Monday, October 5, 2009

way up and way down

This weekend was the epitome of the emotional ups and downs that come with ministry. The up was that we celebrated the retirement of Bob Knapp with our congregation after 18 years on staff as our pastor of international minstries. He has been an awesome example to all of us concerning prayer and passion for the lost. We had a special banquet for him on Thursday evening to say thanks and have many from his past (missionaries, etc.) tell he and his wife (Sandi) how much their ministry has met. That was up!

Unfortunately, we received news Thursday afternoon that a great lady and servant in our church (particularly children's ministry) had been tragically killed in a car accident. Only moments before her death she was at church washing toys in the little kidsview nursery. She was only 41. So we gathered in the conference room for prayer. Her small group surrounded her husband and kids. It has been incredibly sad to say good-bye to Beckie Lade.

Yesterday we again honored Bob in front of the congregation (Sandi was mad at me for making her come on stage with him and said I owed her a latte' from Starbucks - which I got her this morning) to say thanks. They received a standing ovation in each service...awesome. We gave them some cool gifts.

This morning i was on the same stage in front of the family and friends of Beckie weeping and saddened by her loss. I focused on the hope that we have, that Beckie had, and how that separates us from all others who face death (we all do, the mortality rate is 100% !).

there were tears and emotions with both the ups and downs of this is emotionally draining for a pastor. Oh yeah, I also preached yesterday. So I'm tired, but content in Jesus. Now I'll heal like all good pastors do...fried chicken and potato salad prepared by our funeral meals ministry. It's a start!


Just a Normal girl said...

I really enjoyed the sermon yesterday. The pruning was something I needed to be reminded of. I sometimes just want to say, "Okay God leave me alone. I am great no more pruning." But you are right we are producing small fruit and God truly knows what we are capable of.

I just want to remind you that my household faithfully prays for you. We said a special prayer for you this morning because we knew it would be a rough job. Hang in there.
love ya,
georgette quinn
PS Our Cowboys need to pick it up and win some more:)

Kyle said...

I hear you on this one, man. Preaching a sermon in one setting and then turning around to preach a funeral (sometimes in the same day!) makes me feel like I'm in two different worlds at the same time. It's hard to focus, but it really helps me keep my life in perspective and God gets all the credit. :)

ChampaignChris said...

I don't know if this is the right forum to discuss topics from Sunday.. but it's been taught in THE CALL this week that Christians will be known by the fruit they produce. But what about the fruit produced by Buddhists, Mormons, Muslims, and other non-Christians? Many of them show love, display patience, exercise self-control, and appear to produce other fruits of the Spirit. Is this counterfeit fruit? Or is this genuine fruit from a branch that is alive for a time, but eventually is destined to wither because it's not connected to the true vine of life (Jesus). Am I overthinking this?

Mike Baker said...

Champaign Chris,
I think you make the point. Fruit is both a by-product of the Holy Spirit and something I work at. However, the fact that Muslim's, Buddhists, etc... do show love should not belie the fact that they are only doing that on their own power and eventually will give in to human nature (not loving, selfish, etc...). Of course, our Christian effort at love often falls short too. But we have the ability to love beyond human effort and nature because of the Spirit's DNA in us that produces it. There is of course, the other point you make of real fruit versus counterfeit fruit. A gangster can feign love to his girlfriend or someone he wants something from, but true love is different. Hope this helps.