Wednesday, November 25, 2009
Pastor's Perspective - Twelve Minutes
Columnist Erma Bombeck said, “Thanksgiving dinners take eighteen hours to prepare. They are consumed in twelve minutes. Half-times take twelve minutes. This is not coincidence.”
Well Thanksgiving 2009 is here. Admittedly, Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday of the year. I know, as a pastor it should be Easter or Christmas, right?! However, Thanksgiving charged past the holiday pack and took the lead somewhere in recent years absolutely unannounced. I believe it got its turbo kick through my deepening appreciation for family (especially mine), and the ability to authentically embrace something we all hunger for – contentment.
Something else has changed recently. As I walk with the Lord, I’m finding that most of my prayers nowadays are bulging with, “Thank you Lord.” Where in the past, my conversations with the Father initially began with thanks as a precursor to the main thing, “Lord, please do..”; my prayers are different now. I’m enjoying just thanking Him, without asking Him for anything. As I’ve shared many times, I sincerely believe that as we seek and acknowledge His benevolent face with gratitude, His hand naturally opens.
This year I have much to me thankful for..
A Father who is on the move, continuously telling an epic redemptive love story, in which He graciously allows me to a bit player and passing cast member.
A Son who is absolutely sovereign over His everlasting Kingdom, yet loves to the point of death, and still dons a towel to serve His creation.
A Spirit that gloriously possesses permeating and transforming power to change hearts, destroy insurmountable obstacles, direct the aimless, and illuminate our darkest realities here below.
A wife who loves me despite my many foibles, is distinctly dependable, annoys me with her discernment, masterfully lassoes daily a tornado known as the Kiefer household, and is adored my her children, countless friends, and critters.
Children who continue to amaze me, tighten their grip on me, and stoke the flame of immeasurable love and pride in their Daddy’s heart.
Parents and in-laws who prove regularly that encouragement and cheerleading do not diminish with age or across time zones.
Siblings who still bring tremendous joy and laughter to their big brother.
Relatives and friends who remind me that ‘family’ and 'friendship' are God’s priceless legacies and sweetest kisses on my earthly existence.
A church of ‘real people’ that mysteriously tolerate my ‘Southernisms’, endless ‘Top Ten Lists’, my stage-stalking rants, my strike-outs, and my many weaknesses, yet, hug my neck weekly and lovingly call me their pastor.
Staff and Co-Leaders who are endlessly devoted, ridiculously talented, tirelessly zealous, and possess a miraculous gift – the ability to somehow make the lead pastor look good.
Lastly, an exciting Mission of a lifetime, big and adventurous enough to wake-up eagerly every morning and take my place in the fight.
Enjoy your twelve minutes!