Weekend Survey

Better late than never, huh? I was away from my computer all day yesterday. I think I have caught up with all of the discussions in my recent posts. I appreciate all of you who have commented in these discussions, as well as the spirit in which you have presented your thoughts. It is indeed possible to have different viewpoints without being at each other’s throats. You guys are truly a blessing to me.

And now….

This week’s question is: Is there a significant moment/event in your life where negative circumstances produced positive results in you?

My first pastorate ended under very unpleasant and adverse circumstances. In all honesty, I had made some “rookie” mistakes and some people did not respond in a very positive way. Betrayal of trust and broken friendships were very painful to deal with at that time. God used these circumstances though, to teach me a lot of things about Himself and about me. I was able to confront some areas of my ministry and leadership style that were horribly out of line with what God wanted for me, and it moved me to a place where I was ready to learn so much more than I would have been willing to do a short time before.

I hope you have a very blessed weekend. I am planning to go see Coach Bobby Bowden teach his son a thing or two tonight as Florida State plays Clemson.

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11 responses to “Weekend Survey

  1. When I was 17, I went out drinking with some Heavy Metal people and I ended up lying on the streets covered in vomit. It taught me a good lesson.

    God Bless

    Matthew

  2. Not sure that I have learned anything eternal without pain. Maybe the old ‘no pain, no gain’ is truer than I want to think. I posted a few days ago about taking up our cross and stepping into our pain.

  3. Also in my youth, made an R rated spoof of Star Trek using school video equipment with three other friends. We got busted by the teacher but instead of turning us in to the principal or our parents, the teacher sentenced us to four straight weeks in church. If any one of us missed once, all of us would get suspended or worse. I didn’t miss. In fact when it was ll over, I kept going and this was instrumental in my later coming to Christ. Up til then I had not much spiritual hunger or interest.

    Years later that teacher preached at my ordination!

  4. Most assuredly…I lost my corporate america six figure job, platnium visa(s) and house went to foreclosure, found the Lord…it all worked out!

  5. Two come to mind. First was my first marriage ending in divorce. Very painful time of self-examination and realizing how little I really relied on (and lived for) the Lord. In fact, even though prior to that divorce, I was pastoring and attending seminary, I’m not even convinced now in hindsight that I was saved. That divorce brought me to my knees, and I asked the Lord if it was possible to start over with a clean slate. I count that point as the true “conversion” in my life, and praise God, He did allow me to start over!

    Second is almost identical to Bonnie’s story. Christy and I were planning to get married, and my plan was to have her and her son move to Austin, TX where I believed God wanted me to stay. However, just a couple of weeks before we officially got engaged, I lost my 6-figure job, which ended up resulting in a foreclosure on my home as well (the credit cards were already gone long before that!!) and as a result, we made the decision to both re-locate here to Boone (Christy’s hometown). Since moving here, God has poured out so many blessings on us, and now I have finally been able to work fulltime in music, which is something I have dreamed of for a long time. Praise the Lord!!

  6. i have suffered through some years of situational depression, some havee titled it oppression or neglect,which resulted in my inability to function in a full time job or contninue in my marriage of 23 years….after years of non response, i left ny and returned to colorado…God has poured out His blessings, not only with old friends and support, but with jobs and housing and the unconditional love and underestanding from both my daugthers….there are christians who continue to tell me it is not God blessing me, but God allowing the enemy to blind my eyes to the truth of divorce…it has been a long emotional road, but I am strenghtened everyday by my faith and love for Jesus…i am blessed also to be part of a community of blogging christians who lend their support and encouragement

  7. I don’t have any experiences like these…

    But, I believe that Bobby Bowden didn’t quite succeed Saturday night, did he. Too bad, so sad. Maybe JoePa will catch up…but I don’t think so the way Penn State is playing.

    Referring to the other post, I realize that the SBC has many missionaries and you can’t know them all, but is your church able to choose any to try to get to know other than just knowing a name? How does your denomination educate about missions? Do you have missions conferences?

  8. Wow, we are really seeing testimonies to God’s grace this weekend.

    Beverly, it just goes to show how good of a teacher Bobby Bowden is. He taught Tommy so well that now his son can beat him. 🙂

    As far as our missionaries go, we do have periodic missions conferences where various missionaries will come visit our churches and associations. We also have several missions emphases during the year in which missionaries come to the churches (this next Sunday, in fact, for us).

    Of course there is the Lottie Moon Christmas offering and the Annie Armstrong Easter offering for foreign and home missions respectively. These are always accompanied by weeks of prayer for missions and other special informative presentations that we make.

    Our mission boards provide for us video vignettes of different missionaries that we can show to classes or in our services, and our children’s ministries (RA’s, GA’s, TeamKids, VBS, etc) have a strong missions impact as well.

    Our convention also works with churches and associations to set up missions partnerships in which ministers and church members have opportunity to participate in short-term projects with missionaries. Our church in the past couple of years has been involved with projects in West Virginia, Utah and disaster relief in Mississippi.

    Missionaries are regularly featured in much of our literature and publications, so that while we may not get to meet that person, face-to-face, we are able to get a glimpse into their ministry.

  9. One of my greatest hurts came from someone I was serving with in full-time ministry. I learned a lot about what NOT to do and God used it to draw me closer to him. My greatest hurts have come from my own sinful choices and God has even used those to humble and mold me. To God be the glory!

  10. I think I have to agree with Kansas Bob, that I don’t think I have learned anything of eternal significance without pain. In the kingdom of God loss is gain, and life springs from death, contrary to our natural understanding. I am where I am and have learned the Christ I know today because of many adverse circumstances…which I might add I am sure were of His own design….that Christ be formed in me.

  11. Yeah I like you had a very difficult and painful experience as an elder/pastor of a church in Portland, OR.

    We ended up closing the church down but planting another church out of its ashes that is doing very well now.

    Reflecting on it, the lessons I learned about leadership and values are highly important. I have a huge level of ownership over those lessons now and I am very passionate about helping others preparing for ministry. Tough but real.

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