Fairview Baptist Tabernacle
Tuesday, September 19, 2017
Staying Connected
 Archived Pastor's Desk 2016.08.21
 August 21 – August 27



Scripture Passage:  “A prophet is not without honor, but in his own country, and among his own kin, and in his own home.”  Mark 6:4 


Dear Friends,


     “Little Johnny” was what I was called in the community I grew up in.  I went away to college and eventually returned to teach in the school I graduated from.  There were blessings, but also challenges, that came with the position. Because I had grown up with them and their children, they would often try to control me or easily became offended when my decisions did not meet with their approval.  The result was often contention and hurt feelings.  People who were once my greatest supporters became some of my most critical opponents.  Looking back, I realize that some of their criticism was justified.  I eventually moved to Rogersville where I pastored a church and traveled across Clinch Mountain to teach in a mountain, community school.  The success that had eluded me for the previous seven years seemed to find me and I became “Little Johnny” once again.  The church grew by leaps and bounds and the community I taught in loved and respected me.  I look back fondly on those years as some of the best years of my life.   

     I recently went back to my home church in Surgoinsville to preach their homecoming service.  I felt that love and respect once again.  It seemed as though the gray headed man before them was still “Little Johnny” and they welcomed me with open arms.  One thing the years have taught me is that respect is not given, it is earned.  In the attempt to prove ourselves we often alienate ourselves from those who love us the most.  I am so glad the Lord has allowed me to outgrow some of the foolishness of my youth and return back to the simple person I once was.   

     I am not the same person I  was during my twenties and can never be again.  The battle scars from my life experiences and the soot from my time in the furnace of affliction is a constant reminder of where I have come from.  The Potter has left his fingerprints all over me and I often feel the pressure of His hands as He continues to mold me into His image.  Maybe someday the Lord will allow me to go from “Little Johnny” to “Big John” in His kingdom work.  If not, I have enjoyed a wonderful life and maybe in some way I have still made a difference.


In Christ,


Pastor Johnny