Monday, December 3, 2007

experience is the best teacher // Monday E-Devotion

Proverbs 18:15 (nlt) --- Intelligent people are always ready to learn.  Their ears are open for knowledge.
This past week was very full for many people in our church.  One of the tough things that family has to deal with is the issue of death.  One of our leader's had a son to die.  Many tears.  Lots of hugs.  Much prayer.  Some big lessons to learn.
Ministry is not easy.  Most of you know and see that truth.  Yet pastors get to see from perspectives that few others see.  That means we have some major lessons to learn.  Through almost 2 decades of ministry, I have learned some things that have paid off in huge ways.  So, lets step back for a minute and take the last 10 days or so in.  Think about it.
Family is so very important.  I really enjoyed spending time with my wife's family in Georgia during Thanksgiving.  Cherish those times.  Hug the kids and watch the horses run with the kids, too.  Eat lots of homemade stuff and learn from those who have "been there".
As we returned home, I got a phone call rocked our church as this young man had died.  I began that moment the steps and work of a pastor.  By the way, we have a great church that has been great during these days (I am proud of each of you).  What I learned most in the last week is these three things:
1. Speak little.
2. Hug much.
3. Pray a lot.
When death knocks on our door, there is little we can say to comfort people.  Yet our presence and our prayers mean so very much.  The issue of 'speaking little' is not so easy for some of us, but as I sat with the man in our church whose son had died, he taught me this in a living illustration of how someone really messed up by speaking too much.  That is all I need to say.
I encourage you.  Doesn't matter if you are a pastor, a church leader, a church member or what.  You are human, and we deal with pain, anger, grief and the junk of life.  Learn these three things, and you will find success in the tough places and in the valleys that you will face and go through.
2 Corinthians 1:4 (nlt) --- He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us.
2 John 1:6 (nasb) --- Love means doing what God has commanded us, and he has commanded us to love one another, just as you heard from the beginning.

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