THERE IS MORE TO IT.
Gloria Gaither has been a family friend since my childhood days in Tennessee. She and her husband, Bill, have written over 700 songs that continue to inspire people from all walks of life in places all over the world. Today, she has agreed to be my guest blogger as I share with you her inspiring words about an inspiring lady we both cherish as a friend.
This one is dedicated to all the pastors and other people who, like me, have trouble saying no.
Whether you’re a business man or woman, a husband or wife, a dad or a mom, a teacher, principal, or supervisor, Jesus wants us to be known as people who will do what we say we will do.
When I got back to my hotel late Sunday evening, I had a few hours before I drove to the Indianapolis airport to head back to OKC. I just sat there and reflected on the gift–or rather, gifts–that were mine during my four days in Indiana.
If I could go back to my eighteenth year on the planet, I’d tell myself to cherish the people God brought to my life and the people yet to come. (Maybe the next blog post should be about the people who’ve blessed me and shaped me in the Oklahoma City chapter.)
It was 1976, and I was a senior in high school. While I must admit that I was not particularly interested in books or theological writings, I do remember one book coming onto the scene that garnered great attention and enthusiasm. The book was entitled, How Then Shall We Live by Francis Schaeffer.
Honestly, I did not have the intellectual capacity to read the book or know what it all meant. I was consumed with a love for music of all kinds, and I happened to have the great fortune of personally knowing some of the greatest songwriters of Christian music.
I’m a neat freak. A detail freak. I could not stand to look out our windows and see how the ground cover had covered up the large rocks.
It had to be trimmed.
I knew it would take at least half of the day to get it done. Hiring someone to do it was out of the question. So, I walked out of my garage with tools in hand. I prepared for a morning that would find me on my knees, working with newly-sharpened lawn scissors.
During a church Q and A, someone in the group asked the Senior Pastor what his five-year plan looked like.
That has always been one of the hardest questions for me to answer. I was just sure this pastor was about to give an impressive response complete with bullet points, grand dreams, and a process to make it happen.
I remember my first day in the office at what was then Westridge Hills Church of God. I arrived on the scene the Tuesday after Mother’s Day in 1981.
I was hired to oversee the Student Ministry and the Music Ministry. Even though I’d grown up in church, I was not prepared to lead much of anything.
Kim and I were honored to be a part of the 2018 Sandi Patty Cruise to Alaska. I was asked to speak a few times and found myself among a few well-known authors and speakers.
To say it was intimidating is an understatement, but we’d all been on this cruise before, and the friendship there trumps any intimidation I might have felt.
It was a meaningful week.
By now you know I overanalyze everything. This week, I found myself cherishing the earthly joys of family: my wife, sons, daughters, grandkids, and friends who all bring me more joy than words can describe. I also found myself facing the reality of life’s brevity and limitations. The exhilaration of family seemed offset by the reality of not only how sweet the moments are, but how brief they are.
I’m learning to cherish the good times and be ready to trust God in the storms.
Who is my neighbor?
This question was asked by an “expert in religious law” according to Luke 10:25. This lawyer was the kind of legal expert you’d want on your team if you were facing a jury and judge. To him, every word was an open invitation to a debate. According to Luke, he came to see Jesus so He would “test him.” So he posed the question, “What must I do to inherit eternal life?”