Fairview Baptist Tabernacle
Friday, September 22, 2017
Staying Connected
 Archived Pastor's Desk 2017.01.15


January 15 – January 21




Scripture Passage:  “Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am therewith to be content.”    Philippians 4:11


Dear Friend,


     I do not believe that the Apostle Paul and I were any relation.  He said he was content wherever he found himself and in any circumstance.  I find myself bored at the amusement park, dissatisfied at the Cheesecake Factory, and disinterested at the ballgame.  My television has 100 channels of nothing, and my favorite radio station plays music that does not even resemble the music I grew up on.  When I listen to Christian radio every song begins to sound the same.  When they finally play one that I can hear and understand above the drums, it only last three to five minutes and then it is on to the next “big hit” among teenagers.  I am not a teenager anymore, I have trouble ciphering the words from the music because of my loss of hearing, and I still believe that variety is the spice of life – even in music.  Lest you think I Am bashing contemporary Gospel music, you are wrong.  When those songs are sung with an acoustic guitar, I find they have some of the most beautiful lyrics and melodies I have ever heard.  They speak to my heart and lift my spirit, but when you are deaf in one ear and cannot hear out of the other one, loud distorted sounds become a blur of noise.  Flashing lights and smoke give me a headache and if I have to stand for more than one song at a time, my knees begin to buckle.  I love to sing and I think about the words and what they mean as they are being sung, but after they are said twice – I am done and ready to move on.  That is no one’s fault, it is just my personality and attention span.  I love preaching and great preachers, but the very best I have ever heard lose me after about forty minutes.  I want to be taken deep in the Word, but not so deep that I cannot understand the message and thus feel as if I am drowning.  I find myself wanting to sleep when I should stay awake, and staying awake, when I should be sleeping.  As Leon says, “What’s that all about?”  Solomon described all of this in Ecclesiastes 12 and called it growing old.  I saw a bumper sticker the other day that stated this fact in another clear, precise way – “Growing old is not for sissies.” 


     I hope you laughed a little as you read that and most who are over 40 will find some common ground with me.  Lest you think I never smile, and live an awful life – Life is Good  - most of the time.  The difficulty I have is that life is all about changes, nothing ever stays the same.  The only constant in an ever changing world is Jesus Christ and His love.  Warren Wiesrbe says that life is a battleground for a mature Christian and a playground for an immature one.  I still laugh, cut up and even play some, but I find my perspective has changed a lot over the years.  I tend to be more cautious and serious than I was in my youthful years and my thoughts tend to be much deeper.  Where I once desired notoriety and to be popular, I now desire respect and spiritual balance.  Where I once based my ministry upon the mountain-top experiences, I now know it is more about a consistent, steady walk through the highs and lows of service.  Not everyone is going to like what I like, or have the same taste in music or preaching style, but we can come together as one in our love for Christ.  Church is the one place I can find some sense of contentment.  Not satisfied, but content.  The person who is satisfied becomes complacent, the person who is content is at peace.  So as we evaluate our service to the Lord and initiate the needed changes and corrections, realize that our contentment is not based upon our happiness or even our desires, it is based upon the joy of the Lord and a desire for His will to be accomplished.  Anything less will be a disappointment. 


In Christ,


Pastor Johnny