"I was thinking..."
The LORD said to Moses, “Tell Aaron and his sons, ‘This is how you are to bless the Israelites. Say to them: “‘“The LORD bless you and keep you; the LORD make his face shine upon you and be gracious to you; the LORD turn his face toward you and give you peace.”’ So they will put my name on the Israelites, and I will bless them.” - Numbers 6: 22 - 27 (NIV)
Well, I was thinking that now might be a good time to say how much I appreciate each of you and the little bit of time we have had worshiping together. It’s not often that a pastor can come in and out of a fellowship and leave with the same good feeling they had when they arrived. You all have made us feel loved, and I hope that you have also felt loved in return.
We are winding down, and, in a few more weeks, I will no longer be your pastor. That position will be filled by another person, who I hope will be shown the same amount of love that we were. Also, I might mention that even though I have been blessed with a spouse who shares my vocation (and does a bang-up job of it, I might say), don’t set the bar for the next pastor’s spouse at the same level. We are each gifted in different areas and occupations. Allow them the freedom to be their own persons. Please, don’t place expectations upon them. And pray for them. They truly need your prayers. It’s difficult to come to a strange town and church, with people you don’t know. Continue to be encouraging and loving, as I’m sure you will.
I know I should have some “profound” message this month with this being my last article and all; unfortunately, I don’t. However, I do want to leave you with these few comments. I have offered this bit of wisdom to graduates, but it can serve all of us as well. We all know that we have five senses, see, hear, taste, smell, and touch. We sometimes need to focus on five other senses that God has given to us. 1) Common Sense – this one seems to have gone out the window lately, yet it is in much demand and can serve us well over the years. 2) Sense of Heart – we all need to be more compassionate to our fellow residents on earth. If we are, they, in turn, will suffer us better. 3) Sense of Purpose – we all need direction in our life and a reason to get up in the morning. Find your God-given purpose and try to fulfill it. (Hint: it may be what you are gifted to do!) 4) Sense of Who You Are – you have been called to be a child of God. He loves you and even sent His son, Jesus, to die for you. You are an important person, and no one can take that away. You have worth, don’t throw it away or devalue yourself. And 5) Sense of Humor – without it we will sink into a hole of despair. With it, we can conquer any problems. We may not be victorious, but we won’t let anyone, including Satan, defeat us without going down with a smile on our faces!
Oh, one last thing to remember as you pray for your next pastor…“The perfect pastor preaches exactly ten minutes. He condemns sin, but never hurts anybody’s feelings. He works from eight in the morning until midnight and is also the church janitor. He is twenty-nine years old and has forty years experience. He makes fifteen house calls a day and is always in the office.” – excerpt from These High Green Hills, by Jan Karon.
Ever since I gave my life to Christ, I have tried to let Him have it all. There are times when I still want to know what is next, which door will be closed, and which will be opened, but I realize it doesn’t really matter. It’s the Holy Spirit who is directing me; I just want to be willing to follow. Gratefully, Dona will be by my side. I pray that when you remember us, it will be with laughter in your voice and a song in your heart. I know it will be for us (well, maybe a bit of tears here and there). You all will always have a place in our hearts. Now, “The LORD bless you and keep you; the LORD make his face shine upon you and be gracious to you; the LORD turn his face toward you and give you peace.”