I’m writing this post on my way to Louisville. I’m heading that way for the Sovereign Grace Executive Committee meetings which will last from Tuesday morning until Thursday afternoon. Lord willing, I’ll be back in Oregon on Thursday evening. Once a year, usually in August, I make this trek to serve with 6 other men in our denomination as we review policies, approve budgets, and pray for God to continue His work among our family of churches. It is a joy to serve in this way and I’m grateful that our church is willing to allow me to do this. I’ve enjoyed the two years that I’ve been on the EC. Thanks for praying for us.
I’ve been in church ministry for 34 years. I made a commitment to the Lord in the early years of ministry that I would be transparent, honest, and willing to share life’s challenges. I wanted people who listened to me and learned from me to see that “pastors are people too.” We struggle with sin. We struggle with emotions. We face hardships and trials. We’re not always “on.” Many times we struggle to get the energy just to get out of bed.
While serving in the church is one of life’s greatest pleasures, it also comes at a cost. We lose close friends. We deal with conflict. And normally, people don’t call you to rejoice about a job promotion or a success, they call when disaster hits.
I say all of this not to make you feel that there’s a complaint, but to make you aware, if you aren’t, that pastors have challenges and hurts, just like you, and also to highlight a remarkable work in our church.
In the last 5 years, each of our elders and wives has been hit with very challenging things: one has lost his wife; a few of us cared for and lost parents; some have broken bones or suffered very challenging physical issues; some have had to make agonizing decisions regarding jobs or transitions. I honestly cannot think of an elder family who has not been hit with something that has not left them scarred. Yet, through the pains, they have kept clinging to the Lord. Much like what Rick preached this past Sunday, they have shown remarkable faith by continuing to cling to the Lord and cry out to Him. It has been a pleasure serving alongside each of them and seeing them ‘bear the marks of the Lord Jesus.’
And in our church, there has been a load of grace extended to each of us by our church family. I cannot think of one moment when there’s been a question or a complaint made against any of us. While we’ve ministered through sorrow or pain, our church has held us in their hearts and extended grace upon grace to us. There is a wonderful congregation in Roseburg whom Christ leads and I believe I speak for our elders, whom we are incredibly grateful for.
Psalms of Lament
Rick Gamache did a fantastic job teaching us through Psalm 88 on Sunday. I will never forget his final statement: “There is no pain and suffering that a good resurrection can’t heal.” Amen!
Rick’s sermon ends a study this summer of many Psalms of lament. I’m grateful we covered psalms like this for a few reasons: 1) it gave us biblical answers and hope; 2) it gave us categories for times when life doesn’t make sense; 3) it shows that we’re a congregation that doesn’t want to ignore hard things in God’s word. Each teacher this summer did a wonderful job of laying out truths from God’s word that we hard to hear. But those hard-to-hear things were from hard-to-hear inspired texts from God that are good for our souls.
This Coming Sunday
This Sunday, August 27th, we will look at Psalm 20. We will consider where our trust is found. “Some trust in chariots; some in horses; but we will trust in the Lord.”
Remember, our service is at 10:00 a.m. at Jacoby Auditorium.
Laboring Alongside You
As I stated Sunday, we WAY overbooked September with seminars, conferences, and a 20th church anniversary. I can assure you that this was an oversight of the challenges of our growth. But I can also assure you that our desire is to labor alongside you in the gospel and for you to labor alongside us. So, thank you for being patient with us and “putting on your adult pants” and working through this busy season with us. Please check out what’s coming at clfroseburg.com/events. It is a busy but amazing September that we have planned.
From the Cheap Seats
- The Atlanta Braves are unreal. I read this recently and it blew my mind: The 2-3-4 hitters, Ozzie Albies, Austin Riley, Matt Olson — have played in all 117 Braves’ games and have 99 homers with 272 RBI. Imagine having three ironmen like that who are averaging 33 homers and 90 RBI in the heart of your order — with seven weeks left to play.
- A pencil bat!!: https://twitter.com/TalkinBaseball_/status/1693405698355315105
- This is one of the best catches I’ve ever seen: https://bleacherreport.com/videos/459032-milb-juggle-catch
To watch or listen to the sermon described in this post, please click here.
Have a great week!