Fairview Baptist Tabernacle
Tuesday, September 19, 2017
Staying Connected
 Archived Pastor's Desk 2016.09.04
September 4 – September 10 
Scripture Passage: “…..Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.” 
Dear Friends,
     I got some bad news last week. My seven year old grandson is quitting the second grade. It seems the work has become harder and the teacher has been taking away the class’s playtime. He was a straight –A student last year, but that was last year and the stakes have been raised for this year. Besides the increased academic rigor of being in the second grade, to not have a little time to play with his friends each day is just more than a seven year old can take. If it had not been for lunch, P.E. playtime, and music, I would not have liked school either. Those things made everything else bearable. It was not until I graduated second grade and entered Ms. Allen’s third grade class that I realized I had a knack for this academic thing. Ms. Allen was an old-maid school teacher who loved little boys – especially me. She demanded excellence and made sure I got the leading part in plays as well as a position on the “Kiddie College” competition team. She is also the one responsible for my neat cursive hand writing. I thought about quitting the third grade that year, but hung on and it turned out to be a really good year. 
     Have you ever just wanted to quit something? Maybe the better question is, have you ever wanted to finish something? Sometimes the line between the two becomes blurred. Most of the time when I chose to finish something, I look back and cannot remember why I ever wanted to quit. The times I did quit, only brought a sense of regret that I did not see it through and learn from the experience. Some of the toughest times of my life and have turned out to be the most productive times. The lessons I learned were invaluable when coupled with the fact that they always brought me closer to the Lord. When things were going well, I depended more upon myself and less upon God. When things got tough and I had nowhere else to turn, I found the power of Christ resting upon me. So, like the Apostle Paul, I most gladly glory in my infirmities. 
     My problem is I hate to see someone in my family go through tough times. I try to shelter them, and if at all possible, keep them from being hurt. It just kills me to know that I am helpless at times and that their pain is often necessary for their growth and maturity. There is an old saying, “You don’t sharpen an ax on a pound of butter.” It takes the grit of the sharpening wheel and the flying of sparks to put a sharp edge on the ax. Without it, the ax may be pretty, but it is not functional. The same is true in our lives. We may not like it when the Lord puts us to the grinding wheel, pounds us on the anvil, or places us in the fire to remove the impurities, but they are all necessary to make us functional in His kingdom’s work. I have found I only see the benefit of these trials after I have come through them, not while I am experiencing them. Patty bought me a new sign to hang in my office. I proudly display it on the wall above my computer desk as a constant reminder not to get too wrapped up in what is taking place right now. It reads, “This too shall pass.” If things are tough right now, hang on, a brighter day is coming. If things are good right now, watch out, there is a clanging of the anvil off in the distance. If you feel like quitting, - your marriage, your job, your church – hang on and think your way through before you make a rash decision. If you quit the “second grade” you could miss all the joy and excitement of the “third grade.” 
In Christ, 
Pastor Johnny