February 1, 2016

For most pastors Monday morning is a time to decompress from a busy and stressful Sunday. Some pastors take Mondays off just to unwind and recoup from the duties on the Lord’s Day. Others don’t take Monday off because they don’t want to “waste” it on a day when they know they won’t really enjoy it or be at their best (Ha). But they come in and catch up on organizing and other busy work. I’m still trying to remember why I chose to write a blog which actually requires me to engage my brain?? Maybe the coffee will kick in so I can write something useful today. Happy Monday!
Wouldn’t it be great if we were perfect and nothing bad ever happened and there was no stress but simply joy and love and peace all the time? Oh wait. I think I just described a place called Heaven. And if the earth was like that then we probably wouldn’t be as excited about Heaven. So what then, do we just give up and give in? Of course not. In case you hadn’t figured it out I struggle just like you do. I struggle with my weight and with finances and with relationships and with worry and well you get the idea. I’m not perfect either (*gasp*). But does that mean I just give up trying. No. An example I use a lot is losing weight.
Some of you have no clue here because you can pretty much eat whatever you want and all you do is “cut back a little” on your next meal and you’re good to go. Weight is a genetic issue with me. It’s something I have struggled with my whole life (this is very therapeutic for me on a Monday morning). I’m ashamed to say at one point in my life I weighed over 320 pounds. Yikes. And most of my adult life I have been overweight. Right now I am not but it’s still a constant struggle. One that occupies way too much of my energy and thought processes. I wish it could just be solved and I could move on. But as soon as I begin to think I have it conquered, my pants suddenly get tighter and I realize the struggle will never end. This is how it is for all of us in the fight we have against Satan and SIN. We never “arrive.” There is no day where we can relax and let our guard down. There is no vacation where we can just do whatever we want. For some people this depressing. It is mentally draining to have to always keep our guard up. But this is where God comes into the picture. He is the one who helps us in the midst of our struggles. He knows what we are going through. “The Bible says Jesus experienced the greatest temptations ever, yet, he didn't give in. But that also means when you pray, ‘I'm struggling in this area. I'm just not making it here. I keep stumbling. I keep falling,’ Jesus understands because Jesus has been there. He knows what it's like. He knows what it's like to want to be depressed, to want to be angry, and to want to lash back. He knows what it's like to be misunderstood and to be lonely. Because Jesus ‘understands every weakness of ours’ (Hebrews 4:15 CEV) the Bible says we can have ‘confidence, then, and approach God's throne, where there is grace. There we will receive mercy and find grace to help us just when we need it’ (Hebrews 4:16 TEV)” (quote from Rick Warren). Don’t give up. Keep fighting. Stay Positive!!
It’s hard to believe that Harvest America will be here in less than 5 weeks. I hope you are praying now about not only being there but who will you bring with you? Not only will Greg Laurie be live at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, TX but we are also hosting a live simulcast at FBCWS. We will have free food and free parking! Aha! So come join us and bring a friend! This could be the greatest night of their life as they will be exposed to the gospel of Jesus Christ!!
If you are like me then you are already weary from the process of selecting the next President of the United States. And yet it is still over 9 months away before we actually vote so be prepared to be sick of it all by then. But one thing we should all be doing on a daily basis is praying. We need to pray that God would intervene in our country. We face a huge decision on who will lead us for the next 4-8 years. It is a decision which could, and I believe will, have a huge impact on the future of our country. We are at a tipping point and without resorting to negativism I believe we must be on our knees like never before!
Last, I want to say welcome home to my daughter, Olivia, who made it safely back from her mission trip to Poland. Thank God for using her there and for bringing her home!