This is what I do, don't try to understand how I do it; I don't really know either

Archive for August, 2013

I am a pastor

I am a licensed and ordained pastor.
I wrestle with my faith.
I struggle with temptation.
Every person has a calling. I have the title of pastor because part of my calling includes leading people.

Leading others doesn’t mean I don’t have difficult times, or don’t ever question things anymore.

I actually think it means I have a duty and obligation to question things more, on behalf of the people that I lead.
We all have a lot of different options every day. Even though we hardly recognize the fact, we are often at crossroads.
Each road will take you somewhere.
Some roads lead to challenges,

some to character development,

some to harm and

some to many other things.

Each and every decision we make takes us down a road.
Recently I felt I was standing at crossroads, and took a good long look at each one.

Some were very, very tempting.

Some were even familiar, based on habits and patterns from long ago.
I did look long and hard.

Maybe even with moments of longing, because in some ways those roads are easier, if only for a time, and familiarity breeds comfortability, even if it involves dysfunction.
I realized I was like a vacuum plug.

The cord gets pulled by pain and life events, and it starts to detach from the wall.

The vacuum motor starts to sputter.

It’s not as effective at its job.
In order to be useful it must remain plugged in.
I am a light.

I am not a light source.

If I disconnect from the power supply, my light flickers and starts to fade. I have to remain connected if I am to shine brightly.
Being connected also helps me pick up my feet and chose the harder but better road, because I am not who I used to be.

With each step I am being transformed into the likeness of my Savior.

Hopefully others will follow, because I am a pastor.

Advertisements

Where to stick your bumper sticker theology

I recently read this blog about God not giving us more than we can bear by Nate Pyle. Honest, truthful, bold stuff. The last two years of my life have been filled with a lot of pain and this really hit my heart in a way I needed. I have been through many difficult things in my life: sexual abuse, death of a baby, separation, death of family members and friends by natural causes, accidents and murder.

Almost without fail some, probably well intentioned, Christian has spouted off some little phrase they heard that they think will help. I love how Nate referenced it to bumper sticker theology. So true!

I love how Job’s friends stayed in silence with him, at first. How much better off would they have been if they had stayed that way. We just get so uncomfortable with silence we feel the need to fill it with something – anything. Saying stupid things like, “it’s for the best,” or “they’re in a better place,” really doesn’t help me in my pain.

A dear friend recently said to me, “if He brings you to it, He will bring you through it.” In her case, I know she meant well and we have a relationship where I could comment back that I think there are many things in life that He doesn’t bring us to, but we go running full tilt into ourselves, never the less, He can still bring us through.

What will help, is other people who know when it’s better to not say anything at all. Sometimes I just need people to BE with me. “Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn.” Romans 12:15

Here are ways to ACTUALLY be helpful:

Learn to be ok with silence

Tell someone you will pray for them and then actually do it

See if there is a tangible need that you can meet

Stay connected

Pain is uncomfortable for the person in it and those around them. The past two years have been a long, hard, painful process for me, but those who have walked with me through it have carried me in more ways than they know. Bumper stickers will fade and peel. True friends, with hearts like Jesus, show love continuously.