Here's A Thought...

Here are some "THOUGHTS" that will hopefully answer some of the questions that you may have about what the Bible has to say about our everyday lives. These articles are here to provoke thought; provide answers, guidance and resources; all in an effort to bring you into a closer relationship with your Heavenly Father!


Saturday, April 12, 2014

What training? I'm a qualified servant!

For those of you that are not aware; my wife and I have recently (and may I say, finally) come to the decision to submit to the calling of God and start a church. This is a calling that, if I were being honest, I have been aware of since I was a young teenager; and have been rebelling against most of my life.

We launched our church, in that I mean we started formally meeting about 3 weeks ago. During that time, the devil has wasted not a minute reminding me of my lack of qualifications. I am not seminary trained; I have not been formally educated in theology or bible studies. What I have is a passion to grow in my personal relationship with my Heavenly Father and to help others to grow in their relationship as well. Certainly there is a little more to it than that; but I am, as I have stated many times before, a simple person.

With that in mind, I was sitting here debating with myself the very question of what qualifications do I have? And it was in that moment, as I was reading an article to church leaders about frustrating things pastors deal with, it occurred to me.

There have been many experiences in my life that have brought me to the place that I am and the person I have become. As I was reflecting, I realized that my entire life has been training. Specifically; I was reflecting on my last ten-plus years that I have been a registered nurse. More than three quarters of that time has been spent working in Emergency Rooms, some of the busier ones in the country. In the time I spent in the ER; there was nothing more frustrating than dealing with patients that demanded you improve the condition of their situation or “life”. Whether short or long term condition, but every patient demanded you make an improvement to their life or circumstances.

Now so far in itself, I have not stated anything that would cause much frustration. The frustration enters in where the people who are demanding the change or “fix” in their situation or “life”; comes with an attitude of entitlement and a total denial of any personal responsibility for the current condition, their situation…or their life.
I have been leading bible studies for several years; and for those that know me there is nothing that gets me more excited than someone who wants to engage in a spiritual conversation. As I sit here reflecting on what training I may have had in my life. There is nothing more similar than attempting to share the love, the grace and the truth of God with someone who only wants all the benefits of the relationship with God…without any of the sacrifice or submission that all relationships require. Simply put; it’s an attitude of “just fix me and send someone else the bill.”

As a nurse, you still continue to help those who are in need; without gratitude, without expectation, without help from the patient, and a lot of times…without seeing the fruit of your labor. Sometimes you are doing it while being punched, kicked, cussed at, urine thrown on you (true story), belittled, unsupported, unappreciated and underpaid.

As a pastor…I will continue to help those in need. I will seek out those in need of a savior, in need of a Father – in need of a relationship with God as given through Jesus Christ. I will continue to feed those who refuse to lift the spoon. I will guide those who refuse to walk. I will instruct those who refuse to listen. I will help and support those who refuse to help and support themselves.
I have been called to shepherd. The harvest is plenty and the workers are few. The harvest is also at times stubborn, resistant, foolish, lazy and uncooperative. In the face of that, I will continue to harvest and I will continue to shepherd. By the grace of God and the power of the Holy Spirit, I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.

Am I qualified? – No.
Through the Holy Spirit I have all the wisdom, strength, love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control and peace that I need. I may not be “qualified”, but I’m pretty sure I’m covered.

I have not spoken to all the joys and triumphs that come with choosing a life of service; and there are many. I have enjoyed all of my time serving my country, serving my community and serving as a nurse. I have exponentially more enjoyed the time I have given to serving my Lord and Savior and I look forward to all the joy…and the challenges that are sure to come. I have just written to put just a little on to paper what has been on my heart. This week has been one of reconciling that obedience to God usually doesn't make a whole lot of sense in the natural world…but I’m going to do it anyway!

May God continue to guide you, bless you and keep you as we all continue to grow in our love and understanding of our Heavenly Father. May His peace rule your life and His hand guide your steps.