Greetings to you and yours on this first week of June. Lee Harder, senior pastor at the Red Roof Church here in Bulverde, Texas, wishing you the joy of our Lord’s loving presence each and every day. If you’re searching for a spiritual home WHERE GOD’S WORD IS HEARD, then look no further. St. Paul, the Red Roof Church, is the place you seek. We worship every week in both traditional (8:30 AM) and contemporary (10:45 AM) styles with Holy Communion celebrated at all services. We would love to have you check us out this Sunday or visit our web site at redroofchurch.org
Well, Karen is back this May 31st, much to the relief of some here at church who have been keeping me together in her absence. (She owes Sherry big time, not that I was that bad, just a little down.) It seemed like forever that she was gone. A week can seem that long, really. I know one reason why, besides just missing her being there. I can sum it up in these words: I have seen her job and I don’t want it.
When we were younger in Minnesota, besides working outside the home for the local newspaper after the kids got older, she took care of us. Three kids, one husband and a large dog were cared for and nurtured all the time. She made a warm, clean, loving home for us. That means all the regular households chores, duties and responsibilities that come with being a mother and a wife with never a complaint — well at least no complaint that weren’t deserved. In addition, she was a pastor’s wife and I won’t even begin to explain all that title entails.
Now that the kids are all grown up with families of their own, Karen no longer works outside the home at a paying job, but she is still very much working, inside the home and out. Since she is still the pastor’s wife, none of those involvements have diminished. If anything, here in Texas they have multiplied as she is very much involved in the life of the congregation and in demand. After all, the congregation fell in love with Karen and allowed me to come along with her.
I repeat, after taking care of two large, demanding, spoiled Golden Retrievers who think they are in charge and probably are to a large degree, and the birds and trying to keep the house relatively clean — I’ve seen her job (and no where near did I come close to doing it all) and I don’t want it.
I write this as Father’s Day draws near with a reminder to all men, husbands and fathers. If you are blessed with a wife who is worthy of praise, then make sure you praise her, love her, respect her, and help her. As it says in Proverbs 31:10-12 — A truly good wife is the most precious treasure a man can find! Her husband depends on her, and she never lets him down. She is good to him every day of her life. She is too valuable a treasure to lose and do without. I know, I can’t do without Karen. If you doubt me, have your wife be gone for a week and see how you feel doing some of her job as well as your own?
Welcome home, Honey. We missed you — a lot.
And those are my thoughts.
Greetings from the folks at the Red Roof Church in Bulverde, Texas. Lee Harder, senior pastor, wishing you God’s blessings as we officially kick off the summer. If you are shopping around for a spiritual home, I invite you to visit us this Sunday at 8:30AM or 10:45AM for worship and fellowship at St. Paul. There’s a donut and a cup of coffee with your name on it waiting, fun for the kids to do and the chance to hear God’s Word unashamedly proclaimed. If you can’t come in person, then check out our web site at redroofchurch.org.
This week for me is a huge reminder on the absolute importance and essential need I have for the guidance of two vital persons of my life. The first is my wife, Karen. She has flown north to visit our son and grandkids in Minnesota. With a little luck, she’ll touch base with our second daughter’s family, too. I just couldn’t get away. That said, I am alone. Well, not really alone since the girls (our two Golden Retrievers — Jessie and Molly) are here with me. They feel alone, too.
Karen is my partner who keeps me humble and ground in sanity in a world that is more than a little crazy. It’s more than doing things together, talking, eating and such. It’s just her reassuring presence and knowing she’s there for me and I for her. After 48 years this July, one would think we would have gotten tired of each other and need some time away. Don’t you believe it. Friday can’t come soon enough. The dogs and I will be panting and jumping for joy because Mom’s back!
The second part is God’s presence that defines who I am as a pastor and my call to serve the Lord in proclaiming HIS WORD. I almost forget. For reasons not necessary to share here, I felt the need to tone down my passion for the Lord and the call to guide His people as a pastor in my preaching. I started second guessing myself in what I wanted to say in my sermons, trying to make sure I didn’t say anything that would offend.
Then I came across some research articles about what is happening in the Christian Church today because of pastors seeking not to offend their listeners with calls to repentance. Keep the mood light so the people in the pews will be bright and don’t take flight because words like sin and obedience were mentioned. I almost gave in to such a thought.
Oh, I’ll probably tone down my volume a little bit. After all, I’m a big guy with a big booming voice and that can be intimidating. However, I won’t stop being a pastor who is charged by God in His call to guide His people in His Word for His purposes. I can’t live without His Word in my heart leading me to serve Him and I will not compromise it for anything.
I can’t live without Karen to keep me humble and sane. I REALLY can’t live without God’s presence and the call to proclaim His Word. He has called me to be a sheep dog for His people, not the shepherd since He has that more than covered. Nope, just His sheep dog to keep His flock headed where He wants them to go. I’ll just refrain from biting and barking too much and then only when it’s necessary. It’s God’s call.
And those are my thoughts.
Greetings from the great folks at the Red Roof Church of Bulverde, Texas. I’m Lee Harder, senior pastor at St. Paul, wishing you the joy of Easter resurrection glory. Why not join us for worship this Sunday at 8:30AM or 10:45AM for celebrations of Christ in our lives. I promise, it is worship where God’s Word IS Heard from Scripture every week.
I remember as a kid growing up in Wisconsin our family gathering around the supper table every night. Sadly, a habit too few families practice in today’s busy, distracting world. Every night we would engage in discussion, debate, laughter, sharing and disagreement on a myriad of subjects. Nothing was forbidden. I was, along with my siblings, like kids everywhere in that there were times when I thought my parents just didn’t understand because they were too old. Basically, they were dumb as fenceposts. I thought that about my parents (but never said it out loud) and my kids thought that about us (and never said it out loud). My grandchildren think that about their parents. (Ah, the curse works.) Fortunately, children grow out of that stage some time between the ages of 25 and 30. My kids have many years to wait yet. (chuckle, chuckle). Justice!
I mention this because as I reflect back on those diners, I remember they were a lot of fun (most of the time) and I learned things outside my limited box of ideas. Those conversations got me to learn how to think for myself. Thinking is a good thing. I fear, we don’t have that enough today!
Our families are being torn in a dozen different directions. A sit down, family gathered together around a hot meal where people talk to one another and actually listen to one another? From what I see and hear — not happening. How is it humanly possible to engage in thought provoking, stimulating conversation when we’re shoveling chicken nuggets or some other equally disgusting substitute for real food lovingly prepared in that ancient process known as cooking. I mean, come on, I’ve seen the commercials for those companies that put together meals, the right ingredients in the right amounts with step by step instructions, to prepare for people who never learned to cook. They even teach how to cut up a potato. Really?
Then, on those rare occasions when the family might actually all have a schedule that allows them to come together, by accident, how can they communicate, you know TALK, when they all, mom and dad too, have their noses buried into their iPods, iPads and other devices with dancing thumbs pressing buttons?
People don’t communicate anymore. Oh, we talk AT one another, but we don’t listen to one another. We seldom reason or think. Sure, we have an opinion, but we refuse to open ourselves to the possibility that someone else’s opinion is as viable as our own and just might be sounder, make more sense and be more right than our own. Too many have a closed mind. It’s my way or I’ll shut you out, shout you down, or kick you out.
We see it in politics. We see it in religion. We see it in almost every facet of our lives.
Like I said before, we don’t think. Not really. We merely regurgitate the brainwashing, the indoctrination or the self-gratifying opinion that feeds the “ME” most satisfactorily. We’ve stopped learning how to think for ourselves and reason various ideas and concepts. This lack of thinking and reasoning based on all aspects of a subject is dangerous. It’s caused us to close God out from the important parts of our lives with serious consequences.
And those are my thoughts. By the way, my next vlog will be about trying to re-establish communication in the lines of thinking, especially when it comes to including God in our conversations. When there are 6th graders arrested for plotting to murder classmates and teachers in a school in Tennessee we have more than enough evidence that we need to be getting back to talking about God and with God in our lives.
Have a good week. God bless.
Pastor Lee R. Harder