Fairview Baptist Tabernacle
Tuesday, September 19, 2017
Staying Connected
 Archived Pastor's Desk 2016.07.31
July 31- August 6
Scripture Passage:  “Forgetting the things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.”   Philippians 3:13-14
Dear Friends,
     What if? and If only? are the questions of one who constantly wonders what might have been and spends more time second guessing themselves than they do living for today or planning for the excitement of tomorrow.  There have been jobs I have had that if I had stuck with them I would be retired by now.  There have been things I wish I had kept, and other things I should have gotten rid of a long time ago.  There have been investment opportunities that I missed, had I been willing to take a chance, I would be wealthy right now.  There have been churches I turned down and others I left that I wonder what it would be like if I had stayed.  There have been relationships that have flourished and others that have faltered that leave the nagging question, What did I do?  In the end I have come to the conclusion that God has had a plan for me all along and that everything has worked out to the good because I did what I thought was right at the time.  Some things have proven I made the right decision, and other things have proven that I was wrong.  In every single instance however, God used it for my good and his glory.  I have learned some valuable lessons from my mistakes and enjoyed some magnificent blessings from my successes.  It is often forgotten in the game of baseball that a 300 batting average is considered highly successful.  It also means that you struck out seven out of ten times.  Many successful business entrepreneurs, have risen from bankruptcy and failed business ventures to become some of the world’s wealthiest and most powerful.  The difference has always been tenacity and perseverance.  It is not the number of times you have failed that you will be remembered for, but the number of times you got up and started all over again.   Daniel told little Kenner the other day, “Shake it off and get back in there. You’re not bleeding.”    Sometimes the best attribute a person can have is to have a short memory. 
     Forgetting those things which are behind is not always an easy thing to do.  There are things I hang on to because they remind me of better times and happier days.  There are also things I hang on to out of self-preservation.  I am kind of like an old dog.  You may kick me once, but from then on I will always remember and be leery of you even when you treat me with a juicy bone.  Paul said, “Forget it, move on, bury the hatchet and get on with your life.”  There is just too much work to do to always be looking over your shoulder with suspicion.  You simply cannot change the past, but the way you react to it determines your happiness and peace of mind. 
     Having a goal for myself has always been one of my strongest attributes.  I have always known there were certain things I wanted to accomplish in my life and for the most part I have enjoyed a measure of success.  I go to bed each night and wake up each morning outlining my activities and things I want to accomplish and begin systematically working to complete them.  One of the hard things I have had to learn is to be flexible.  Things can change without warning, and then you simply prioritize what must be finished and what can wait until tomorrow.  What cannot wait is the need to fulfill our calling in Christ, and to consistently strive for the finish line and to finish well.  To please the one who has saved us and called us is the mark we strive for on a daily basis.  To fall short of that mark is to end the race in shame.  To hear the word, “Well done,” is to be rewarded the victors crown.  Don’t look back, and don’t second guess yourself.  Look straight ahead and focus on the one waiting for you at the finish line.
In Christ,
Pastor Johnny