Archive for October, 2011

What do you do all day?

As the associate pastor of NHUMC I have a variety of roles.  Currently we are seeking a director of our children’s ministries.  With this vacancy, we are all faced with working together to maintain our ministries and make sure the children in our congregation and community stay connected in their faith.  Along with this, I work with our adult ministries, worship, student ministries and other various areas.  This is not unique, but certainly keeps ones schedule very busy. 

Not only am I the full-time associate, but I am still a full-time student in seminary as well as working through the ordination process which requires a unit of cpe (working 12 hours a week at the local hospital and 2-12 hour on call shifts per month).  This leaves very little time in which I have to spend with my family.  This of course becomes very challenging for me and frustrating for my family at times. 

Just the other day at one of our youth events, one of the students was laughing at something I had done and said something about me having too much time on my hands.  We both laughed it off and then I noticed he was saying something under his breath.  He was going through my “schedule” (at least as he saw it) and then said what he was thinking.  “you have Sunday services, Sunday night youth and Wednesday youth; that leaves a lot of free time.”  God gave me the self-control needed at that moment 🙂  I wanted to say “ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!?!?!?!”  Of course I didn’t say that and simply explained very briefly that it may look like there isn’t much to do, but there really is.  I stay quite busy, but I truly love what I do.

I had to laugh when I thought about it later that evening.  At times life seems so simple and it seems impossible to have such a busy life that we cannot make the much-needed time for our family.  I learned something from that young man even though he may not have meant it this way; I believe he was telling me to look at what’s filling my life and decide how important it really is.  Not everything is priority #1.  I really should have some free time on my hands.




This past Sunday in worship we were looking at guilt.  Something that literally cages us to a point of inactivity in our faith.  how easy it is to focus on our shortcomings and even the shortcomings of those we love.  Guilt can suck the spiritual life from us to a point of being lethargic in our faith. 

I don’t believe this is an issue of the conscious mind; on the contrary this is something our subconscious attaches too and we do not even realize it until we are in the grip of it.  The question we must ask ourselves is quite simple and compelling all the while.  How do we find release from this cage?  the “generic” answer is equally as  simple…with God’s help.  then I respond with “ya, right!” 

In all seriousness, we  have the opportunity and the gift of grace and forgiveness given by God.  Moreover, we have grace that we are given; that we may “give” it to ourselves.  If we allow guilt to overshadow our lives it becomes part of our character.  it becomes so much a part of us that we act and respond according to the guilt that we hold in our lives.  we fail to see clearly the world (and God’s people) around us.

We can choose to act and look like a Christian who has it all together.  It isn’t our actions per se that define our character and show our true faith…that definition lies within our REactions.  We can choose how we act, but our reactions in life’s circumstances show others exactly who we are and whom  we belong to. 

May we all allow the power of the Holy Spirit to free us from the cage of guilt.