Sunday, May 08, 2016

A Week (or so) in the Life of This Pastor

As Ralph Kramden used to say, "How sweet it is!"

Today is Mother's Day. I find myself seated in my study at home--after a hectic day, all is quiet. In the quietness of these moments, I have been reflecting on the past 10 days or so in my life. It has been quite a whirlwind.

The week leading up to Celebration Sunday (May 1) at our church was a powerful time. I could just sense the momentum mounting as Sunday approached. Since I have been the pastor here at FBC Arlington, we have never attempted an outdoor morning worship service. And certainly -- never one like this one! It was the culmination of months of planning and praying through our Blessing the Generations Campaign.

On Wednesday of that week, I was in Fort Worth attending a ceremony as a Regent for Baylor University. That afternoon I attended a long meeting analyzing the potential renovation of our Sanctuary. That evening was somewhat usual--Wednesday evening Bible Study, a Quarterly Church Conference and two meetings afterward.

As the weekend approached--I found myself wandering over to the Levitt Pavilion to just pray over the grounds. I then had a Wedding Rehearsal in Dallas on Thursday night. On Friday night, I performed a wedding in Dallas. On Saturday morning, I was at the Levitt just observing all the setup for Sunday. I attended a prayer time that afternoon with the Worship Team, Media Team, Staff members and volunteers at the Levitt. I then headed to Ft. Worth to perform another wedding.

Sunday morning began with a good-bye to our son, Josiah and his wife, Adrienne. They left that morning for a vacation in Europe. I headed to the Levitt with a heart full of anticipation. And--I was not disappointed. It was an incredible day of worship, community, fellowship and celebration. As large as my expectations were--they were exceeded! Oh my!

I will never forget that day. It was an inspiring time at FBC Arlington. God worked among us in amazing ways. The spirit of our people was just contagious. At the end of the service, hundreds of people came forward to make commitments to our campaign. It was a moving time of prayer and sacrifice. We capped the day off with dinner on the ground courtesy of David's Barbeque. It was awesome. 

This past week has been filled with meetings. I have met with lay leaders, staff members and various combinations of the same. We have been assessing the campaign, praying for God's wisdom and celebrating the generosity of our people. After numerous meetings, we began to get a sense of further direction from God in our journey. We convened a meeting for Saturday morning with several leaders of the campaign and Master Planning Committee and the senior level staff members.

Prior to that meeting, I was able to visit with one of our church families who was preparing for a funeral. Cindy and I headed to Dallas to another funeral home to comfort Sarah Mitchell (Clint Dobson's sister) in the tragic death of her husband. We stood with the Dobson family at another casket and prayed and cried.

Saturday morning was an inspiring meeting. As leaders of FBC Arlington, we sensed God's hand on us as we reflected upon next steps in our campaign and in the overall direction of our church. We prayed and planned together. Then, I was off to Flower Mound for another wedding!

Then---today. Mother's Day. We baptized three new believers today. We had another child in our church profess her faith in Jesus today. We dedicated 11 babies to the Lord in our two morning worship services! We heard an incredible report from our the Chair of our Blessing the Generations Campaign. We have had pledges and gifts that exceed $10 million! Praise God!

So--these past 10-12 days have been jam-packed. Three weddings, two funerals, several counseling sessions, numerous meetings, two Bible Studies, two incredible mornings of worship and celebration, 3 baptisms, 11 baby dedications, multiple prayer walks, meaningful family events ----- and I managed to work in one golf tournament!

I guess the summary of it all is . . . I love being a pastor. In fact, I love being the pastor of this church at this time.

In fact . . .

How sweet it is!