Friday, June 18, 2010

Lie'n Around

It's funny what happens in the life of a pastor. We work for little pay, or at least I do, put up with churhces that have us come and speak to their congregations but somehow forget to send us an honorarium that we agreed upon. It causes stress on me because I don't want to be a bill collector but I end up having to ask churches to pay me what we agreed upon. Then they don't want to pay.

Then there are those that think a pastor is the kind of guy they can walk over with no consequence. If I disagree with someone then I must not be the kind of pastor I should be. Recently I heard "you call yourself a preacher?" This came from a man who claimed to be law enforcement because when I challenged him to produce his credentials he refused. He did it to intimidate me but it didn't work so he has to find a way to get back at me, kind of like two boys on a playground. He may not do that again.

Does being a pastor and doing Gods will mean being a passive man and letting people walk over you.

As a pastor I have a family to care for bills to pay and try to lead people in worship. The problem lies with the human condition. Just because you claim to be someone doesn't mean that I automatically accept your claim. During a recent incident someone got involved in a conversation I was having on the phone. A lady just walked up and got in my face. So, I asked them to please mind their own business. But they continued to get involved. It was really weird. Since that happened all of a sudden I hear back that I cursed people out. Wow! It never happened but someone started the rumor. So not only does someone poke their head into my business now the same person has to make up a lie to make it sound better for there purpose.

I'm amazed that the same people will be in churches this Sunday, sing hymns, pray and look at you and smile. But God is not present. Maybe it's just Western North Carolina but our hypocrisy has no boundary.

Our move to Asheville has been difficult over the past 3 years. The church planting experience has been met with many obstacles. As I have been studying and going deeper into scripture I discover that this is nothing new. The Bible says expect trouble doing Gods work. It feels like I've been beat-up and then kicked while I'm laying on the ground. If you know me, one thing you'll soon discover is that I don't quit and I will question your authority. The Bible tells me to test the spirit and many of the men I come in contact with have a questionable spirit.

It's not pride or arrogance but knowledge that drives me to feel this way. The knowledge and power of God being bigger than all the darts and lies that come my way. The Bible warns of slothfulness as a way to ruin. What I have experienced while here in Asheville is not a physical laziness but a mental slothfulness. Double minded Christians or people claiming to be but only having a convenient relationship with Christ. If it fits their agenda then they make it fit into Christ. Instead of Christ changing, the attitude is I'll make Christ fit into my life.

Yeah we all make mistakes, pastors included, but I have yet to understand the Christian just waiting to strike at the first sign of weakness. My spirit feels like a long dusty trail, little rest and even less food and water. Green pasture seems like a distant horizon.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010


2 Corinthians 5:20 tells us we are to be ambassadors for Christ. One of the goals for our young men and women is to be changed by Christ. We trade our wants and desires for who Christ wants us to be. The best way to learn this is to see it in practice. Better yet, go out and get your hands dirty working at who Christ want us to be.

So as we are on the path God has called us to, we help others MERGE into the life He has planned for us. I’ll put it this way, allow God to come into your heart and He will begin to change you mind (your old way of thinking), your sinful ways and you will see a change in your life.

You trade the road you are on for the one God wants you to follow; MERGE. Bible knowledge is good to have, Sunday School can provide deep insight, Preaching from the pulpit can stir you and a Wednesday night group can provide encouragement for your week but nothing preaches like experience. Putting it into action. Not just a casual relationship or book knowledge of Christ but changing our path for His.

MERGE will seek opportunities for our youth to put into action the lesson and values Christ wants us to share with those around us. You learn it then pass it on, teach it to someone else. It, the Good News, becomes part of their life, MERGE.