Tuesday, February 11, 2014
Gerry Larson's Right!
Something strange has been happening on the corner of Lincoln and Main in Belvidere, Illinois.
I'm not talking about the increasing revival; for that's expected when a family of faith increases its intimacy with Jesus by the book.
Well into my 9th year of life and ministry with the saints, more and more and more folks keep referring to me as Pastor Bill.
It started several months ago.
It happened seven times last week.
Humbly, I take it as a compliment; because Bill, my predecessor of 16 years, is heavy artillery compared to my BB gun charismata.
I'm never defensive with people who'd prefer he was still here and I was somewhere else.
Some were/are on staff.
Most of 'em have left; yet...
I saw pictures of Bill when he arrived.
He left with all white hair - head and face.
I came with hair and brown beard.
I stay with no hair and increasingly salty white partial beard.
I don't know what it means; but it's gotta mean something.
There's a thread through the preceding and the following.
It's parabolic or poetic or...indigestion.
You judge; and I know some of yu'uns feel very comfortable in His role.
Maybe I'm just headed to the desert.
A friend and local pastor who really loves Jesus by the book almost died not too long ago.
I've often sent people who hate me in a Christian kinda way to worship with him.
Actually, he did die; but came back to life in a resurrecting kinda way.
While dead, he heard directly from God about something that he'd read before from Jesus: "There are wolves among the sheep."
He told me that he has taken the protecting part of undershepherding more seriously ever since in a rod/staff kinda way.
I've been praising the Lord for his increasing tenure.
I went to basketball games last Saturday; watching the sophomores win and varsity lose.
It started well.
I gave two dollars to the ticketmaster as a senior and was carded.
Later that night after the games, I got into it with one of my sons.
Essentially, he told me how much he hated me for always being at the hospitals and always being available at any hour of the day or night for everybody but my own family. He said I just sleep when home and never spend time with the family during holidays as I spend all of my time at the church making the seasons bright for everybody else. He said that's why two of my five sons hate me; and because I've always had more time for everybody but my own family, I shouldn't expect them to...etc., etc., etc.,...ad infinitum.
I've sacrificed sooooooo many of the blessings intended for our family at the altar of my...profession.
Being a Philippians 3:12-16 and 4:12-13 kinda guy, I will ask God's graces to become a better...everything for everyone to honor Him.
I started again after hearing directly from Him while feeling...dead...that Saturday into Sunday.
I think I fell asleep around 1:00 a.m. on Sunday morning.
Then I heard Him: "Bob, I know you're tired. Would you like to come home now?"
Response: "Yes, Jesus, yes, please take me home now. I am tired. I'm feeling like a failure as a husband, father, undershepherd, presbyter,...everything to everyone...Yes, please take me home now. I believe. I do. I want to be with You right now. I believe the best life is with You in heaven. Yes, please take me..."
That went back and forth for...
I don't know.
It was a dream or vision or...indigestion.
You judge; and I know some of...
Anyway, it ended with this/His word: "Not done."
I woke up to a remembrance of my son's recent inking on his right bicep much to the horror of his mom but that I kinda like that kinda speaks to generational divides so innocently pointed out in my exchange with the ticketmaster: Philippians 4:13.
I'm ready to go home to Jesus right now.
Paradise sounds good to me.
I believe the best life comes after the last breath in time.
I'm also prepared by Him to remain until it's His appointed time to go home to Him.
I'm with Paul in a Philippians 1:19-30 kinda way.
Sooooooo Gerry Larson's right.
About four years ago, I was going on and on and on as I can about not really caring what people think as long as I'm/we're esteeming Jesus by the book.
Gerry interrupted, "I don't believe you. I believe you do care. I believe you care very deeply or you wouldn't be so passionate about it. I believe you do care or you'd have quit long ago."
I care very, very, very deeply, deeply, deeply about...my wife and children...my family in Pennsylvania...our family of faith on the corner of Lincoln and Main...Belvidere...Boone/McHenry/Winnebago Counties...BHS/BN...PCUSA...Blackhawk Presbytery...people who leave churches for anything other than apostasy from Jesus by the book...people who say they love Jesus while hating people for Christ's sake...people who say we're friends then drop me because I can't/won't be their champion/BF/lover...people whose self-righteous judgmentalism is only thinly veiled by posing fidelity...America...world...etc., etc., etc.,...ad infinitum.
I believe there is heaven for believers who, more than less, behave like believers...and hell for...
Yes, I care.
Gerry Larson's right.
Buechner: "A prophet's quarrel with the world is deep-down a lover's quarrel. If they didn't love the world, they probably wouldn't bother to tell it that it's going to hell. They'd just let it go."
Martha Young: "You love 'em and let God judge 'em and love 'em enough to tell 'em that God's coming back to judge 'em."
I like my son's ink.
Blessings and Love!