Been reading about Dr. Seuss becoming a victim of the cancel culture.
when we were learning to move away from those past injustices.
Been reading about Dr. Seuss becoming a victim of the cancel culture.
Recently I was challenged on social media to expose and condemn a group known as QAnon. I had no idea who or what that was, partly because I don't spend time reading conspiracy theory claims that pop up, often from my Christian friends. And those theories, as you know, abound. Then I saw where some of the arrestees from the recent mayhem at the Capitol were identified with this group, so my curiosity was peaked.
My personal philosophy is to emulate the words of Paul, the Apostle. He wrote, "Finally brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable—if there is any moral excellence and if there is any praise—dwell on these things." (Philippians 4:8) If I'm going to be balanced and well-focused, those are the things with which I need to fill my mind.
Today this showed up on my news feed. It's an article from a trusted source about QAnon. Since I was challenged to expose/condemn them, I felt it wise to learn about it. And I realized not only did I have no idea about it, I think I have many friends who have swallowed this particular flavor of Kool Aid. And I am sure that such conspiracy nonsense and mindless biases lacking reason are on both sides of the spectrum.
Anyway, here is the link to the article. And remember, "there is none so blind as he who will not see". Beware of false prophets.
Some years ago my son Nathan and I sang a song together in our Christmas Eve service. I can only remember one other time just the two of us sang a duet and that was in South Africa!
This is not a Christmas song, but it addresses the question of just who Jesus was and is. Christian songwriter/musician Larry Norman first recorded this about 50 years ago. Larry is now with the Lord, but during his life did much to rattle the doors of the church, and I have been appreciative of him, his music and his stand since I was a teen. I encourage you to check him out online if you don't know his work.
Anyway, the link to the video is below of "The Outlaw" we did. Not the best recording, so pardon that and my attempt to sing and play. (It was the last time I did such a public thing!).
If you wonder who Jesus was/is, I'd love for you to come to know Him. As the last verse says, "It's time for us to leave", referring to His soon return. Are you ready? I hope so!
Immediately, with some seeing the title the thought is, "He must be talking about cussing." Not at all.
I've seen this being posted lately. Have you? (It's spreading like James 3:5 wildfire.) Maybe you've shared it... I quote:
In my previous post I wrote about my upcoming retirement from pastoring Nags Head Church. The timetable looks like that will happen sometime in the first half of 2021.
So, what's next?
I'm not ready for the rocking chair, and my goal for "retiring" now is so I am still "young enough" (I know, that's a relative term) to do some other things. When God called me into "vocational" (and I don't like that term) ministry as a 15 year old I felt then as I do now that it was a life-long calling.
So for all those who have tried to convince me not to "retire", please know I'm really not...unless God is finished with me. But, I believe when that takes place, and I've done all I'm supposed to do in this life I'll graduate to the next. That could take place today, couldn't it? But, not knowing when that will be I want to prepare for hanging around a while longer to do other things.
Really I have no plans other than to be open to whatever. There are a few things I would like to do (or at least try to do) while I'm able. But, I'd like to hear from you - especially those of you who know me - what you think I might do in the coming years. I'm not looking for hobbies or ways to "spend my time", like "more golf" or "more pickle ball", but ways to do ministry and/or mission. I do plan to dust off my guitars, put some new strings on them, maybe take a lesson or two and become a rock star. So, don't say that.
Gail and I plan to keep our permanent residence right here in Kitty Hawk near our family. But, we're open to some short term assignments, or even long-term if we can commute. So, feel free to comment below!
I've been thinking a lot lately about retirement. Friday I got to use my Medicare card for the first time! That fat check from Uncle Sam will appear in my checking account in about 14 months! That time is drawing near.
Actually, I started thinking about it about ten years ago when I hit "double nickels" in age. It's at about that age when you realize that you've reached (or passed) the top of the hill and are starting down the other side. If all works out as I'm hoping and praying it will, I'll preach my last sermon as Lead Pastor of Nags Head Church sometime in the Spring of 2021. It's coming fast!
While the news of my retirement has been made known in recent weeks, our pastors and staff, along with my wife and family have known for a while. We just kept it quiet. And as the word got out there have been mixed reactions. Everything from "Good for you!", and "You deserve it!" to "You're too young to retire!".
I don't know that I'm deserving of it, and I hope it's "good" for me, but way back a decade ago I truly hoped to retire from my lead pastor role at NHC while I was still young enough to do some other things - other things that I hope that Lord has prepared for me. So, how do I know the time is right?
In January I will have been the lead pastor of this one church for 30 years! That's a long time, and in my heart I know it's time for someone new to take the reigns and lead a great church to become greater.
Frankly, I'm tired. Not so much a physical kind of tired (although I do enjoy a good nap!) or the kind of tired an extended vacation would relieve, but anyone who has been a pastor understands the tiredness that comes with the job. And at 65 I don't bounce back as quickly as I did at 35, 45 or even 55.
Our culture has changed drastically in the years since I started pastoral ministry in the late 1970's. Most of those changes have not been for our spiritual good, but for our detriment. And so much of what is going on simply frustrates me as a Bible believing, Bible teaching Christian. Paul was so right as he described the latter days to Timothy. Confronting those changes needs energy that I no longer have. So, my hope is for a younger man to take the baton and lead our church to overcome the things that work against us.
Leading change is hard work, and we have cultivated an environment ready for change here. The changes took place - to God be the glory for that - and a dying church came to life. More changes will come, I'm sure as our church finds new ways to reach our world with the Gospel. I'm excited about where the Lord is taking us online, and thankful to have gotten in on the ground floor of it. So, I think we're poised right now for greater things ahead with new leadership.
Bottom line (for me, anyway) is that it's time. While I'm sure that it will take a bit for me to get used to not preaching to eager parishioners every Sunday, I know it's time. Maybe God is using this pandemic to prepare me! I honestly never imagined my last year of full-time pastoral ministry would include not preaching to a live congregation for months.
The final date has not yet been set. But it's getting nearer. My confidence is that God sets our seasons (Ecclesiastes 3). He is in control. And I'm good with that. It's time!
What will I do? Maybe that will be the subject of another post. But, I honestly don't yet know!