Fairview Baptist Tabernacle
Friday, September 22, 2017
Staying Connected
 Archived Pastor's Desk 2016.08.14

August 14 – August 20



Scripture Passage:  “And let the peace of God rule in our hearts, to which also you are called in one body; and be thankful.”  Colossians 3:15 


Dear Friends,


     In the past month almost everything I touched fell apart. Everything I owned was breaking down and things that normally would go well for me came to a grinding halt.  I do not know if the Lord has been trying to teach me a lesson and I would not listen, or the devil was trying to discourage me and distract my focus.  This past weekend was a breath of fresh air.  We had not planned to leave until Thursday evening to go home for homecoming services at the church I grew up in, but our granddaughter, Cadence, was very sick and Beth needed us to keep her Thursday so that she could work.  We left Wednesday night after church and arrived at Beth’s after 11:00 P.M.  We got up and traveled to the farm the next morning where Patty and Granny would be able to care for Cadence and I could work on some things that I needed to finish.  The Lord blessed me in a tremendous way and I want to share that with you. 


     This may seem silly to you, but it was a big deal to me.  I have been working on a stretch of fence that runs over a quarter of a mile for several months.  Every time I would go home I would work some on it.  I have dug post holes, tamped in the post, driven steel post and tried to keep the fence row from growing back up until I could get the wire stretched.  We had to stop for a period of time to get the hay up for the season, but during that time the fence row grew back up with bushes and grass.  I had to get all that cleaned back up for the second time before I could stretch the wire. I was able to get all that done on Thursday.   Thursday evening, my brother-in-law and I, and another young man, began stretching the wire.  We continued Friday evening and then Saturday my family showed up and helped finish it.  Saturday evening at 2:00 P.M. the entire fence was complete.  In between times, I was able to repair some of our equipment, dig potatoes, transport equipment and mow hay, so as you can see I accomplished a lot. 


     Sunday morning I was given the opportunity to preach the homecoming service for the church I grew up in.  My mother has attended there for sixty years and now my dad attends there also.  I have never preached there with my dad in attendance.  It was special.  My brother and sister was there as well as their families. Several people from the community came just to hear me.  When the invitation was given, there were several on the altar praying and the anointing of the Holy Spirit was present from beginning to the end of the service.  I had the opportunity to speak to, and renew friendships with, individuals I had not seen in years.  It was a special day and I am thankful for being given the opportunity to be there. 


     Sunday evening was our annual business session.  This is a huge, important meeting in our church.  All leadership positions are filled and the ministry budget is approved.  I have sat through these meetings for as long as I can remember.  I became part of a church staff at the age of twenty-two and have seen all the things that take place “behind the scenes” for the past thirty-three years.  I have moderated those meetings for the past twenty-seven.  You never know what could happen.  I have seen explosions and tempers flare.  I have seen things tabled and sent back to the committee to find a compromise that was agreeable to all parties.  Most people do not know all the work and prayer that has gone into the nominations and reports before they are presented.  There are ALWAYS things that have been dealt with behind the scenes, and somebody is ALWAYS upset about some part of the budget.  The evil one knows what bothers us and does everything possible to stir us up against each other.  So, when a business meeting goes as it did Sunday night, I know what a miracle it is.  I am thankful God helped us and I know he showed me mercy because I do not believe I could have handled a bad situation.  God is good.


     Finally, I am thankful that God loves me, saved me, and is patient in His dealings with me.  I have a good heart, but sometimes I am not very smart. There are times I handle things just right, and other times I am guilty of doing things “my way.”  That always ends in a disaster.  The other things I deal with is discouragement and stress.  I often say that 99% of the time I do OK, but when that 1% hits it is often a doozy.  It is funny how a compliment given at the right time is the encouragement needed to get through a difficult situation, or criticism at the wrong moment is enough to send you into a tail spin.  The Lord has been so good to see me through another difficult patch in my life and ministry. So let the peace of God rule in your heart.  Do everything within your power to live in unity with your family, church, neighbors and friends, and BE THANKFUL.


In Christ,


Pastor Johnny