I am blessed, Father, to be Your child. The day ahead is full of potential and I would ask that You would enable me to use it wisely – to accomplish much and to love even more! 🙂
This past weekend I participated in clergy Ethics training with many of my fellow pastors in the United Methodist Church. I am an Ordained Elder in the Church of the Nazarene but have graciously been given the privilege by both denominations to serve as a pastor for almost 14 years. One of the workshops I attended dealt with addiction and, Lord, I am in awe (though I shouldn’t be surprised at all!) as to what You are doing! Heroin addiction is a huge problem in our society – people are dying and families are being torn apart. And for those fighting its hold, it’s not just an uphill battle – it’s a sheer vertical battle! Secular attempts at helping these poor souls are moderately successful at best but, Lord, when You are part of the equation, we just need to hang on!
The pastor of the Bucyrus UMC (OH) is being used as an instrument of change and restoration. His background in law enforcement gives him a unique blend of gifts and abilities but I for one, am so grateful that he is faithfully serving You! His church had been running 2 services already but after a group of recovering addicts asked for more teaching he started a 3rd service to meet their needs. They are welcomed. They are loved. They are trusted. And their lives have been radically changed! This year the service’s drummer, a former addict will become his associate pastor. Next year she will become the new pastor for that service!
All glory to You, Lord! You still change lives! You still lead Your people if we will follow! Bless this pastor, bless this young lady! May they continue to impact the world for You.
May 4th, Wed, 6:38 am
Father, in this wee hour before the dawn on this Easter Sunday morning I cannot help but think of Mary Magdalene and her friends readying themselves for their journey to the tomb. There are no smiles – they have no reason to. There, I’m sure, were tears – they have every reason to.
Jesus is gone – they are still in shock. How did things spiral out of control so quickly? But…they blow their nose and wipe their tears for there is a job to be done. Jesus had done so much for them, the least they could do was to lovingly care for his body. The Sabbath was almost over, only three days had passed. They still had time before his body began to decay. It would be difficult seeing him lying there, touching his now cold skin, but it needed to be done.
As they headed out darkness was still about but they wanted to be there for the task at hand as soon as the morning light broke the horizon as they came closer, it dawned upon them that they would have to move the stone that had been rolled over the entrance of where His body lay. I was way too big for them to move – what were they to do? But they were almost there – they would figure something out. As the sun crept over the horizon they could see the shadowy details of Golgotha and tears once again threatened to rise but there was work to do and they would do it. And then they were there and nothing was as it should be! The stone had already been rolled away – they had worried for no reason. They carefully and reverently stepped into the tomb and… the body was not there! They knew they were at the right place. They would never forget watching Nicodemus assist Joseph of Arimathea lovingly place the body in its final resting place. These facts were just going through their minds when out of nowhere two beings stood before them blinding them in their brilliant attire. Terrified they fell to the ground. Then came the question. “Why do You seek the living amongst the dead, He is not here, he has risen. Remember what He said?” Luke 24:5-6
What? How could this…? He said so many things that they couldn’t understand. But…wait…he did tell us!! Why didn’t we believe? He is risen? He is risen!
Once more there were tears – but no longer tears of grief but tears of joy! Praise God! We must tell the others and off they went!
Mar 27th, EASTER Sun, 5:30 am