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Green Acres of Blessings

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Joined: 08 Jan 2018
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 03, 2018 11:39 am    Post subject: Green Acres of Blessings Reply with quote

Is the pastoral ministry a destination or a journey? If we're primarily seeking a prominent ministry assignment or ecclesiastical leadership position, longing to be senior pastor of First Church of the Green Acres or president of our denomination, we'll potentially miss God's faithful Presence and Provision wherever He sends us. To be quite honest, I left seminary with the long-term prospect of being lead pastor at some mega church in a large city in the Bible belt. Surely God had destined me to pastor thriving congregations so full of life that it would be like shepherding in green acres of pasture, not to serve some small fellowship of believers as hopeless as a green splotch of vegetation in the wilderness. Such idealism and expectations disappeared quickly after graduation from seminary. By the Grace of God, I've learned to look for and celebrate green acres of blessings in every ministry assignment. The Lord has continually blessed me with such contentment, acceptance, love, and satisfaction that I've seldom been tempted or distracted to long for greener pastures somewhere else. After all, hasn't the Lord promised to "make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert?" (Isaiah 43:19, ESV) I'll always remember Palm Sunday of 2003 in Baghdad, Iraq. In preparation for the worship services, my senior enlisted noncommissioned officer risked his life to go to the Tigris River and bring back fresh palm branches for our troops attending chapel. I can still see our troops waving their green palm branches in the hot desert that day. The pastoral call is a journey, not a destination. Instead of looking for greener pastures or greater ministry significance, I choose to focus on God's Constant Presence and Gracious Provision in the wilderness. This perspective also allows me to seek out those struggling to find peace, hope, and satisfaction in their desert places.
Doug Carver
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