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I have finally decided that I’ve been experiencing the loneliness of a heart away from its Lover for several years now.

At first, I thought it was probably just the condition of middle age man.  The restlessness of knowing that most of what I wanted to accomplish in my lifetime would never be achieved.  A grief, perhaps, over a life gone astray.

Last year, I began to think it might be the burnout I experienced following those intense years of leading the Burke Road church through very difficult times.

I realize now that all the work, all the activity, was only an attempt to drown out the cry of my heart longing for its True Lover.  Longing for a relationship with Jesus that goes so much deeper than mere Christianity. 

Through years of conditioning, I’ve forgotten (if I ever learned at all) how to be a lover.  I would really feel more comfortable if I were just a servant.  That’s what I’ve tried to be.  I might be able to learn how to be a friend, for friends still “do” for each other.  But to be a lover?  Even more, a pursued lover?  It may be more than my heart can bear.

But I know now that it is what my hearts needs — and even longs for.

The impact that I may make upon the world may seem very small from my limited perspective.  Yet, through my children and grandchildren, and those who follow after, even over just a couple of generations, I may influence well over 200 – 300 people. 

But only one accomplishment of mine will have any lasting impact:  I must successfully complete my apprenticeship as a disciple of Jesus.  And to complete that apprenticeship I must choose some men and women to mentor over the remainder of my life.  This means frequent and sustained interaction with them over a long period of time. 

The names that come to mind right away are Wayne, Josh, Rex, and Mark L.

I want to see all people accept Jesus as the Christ, and live their lives as disciples of the true Savior.  But I am most interested in those in my own neighborhood.  I see them more often; I have a concern for them.  But I don’t know them; there is no relationship from which to work.  So… I am concerned; I pray for them often.  But they are not the flock who has been placed in my care.  

As we look at the life of Jesus, we see that he knew that he was sent to lead the people of Israel.  And, while he knew his death would redeem all mankind, his physical body limited him to a ministry focused only upon the Jews.  He worked within his limitations.

August 2017
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