The summer of 2011 and the following year was gut wrenching to say the least! I’ll spare you all the details but let me just say my family suffered great loss after stepping out to plant a church.
In the aftermath, all that was left standing was our family relationships which I’m thankful for.
So the question was at the time, what’s next and what’s going to be my attitude toward God, life and ministry?
Fast forward about nine and half years and my family and I are once again leading a great church and we’ll be here 5 years September 2021.
But what about those 5 years between the two churches? And what about my attitude during those years?
Before I sound like some super human that has everything together please understand those were some difficult days. I struggled, my wife struggled, my whole family struggled. I lost count of the times I wanted to quit!
There were times my attitude was like riding a roller coaster but in time the joy of the Lord returned and with it our ability to DREAM…….AGAIN.
I laugh now but I don’t know how many times I asked my wife Jeanie if she thought I was still a pastor. Finally I had a “light bulb” moment when she STRONGLY replied, “I believe you’re a pastor but YOU have to believe you’re a pastor!”
So let me share a few practical yet spiritual steps that I believe helped us get where we’re at today and helped my attitude stay positive about the future.
1. Stay connected to God and don’t blame Him.
God is a good God and He loves to give good gifts to His children! Get the picture? He will NEVER fail you!
So stay connected with God!
2. Stay connected with God’s family and don’t blame people.
I’m not trying to boast, only trying to help, but we never missed connecting with the family of God (going to church) because we were mad at God or mad at people.
In fact we ended up serving in a church as associate pastors for four years. I think it really helped my attitude having to humble myself and serve under another leader. Cleaning those toilets and mopping the floors probably helped as well but that’s for another blog.
3. Do what you know to do.
Do what you know to do when you don’t know what to do.
Sometimes you have to do what you don’t want to do to get to the place you’re doing what you want to do. And do it with the right attitude!
YOU MIGHT NEED TO READ THAT LAST PARAGRAPH AGAIN!
I’m sure Joseph didn’t want to be thrown into a pit, sold into slavery, wrongfully accused and then thrown into prison. But this is what led to the fulfillment of the dream God had given him!
For me it was starting a lawn service, substitute teaching, and painting houses and businesses. I was just doing what I knew was my responsibility to do when I didn’t know what to do.
And having a good attitude about it even after we’d lost everything!
In those days of mowing grass, teaching students, painting houses there was one Bible verse that kept me going with the right attitude.
“And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.” (Romans 8:28)
And today, well, we’re DREAMING…….AGAIN! And the cool thing, you can as well!
Oh, one more thing. Your attitude, your choice! Love you!
AND…..Your attitude matters to God!
“Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice!”