Used.

Let me start off by saying that if you’ve ever watched “The New Yankee Workshop” on PBS, you can appreciate what goes through my mind every time I watch it:

Norm Abram is ridiculous. With a million-dollar (at least) shop complete with every imaginable tool he’d ever need to build anything he’d ever want to build…I mean it’s no wonder he can do what he does. I don’t mean to totally discount his talent. I’m just saying, give me a woodshop like that and I could do much the same work. Many times, it IS about having the right tool. And he has this way of saying, “See, it’s just that easy.” Well sure Norm, it WOULD be that easy if my shop looked like yours.

Not sure what I’m talking about? Next Saturday morning turn on PBS and watch for yourself. Norm Abrams is ridiculous. Okay, Norm rant over.

The other day my oldest son was sitting at the breakfast table and said, “Dad, counting sheep doesn’t make you fall asleep. It makes you a shepherd.” So true, son. So true.

There’s a great verse for pastors/leaders found in Proverbs 27:23 that I refer to often:
“Know the state of your flocks, and put your heart into caring for your herds…”

In that comical statement by my son the other day, God reminded me of what it means to be a pastor–a shepherd–a person who cares well for other people. In a word, its investment. Not investment for dividends’ sake (anyone in ministry can tell you that we’re not here for the paycheck), but investment for the sake of seeing people find, understand, and embrace the key realities of life; realities that so many miss out for a myriad of reasons. Realities like:
-We’ve all been created by God, our Creator.
-Our Creator not only loves us, but has come to us, and has a spectacular plan for each of us.
-That plan is best (and sometimes only) seen through the decision and acts of selfless living.
-Selfless living mirrors the life of Jesus, the One whom our Heavenly Father is pleased with.
-It is only through Christ that we find redemption; both future tense and present tense. (This statement is often labeled as narrow-minded, though it is anything but.)
-The ultimate selfless act committed on our behalf and for our benefit was that of Jesus’ death on the cross. It was in our place that He died and for our sake that He rose from the grave, so that we might have a re-established relationship with our Creator.

I could most certainly go on, but I want to keep the key realities central.
And it is for these truths that I live.

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