Struggling With 10%

While visiting our family doctor for our yearly exams, the subject turned to eating out. Our physician said, “The price of food in restaurants continues to rise as does the suggested tips. Isn’t it interesting that some folk have no problem giving the server a 25% tip yet struggle with a 10% tithe.”

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Counting the Joys!

“Pastor, do you know that you have been my pastor all my life?”

Last weekend, I had the privilege of attending two high school graduations of two young ladies who I held in the hospital at birth and have now watched receive their diplomas. That’s one of the many joys of longevity in ministry in one location!

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Celebrate Today!

Monday‚Äôs Ministry Encouragement: Written to encourage you, my friend in ministry, to be refreshed and renewed as we live for Christ and look toward the Bema.

Yesterday was a glorious day as we celebrated in many ways the resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ! Preparation for the day came with much expectation, exerted energy, intense planning and the involvement of many people.

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Highlights of 2022

Bless the Lord, O my soul, and all that is within me, bless his holy name! Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits (Psalm 103:1-2).

Looking back over this year, these familiar words can be uttered from my heart as if I just heard them for the very first time. My, how good the Lord has been through all the ups and downs, triumphs and trials, laughter and lessons, provisions and pruning, and times of waiting and answers to prayer of 2022. He is the constant, faithful, grace-filled, mercy-bestowing, ever-loving, immutable One Who is worthy of all praise and thanksgiving!!

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Retired & Disconnected

As I entered the bakery, I noticed an older man seated by the fireplace engrossed in his book. He looked up at me as I entered. The rain was coming down in buckets, so I jokingly said, “It’s wet out there!” He commented with a chuckle, and with that, we begin a conversation.

After retirement in another state, he had moved to this area. What he said next really caught my attention. He said, “I think I retired too early. I have no purpose in life.”

Sadly, the dream of retirement leaves far too many disappointed, disillusioned, and deteriorating.

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He Adores Her

Feeble and weak, he shuffled a bit wobbly toward the couch carrying a prized possession. In my 89 year old father-in-law’s hand was a photo mousepad. As he sat down on the couch next to me he said, “This is a picture of Mil (Mildred) and me after our first date.” He then proceeded to tell, with great delight, a bit of laughter, and a tear of joy how he got his sister to sit in the back seat of the car so the girl of his dreams would join him in the front seat. And as they say, “The rest is history.”

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Get Off the Interstate: Picnic for Two With a View

A hurry-up life-style results in a throwaway culture.

Chuck Swindoll

Indeed, many, many marriages are thrown away or put-on-the-back-burner because of the hurried pace and expectations of today’s society. There’s little time to develop attitudes, values, goals, and practices that characterize the culture of a good, godly marriage.

So, I offer a simple solution that can have positive “cultural” effects by way of two examples. If you don’t live in East Tennessee or travel these roads, just adapt to your neck-of-the-woods!

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But We’ll Be Late! | The Pastor’s First Ministry

There she was, sleeping so soundly. After a very draining week emotionally, mentally, physically and spiritually, my wife was snuggled securely in bed in a deep slumber.

“What time is it? What day is it?” Those were her words when I awakened her.

Slowly she crawled out of bed and began to make herself ready for the day.

What day was it? Sunday.

What time was it? Suffice it to say, she had overslept!! Didn’t hear her alarm either.

We have pre-service prayer meeting on Sundays at 8:30. As I watched the clock and began to fix her a to-go breakfast, she came down the stairs. My wife was ready to go to church on the outside, but I could see that she was not on the inside. And based upon my ever present “I’ll fix this situation” manhood, I declared, “I’ll go on ahead, and you can come in your Jeep.”

Wait a minute! It’s raining, she’s fighting off a migraine, and she is definitely not crusin’ along on all eight cylinders.

It was then and there that my first ministry captured my attention. Serving my wife was more important than being at prayer meeting on time. She had no business driving by herself. She needed her husband. She needed her pastor. She needed her friend.

Pastors, Christian leaders, missionaries, we are so prone to put the ministry above our wives, leaving her in the dust with her brood as she carries seven diaper/book bags, Bibles, a purse, and wearing her “running shoes” to keep up with you. I mean, after all, you are the pastor and you must be there to open the door and lead in prayer! What will people think if you are late!!!

Men, you know the words of Matthew 22:37-39 quite well. May I encourage you to remember that your wife is your neighbor. She is to be loved more than your church congregation (Ephesians 5:25). Your ministry to your wife, and your church member, I might add, is an example to all the other believers. She is your first ministry.

Fighting the urge to drive a bit more aggressively and take some of the curves on two wheels, we had a nice, easy and enjoyable journey.

Interesting enough, folks gathered for prayer as always, and . . . we were the second ones in the parking lot. No harm done. Compassionate, caring love shown to my wife.

Thank You, Lord, for stopping me in my tracks and reminding me what is of greater value.

“C’mon, Hon. Take your time. I’ll wait. Let’s go together.”