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.
Pastor Lee R. Harder