishandled.

It stands to reason that they are saying the opposite if they do not give or are not willing to invest in what is happening. 

I have seen the craziest things done with church money:

  • Designate it to the electric bill so the preacher doesn’t get any toward his salary.
  • Other things that I will refrain from mentioning. You get the point.

What does it say about us when it comes to giving? We’ll let Scripture speak for itself.

  • “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” Matthew‬ ‭6:21‬ 

Giving is a reflection of our heart! Where is your heart today?

Let’s Wait Until They Grow Up

This is the mentality of many churches. Let’s wait until they’re adults before they can pass an Offering plate. Let’s wait until they’re adults before we let them play bass on the worship team. Let’s wait until they’re adults before we let them preach their first sermon and make sure not too many people know because we don’t want anyone to get upset. I know the megachurch and even not-so-megachurch mentality is for those under the age of 21 to be seen and not heard. I believe churches are prohibiting this young generation from discovering God’s purpose for their life.

Had it not been for a small church in Portsmouth, Virginia, I don’t know if I would have discovered God’s call. They allowed me to take part in services beginning at age 11. That body of believers is no longer in existence together, but they cheered me on and helped me “stir up the gift” that is in me as Paul told Timothy to do. Churches! Pastors! Don’t rob these young men and women of golden opportunities!

As a pastor, I am a part of several ministry groups on Facebook. One of the professors at North Greenville University asked if any of us would have one of their students preach. I quickly said yes. I was assigned one of their young men for today. The timing was divine because of several things going on in my life this week. However, all I could think about was being called to preach and only getting a handful of opportunities when I was in college. If I can help someone sharpen those God-given gifts, I want to do it. 

Wonder why your youth leave when they graduate high school? It may be because you don’t see them as valuable now. Put them to work now, or you may look around and see a church that will quickly die.

Rejoicing and Weeping with Others

With all the downfalls we can point out about social media, I see people post pictures of their children and their accomplishments, pictures of new homes, weddings, and other happy moments. On the flip side, I see sad moments posted. Many of us are tempted to pass by and ignore these posts. I don’t always get to see everyone’s posts, but I was reminded tonight of how the Scripture “rejoice with Those Who Rejoice and weep with those who weep” should apply also on social media. I was able to click like and celebrate with another pastor whose new church had an outreach event. Some would say that it didn’t reach many, but I understand how you celebrate every person when you start a church from the ground up.

We are prone to be absorbed in our own little worlds. I am guilty as well. Tonight, I am reminded to slow down and pay attention to what is happening around me. The time we take to rejoice or demonstrate compassion to someone may mean more than you will ever know.

Wishing You Were Someone Else

Have you ever been dissatisfied with yourself? Maybe you wished you were someone else? You may have wished to have more money, look different, be more popular, etc. I have been there. It took me many years to accept who God designed me to be.

In ministry, there is the temptation to be the new school textbook guitarist with the super high voice (probably due in part to the painted-on skinny jeans) with hair that looks like a llama. I have accepted that God doesn’t want me to be that. I have had church leaders tell me I wasn’t good enough or what they were looking for. At first, it bothered me. Over the years, I began to understand that my gifting and skill set is designed to minister to some but not everyone.

For years, I wondered why I have a background full of traditional and older gospel music yet a great passion for the worship music of today. Why could I not grasp the guitar and be able to play the piano instead? God did not want to limit my span to strictly one generation. I love some of the older preachers yet appreciate some of the ones today also. I realized today that this diversity allows me to sit in the homes of terminally ill patient and sing and play the old songs of the faith while telling them about great messages from songs of today that bring them hope in their last days. 

You may wonder why you are wired the way you are. It is no accident; it is for God’s greater purpose. My word to you: Embrace it!

To Those Who Feel Like Your Life Is Hopeless

Four years ago, I felt like this. My marriage was over. Ministry seemed impossible. I didn’t think I would ever find a job outside of a church, and I felt like no woman in her thirties and in her right mind would marry a man who is called to ministry. My perspective was all screwed up. I now have a wife who accepts and supports my calling, a ministry where God is changing lives, and a beautiful blended family.

This post was prompted by a set of verses that God reminded me of a few minutes ago. I will end with this passage and let God’s Word give you hope.

“We now have this light shining in our hearts, but we ourselves are like fragile clay jars containing this great treasure. This makes it clear that our great power is from God, not from ourselves. We are pressed on every side by troubles, but we are not crushed. We are perplexed, but not driven to despair. We are hunted down, but never abandoned by God. We get knocked down, but we are not destroyed.”

‭‭2 Corinthians‬ ‭4:7-9‬ ‭NLT‬‬

“The Will of God”

This is a classic poem by an unknown writer. I cannot take credit for this, but I think it speaks of God’s will beautifully.

“The Will of God”

The will of God will never take you,

Where the grace of God cannot keep you.

Where the arms of God cannot support you,

Where the riches of God cannot supply your needs,

Where the power of God cannot endow you.
The will of God will never take you,

Where the spirit of God cannot work through you,

Where the wisdom of God cannot teach you,

Where the army of God cannot protect you,

Where the hands of God cannot mold you.
The will of God will never take you,

Where the love of God cannot enfold you,

Where the mercies of God cannot sustain you,

Where the peace of God cannot calm your fears,

Where the authority of God cannot overrule for you.
The will of God will never take you,

Where the comfort of God cannot dry your tears,

Where the Word of God cannot feed you,

Where the miracles of God cannot be done for you,

Where the omnipresence of God cannot find you.

My One Regret

I just read a post about Little Richard. He stated that the one thing, at age 84, he wishes he could go back and do was preach. Many people reach their senior years with regrets such as this. I heard a man give a testimony in a worship service years ago, saying he dropped out of Bible college and never fulfilled God’s call on his life. He was in his senior years and admonished those present to obey God or they would end up miserable like he did.

I want to make an appeal to those who read this. Don’t hit your final years with regrets. I’m not talking about going sky diving, Rocky Mountain climbing, and whatever else the song says. I’m talking about doing something to make your life count. Not all of us are preachers. We all can, however, make a worthwhile contribution to society and God’s kingdom work. 

Shake off the excuses, stop procrastinating, block out the critics, and do God’s will for your life. You’ll be glad you did. I can testify to it!

Going the Extra Mile

I had the privilege of visiting a lady today who supervised a cleaning crew at a major university. Many people would clean, supervise their employees, clock out for the day, repeat the same duties the next day, and view the students as the ones who make the messes she and others have to clean. Not this lady! She went the extra mile.

You may read this and wonder why she or any other supervisor would go above and beyond. Isn’t everything great as long as you get your job done? Why do anything extra? These college students are more than likely absorbed in their college drama with classes, relationships, etc. and don’t care about hearing a thing from “the cleaning lady”. Do you think that stopped this lady? NO! She would overhear them talking disrespectfully to their parents over the phone, so she would wait and address them for their disrespect. She didn’t have to do that. Many students would hate her for what they perceive as butting in to their business, but many of these students who received a word of correction from this lady stay in contact. She is retired now, but the impact she made in their lives still lives on because she went the extra mile and stepped in like a loving mother. 

Many of us are busy clocking in and out, collecting our checks, and missing the bigger picture. Meanwhile there are people around us who need some loving correction and direction. Will you and I be the ones who care enough to go the extra mile?