A full week of, ministry

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I know there are some pastors out there who see the ministry they are involved in as a ministry of systems. They shepherd the systems in the local church to keep the big wheels moving and in theory many more people are cared for and ministered to than if one person was doing "the ministry."

I am becoming better at that approach certainly, but it is the pastor in me that loves to work with people more than processes and to pray with them seeing them progress in their journey of the spirit.

This week was one of those busy ministry weeks. The church spring meeting was this week, which was good, and I was invited to bring the service in the local hospital and then enjoyed a few pretty good conversations as a result.

We've had people over for meals and have been able to have some good conversations about life and God and things of the Spirit.

Lauralea and I served in the two care homes in town and brought services there. The people, even in their age, are hungry for the Word and have open hearts to listen and receive. Conversations after are full of need and open hearts. When we talk of ministry, that is a good evening of care.

Our regular breakfast with some pastors was also this week. Seems that many are going through their own valley of shadows, as their ministries disintegrate or shift all around them. What difficult seasons for so many pastors these days, who find themselves involved in things they would never have guessed would come their way. There was much room for care and spirit work there.

I also attended a camp annual meeting, and though you might think there is little room for that sort of ministry there, this year there was. Frustration and desperation make people willing to listen and to maybe explore change. It's a broken time in lives when difficulty comes, but in that place there is room for God to be God.

Then there have been 5, 6,  or 9 different meetings and conversations and prayer that have been real ministry times when God has been at work.

What an odd, full week it's been.
And then there will be weeks of quiet when there is little of that kind of work and you think, why so quiet?

Seasons and rhythms, work and rest, physical and spiritual.
Just the order of a week, month, and year.

And it may say something about me, good or bad, but I really do enjoy those weeks when they do come. Because I still really love just one person sitting across from me, sharing life and the things of the Spirit together.

Carry on

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The sun is shining, the wind isn't blowing.
My internet tower is back up and working.
My radio antennas are back up and working nicely, even getting my signal into the heart of Russia.
So lets enjoy it while we have it ok?


Carry on.

Be Present

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hebrews 2:1

It's true.
Following after someone requires intentionality.
Listening needs presence.

"Pay attention" the mother in the shop says to her seven year old.
See what is happening here. Watch what I am doing so you can know how to do it yourself.
Paying the most careful attention will help you to not miss the details.

Drifting is fine for a hot summers day when you are on a raft floating down the North Saskatchewan river.
It's not fine for a relationship. Just ask any emotionally abandoned lover.
Drifting isn't enough for those big things in life.

To not lose our way, we must listen, be present, pay attention.

Are you paying attention to today?
Are you listening?
Are you present to the things you hear?

"We must pay the most careful attention, therefore, to what we have heard, so that we do not drift away."  Hebrews 2:1

I feel old...

Old as in I had a morning meeting at the University of Alberta yesterday morning, and as I entered the Student Union Building I caught the energy of the place and I liked loved it.

Kids talking, working, sleeping on a bench. Listening to music or playing a guitar. Eating a bagel or drinking black coffee. Buying supplies, studying together, comparing notes from last night. The energy in the place was just, well, animated. Well, except for the guy passed out on the bench with his  backpack for a pillow.

And I thought, just for a brief moment, how I'd like to go back and do more study. More research more learning and certainly engage in more ah ha moments of discovery.

And then I needed to go to the washroom, and I saw myself in a mirror.
I felt so instantly old.

Just now, when I have the self confidence. When I'm ok with myself and have figured out a couple of life's big questions. When the formal education wouldn't be lost on me. I suddenly get old.

That's the story of my life. Arriving late to the parties, mostly because I'm a slow learner.

So maybe it's just as well I don't go back to school.
I'm still a slow learner.