Questions #3

03Mar08

Alrighty then…(sorry I watched Ace Ventura last night and it’s still in my head)

There will be one more post to finish answering all of your great questions.

I’ve done my best to order the questions with some sort of theme and these fall into that…”hearing God/why are you called” category. Here we go…

GodsGal
When was the last time He really spoke direction to you, had your undivided attention?

Last time? There have been times in my life where I have had no doubt that what I’ve just heard or understood came directly from God. Can I prove it? No. But I can say with certainty that as I obeyed what I heard, I always got confirmation. Most recently God has been speaking very clearly as to my priorities and focus. And, He has been using many of you right here in this blog to do it. He is speaking constantly to me. I have no doubt of that.

Direction? There have been a couple of times in my life where I have heard God tell me to do something that I had to step back and say…Really??? I have done my best to lay my fears or concerns in His hands, but I know that sometimes I have failed at taking the steps He asked for.

I look back over my life though and I can see His hand on…College decisions, meeting Tammy, moving to Oregon, moving from Eugene to Medford, Taking the position at Hope Christian Church which led me to Table Rock, Leaving my job for ministry, and most recently financial decisions for our family. I can honestly say in all those situations, I heard the voice of God. I obeyed and He has proven Himself. With that list, I can make one twice as long where I didn’t obey and I have been humbled because of it.

A quick story, to encourage you to hear God’s voice and follow. A couple of years back, God brought a friend into my mind that I had not talked to in years. I had no idea where he was or what was happening in his life. I also had no reason to think of Him. I clearly remember God telling me to call him and encourage him. This was on a Monday. I did not call him. Finally on Friday, I left him a message. I found out that weekend that he attempted suicide on Thursday. He ended up making it through, but you can understand what I went through realizing that I may have been a determining factor in his decisions if I had not only listened, but obeyed. It is not enough to just hear. Anyone can hear…obey.

Undivided? Honestly it’s not been undivided lately. I have been a jumbled mess. I have not been paying attention as I should. I am in a wonderful place with God, but I have been distracted by too many things lately and it has not allowed me to stay prioritized to who I am to be in Him and who he wants to be through me. That is changing!

Darla
Did you have a defining moment that just screamed I have to be a pastor, I know God called me?

I don’t think I ever thought of being a Pastor. I still don’t…too a point. I am now in a position that I believe requires much of me. I don’t take that lightly, but I still see myself as a simple guy just wanting to serve. That can cause me to be too laid back at times and I am learning that there is great responsibility.

In high school, I had the privilege of having an amazing Youth Pastor. He was very intent on providing opportunities for us to serve. Our church, our community and our world. Every year, we had the chance to sign up for “Summer Ministries”. Once we signed up, we went through a week intensive training on service. It was awesome. We then led 4 weeks of Day camps, 1 week of back yard Bible schools and 1 week in a city somewhere in our area, hosting morning and evening kid/adult Bible studies and service projects. We were in Southern California, so we were in Watts, Montebello, Pasadena and Downtown LA for the inner city outreaches.

If you were a part of Summer Ministries, you also had a chance to apply for a missions trip. We actually went before the church missions panel and raised our money, just as if we were to be missionaries supported by the church, to give us a chance to go through the process and understand it. I had a chance to go to Belize and Long Island in the Bahamas(not as nice as it sounds…although beautiful). It was during my Junior year on the trip to Belize that I knew I wanted to serve God somehow for the rest of my life. I didn’t know what that was going to look like. I even was willing to say to God (and did) I’ll go anywhere. He took it from there and now here I am πŸ™‚

Elaine
Do you feel you spend enough time everyday alone? Either all by yourself or one on one with God.

I wanted this question in this post, cause I think it goes along with what I’ve been talking about.

With God…No, I don’t. I feel like I can’t get enough. The times that I am able to spend time withΒ  Him always seem to be too short and I need more as soon as I can get it.Β  This is one of the things I am realizing right now. I have not spent enough quiet, one on one time with God over the last couple of months.Β  In not doing this, it has caused a lot of priority issues and has also kept His voice a lot quieter in my life. That is now changing.

By myself…Absolutely No. I have zero alone time. It is very difficult to get that time alone.Β  Of course, this could also contribute to why I don’t spend enough alone time with God as well. If I can’t get to a quiet place, I’m probably not spending enough quiet time with Him.

For me to get to a place where I can clear my head is going to be a tough one for me. I don’t really have a place to go or disappear. More recently, it has been hard to find time off or away. Funds limit travel, so we really don’t get out of town. If your a Pastor and your reading this, you understand that when your in town…your working. People don’t understand the need for space sometimes.

With that said, I have learned to go without personal time for a period, but I am in need of some recharging right now. So, if anyone owns a plane and a condo in Hawaii that I can borrow for a couple of weeks…let me know πŸ™‚

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15 Responses to “Questions #3”

  1. I don’t have a cottage or condo – but I do have a top notch sleeping bag I could loan you!

  2. 2 darla

    Wow B this is a very good informative post on what God has been doing in your life. I understand the whole missions/outreach thing, my daugter has been active in something similiar here, and has already made that same comittment to the Lord to serve. As welll as my self.
    I loved the God speaking and you saying “oh really”…lol I have been there several times, it seems the ideas that sound totally nutty are sometimes HIS, and HE is the only one who could have worked them out…HE is awesome.
    I also struggle with enough alone time, but when I get it I am way too happy, and people do wonder what I am up too! 😯 praying for you and Tam and of course those kiddos!

  3. I appreciated the honesty in all these answers. And I feel for you in your role as a pastor. Todays church tends to rely on “the pastor” for everything… believing these people to be (or worse, should be) universally gifted. That brings to mind a follow-up (even though questions are closed): Have you improved at admitting ‘No, I cannot do that” ?

  4. 4 Sean

    Thanks B, great insight… You and I need to talk about Belize sometime, I spent two years down there and in Guatemala in missions!

  5. Wow B, I was so moved by your answers to these. Your story on obedience moved me to remember to just do it and not pause when He speaks. I liked Ric’s question cause there are times when He speaks and I pause because of who I feel I am, not who He sees I am…I don’t want to do that anymore. Love ya!

  6. You have so obviously taken great time and care to answer each question fully. Thank you for your honesty. It still to me is so freeing to hear a pastor (all leaders, secretarys, ushers) say they are just like everyone else. For most of my life I thought they were all perfect because they never said otherwise. I’ve been saved since I was a little girl, but I cannot tell you how many times I have been to the altar because I still sinned…I thought I had not asked for forgiveness right, I had not really given my heart…because I wasn’t perfect and thought I should be if Christ really did forgive my sins and I had the Holy Spirit in me. Thank you for sharing with everyone the truth that we all are still sinners, plugging away by the grace of God.

  7. Indian Lake papa, if I need a good sleeping bag…I know who i am coming too.

    Darla, I think we truly know God when we serve. I think it is then we are actually doing what He has commanded us to do.

    Ric, I agree that a lot of churches have the mentality of one person does everything. Some Pastor take that on themselves, but I also have to put some blame back in the congregations laps. They often see the Pastor as the person that needs to be everywhere and do everything. They will often place guilt and even leave the church if they are not at every wedding, funeral and bed side. This can’t be done. And it is not the responsibility of the Pastor. It is the responsibility of the church as a whole.

    Sometimes I have a hard time saying no, but it depends on the situation. My role demands a lot of me, and so I will generally say yes, when it comes to my responsibilities.

    There are so many other “Pastoral” duties though, that I may say no to and often look to how I can get others(non-Pastors) involved to make it more of an actual fellowship of people caring for each other.

    Our staff has done a good job of not trying to live up to people’s expectations(and we’ve made some people upset along the way…so be it), but instead being accountable to each other and our families to do what is right and say no when it is not appropriate or too much.

    Pastor’s needs to do a better job of teaching the congregation to not be reliant on the Pastoral staff, but instead to be caring for each other(this means they may have to release control as well). None of us should place reliance on anyone’s shoulders. Instead we should befriend and care for those around us. Inevitably we will be cared for as well.

    Now from a Spiritual aspect. There is nothing I can do without His strength. I have to daily lay myself down and allow His strength to lead me. I cannot do what He is asking of me. But he can…through me. I have to get better at this. It’s easy for me to rely on myself and just get things done. I truly need to live more “dangerously” πŸ™‚

    Sean, Awesome. I LOVED Belize. We were right in Belize City and traveled to some outskirts to work with a local church there. Of course we enjoyed the water and the Mayan ruins as well. Amazing country.

    Deb, I love your passion…love ya too.

    Hey Theressa, Tam read a post today that talked about what you are saying. I loved what it said. We have not been saved from sin, we have been saved from God’s wrath. When we accept Him, we do not become perfect, we become redeemed and forgiven. There is a daily coming to the altar for everyone, Pastors included…no matter what they say πŸ™‚

  8. Thanks Brent. Your words here are so true. The bedside is the most difficult expectation. We as a church need to become the body of many parts each building each other up. I dream of a church where the members of the body trip over each other to serve each other – to get to a brother or sisters bedside and pray with them. I have been “rebuked for doing the pastor’s job” by well intentioned Christians (not my pastors mind you, they are very encouraging). So I think your point that the congregation has put this on the pastor is so true.

  9. 9 darla

    Ric- I dream of that church body too…and wonder if it is our longing for heaven when the body of Christ will be perfected, and totally unified? just a question and yes B I know they are closed but it is a girl thing to ask anyway πŸ™‚

    enquiring minds and all 😯

  10. 10 tam

    yah, what she said!

    😐

  11. taaaaammmyyyy I found youuuuuu

  12. Bran- you stopped lurking already! I love how you think girl!

  13. I know, I am lame. haha

    I just can’t “stay away” haha

    πŸ˜†

  14. BTW, where is that e you were going to “shoot” me? πŸ˜‰ heehee

  15. Hey Ric and Darla, I like that we are on the same page with this.

    Too many churches have put priority on the “seat” of the Pastor. In doing so, it has cause both control issues for Pastor’s that won’t release it and dependance issue in the body itself that won’t do the work.

    Darla, I have no doubt that desires like you’ve talked about are from Him and are encouraging us for a day we see Him face to face. But I also have no doubt that the church can right now, change for the better. It would be nice if in 20 years, a book is written that shows that the world sees us as living what we believe and caring. I know there will always be lies about us, but a spade is a spade. If we are doing it, we will be known for it.

    Also, sorry I have been pretty quiet the last couple of days. We’ve had some 15 hour days working on equipment and inventory at church. I’ll be back soon!!!



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