Screams from a Pastor

This blog is called “Honest Thoughts from a Pastor”, so I will give you some more honesty. People more frequently see the public part of a pastor’s work and assume that he has it made, but life behind the scenes can be crazy. Sometimes, I want to scream. So do you, so don’t lie! Last night was one of those nights.

As a father of a blended family, we have 4 kids who are in the house full-time. Each one is precious, but each one is also human. He or she tests our limits as parents and does things that elicit screams. Last night, it was as if even the babies conspired to all be a bit testy.

We all want to scream when kids are testing us, we are experiencing those marital disagreements, along with the overall challenges that life brings. How quickly do we take those screams to God? He invites us to cast ALL our cares upon Him. That includes the screams.

The next time you face the frustrations of daily life, just talk to God. You will be amazed at how your perspective will change.

A Delay Isn’t a Failure

Are you struggling with delays in your life? I encourage you to read Sarah’s post. I believe it will change your perspective.

Work in Progress

Honest moment: I wanted to launch my next book back in October 2018. I released my first devotional, His Story, in October of 2017, so it just felt symmetrical for me to release another one in 2018. But then life happened.

At first, I wanted to release a book that was, essentially 3 in 1; one devotional just didn’t seem like a big enough follow-up to my first book. So I started editing those three books, going through each one with a fine-tooth comb in the spring of 2018. I was determined to release this complex book out into the world; I had made up my mind and, by golly, I was going to do it. But, the more I worked, the more it just didn’t sit well with me. I didn’t have peace about it. I felt rushed and stressed and knew it wasn’t the right time for…

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Don’t Blame a Selfish Generation on the School System (or the Government)

This post from one of my favorite bloggers is a must-read for every parent or anyone who plans on becoming a parent.

Every Small Voice

Sometimes a post or a comment can trigger a string of thoughts. Often I just ponder them throughout the day, but, once in a while – if I have the time to sit down and write – a new blog post is written. A few months ago, I noticed a paragraph that got posted a few times on my feed by different people and so even though I often skip long status updates, I ended up reading this one through many times. And each time I read it I thought, hmmm…it’s very interesting how whoever wrote this felt the need to both write off an entire generation of people and blame the government for making them that way.

Here’s the post:

R.I.P. Canada You are too soft. You raised the cost of living so high that both parents are always at work, rather than spending time with their children…

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The Pain of Surrender

I sit here this evening and ponder the issue of surrender. I do not quickly surrender (at least when it matters most). For me, surrender is painful. I have these dreams and desires that I would like to see fulfilled, but what if I am convinced that my will is God’s will when it really isn’t? Am I willing to lay it down and still be content? Will my joy hinge on the fulfillment of my plans, however “spiritual” they may be?

In the book of Genesis, God promised Abraham a son. After more waiting than Abraham wanted to do, God gave him Isaac. Later, God asked Abraham to sacrifice his only son. Imagine that. God asks you to sacrifice something you cherish – this long awaited blessing. What would you do? Say no? Bargain with God? What is your Isaac? Are you willing to lay your Isaac down?

May God bring us to the place where we can say like the songwriter, “All my plans and earthly desires, I lay them down to follow You.”

Thy Will Be Done

I recently saw a post for a ministry position. This is not the one I mentioned in a recent post. I felt like this was potentially just another resume submitted, and I would hear nothing back. Two days ago, I had the opportunity to meet the pastor for lunch. Neither of us knows which way this will go, but there is such a stirring in my spirit. We will visit the worship service tomorrow and see what God is doing.

You, my readers, have been with me on a roller coaster ride. I began this blog right after my wife and I married. I was in ministry transition for over a year. I planted a church and stayed for nearly 2 years. I am in transition once again, yet I know God is up to something. If God is leading me to this ministry, it will lead me beyond my comfort zone while leading me to something I have envisioned for quite some time.

I ask that you join us in prayer. I’m not asking for God to give me the position. I’m simply asking “Thy will be done”. God’s way is best. I submit to whatever He is doing in this season (as difficult as that is). For the first time in a long time, I am hopeful.

My Decision-Making Embargo

Sarah has written a great post on decision-making. It is worth the read.

Work in Progress

Me at 1:15am: I should do a 30-day series in January. It’ll be great! I already have one outlined. 

Also Me at 1:16 am: Stop it. You are not allowed to make any more decisions tonight. 

A lot of the time, my ambition gets the better of me. I come up with a great (or what I think will be a great) idea and will go hard after it at the expense of myself, my relationships, and my sanity. So, there are times, like now, when I have to put an embargo on my ability to make decisions.

No Unilateral Decisions

Most of the time I trust my decision-making abilities, but that doesn’t diminish my need for wise counsel around me. In fact, because I trust myself so much and pride myself on my good decision-making skills, my need for wise counsel is absolutely vital. Just like anyone else, when…

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It’s a Tight Fit

Have you ever tried to wear something, but you discovered that your frame is bigger than the clothing (or the clothing is smaller than your physique depending on perspective)? Or maybe you had to try to squeeze into a space that is smaller than you are?

When I pastored my first church, I had a man in the church who told a lady that she would not go to Heaven because she was fat. His biblical premise is that the way to Heaven is the narrow gate. While he was correct about the way to Heaven being narrow, it doesn’t prohibit overweight believers from entering.

The way to Heaven is a tight fit. You can give tons to charities, warm a pew every times the church doors are open, and pray beautiful prayers. You may even be able to quote tons of Scripture. You can do all that and still go to hell. Why? Because Jesus is the only Way (John 14:6). We must place our faith and trust in Him to wash away our sin. The road to hell is broad, but the way to Heaven is such a tight fit that nothing but Jesus will get you there. No amount of greasing up your skin can get you through.

Bring on the Fire 🔥

I got up out of bed this morning, expecting to face a typical day – see a few patients, spend time in the office, etc. It turned out a little differently, and I’m glad.

A friend called me this morning, and he told me that he prayed for me this morning. I am encouraged when someone calls me name out to God. He, then, tells me about an opportunity he had to preach a few weeks ago. He had planned to share one thing, and God redirected him. The result was 10 people giving their life to Christ. (This is a great place to shout.) They have asked him to preach a revival in the Spring, and he wants me to go with him.

The day got a little better. I love to play the piano. One of my patients I see on Tuesday has a piano, so I sat and played. The Spirit of God set me afire once again. Then, the 97 year old lady was a blessing. The day ended with our connection group at our pastor’s home. God kept renewing the fire over and over.

Many of us find ourselves quenched by life. God will renew the fire in unexpected ways. Be open to it. I should not be surprised, but I would not change the day for anything. Just remember, God wants to keep the fire in you burning. Let’s be living sacrifices for His glory.