Archive for the ‘Family’ Category

I Am Unqualified…

Posted: December 13, 2017 in Family, Marriage, Ministry, Pastoral

I Am Unqualified…ALSO

As one who served in Pastoral Ministry for almost 30 years, I can totally relate to this blog post below. And for my brothers out there that have, and are serving as Pastors, I am sure you can echo some (or most) of the same sentiment (though you may not be willing to admit it publicly!)

I am SO glad that God does not call the qualified, but qualifies the called!

Take a moment…get quiet Pastor, and read below…

 

I Am Unqualified…(by Perry Noble)

Back in July it was announced I have filed the paperwork to one day begin Second Chance Church.

Since that time there have been those in the online world who have been quite consistent in communicating to me I am “unqualified.”

I’ve intentionally not responded to that accusation in particular until now…and to that accusation I say…

Those who are calling me “unqualified” are absolutely correct. Taking a look at this Scripture I will point out why I feel unqualified…

I Timothy 3
Here is a trustworthy saying: Whoever aspires to be an overseer desires a noble task. 2 Now the overseer is to be above reproach,

All so often in my life I was absolutely NOT above reproach
I have, on more than one occasion, gossiped about others.
There have been way too many “not so clean” jokes I’ve either told or laughed at.
There is no doubt I did not tell the truth at the DMV when they asked about my weight.
…faithful to his wife…

I really did think I was in the clear on this one until I remembered…
Jesus said if we even look at another woman lustfully – that we’ve committed adultery with her in our hearts…and on more than one occasion I’ve looked (whether in person or on a movie/television show).
So – obviously I failed here as well.
…temperate…

Not me – I literally became angry at a guy who was in front of me at the grocery store the other day…in the 10 items or less line…who had 17 items (yes, I counted!)
I flashed my brights the other night on the interstate at a car the other night (they were going SLOW in the left lane) – when they didn’t pull over I passed them on the right and gave them a dirty look!
When I saw that the person mentioned above was old…I did not feel compassion but rather said to myself, “those people should have to take a drivers test!”
…self-controlled…

The other day I went to lunch with a friend and was FULL…but when the waitress asked if we wanted dessert I said “yes” (telling myself I would only have a few bites) – after finishing the dessert I felt HORRIBLE!
Just a question here—if discipline and self control go hand in hand—then what about those in ministry that are overweight or obese?
…respectable…

Needless to say I have failed in this area in more ways than one!
…hospitable…

Definitely dropped the ball here as I would much prefer to meet someone at a restaurant than have them at my house. I love my privacy – and you can’t sit around in your boxers and watch TV if other people are around (well – I guess you can – but it would be a bit weird!)
…able to teach…

I would like to think I was/am able to teach – but confession here: I’ve always felt “less than” when it comes to teaching…and know without a doubt there are way smarter people out there who can teach so much better than me.
As I was working on my messages this morning for Freedom Church in the U.K. this weekend I had an overwhelming sense of fear that I simply was not going to be able to clearly communicate what I feel needs to be communicated – and that someone else would be much better suited for the task.
3 not given to drunkenness

Uh…well…there’s that!
…not violent but gentle…

Recently in the airport I cut a guy off accidentally and he mumbled something under his breath to me – before I knew it I said out loud, “Did you say something?” He kept walking and I said louder – “No, seriously, do you have a problem?” (AND…I was on my way to consult with a church, definitely not my proudest moment.
And I haven’t punched anyone lately – but have DEFINITELY wanted to a few times—which…Jesus said if we are angry at someone in our hearts then we are guilty – so – definitely missed the mark here.
…not quarrelsome…

I love to argue way too much at times…especially over things that really matter…like college football, politics and the end times!!!
AND…sometimes I forget that other people are entitled to an opinion other than mine, so instead of listening to them I try to get them to agree with me–and when they don’t see things my way I become a tad bit upset.
…not a lover of money…

Guilty here – I was homeless for a while in high school – and I work really hard because I never want to go back to that place – however, I have been guilty at times of obsessing about how much I may make rather than the difference the Lord may want to use me to make.
…4 He must manage his own family well…

Definitely a failure here.
…and see that his children obey him, and he must do so in a manner worthy of full respect…

Charisse is an AWESOME young lady – but – she’s 10!!!
I am honestly not sure if she respects me at all–but my prayer is one day she will.
5 (If anyone does not know how to manage his own family, how can he take care of God’s church?)

Great question!
6 He must not be a recent convert

Definitely blew this one as I was on staff at a church less than a year after becoming a Christian!
…or he may become conceited and fall under the same judgment as the devil…

So true – my early church staff position definitely made me self-righteous, prideful and arrogant.
WHICH is so dangerous – because the people who killed Jesus were not the tax collectors, prostitutes and sinners…but the group of people who went to Bible study every single day (Pharisees!)
7 He must also have a good reputation with outsiders, so that he will not fall into disgrace and into the devil’s trap.

I think I have a good reputation with outsiders at this point…but it hasn’t always been this way—especially in college where I believe I drove more non-Christians away from Christ than I realized.
Titus 1

6 An elder must be blameless

Definitely not blameless – and – thanks to social media I’ve become aware of sins I’ve committed that I was completely unaware of!
…faithful to his wife…

Already covered this
…a man whose children believe and are not open to the charge of being wild and disobedient…

Once again – this one is a win…but she’s 10…she’s never asked to do “dine & dash” on a Waffle House date, but it COULD happen one day!
7 Since an overseer manages God’s household, he must be blameless

Definitely would NOT call myself “blameless”
…—not overbearing…

Oh crap – when I am passionate about something I can definitely be overbearing.
…not quick-tempered…

Dang it!
…not given to drunkenness…

Uh…really…this again?
(Been sober for over 14 months by the way!)
…not violent…

Dealt with this already – reminder – not violent externally…but…definitely internally!
…not pursuing dishonest gain…

Think I’m good here – no drug deals, etc – BUT…I have bought a lottery ticket or two…that probably disqualifies me here!
And if the lottery ticket doesn’t–then I am sure the few hands of Black Jack I’ve played in Vegas does!
… 8 Rather, he must be hospitable…

A big fat no here (already covered!)
I even get angry when someone wants to have “a bite” of my food…or “a few” of my fries!
…one who loves what is good…

While I do love puppies, sunsets and the Clemson Tigers….
…there are those who would argue I love some things that are NOT good (like smoking a cigar) – so – definitely not doing THE BEST job here.
…who is self-controlled…

Have battled with self control all of my life (and – so have overweight/obese ministers!)
…upright…

Nope!
…holy…

Don’t think anyone who knows me would refer to me as “holy!”
…and disciplined…

Can’t seem to give up sweets.
Seriously, a “Hot & Now” sign absolutely pulls me in!
…9 He must hold firmly to the trustworthy message as it has been taught…

Have definitely been taught things I have not put into practice
…so that he can encourage others by sound doctrine…

LOVE encouraging people (but often that is called just making people feel good—which has always confused me…am I supposed to make them feel bad?)
…and refute those who oppose it…

I probably don’t “refute” others that well as I’ve discovered that there is this gigantic log in my eye–which prevents me from getting the plank out of the eyes of others.
Like I said before – I absolutely do not dispute the fact that, according to the letter of the law laid down by Paul in this passage…I am unqualified.

(AND…I am POSITIVE there are those on Facebook who will be more than happy to fill in the gaps of the things I left out that point even more so to the fact I am unqualified…O God to be as awesome one day as those who attack others on social medial!)

However, if we are going by the letter of the law (and not the spirit of the law) – I honestly don’t anyone on the planet who is batting 1,000 on all of these qualities.

(It would seem Christians have became awesome and pointing out the sins of others in order to not have to deal with their own!)

As I’ve said before – I have never honestly felt qualified in my life, but was reminded recently in a sermon I listened to that God does not call the qualified, but qualifies the called.

I may be unqualified…

But I am also UN-wavering in the fact people who fall down need a Second Chance, and I’m called to start a church not for perfect people, but for those who want to get back up!

I am UN-willing to allow those who don’t know my story to try to tell me what my future should look like.

I am UN-able to give my life to anything other than the local church.

I am UN-phased by those who want me to quit.

I am UN-afraid of the future God has for me.

And I think it is UN-real that God still wants to used a messed up, busted and unqualified guy like me to take the Gospel to as many people as possible.

https://perrynoble.com/blog/i-am-unqualified?utm_medium=feed&utm_source=feedpress.me&utm_campaign=Feed%253A+perrynoble

 

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marriage_rock

I saw this the other day online…and it caught my attention.  I wish I could say that I am doing all the items below, but I am not.  Yet, I desire to do them…and will do what I can to make them come to pass (just a little difficult when we are temporarily living apart on the weekdays).

So, what below can you do this week to show your spouse that you love him/her?

Take a good look, and in the “reply” section below share which one(s) you will do soon, and also share anything that is missing from this list!

60 Ways To Make Your Marriage Rock!

1. Always love each other, even when it’s hard to
2. Never go to bed angry.
3. Go on regular date nights
4. Hide notes in secret places
5. Go to bed at the same time
6. Listen to music together-share ear-buds
7. Buy him gifts he will love
8. Revitalize the romance with intimate dates
9. Wear shirts that tell the world you love your spouse
10. Praise your spouse to other people
11. Read a marriage devotional
12. Sleep in his t-shirts
13. Renew your vows privately with whispers and memories
14. Renew them publicly with cake and bubbly
15. Go away together at least once a year

For Women Only
16. Hang pictures of the two of you around your house
17. Make his favorite dessert
18. Make sex a priority
19. Spend time apart occasionally
20. Learn to enjoy something he loves
21. Surprise each other
22. Meet him at the door
23. Text each other from across the room
24. Set reminders on your phone to remember him/her throughout the week
25. Call him right now and tell him you appreciate him

For Men Only
26. Leave work on time and come home early
27. Engage every day in meaningful conversation
28. Compliment each other
29. Take one day a month to make your spouse your total focus
30. Argue fair: avoid these words “you always” and “you never”
31. Kiss every day
32. Find tangible ways to serve your mate without complaining
33. Forgive quickly
34. Be honest.
35. Get on the same page: plan your budget together
36. Look your best as often as you can
37. Guard your marriage
38. Laugh together
39. When you are together-BE TOGETHER (take a break from phones, technology, etc)
40. Tell her she’s pretty, especially when she’s not feeling it

Both
41. Make each other breakfast in bed
42. Do her chores for her
44. Get a couple’s massage or host your own privately
44. Dance together-soft music (both of you alone) or rocking music with the kids
45. Exercise together- hikes, bike riding, etc
46. Choose not to be annoyed by an irritating behavior/disappointment from your spouse
47. Thank your spouse often even for the least reason or gesture
48. Lay in bed together and stare into each other eyes, without talking
49. Learn something new together-take an art class, cooking lessons, etc
50. Leave a sweet comment on the Facebook wall
51. Support each other’s goals
52. Bring her flowers/gifts (even when she says they are too expensive)
53. Wear something your spouse loves
54. Share furniture-sit in his lap
55. Fight for your marriage
56. Make a point to eat dinner together most days of the week.
57. Never let your spouse feel like they come second place to your career or any other thing.
58. Talk about your dreams and aspirations. Be supportive of each other and dream big together!
59. Maintain a united front as your motto: Meaning- “Me and you against the world.
60. Speak well of your spouse.

Again, in the “reply” section below, share which one(s) you will do soon, and also share anything that is missing from this list!

Looking for new and creative ways to show your spouse you care? You don’t have to save romance just for February 14 – make every day Valentine’s Day! Here are 25 ways to say, “I love you” all year long.

1. Take him breakfast in bed.

2. Leave notes of encouragement around the house or office where she’ll find them throughout the day.

3. Help him do chores he dreads, such as yard work.

4. Tell her how much you appreciate her – often and in front of others.

5. Hold hands.

6. Create a special dinner with all of her favorite foods.

7. Kidnap him from work and take him to his favorite restaurant or to the park for a picnic.

8. Pray for her every day.

9. Take time to listen – really listen.

10. Create a small scrapbook of your favorite memories together. Include a photo or two from each occasion, and write a few sentences about what you remember.

11. Write 25 reasons you love your mate on separate slips of paper. Put them in a pinata, and let him open it.

12. Each time you think of one criticism of your mate, offer four compliments instead.

13. Participate in one of his favorite things. Treat him to a hockey game or go golfing with him.

14. Leave a voice-mail message that he’ll get at work the next morning.

15. Budget for a weekend away at least twice a year.

16. Initiate a conversation about something other than the kids, work, or schedules. When you feel tempted to complain, don’t.

17. Take a ride together. Get in the car, put in a CD of music that brings back good memories, and talk.

18. Give her a manicure.

19. Have a warm towel ready when he gets out of the shower on a cold morning.

20. Create a personalized calendar for her. Write in date nights. Include encouraging notes on different days throughout the year.

21. Laugh together.

22. Play 20 questions. Learn new things about each other.

23. Tell him every day one reason you love him.

24. Have a hot bubble bath ready for her after a long day. Light candles and play her favorite CDs.

25. Do something new together – have fun making memories.

26. Watch a sporting event together at home, and kiss during the commercials.

27. Go to a thrift store and purchase some new outfits for each other (you pick for each other), and then either go out to dinner, walk in the park, or enjoy the sights of the city together.

28. Tell him something that you have learned about yourself that you are changing to be better for him. (Kelly Haines)

Do you have some more ideas to share?  If so, please add them in the comments section below…for I would love to update this list and share it with others!  If you do, leave your name, for I would like to give you credit!

I have been following Pete Wilson’s blog for close to a year now. He is a down to earth Pastor, who seems to have his priorities right. This post on his blog (below) is a challenge to me to think through what I am investing my time in. Take a look at it, and after you read it, let me know what you think about it by leaving a comment…

Whether you want to admit it or not, we’re all getting older. Which means that there will be a day we look back on this particular season with a mixture of delight and, yes, probably regret. For some reason I spend quite a bit of time thinking about this. When I look back on this season of time will I be proud of how I managed my time with…

my family?
my church?
my hobbies?
my God?

I read a great article this morning on Relevant entitled 5 Things We Will Wish We’d Done Differently and I so related (a nicer word than convicted) with each one of these things. I had to edit it down a bit so make sure you go read Eric Tippin’s entire article HERE.

1. “Most of my spare time was sacrificed to social media.”

Collectively, Americans spend 100,000 years on Facebook every month. (Don’t tell Einstein, but it looks like the space-time continuum has been broken.) That means the average Facebook user chooses to spend six and a half hours of his or her month feeding Zuckerberg’s chubby brain child. Add Twitter, Pinterest and other social sites and multiple days of the year disappear like Facebook’s stock value in May. These are lost days that could be spent learning an instrument, writing, cooking experimentally, praying or even having coffee with an old friend.

2. “I knew more about celebrities than I did about my neighbors.”

Many people will protest this. “Tabloids make me nauseous!” and from the more dramatic “I’d rather die than follow Taylor Swift’s ‘love’ life!” But even if you distance yourself from the 3 billion dollar tabloid industry, you cannot escape “celebrity.” For in its pure sense, it has only to do with popularity among the masses, and, in the information age celebrities abound—celebrities of sport, celebrities of entertainment, celebrities of politics and even celebrities of the church. As with social media, the institution of celebrity in itself is not sinful or inherently bad, but, like social media, it demands that its followers invest large swaths of their time in order to feel connected. There are two troubles with this: (Run away! A list within a list!)

a. Much of the information learned about celebrities will prove untrue or irrelevant within your lifetime.
b. The relationship with a celebrity is one way and two-dimensional. In other words, you have no opportunity to affect their lives, only observe them.

3. “I was so set on buying things, I never got the pleasure of making them.”

We are the generation of pre-made pie crusts, instant streaming music, ready-made suppers, waterless shampoo, faux taps bugles, prewashed jeans and even click and grow plants. In many ways it is simply glorious. A colorful and reasonably edible dinner can be cooked and eaten in fifteen minutes so there is more time to apply pre-painted pres-on nails while watching the Do it Yourself (DIY) Network and sharing delicious recipe ideas on Pinterest.

In all this instantity we find ourselves falsely assuming the only reason for doing something is finishing it. But there is another truth that has obviously been shoved behind the microwave: The process of making something can be enjoyable and deeply satisfying. Ironically, we have more opportunity than any of our ancestors to “make for pleasure” and our conveniences make this possible. Instant dinners and dishwashers can make for longer evenings of carpentry, song composition, beer brewing or novel writing. If we pass up this unique privilege history has given us, we may be sorry.

4. “I wasted my life entertaining myself.”

The key word here is self; what Dickens called the, “Grasping, eager, narrow-ranging, overreaching self.3” As long as we are preoccupied with self-entertaining, we have little time for reflection on the needs of other people. And—because of a little invention called the computer chip—our available self-entertainment options are stunning. The gaming industry pulls in 10.5 billion dollars of revenue each year. Video games hold no charm for you? How about the 1.3 billion dollar romance novel industry or the 2.2 billion dollar college football industry? Now, the problem here is not video games, college football or romance novels, it is a matter of math. We have manufactured hundreds of new ways to spend our time, but found no substantial way of increasing that time. Every moment of our lives, we will be faced with the choice of self and selflessness. If we indulge the former, our lives will be wasted.

5. “I never found time to be quiet.”

Little needs to be said here, especially if this is being read aloud. Our lives are full of noises: humming refrigerators, buzzing lights, dripping coffee pots, roaring interstates, pumping earbuds, ringing phones, and chattering televisions. It is difficult to escape all this constant droning noise, but we need just that. And when we do, we’ll realize that silence isn’t really very silent after all; it only hushes bigger voices so we can hear the small. God spoke in a “still small voice” at least once before. Let’s not miss it when he does again.

While all five of these things could be potential regrets for me I think #5 is the one I’m working on the most these days. The older I get the more value I’m finding in being alone and quiet before a Holy God.

For a long time I feared silence. Well, what I really feared was being stripped, being exposed. I also didn’t want to face the fact that I had allowed myself to be shaped more by what I do or what others think of me than by my Creator.

Henri Nouwen, writing of his own experience with solitude, beautifully summarized both the challenges and the benefits of solitude and silence:

In solitude I get rid of my scaffolding; no friends to talk with, no telephone calls to make, no meetings to attend, no music to entertain, no books to distract, just me—naked, vulnerable, weak, sinful, deprived, broken—nothing. It is this nothingness that I have to face in my solitude, a nothingness so dreadful that everything in me wants to run to my friends, my work, and my distractions so that I can forget my nothingness and make myself believe that I am worth something. But that is not all. As soon as I decide to stay in my solitude, confusing ideas, disturbing images, wild fantasies, and weird associations jump about in my mind like monkeys in a banana tree. Anger and greed begin to show their ugly faces. I give long, hostile speeches to my enemies and dream lustful dreams in which I am wealthy, influential, and very attractive—or poor, ugly, and in need of immediate consolation. Thus I try again to run from the dark abyss of my nothingness and restore my false self in all its vainglory.The task is to persevere in my solitude, to stay in my cell until all my seductive visitors get tired of pounding on my door and leave me alone.

Despite the fear and the challenges, I believe that solitude is something we all need. It was certainly important for Jesus. According to Luke 5:16, “Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed.” Luke does not quantify the word often, but his words indicate that Jesus withdrew into solitude to be with God at regular intervals.

Now, if Jesus Christ, the Son of God, thought it was important and necessary to withdraw to be with the Father, how much more important is it for you and me?

Number five gets me. As I sit here, alone in Royersford, just beginning as the new Sr. Pastor of Royersford Bible Fellowship Church, and without family in this house, I have such an opportunity to practice solitude, being quite before God, and listening for His still small voice. My prayer is that will be a reality for me. For this is my hearts desire!

What about you? Which of these five thing got you thinking? Leave me a comment below, for I would love to pray for you in this!

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