I wanted to be famous - to do something really big for Him and share the glory.
That's why I piled up so many papers; which, gradually, separated me from Him and His by, uh, degrees.
I climbed to the top of the ecclesiastical ladder of success at a very young age - reaching all of my, uh, professional goals by 30 - and then realized, about 20 years later, that my life and ministry were leaning against the wrong building: me not Jesus.
Though most folks are too selfish like me to be sad, don't be.
God knocked me down to size via a combination of His efforts and my frailties coupled with never producing a book worthy of challenging the sales of the toothy guy in Texas or Hawaiian-shirted dude on the left coast.
It kinda generates sympathies for Calvinists.
God accomplished what I didn't want done.
Slowly, and I'm still just scratching the surface in an Arminian kinda way, He is calling/compelling me back to...
I used to have more $ and access to $ and perks and privileges than anyone who pretends to follow Jesus should have; and if I have to explain that to you,...
Now I'm a beggar.
I beg people to give, give, give their time/talents/treasures to honor Him and help His which, I think, is the best way to honor Him.
I beg help for personal/pastoral instruments to honor Him and help His which, I think, is the...
If people who have more than they should have fork over, great! If not, I just figure God has something else in mind for...
I get paid, uh, O.K., especially in this declining economy, and, except for gas $ with a few cents/sense left over, 95%+ of that goes to my wife so I don't give it all away or...
I'm not complaining.
Actually, it's kinda liberating.
I like being a beggar.
Jesus was a beggar.
His disciples, most often than not throughout history, have been beggars.
Yeah, I kinda like my formerly imposed upon now almost fully embraced poverty.
It's humbling, which is a good thing; and if I have to explain that to you,...
So I've been shedding most of the symbols and satisfactions of my imperial priesthood for something more, uh, oh, well, uh....if I have to explain that to you,...
Getting back to visiting people forgotten by their families/churches (and go to the 6/23 edition about "Trying to Remember What I Forgot" if you've forgotten already), I didn't visit many people when I was a really, really, really important pastor.
Parenthetically, I still have emotional/intellectual/Biblical/spiritual concerns for people who ask, usually on Sundays, "Have you visited ___ lately?" I've begun to respond before responding, "Have you?" I'm more saddened than ___ed by/at people, especially family members, who expect paid people to visit people who they should be visiting if they're paying any attention to the kinda directives that are in, for example, Matthew 25.
But, candidly, I didn't do much visiting when I was an important and relatively famous boy wonder pastor.
I had other associate, less important, pastors to do that.
Back then, I thought I was, you know, uh, too important to visit people in...
I spent my time in suits and ties and starched Brooks Brothers shirts; eating in luxurious restaurants and meeting with, truly, local and national and world movers and shakers and...
Come to think of it, I don't remember seeing/sensing Jesus at any of those...
Yeah, it's hard for a...
And come to think of it, I recall those lesser staff members coming back from their visits and complaining, "I just spent over an hour with ___ in the hospital and all she kept asking was when you're going to come see her."
It took a very long time for me to learn a lesson from a much more common pastor, my home pastor the Rev. Harold F. Mante who went home to Jesus before his seed rooted and grew and bore fruit in me, who counseled/cautioned, "People don't care how much you know if they don't know how much you care."
In other words, I used to wonder why people didn't really listen to the sermons that old Dr. Mac said were being graced upon them by one of the top 5 young preachers in America and I used to wonder why the poor and needy along with authentic kept hanging out with those lesser and more common pastors while guys like me were chained/subservient to those posing kinds that just toss morsels at...
I'm not saying anyone's paying any more attention to me now!
We've got plenty of room for more on Sundays; and, apparently, the ones who do show up don't think I've got much to offer 'cause they don't invite many...
I've still got people who'd like to kill me, seriously, because I would never and now really can't be an errand boy for their wandering desires (Dylan) and OCD need/lust to control people/pastors/churches according to their warped auto-suggestions of spirituality so rarely complementary to revelation in Jesus as attested in Holy Scripture.
I've still got people who pay no attention to me; even when I get Him right.
That's just the way it is in an Arminian or Calvinistic kinda way.
I'm just saying I'm paying more attention to them and just trying to remember...
Well, that's it until after the 4th.
Kathie and her wonderful family will be away on vacation; and I'm too technically challenged to put out another edition without her.
Confessionally, that's cool; 'cause it reminds me that I'm not that...
If I have to explain that to you,...
BTW, take out the salt and forward this to pulpiteers and pewsitters who've fogotten...
I could use the mail while Kathie is away.
Blessings and Love!
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