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!
I know who you are. You are Bob Kopp Pastor of The Presbyterian Church on the corner of Lincoln and Main.
What you are is the Best Pastor
that Preaches the truth about Jesus. You are a Great Father and Husband to your Family.
I wish I was more like you.
I am humbled by your graciousness, friend.
Truth is your fidelities dwarf me.
And of course you looked like that pic of your son [esp. the bicep] when U were his age!!!
Hey, so are U being truthful about 2 of your sons "hating" you? Sad for you. I perceive you "nicer" and more easy going than me and praise God my son still seems to like me!
But it also reminds me of Bruce Boak at Central Downingtown [was he there when U were in Parkesburg?]. Saw him at Ch. Co. hospital one day and he mentioned that he hadn't been home for 40 straight nights. GAG!!! I told him he was crazy! Praying for you.
My heart went out to you reading this. So much of our time and energy is given to the Ministry, and while we love what we do, it can consume us. Please take more time for your family - they are gifts to you. I think of the many dinners, holidays, events, etc. when I was occupied, on the phone, late, etc. Were they really all that important? Looking back, maybe some were but certainly not all.
He will come for us soon, I believe. That's why you are experiencing "Revival" and that's why you give so much. He will reward. I pray that what was lost will be found; what was stolen will be returned; what was broken will be mended.
Great one! Not you. The Kopp Disclosure.
Made me think about one of the defensive players in the Super Bowl. One of the guys who shows his toughness by not wearing sleeves in the cold. Of course, this practice also allows them to display their motivating tattoos. One such linebacker, after a great tackle, lifted his arms to flex his biceps, and there, for millions around the world to see was tattooed the word, “Committment.” That’s right! My spell-check did not fail. The guy’s tat was misspelled!!
I couldn’t believe my eyes! I was thanking God for Comcast, the DVR and the ability to replay the prior half hour instantly. I only wished I could have frozen the screen and printed it out! This guy got a misspelled word for his tattoo and was showing it off.
Somehow, that made me laugh!
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