Sunday, May 18, 2008

Pastoring in Seven Days!

What does a pastor do in one week? Every pastor would certainly have a different schedule, different activities, appointments and ministries, but this past week for me was quite eventful. It started out on Monday meeting with three of our officers to sign papers at our bank for a loan for our new building, working with my wife power spraying our new building, contacting our architect about the state codes, communicating with the technician installing our fire and burglar alarm, setting up tables and chairs with the Salway brothers for our Wed. night supper and an important building committee meeting. I also made several shut in and hospital calls in three different towns with my wife, Coletta and our granddaughter, Miley, made a pastoral visit to an inmate at the Van Wert County Jail, and helped with our Saturday morning work day at the school building we are converting into a church.
I also spent some time this past week submitting news articles to our local newspapers and I made an emergency hospital visit late Sat. night for a little four year old girl who had a backyard swing set collapse on her doing serious damage to her head. I left the hospital last night at 11:15, and after all of our Sunday Church services were over today, I finished up a counseling session about 10:00 tonight.

I'm pretty embarrassed to say this, but I was so swamped last week with all the "details" of the church work that I didn't finish typing my sermon until about 7:00 this morning before I left for morning church. But, thank the Lord, He gave me strength to do what needed to be done this past week, and He will provide the strength for this week too! I’m so glad the Lord has given me the health, strength, and experience to pastor some of the most wonderful people in the whole world. I joked with our church folks this morning about our church growing, because three Sundays ago, we had 151, last Sunday 152, and today, 153!

I just wanted to share with you a little bit of what a week is like in the life of a pastor. I'm not complaining. I am thrilled and very honored to have the privilege of pastoring a church. It has been very gratifying and rewarding to help other people and be a partner with the Lord in the greatest business in the world!

That's something to think about!

Saturday, May 10, 2008

My Mother - Dot Burns

This blog will be too long for you, but to short for me.

This will be the seventh year my brother, Johnny and I have experienced a Mother's Day without our Mother. Mother's Day is never the same once your Mom dies. Even though she's been gone over seven years, I still miss her like crazy. My brain plays tricks on me. When you have lived for nearly 50 years with a Mom and then, it's "life without Mother," there are times when you think "she can't be gone!" Even recently as our church is in the process of remodeling a school into a church building, I find myself wanting to "call Mom" and share the blessings of what's happening. When someone gets saved or baptized in our ministry here in Ohio, I want to call Mom back in Kansas and tell her the good news. And then, it hits you . . . she's gone. Of course, I can't pick up our new little granddaughter, Miley, or look in her eyes without sometimes saying to myself, "Your Great grandma Burns would have absolutely adored you!" I'm hoping Jesus let's Great grandma Dot peek through the curtains of heaven when Miley's smiling down here on earth so Mom can see how cute her new Great granddaughter is. Dot would have loved this little gal just as much as she loved all her grand kids!

Mom was one of a kind. The first summer after she and Dad were married, they went out into their wheat field to harvest their "bumper crop." This would be their main source of income for the rest of that year. Just as they entered the field with the combine, a huge hail storm blew into the Oklahoma Panhandle. Mom and Dad crawled up into the threshing compartment of the combine to keep from getting injured from the hail. Once the storm blew over and they got out, they saw their entire crop totally destroyed. No insurance. They just stood in that torn up wheat field hugging and weeping as they saw the wheat beat into the ground. Mom went from windblown farms, to cooking for farm hands, to cafes. She became a hair dresser and opened up a Salon in a room attached to our house when Dad got Parkinson's and had to resign as a Santa Fe Railroad switch man. Mom would do whatever it would take to keep food on our table and keep Johnny and me clothed. My brother and I never went without a meal, never ran out of clean clothes and especially never ran out of love. If Mom had to work two jobs, sell something precious to her then get a loan to make sure Johnny and I had a good Christmas, she would. If she knew of someone in our little town in August that was hot and didn't have an air conditioner, she'd use her Sears or Penny's charge card and buy them one. That was Dot, and I'm so proud to be one of her two sons. In the late 80's while I served in a church in Hutchinson, Kansas, my Mom accepted Christ and I had the joy of baptizing her. She became a member of that church, and I became her pastor there. Mom died from lung cancer July 31, 2000 In Oklahoma City, but today because her faith has become sight, she has a new body, and one day I will see Mom again in heaven.

I love you Mom and miss you. Happy Mother's Day, and congratulations on your new Great-granddaughter!

That's something to think about.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Mother's Day 2008

From left to right: Grandma (Nanny) Coletta Burns, Baby, Miley Burns (8 month), and Miley's Mom, Jenny Burns

This year will be a very exciting and different Mother's Day for the three ladies pictured here. Our daughter in law, Jenny experiencing her first Mother's Day, Miley's first time experiencing having a Mother on Mother's Day, and Coletta being not only the Mother of two handsome adult sons, Matt and Aaron, but her first Mother's Day ever also being a Grandmother! This picture was taken this Monday in Marion, Ohio in front of the Bank where Jenny works. Happy Mother's Day ladies!

That's something to think about!