Pastor’s Job by Claudia Barba

I am a part of the Monday Morning Club. It is an email that goes out from Claudia Barba on some Mondays and her articles are always great. This one touched my heart and brought tears to my eyes as I thought specifically of my husband and father-in-law. I hope you are blessed to have a man like this in your life that you can call father, husband, or friend.

 

Most jobs call for a specific set of skills, but for ministry, a man needs them all. He needs to be . . .

A student of ancient languages, eschatology, hermeneutics, ecclesiology, soteriology, and apologetics who can communicate what he knows to a 6-year old.

The CEO of a corporation with a totally volunteer labor force.

A man of vision who can also manage details.

A father whose children recognize him in the pulpit, since he doesn’t put on a different face along with his Sunday suit.

A man who gives himself for his wife as Christ gave Himself for His church. Their smiles are the only ones that matter.

An adult with several degrees content with the salary of a teenager with none.

Willing to sacrifice anything–except his family—for his people.

Quick to run to comfort another’s broken heart; content to run to God alone with his own.

Able to carry weighty burdens without allowing them to crush his spirit.

A man who can live above reproach and yet be a true friend to those who don’t.

A prophet who rebukes sin and a priest who dries the sinner’s tears.

Able to serve milk and meat from the same spoon at the same time.

A servant who knows he has only one Master–and how to deal with those who think they’re Him.

Truthful but tactful, tough but tender, calm but fervent, firm but flexible, dignified but relaxed.

Shepherd, preacher, evangelist, administrator, counselor, financial manager, writer, referee, recruiter, organizer, motivator, and educator. Frequent chauffeur, proofreader, and song leader. Occasional gardener, janitor, and emcee.  May also be expected to be a mindreader.

This job is not just hard; it’s impossible! These men have rejected the notion of comfortable career for a calling that requires them to walk on water. And they make it look not only doable, but enjoyable. I give heartfelt thanks for these men– and for you, too, my friend, who more than anyone but God will ever know, help make this impossible job possible.

Sunday Sermons – The 5 Minute Sermon

We had a missionary who visited us this past Sunday. During our Sunday School hour he showed a video and took some questions regarding his upcoming mission field, Uruguay. After the questions he only had five minutes to preach. However, in the five minutes he had, he used for the glory of God.

It is no surprise that as a missionary he went to a very familiar passage, Matthew 28 – The Great Commission. His focus was not on the word “go” as we are used to hearing, but on the “teach”.

The command in the verse is not “go” but “teach”. We are commanded by God to make disciples. His challenge was are we fulfilling that command. So many of us get hung up on the go part that it keeps us from teaching God’s word. The Great Commission was not giving to a few choice Christians who are willing to leave their country to tell others about Christ, but it was given to all believers to use our lives for the glory of God. So many times we hear people say that they can’t witness because they need to accomplish things first, or get their lives together, but God says as you are doing these things you should be giving the gospel, building His kingdom.

I needed this reminder. Who am I helping to be disciple of the Lord as I potty train my two year old, or as I work in the youth group, or as I fix my house? As I am going along life’s road who am I teaching and how am I making disciples? Who are you teaching?

Safely Home by Randy Alcorn

If you would like a deeper perspective on your life or a greater hope of Heaven I highly recommend reading Randy Alcorn’s Safely Home. I just finished reading it this week for book club and will never be the same. At least I pray I don’t. It has changed my perspective on life more than any devotional book I have ever read. It has quickly risen to the top of my list of favorite books.

Even though the book is written as fiction, there are a lot of truths both from Scripture and from events that are currently taking place around the world. The book compares America’s Christianity with the persecution of the Chinese Underground Church. The suffering of those around the world will move you, but more than that it will challenge your own faith. I was constantly convicted by my lack of sacrifice for the Lord, my lack of love for the Word of God, my desire for comfort over service for my King. Mostly, I was convicted that I have been living for the temporal of this life over a desire to store up for myself treasures in Heaven. This book gives you a perspective of how short this life really is compared to the eternity we will one day face. I have been challenged so deeply. I want my life to display the gospel in everything. I want to speak out more for my Savior, while I have the freedom to do it. This world is not my home and I need to start living as though that were true.

I challenge you, if you haven’t already, to read this book. I would love to hear from you and your thoughts on the book. If you buy Safely Home or any other of Randy Alcorn’s books 100% of the proceeds go toward Pro-Life charities.

Sunday Sermons The Lord Is My Shepherd

Jehovah-Rohi

The Eternally Self-existent One is my Shepherd

    The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.
He makes me lie down in green pastures.
He leads me beside still waters.
He restores my soul.
He leads me in paths of righteousness
for his name’s sake.
Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil,
for you are with me;
your rod and your staff,
they comfort me.
(Psalm 23:1-4 ESV)

Last Sunday was a little rough. It was one of those Sundays where, through different circumstances, I wound up being at church but not able to go to any services. The Lord knew it would happen, but unfortunately I didn’t handle it the way I needed to. The rest of the week I really struggled spiritually. I struggled with fear, I wasn’t spending time with God, and I was falling further away from the Lord.

This Sunday God was a Good Shepherd. He brought me back to His fold. He opened my mouth gently and fed me as a nursing lamb. This Sunday all the services were what I needed to hear and strengthened me as a Christian. My Shepherd restored my soul.

Today my Pastor taught on God as my Shepherd. I love that the God of the universe is also my Shepherd who lovingly tends to my needs. May He be glorified. Below is a brief summary for your meditation on how the Lord is my Shepherd.

The LORD my Shepherd supplies my every need. “I shall not want”

The LORD my Shepherd quiets my heart “makes me lie down”

The LORD my Shepherd gives me eternal life “restores my soul”

The LORD my Shepherd guides me “He guides me”

The LORD my Shepherd glorifies Himself through me “For His name’s sake”

The LORD my Shepherd is near me “You are with me”

Lord, help us to be content with You and You alone as our Good Shepherd.

 

Pumpkin Creamcheese Muffin

Derick and I saw this recipe on a fellow blog brownsugartoast.com. A blog I highly recommend. But I also highly recommend these muffins. they are so yummy both warm and cold. We are currently working on our family Christmas party menu and these have definitely made the list.

I hope on this beautiful Fall morning you take some time to make your stomach happy by making your own. They are worth every minute. Here is a link for the full recipe: pumpkin cheesecake muffins.

Sunday Sermon

I just wanted to leave you with a few meditative thoughts regarding the Sunday Sermon I heard this past Sunday about worry.

 

Worry is talking to yourself – Praying is talking God.

Prayer is the opposite of worry.

Matthew 6:25-33 “Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing?Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life?And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin,yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all.But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.”