Pastor’s Prayer

Holy God,
You have called me to the awesome task
of preaching Your Word and
presiding at Your table.
You have called me to lead Your people in worship.
On my own I am incapable of discharging this call.
On my own I will surely mess it all up.
On my own I will surely attempt to rob You of all glory.
Oh God, mighty Father,
walk with me hand in hand that I may give You all the glory.
Hold me tight that I may not stray.
Grant me Your Spirit that I may be faithful with Your Word.
I praise You that You have chosen me to be Your instrument this morning.
To You be all praise and glory.
In Jesus name I pray,
Amen.

Weakness: A prayer

Loving and gracious God,

May I always feel unprepared to preach, lead worship and engage in ministry.
May I always feel inadequate for the task at hand.
May I always feel weak…

…for when I am weak, unprepared, inadequate, it is then that I am strong, for in those moments your Spirit takes over and does something amazing.

May I know your Spirit’s presence this morning, and always, that you may be lifted up and glorified and not me.  For when I feel strong, prepared and adequate for the task ahead it is then that I seek the glory.  May that never be.

So I lay everything at your feet this morning and ask that you use me.

May your Word break through hearts of stone.
May your Word strengthen weak faith.
May your Word give life to dry bones.

This I lift up to you through your glorious Son, Jesus Christ, my Lord.

Amen!

The pastor  -|—

My least favorite day

I love Christmas, but recently I heard a pastor say something that saddened me:

“The only thing I love as much as Christmas is the day after Christmas.”

I didn’t quite know what to say to that because I knew what they meant; they were looking forward to Christmas being over 😦

Christmas is indeed busy.  There’s lot’s of extra things to do on top of what we already need to do.  Yesterday morning, for example, I thought I had the Christmas Eve service all planned last week.  I gave the musicians the bulletin outline so they could practice the music, but then my secretary pointed out a mistake I made ~ I put a carol in there twice.  So I had to make some changes and contact the musicians.  And this is all while I am trying to get my newsletter article done, do sermon prep, make a delivery to the nursing home and run a couple other errands.  And then the phone was ringing and I had to try very hard to be patient with people (because it is not their fault that everything was piling up on me).

Christmas can cause a lot of headaches and stress and sleepless night for a pastor but you know something…

I wouldn’t trade it for anything.

For me Christmas is a golden opportunity to preach the Gospel to people who normally don’t come to worship.  It’s my chance to slap people across the face with the Good News of the Christ-child being born for all people.  It’s the perfect time to tell people that Christmas is not a secular holiday but rather a celebration of perfect love coming down to us.  As one of my 4th grade girls said in release time just recently:

“If Jesus wasn’t born then he wouldn’t have died on the cross for our sins and therefore we wouldn’t go to heaven.”

Amen!  That’s the Good News of Christmas.

Next to Easter, Christmas is my favorite day of the year and my least favorite day is the day after Christmas because it means I have 364 days to wait to do this again.

“For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.” (Luke 2:11)

MERRY CHRISTMAS!

The pastor -|—

Changes and adjustments

I must admit…this new daddy role has taken some getting used to but it is sinking in more and more with each passing day.  There are many things I knew would change and others I didn’t know exactly how they would change.  I guess that just goes with the territory.  I keep learning and keep adjusting.  Eventually I will develop the illusion that I know what I am doing 🙂

Anyway…

One of the big things I have been trying to get use to is working from home.  The congregation gave me the gift of working from home during the month of May so I could spend more time bonding with Mayah.  A couple days a week (when my wife is home) I do go into the office.

When this schedule first started I got a little frustrated because I didn’t anticipate how difficult this working from home would be.  I had big plans on how much I was going to get done while Mayah was sleeping.

Silly daddy…

The biggest problem was that I didn’t plan very well; so the first couple days at home not much work got done.  Now…I have planned my week out better and have set more realistic expectations for myself.  I have also adjusted my hours so I can get done everything that is expected of me by others and myself.

Wednesday was worship prep and sermon prep day from home.  I planned worship for Sunday and did some sermon prep reading and research.  Today (Thursday) I am home again but this time I will be fully ready to write the sermon while Mayah is sleeping…despite the fact I didn’t get much sleep last night.  Oh well…that’s what coffee is for.

So here we go…another day at home bonding with my little girl and doing ministry here in Jackson.  The best of both worlds.

The pastor/new daddy -|—