8-26-2018 Rest in the Lord


August 26, 2018


Thank the Lord! This was one of those hum-drum weeks where normal actually seemed achievable. Can you believe it? Nothing out of the ordinary happened… it just stayed the course… and ‘business as usual’ provided a much-needed breath of fresh air. We all need those weeks sometimes. And what a pleasure they are… when they show up.


I don’t know about you, but for me, it seems so often that ‘adrenaline’ is all that gets me through the week. I used to smile lovingly and nod appreciatively at retired individuals who proclaimed, “I don’t know how I had time to work, my days are so full now.” Understand I wasn’t making fun of them… I just didn’t have a reference to understand… I do now!


Truth is, just like there’s always someone waiting for your hard-earned money… there is someone always waiting for your precious time. For me, I have this amazing ministry at a place called Lakeside that is filled with the most interesting and caring people. I also perform the business management, accounting and maintenance at Connie’s childcare facility. (I have fixed the toilets so many times I’ve earned the nickname “the toilet man” …. not sure if that’s good or bad?) And of course, there is always the obligation to spend a few hours on the water fishing.


Since retiring from my design job one thing I’ve attempted to do is to maintain a schedule. Mondays are as close to a day off as I come. Like my former ‘smiling’ at retired folks’ words, for the lay person who has never preached a sermon… you have no reference to understand that if a pastor really pours himself into a message… it drains him both emotionally and physically. Mondays are recovery days. Most Pastors take Mondays off. Not because they want to… they have to. I’ve found that I recover very well on the lake, thank you.


On Tuesdays my goal is two-fold. 1) Review the slides for Wednesday’s Bible study and begin to prepare new ones for the following week. 2) Do bookkeeping for the childcare facility. Intertwined in all of this I find myself writing or recording thoughts and impressions about the coming Sunday’s message. Truth is, often, I haven’t quite figured where God is heading, I just know if I don’t write those thoughts down… distractions will quickly steal them away. And of course, I fish… while I think… and pray… and listen for God’s leading.

Wednesdays are non-fishing days. I get up at the usual 4:30 a.m. though, grab coffee to ignite the engine and begin one last review of the days Bible Study materials. Usually, if there was a question at one of the previous studies, this is the time I prepare to address that question. This too involves additional research, study and preparation. At 10:45 I leave for study… after Bible Study I will visit, text or call folks on the phone. If not, there’s always something ministerial to tend to.


On Thursdays I spend time putting the first draft of the coming Sunday’s message together. It’s also a major bookkeeping day for the Childcare Center with payroll, invoice entries and general accounting. And of course, …fishing.


Fridays involve final sermon and Sunday School lesson preparation. And of course, …a little more fishing.


Saturdays are once again non-fishing days. I get up as usual, prepare the bulletin, write the “From the Pastor” article and put the power point slides together from the message. Its also the only day Connie and I have opportunity to spend more than 3 hours together in one string.


Confession time… I sleep in a little on Sunday mornings… the alarm doesn’t go off until 5:30 a.m. Once I am up and going I spend the time till we leave, praying for the services… doing one last review of the message and Sunday School lesson. I also receive my spiritual nourishment by listening to Dr. David Jeremiah’s half-hour message.


Why am I spelling all this out? Because I LOVE what I do. Because it’s NEVER a burden. Because I can NEVER recall saying, “Why me, Lord, why today?’ In fact, Connie will testify… the most common phrase I use as we drive out the church drive is… “okay, we get to do this all over again.” What a privilege it is to be a fellow worker with our Lord. A privilege and joy available to anyone who desires to serve... not just pastors, or music ministers or Sunday School teachers… a privilege and joy available to everyone who knows our Lord.


By now you may be asking, “When do you rest?” The answer is “always” … and really… “never”. Always because, like strength, my rest comes from the Lord. Therefore, I am always resting in Him. And never, because His love for you is always on my heart… that joyful burden never leaves me. I think of you and pray for you constantly. When I know you hurt... I hurt. When I know you’re joyful… I rejoice. Rest will come when the job is finished… and when the job is finished He will call me home into His perfect rest.


Work and Rest… two bookends within God’s Word… accomplished according to God’s schedule.


Colossians 3:23 (NASB)
23 Whatever you do, do your work heartily, as for the Lord rather than for men,


Hebrews 4:10 (NASB)
10 For the one who has entered His rest has himself also rested from his works, as God did from His.

Thank you for your faithfulness. Pastor Larry