Thursday, August 21, 2008


Hello to all my blog based buddies... I started a post almost a week ago that I just now finished and posted. It's entitled "When do we Bite/Fight Back?" Please look over it and help me with the question.

Also... I am trying to spruce up my "Blog" and want to add links, libraries, and such like many of you have in the right hand side. How do I get that done? Any insight or help you can give would be great.

With that said... I am not a "fatalist." I am known by most who know and love me to be a problem solver. I will not overwhelm you all with these "need your help" posts all of the time. Guess it's just one of those inquisitive kind of nights. Maybe I should go to bed!!! Yeah that's it. lol


A Bloggersville Based Brainstorm

My thoughts are nowhere near developed, but here it goes. I am up trying to wind down after a wonderful night at midweek bible study and prayer. A thought hit me on last evening that seems to be revisiting me again now. It's in an "infancy" form at this point but the Lord has laid something on my hear as result of my overwhelming connection with our "circle" of bloggers that seems to be developing.

Wouldn't it be great if we could form some kind of alliance, association, etc. with the group of powerful, prolific, and insightful Pastors, Preachers, and churchmen that have come to have a warm and unique fellowship through this vehicle? My thought is this... I would love an opportunity to be able to harness the "giftedness" represented in the likes of Pastors Kraig Pullam, William Pullam, Witherspoon, Mann, MchGee, etc. and create something unique and much needed. Something to include a panel of Pastors/Preachers who could offer maybe a conference, revival, crusade, church growth/counsel help... The list goes on. I know that I have thoroughly enjoyed the fellowship thus far and would love an opportunity to meet many of these well versed and wise people of God that are walking in areas of gifting and expertise that could be of help to myself and congregation. I realize, again, that this is just a "brainstorm" but maybe you can offer some feedback and possibly help me to reconcile the "idea" and assess it as feasible or not...

I will be looking forward to your thoughts and subsequent ideas/suggestions.


Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Life and Letters of Paul

Wow... As I anticipated, yesterday's classes were outstanding. I am amazed that I was able to acquire so much insight in one evening. "Life and Letters of Paul" is going to be an exciting class. Being that I shared the book that we are using for the Interpretation class, I thought it would be nice to share the text for the Paul class as well. I just picked it up at the school on yesterday and have already been enjoying it. It seems to be well written and a refreshing approach to the study of this great Apostle. The book is called "Rediscovering Paul." I certainly recommend it to anyone who wants an "atypical" look into the life and minsitry of the Apostle Paul. Don't think you would be disappointed.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Biblical Interpretation

It has been a couple of days since I last "blogged" and feel like I am going to have to get back into the "swing of things." Today begins a new semester at Howard Payne University. I will be taking two classes there this semester. "The Life and Letters of Paul" and "Biblical Interpretation." I am rather excited about both classes. I am especially excited about the "Biblical Interpretation" because the textbook for the class is one that I had in my library and had actually read and studied before. I am interested to see if I was effective in what I gleaned from the book personally, as relates to what we will explore corporately in the class. I figured I would share the books title, "Grasping God's Word," for those who are looking for a tool that can walk you through the process step by step. In order to get full use of this particular book, I suggest that you get the workbook that is written as a companion to the text. I worked wonders for me and I learned a lot. Hoping now to squeeze even more from it in class today.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Rough Couple of Days

Well... I thank God for the world of blogging. It has proven to be a social interaction that is healthy and encouraging to my life and ministry. I am slowly coming to develop the discipline to write something on a daily basis and check other's "posts" quite a few times every day. However, the last two days have presented some difficulties that have made it hard to post. I am remaining prayerful and allowing the Lord to speak in His own way. So, I just thought I would drop this quick line and say "Hello" to all of my blog-family and let you know that, though I am not posting in a functional and intentional way, I am still here and God is still on the throne.


Thursday, August 14, 2008

When Do We Bite/Fight Back???

I have thoroughly appreciated your help and insight as relates to a question that my brother thrice had just a couple of days ago. So, I believe I will seek much the same insight and guidance from you well-respected and intelligible Christian minds...

I have struggled with a "element" in our ministry that has no doubt proven to be a "thorn in the flesh." The greatest struggle is my unquestionable love and respect for this "element" as a person, while at the same time being genuinely fed up with lifestyle choices and practices. I have pointedly attempted to be a person and pastor of Grace rather than taking an inferior "legalistic" approach to ministry. However, I am now baffled on the "issue."

My question for everyone who will answer is this: "Can one person hinder a ministry and/or church?" Let me clarify. I realize that the answer, on the surface could justifiably be yes or no. Yes, because the effects of a person outside of the will of God could have an effect on the whole. (Example: Jonah) No, because our Lord Jesus Christ has assured us "the gates of hell shall not prevail against" the church that He builds. So... I guess my real question is "at what point do we as Pastors authentically consider silencing and/or excusing a person of position in the church that seems to be hurting more than helping?"

Let the blogging begin... I am awaiting your help.


Wednesday, August 13, 2008

The Last 48

Today is a "weird" day. I realized, when getting up early this morning to work on bible study PowerPoints, that tonight would be the last "service" my oldest son will attend as a "full-time resident" of my home/Corpus Christi. On Friday Kory LaQuess Pullam will venture away from Corpus Christi to spend 4 days at Stephen F. Austin University's Freshman Camp. He will not report to his dormitory, on campus, until August 22nd (a week from Friday). However, we are now in the last two full days of him being here. He will be with his mother in the Houston area and I will meet them there on next Thursday so we can drive him to the campus and LEAVE him there. Wow... I am actually starting to feel funny about it. I hadn't really thought that it would be a BIG DEAL but, just as my parents warned, the feeling is surging.

I know that God has Kory destined for greatness as long as he can keep his head on straight and stay focused. Funny thing is... I believe he's predisposed to do that. I ask your prayers to give us strength to make this transition smoothly. Even more, that God will continue to provide as we move forward in faith to ascertain he is there without overwhelming or unmet need.

One of my favorite shows on television is the "First 48." Detectives rush to get the greatest clues and leads on a homicide before the case goes cold. Well, this is the "Last 48." Much like the detectives in the show, I wish I could slow down the clock and salvage more time. But, I know that Lord has a perfect plan in mind. Lord, I trust YOU. Take care of our baby boy.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Denominational Work

On last week The American Baptist Western District Association met for it's Annual Session. Unfortunately, due to the fact that the University's Summer Session was closing the same time last week, I was unable to attend. I have frequently struggled with this dilemma since I've been in school. I have wanted to participate but have been fixated on finishing my degree. It has especially been a struggle due to the fact that, on the District level, my father (biological and ministerial) is the moderator. I am the District Congress Vice President and Youth Convention Director. On the state level, I hold the Third Vice President of Congress. These "connections" and responsibilities have made for a great burden when I am not able to attend and/or be a part.

Now here comes the "whammy." I know it will not be well accepted and/or politically correct to express for some, however I don't know how I feel about the current standing of most denominational work. Now, I must rush to say that I realize and understand the purpose for which it was constructed is above reproach. The aim of our associations and conventions, in principle, are something that I believe anyone would have to agree is noteworthy. But, I can't help but express my feeling that there is a "falling short" at this point in the "work." Though the word of God and His commission and commandment are certain and sure, it would appear there has been a dichotomy in how culturally relevant these entities strive to be. In other words... I realize that the message will NEVER change, however our methods seem to be prehistoric.

As a pastor, it is getting increasingly more difficult to convince people (in my congregation and abroad) that we should patronize and participate in the associations, Congresses, and conventions. Those faithful few (the company of committed) that try their best to comply and support the work being that I usually announce and insist, usually end up thinking "what was the point?" Now, I find myself in a constant dilemma. I really don't feel motivated to insist that they come anymore because, when they do, the time doesn't seem to be used efficiently. Now, I will be the first to say that there are exceptions to the rule. For example, the Southern Baptists and BGCT are entities that are constantly making a difference in ministries, missions, etc. When we, as a church, are constantly trying to figure out which bill to pay this week and which one can hold off another... It becomes a great deal of strain to go to the "sessions" and fork over hundreds of dollars, that could be going toward the survival of the church. Especially when I go and there are no representatives or "delegates" present from my congregation other than my wife, children, and a few of the "senior saints."

What is my point??? Well, to be honest, I am still working and praying that out. I just thought I would use the blog to vent my general frustrations. Would love to hear what you think...

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Monday, August 11, 2008

Blessed to the Next Degree

I am rejoicing in the Lord again today for His mighty and magnificent acts. On today I had an appointment with my academic advisor to discuss my plans for graduation. If the Lord allows me to see the end of the year, I am scheduled to graduate from Texas A and M University with a BA in Psychology and Sociology Minor. I realize, in light of the many who have achieved such things at a much earlier age, that this may not sound like such a big deal on the surface. However, it is an answered prayer indeed. If I had time to tell you my "context" and story, you too would probably understand why this has been such a "long time coming." I also found out that I am only six classes away from my degree at Howard Payne. In May of next year I should have a BA in Practical Theology with a Minor in Psychology. I ask your prayers as I press through the responsibilities of church, family, etc. to finish these personal endeavors to "stir up the gift." Of course, it is also a prayer concern that God would allow me to go directly into Graduate school in the Fall of next year.

Thanks to all my family and closest loved ones for your prayers and support. "The Vision is yet for an appointed time..." I know that God has another level of life and ministry for us to experience and I want to "be diligent" to do everything earthly possible to be in the place and posture to be used by Him.

To God be the Glory...

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Sunday, August 10, 2008

Be Who You Are

First let me say that I love when the Lord has myself and the congregation engaged in a series. It seems as if the time we share in series are more charted and efficient. It allows us all to know where we are going and an opportunity to build upon the contextual current that has been established and flows through any particular bible book.

We are not in a series right now (haven't been for 6 weeks) and it sometimes makes me feel like we are just taking a swipe at whatever text "jumps out" that week. Now, I will say that there is no apparent problem with being led by the spirit in that way. I am only saying that it makes it harder in my study and preparation to have to randomly affix myself in that way.

On today I shared from 1 Peter 2:9. For some reason the Lord had me firmly fixed on this passage for the greater portion of the week. The subject was "Be Who You Are." I simply challenged our congregation that we need to rise in spiritual maturity to accept the responsibility to be in direct contrast to the status quo of this world. This is indicated in the statement of contrast that Peter ascribes to the people at the opening of verse 9. "But your are..." Is pointedly contrasted to those who are "disobedient to God's word" (and therefore stumble) in verse 8.

I shared, as an introduction to the message, the remarkable story about two friends. Whitney Cerak and Laura Van Ryn were driving in a van with friends, on April 26, 2006, when they were struck head on by a tractor trailer. Several days later, the Cerak family funeralized Whitney and laid her to rest. For the next five weeks, the Van Ryn family would nurse their daughter who lay in the hospital in a coma. During the fifth week of this trying situation, both families endured another life altering discovery. It was determined that there had been a shattering case of mistaken identity. One family had been nursing a daughter that was already dead and buried, while the other family was mourning the loss of a daughter that yet lived. Thus the book written "Mistaken Identity."

I pointed out to our congregation that this is much like what happens in the church both individually and corporately. We are nursing the dead and burying the living. Peter exhorts the church to basically put away childish and worldly pursuits and lay hold of it's identity and function in the Kingdom. Eric Erikson, noted Psychologist, would probably agree that his diagnosis fits many a church in our day... "Identity Crisis!!!" Many Christians can't be who they are because they don't rightfully know who they are. Erikson says this "Identity Crisis" results from not being able to successfully transist through the different levels of psycho-social development and thus getting stuck at some particular phase:

Identity Statuses
Identity achievement occurs when an individual has gone through an exploration of different identities and made a commitment to one.

Moratorium- is the status of a person who is actively involved in exploring different identities, but has not made a commitment.

Foreclosure- status is when a person has made a commitment without attempting identity exploration.

Identity diffusion- occurs when there is neither an identity crisis or commitment.

We are a chosen (eklektos) generation, a royal(basileious) priesthood, a holy (hagios) nation (ethnos)...

Wow... We had a wonderful time in the Lord on this morning and the people of God were all challenged to consider who we are as Kingdom Citizens and thus walk in it. Two person came to the Lord and made very firm commitments to comply with the convictions that were result of this word. Lord we thank you for who you have created and called us to be. Thank you for your word and it's total sufficiency.

Saturday, August 09, 2008

A Royal Rememberance

But ye are a chosen generation, a ROYAL priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light - 1 Peter 2:9

This morning, if the Lord says the same, I will attend a homegoing celebration for Royal D. Thomas. Royal is my son's (Kory) aunt and my beloved sister-in-law. Our Sovereign Lord healed her of her infirmities on August 2, 2008 and beckoned her to be "absent from the body and present with the Lord." I will always remember the pure joy she was and brought to the masses that came into contact with her. Known as the "kissing bandit," she had a love and light that will never be kindled. During most of her earthly pilgrimage, Royal had a host of challenges that makes her life story unique and her victory over death even sweeter. We commend her family to the keeping care of our Lord and Liberator Jesus Christ, by reminding them of His words "Let not your hearts be troubled, you beleive in God believe also in Me..."(John 14:1)

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Friday, August 08, 2008

Back From the Beach

Well... Lets just say that I am NOT 18 anymore. I tried my hand at football with the kids and twisted my knee pretty bad.

BarBQ Supplies- 48.00
Off and Sunscreen- 10.23
Maliquite Beach Pass- 10.00
Heating Pad- 29.00
Advil- 4.39
Knee Brace- 19.99
The time with the family- PRICELESS

Thank you Lord for the gift of my family. Please continue to strengthen me to be the HOUSEband, father, patriarch, preacher, pastor, priest that you would have me to be to them.

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Bound for the Beach!!!

I have been awake for about an hour and am feeling adventurous. So, I have decided to take the children to the beach. About a month and a half ago, I decided to take them (after not doing so for years) and actually had one of the best times with them I can remember. We ended up being there till dark and all thoroughly appreciated the time we spent together.

School is out for a couple of weeks (finals ended yesterday)... I am gonna throw on some shorts, grab the portable grill/beach balls/pales, and head for the shore.


Wednesday, August 06, 2008

An Opiate or A Stimulant

Below is my response to a question on my final exam in "Racial and Ethnic Groups" at Texas A and M University on this week. It's a bit lengthy. However, after receiving such a strong grade and positive feedback from Dr. Benibo, I thought I would share:

Question: According to Marx, "religion is the opium of the masses." What did he mean by this statement? Critically assess the validity of this statement with respect to the role of religion in the evolution of the Civil Rights Movement in the U.S.

[Acclaimed Sociologist Karl Marx declared religion as "the opium of the people." This was an idiom spoken with much truth and historical relevance in his day and time. In the very reality of unjust slave trade, and their cruel treatment, it seems that blasphemous rhetoric became the means for trying to legitimize such practices. Churches, Synagogues, Pastors, and Priests, who consequently owned slaves themselves, would preach fiery heartfelt sermons from bible passages like Ephesians 6:5 and Colossians 3:22. Both declaring, "slaves obey your masters as unto the Lord." The slaves would absorb the Christianity as falsely preached by these prophets of dismay. They considered themselves, as result of this prompting, to be in a place of honor as slaves. They somehow accepted the idea that God would exalt them through such humiliating servitude. "You've been faithful over a few things, now enter into the joy of the Lord and be ruler over many things." The old 100's and Negro Spirituals were all "opiates" to numb the pains of their predicament. "I got shoes, you got shoes, all God's chillan got shoes." An edification and encouragement to those thousands who were made to labor tirelessly in fields, etc. barefoot. "Guide me o'er thy great Jehovah, pilgrim through this barren land. I am weak, but thou art mighty. Hold me with thy powerful hand." These songs, and others, were attempts to embrace a gospel (good news) that most of them could not even read. They were being force-fed a misrepresented preachment in order to salvage some "cognitive dissonance" as relates to their disenfranchisement.

Though Marx's statement about this "opium" had some historical relevance, it's great news to discover a new contemporary era that would switch this "opium" into a "stimulant."

Through the reformation, printing press, education/literacy, etc we witnessed a transformation of the role of the church and religion. Terms like "black liberation gospel" came to exist. The church became a place to stimulate people to rise against social ills and injustice. There were four things the church would prove to do in this "stimulating" process:

1) Awaken- "Rise, take up your bed, and walk." "Lazarus come forth." "You're the head and not the tale, above only and not beneath." These would have all been text/messages preached in order to encourage it's people to "rise" above oppression and injustice. The church brought to light these problems to it's people in an attempt to "awaken" an interest in change.

2) Equip- It was the church that would equip the people for the work of civil rights, active nonviolence, etc. The church, and it's leaders, assumed this as one of their primary responsibilities. Ephesians 4:11-12- And he gave some to be Apostles, some prophets, some evangelist, and some pastors and teachers (v.12) for the EQUIPPING of the saints for the work of ministry.

3) Organize- The church during the civil rights movement, was the meeting place for information, strategy, and organization. They accepted the word that says, "a three-strand cord is not easily broken." Their reality, in this struggle, was Amos 3:3 "how can two walk together unless they first agree?" Much like in the second chapter of Acts, they would receive their power "together" and "in one place." This "one place" would prove to be God's church.

4) Protection- the church was also a place where the people would find protection and sanctuary when feeling afraid or threatened as result of "the work." Psalm 46- God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.

So, we see the effects of Revelation can be persuaded by interpretation and subsequent presentation. What once HELD and MINIMIZED a people (opium), now HELPED and MOBILIZED a people (stimulant).]

I know it's long...(It was four pages hand written) But, in light of these realities, I think it's fair to challenge ourselves as proclaimers of the gospel to ascertain that we aren't wavering into the shady area of "Prosperity Preaching" that only seeks to anesthetize people. Many false prophets are only seeking to give the people sedatives and opiate-like presentation. Ironically, the result and "expected end" of the "prosperity preachers" is no different than in slave times. They birth congregations of masses who have accepted and embraced their enslavement, while looking to their leaders (masters) as the great hope. These false prophets, just like then, only seek to gain and "prosper" by fleecing the flock of it's resource and vitality. This often times, like in history, requires a inaccurate and unbiblical approach to life's circumstances in order to enslave one and empower another. We have an obligation to be sound bible expositors who share a solid word from God. Yes, there is comfort in the word of God. There are many times in which people need to hear of God's unfailing love, unmerited favor, sufficient grace, unhindered omniscience, and unchallenged omnipotence in the midst of trial. However, even those exhortations should be done in a doctrinally sound way. If not, we threaten to be nothing more than pushers of an addictive, mind numbing opiate that paralyzes the masses. We want to constantly "equip/perfect/make ready" God's people for the works of service. Thus, the question is, are you an Opiate or a Stimulant???

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Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Answered Prayer!!!

To God be the glory for the great things He has done... On today the Lord showed His unmerited favor and steadfast love to my family. I cant go into details at this time. However, the Lord worked in our favor on a matter that has been a concern for the last three months. Thank you Lord... I am always one of the first to say that God is praised for "who He is and not just what He does." Thankfully, I have never been one to have a hard time glorifying God "in the midst of." Matter of fact, I believe the opposite has been true. I believe this is why it is so inspiring when God proves Himself to be "a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him." I appreciate everyone who constantly keeps us in their prayers.

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Monday, August 04, 2008

Still Up, Not At'em

Well, it WAS a long day. Good thing is that the day was productive. I managed to get everything done today that was on the agenda I mentioned earlier. I was even able to remain faithful to my new goal to go to the gym all but one day out of the week. So, I got back from the gym about two hours ago and have been sitting on the couch, watching Godfather (undoubtedly my favorite "secular" film), and enjoying the "spunk" of my family. They really are great. It is just another reminder of why I am doing this all in the first place. Of course, I look forward to every opportunity to equip and position myself for kingdom work and advancement. But, I am also motivated, determined, and focused on effecting a better future for my family. They are so worth it... I got sidetracked, in more ways than one for a few years, but God has me "in the zone." I love what He's doing with, in, and through me. Thank you Lord for deciding to use me. So... I'm still up, but figured these moments with those I love the dearest is well worth the time. So, no "At'em" tonight. The books are on the coffee table, the homework is in the backpack, the laptop is still in the bag. As Scarlet O'Hara would say, "I can't think about those things now, I will have to deal with that tomorrow."

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Up and At'em

Why a Pastor would take an 8am class on Monday morning, is beyond me. Man, I have been up for about an hour (since 5:37) trying to prepare myself for the day. I have to turn in my portion of a group project in which we will do a presentation on Wednesday. The class is Psychology of Religion and I have been placed in a group that will do a presentation on "The Order of Solar Temple." Wow... There are some strange "Religious" groups to have existed. Then I have a test later on this morning. That is for a class called Racial Groups and Ethnicity. That is actually a Sociology class, and was very interesting.

Well, worship and word went well on yesterday. Of course, there is always some feeling of "I could have done better" on the part of the self-critiquing preacher/pastor. However, I do feel I preached what/how the Lord would have had me to. Now I am in need of strength for the week. I am much like my new found preaching/pastoring friend who blogged yesterday about a need for refreshing and renewing. I think he "hit the nail on the head" for me personally. But, I know that God will give us exactly what we need.

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Sunday, August 03, 2008

Can't We all Just Get Along???

On last night (Saturday) I attended a musical. I must admit, right off the cuff, that this is an unusual practice for me. I don't like to get involved in the routine of attending Saturday night events for sake of the Sunday morning preaching experience. However my Uncle's, Pastor Lloyd Pullam, church was on program there from Denton Texas which is about a 7 hour drive away from Corpus Christi. I figured, "if they could drive that far and then be on program again in the morning, I certainly could drive across town."

Anyway... I received an announcement flyer, after the musical, announcing a "Youth Gospel Explosion." I noticed that the date, August 15th and 16th, was the same dates as an Annual "Youth Explosion" of another church in the city. (same time as well) Being that I was privileged to know the origin and organization of the two events in great detail, I realized and deduced that the flyer I received last night was an effort that was conceived and organized all in the last two weeks. Pointedly an effort that was organized with full knowledge of the other "Explosion." I thought to myself "what a grave disregard, and spirit of non-community." I was personally troubled by the fact that the organizers of the event are flagrantly erecting an event in direct competition and challenge to the other congregation.

Now... I know it could be argued that "it shouldn't be a problem." However, I do believe the context of Corpus Christi's demographic constitutes a greater concern than, for example, nearby cities like Houston and Dallas. Corpus Christi has an estimated population of about 286,000 people. 87,000 of these are age 19 and under. (the "target age of these "explosions") Then, you add to that the fact that only 4.7% of our population is African American. (I know, in principle we are striving to be a mixed-culture church...But, you would see my point that this is the predominant representation) So, that leaves a number of about 4090 African Americans youths in the city, TOTAL. Then, you consider that it is said that about 61% of Americans report to be "regular" church attenders. So, there remains the TOTAL BEST CASE expectation of 2495 youth. History would reflect that the realistic yield of youth at such an event, in our city, is about 100 or so youth. My point is... CORPUS CHRISTI IS TO SMALL for us to be in Cutthroat Competition with each other. Especially when we organize events that are designed to include and invite people from accross the city and from other churches. We are are charged by God to be a community that works together in unity. I really do wish that we could grasp the concept of supporting one another, rather than trying to undercut.

Well... Now that I have written it, I guess it's amounts to a "personal" preference and opinion. Rodney King said it best though... "Can't we all just get along?"

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Friday, August 01, 2008

"ROOM" Reservations...

Today my heart has been gladdened and encouraged. On yesterday I learned that a great man of God has received a call to, what would seem to be, a great ministry opportunity. Of course, much of my joy comes from the fact that he (this Pastor) has proven to be a diligent bible student, fervent and fiery preacher, and great friend to preachers. However, the reason I am encouraged enough to make my post about it today is because I gleaned a personal confirmation for my life and ministry through this great "move of God" in the life of my Pastor friend.

It is often quite easy, in ministry, to feel as if "it is what it is." (to use contemporary vernacular) I have often felt as if there are certain "iconic" values to Preaching and Pastoring in which, if you don't match or model your ministry to those protocols there is no hope for upward mobility. Today that mold, for me, was shattered, and rejoicingly so...

I listened to the sermons (all 4 of them) that were preached by this Pastor/Preacher when being considered as the next leader of this flock. It was quite refreshing to be affirmed that theatrics, "tuning it up", "dumping that house", was not necessary for the Lord to move on the hearts of this parish of people. Biblically sound expository preaching is what he did.

Thank you Jesus... He didn't have to "slay'em". (though he rightfully could've)... He didn't have to have the formal degree (though he certainly knows more than the average scholar... It was this pastor who shared the words with me "it's not a sin if you don't have a degree, it's a sin to be uneducated.")

Bottom line, he simply had to be faithful to "study to show himself approved." He had to ascertain the task to "stir up the gift" which was within him. He only had to do what God had called him to do and "do it heartily." He was "faithful over a few things." That is a blessing to my heart in times much like these when I struggle with what God is doing in my ministry. I struggle with thoughts of being so "atypical" to the desired "attributes" of the sought after preachers. My father twice was right when always using the quote, "whatever you do son, preach a little." My charge and task is to use the gifts God has given ME. I have to pastor the people God has entrusted to ME. I can only "do ME."

So... Thanks Pastor (You Know Who Your Are) for allowing God to use you through the years. Today you are God's exhibit to me in the "case" he has constantly been presenting to my soul. The gavel drops, case closed... He can do WHATEVER He wants to do, He's Sovereign. I have to stop allowing other preachers, pastors, people, parishioners illuminate signs for me that say "NO VACANCIES." "A man's gift makes ROOM for him, and brings him before great men." Wow... That is my "ROOM Reservation." Confirmation number Prov.18:16. GOD BE PRAISED!!!