“Indeed, we have all received grace upon grace from his fullness.” (John 1:16)
All in Chronicles
Nine days. For nine days our pet German Shepherd/Retriever mix named Chloe was lost to us. I should’ve seen it coming, though. We moved from an area in West Palm Beach, Florida that provided more than enough property Chloe to sprint and play and dig (I hated that part).
This past Sunday, I was ordained as a Baptist minister of the gospel by my sending church, Beacon Baptist Church. I have been called to serve Grace Baptist Church of Southwest Ranches, Florida, under the shepherding of Pastor Jay Hartzell. I am humbled by the seriousness of this call and the urgency of the message with which I have been entrusted.
Twitter’s no longer on my phone. Yep, I deleted it. I’m not saying that so you can see how much better I am at self-control than you are. (I know my own heart enough to know for sure that’s not the case.) Nor am I saying that to sound super-spiritual or Puritanical in my devotional walk with God.
Perhaps the harshest word we ever hear growing up is also one of the shortest: “No.” “No” is a small word that packs an enormous amount of power. It has the ability to both prevent and protect. Growing up, we almost singularly see the prevention side of this command, seeing “no” as merely a barrier hemming us in.
The irony is not lost on me with what I’m going to announce today. Go back twelve months to January 2017 and you’ll find an eerily similar piece I wrote about a season of “transitions and change” that Natalie and I were bracing for. A new chapter was supposedly opening up for us.
She caught our eye in 2007 on a short-lived network comedy. Then, she broke through with an independent drama in 2010 that earned her national acclaim and attention. She flew into the stratosphere and became the mega-star we know and love with a summer blockbuster in 2012. If you didn’t already catch it, I’m referring to Jennifer Lawrence.
I can’t tell you the last time I watched the news — CNN, Fox, MSNBC, or otherwise. The reason for this is twofold. Mostly because my time’s spent on other things or with more important people. But the primary reason is because I don’t have room for the dreadful topics that make up the bulk of the headlines.
A few nights ago, I opened Twitter and saw an intriguing comment from one of my connections. He was replying to a tweet shared by Desiring God linking to an article by Greg Morse. At first I wasn’t concerned, but then I saw a quote that was lifted from the piece.
Midweek Bible clubs have begun at my church for kids and teens, from K-5 to 12th grade. Needless to say, Wednesday’s at my church are chaotic.
To be honest, this post is probably a bit overdue. But in another way, as I reflect on the messages and purpose of the Normal Pastor Conference, time has instilled a greater realization of the delightful and inspiring words of all involved.
There’s a quote I read recently and I can’t get it out of my mind. So, I hope to get it stuck in yours too. It comes from Zack Eswine’s superb book, The Imperfect Pastor. And it’s not so much an inspiring or earth-shattering sentence that’s easily tweetable.