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Archive for the ‘tiredness’ Category

“I’M NOT TIRED!” was the angry scream of several of our kids, and it was a sure sign that they really were tired, very tired. Sometimes we are tired and don’t even know it, although it is no secret to those around us. But there really are things we don’t get tired of; this preacher hasn’t gotten tired of.

Below the milk collective, where the farmers dropped off their milk in our little German town, they sold milk, butter, cheese, and whipped cream in a waffle cone for 10 Pfennig, a little over 2 cents. I was hooked the first time my Grandpa took me there (I had no idea whipped cream was addictive). I will scrape off frosting but to this day I am a sucker for whipped cream.

I have not gotten tired of love, even though it doesn’t always make life easier. There is something incredibly beautiful about real love. To me it is more addicting than whipped cream. The most important things in my life all depend on love: Being a child of God, being Susie’s husband (HBoM – Hunking Block of Manliness), being our children’s Dad, my church family, my friendships, my family, being a pastor. There is nothing like loving and being loved.

I love happy endings, not just in movies or books, but in real life. I don’t get tired of them, I pray for them, hope for them, haven’t given up on them. And it is not because I have not experienced grief, ugliness, evil, and the inexplicable. Maybe it is because of it. Great outcomes are rare, happy endings are precious, and they are worth it. I believe Jesus thinks so too.

Angels rejoice, celebrate, over one sinner who repents. It is an awesome thing to see a sinner kneel at the cross of Christ and just for the asking receive forgiveness, eternal life, a heavenly birth certificate, and a chance of living every day with God himself. I haven’t gotten tired of telling about that day in my own life, and I am not tired of witnessing someone else’s day of salvation.

Goodness I don’t tire of either. I vote for it every chance I have. I am still for honesty, for saying what is meant and meaning what is said. I am in favor of integrity, transparency, simplicity, and generosity. They scrub the air like rain in the summer; you can breathe deeply where there is goodness. And at the beginning and end of every single drop of goodness you and I get a glimpse of God, because when it comes to goodness he is involved in it. No, I am not tired of goodness or the glimpses.

I don’t tire of God amazing me. “Who am I, O Lord GOD, and what is my house, that You have brought me this far?2 Samuel 7:18b (NASB).

To God be all glory, love Pastor Hans

 

 

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When the preacher gets tired

 

Since I am always encouraging others to not hide behind generalities, and because I can’t speak for every other preacher it is better if I let you know about when this preacher, when pastor Hans gets tired.

 

I know this much, when I am tired I am not as efficient, I am more critical, am more negative, have less patience, prayer becomes a struggle, I let myself get sidetracked, procrastinate, and wonder if all effort, all that preaching, teaching, shepherding is making all that much of difference.

 

When I am tired I am tempted to holler more from the pulpit, which is kind of like a frustrated parent yelling at their kids. But since I have been at this for a while I know that doesn’t do a whole lot of good, you end up having to holler more and more.

 

There are different aspects to my tiredness but they are intertwined like night crawlers at the bottom of a worm can. Some of it is my own fault, too little rest, doing too much, my ministry habits and patterns. Susie and I were dirt poor when we got into this ministry thing. When you are dirt poor you fix things yourself, cut your own firewood, do your own pest control, and save wherever you can. When you pastor a small church start in a tiny community you work several jobs, are the janitor, service planner, youth director, and end up plugging the dam a lot. That has shaped me, maybe scarred me, and certainly has worn me out more than once over the years.

 

Some of my tiredness stems from what I am tired of. I am tired of hearing someone who claims to be have been a believer for 25 years still claiming that they don’t know how to share the Gospel with their family, neighbors, and friends, or being afraid to pray out loud or for someone right on the spot. I am tired of watching brothers and sisters scale back or drop out all together, I don’t get it. I am tired of pussy footing, anonymity, outright gossip, and too many careless and trivial words. But I am hollering, ain’t I.

 

I am tired of having to motivate those who profess faith in Christ to follow Christ, to be faithful, to commit themselves to growth, to service, to think missional. I wonder if that is my own fault? Am I preaching Jesus incorrectly, if people are not internally compelled to follow, to change? If there is not a heart constrained by the love of Christ, continually overwhelmed and grateful for the mercy poured out and received?

 

I am tired of Christians talking Bible and flushing it as soon as there is conflict, hardship, change, or something they don’t like. Talking scripture without living it when it really counts is hollow, bridle, lifeless.

 

I am tired of the level of conformity that is required in my own denomination and other denominations. There are too many Christian circles all requiring conformity, be it some form of patriotism, liberalism, activism, or some particular theological ism. So you have to watch what you say and do or you are outrageous, outdated, or simply out.

 

There is a relentlessness to ministry, to being a pastor that is tiring to me. One sermon done another one coming (and it should be good, boring preaching is inexcusable). People don’t transform easily. The needs never stop. The spiritual battle never has a cease fire. There are always things weighing on my heart and mind.

 

Some of my tiredness comes from the fact that a good deal of what I do I am neither gifted for nor passionate about. I know that’s like any other job, which means you know exactly what I am talking about.

 

I am tired, shamed even, by my own slow progress, by the wide gap I still see after so many years between what is the present reality of my Christian life and what Christ, what scripture, calls me to be.

 

Now, I haven’t penned this note to elicit your pity. You could write your own. Teachers, plumbers, police officers, doctors, parents, … all get tired. I wrote this pastors note because I want to live with you in real and transparent fellowship. I hate having to pretend, so I don’t want you or me to do so, not in regard to tiredness or anything else.

 

Be responsive to your pastoral leaders. Listen to their counsel. They are alert to the condition of your lives and work under the strict supervision of God. Contribute to the joy of their leadership, not its drudgery. Why would you want to make things harder for them? Hebrews 13:17 (MSG)

To God be all glory, love you, Pastor Hans

P.S. I will use next week’s pastor’s note to let you know what this preacher never gets tired of.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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