(Pictured: Jim & Coletta Burns, Beneth Jones, Bob Jones III)
Pastoring God's people in a local church is filled with tremendous blessings. It is also hard work because our sinful nature does not like doing spiritual things. Also,because the Devil is always against you, it can sometimes be brutal. Our pain and pressure as Pastors and Pastor's wives are not like the pain our good people at Liberty Baptist suffered with for nearly three years of striving to physically convert a school building into a church building. Our pain is not like the agony of a broken bone or pulled muscle. Our pain is often invisible to the human eye. Our pain is usually from the temptations of the world trying to pull us away from the will of God, and from a Devil and demons who would be thrilled to see us get washed out.
But the Bible still says, "And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not." (Galatians 6:9). Satan fought our church's building program about as hard as I have ever seen him fight. He did not want this to happen. He did not want that last drop of paint brushed on. Satan did not want the final light bulb screwed in. He didn't want the pulpit placed on the platform. He didn't want the church choir to sing their first song in our new auditorium. But, Satan lost this battle and Jesus won.
Every now and then, a special gift or event takes place that we know has to be God saying,"You've past another test,so, here's your reward for a good grade." For me as the Pastor here, my reward for what our church has been through these past three years was having Dr. Bob Jones III and his wife, Beneth Jones come to Van Wert to help us celebrate this great victory. This is probably the greatest honor Coletta and I have ever had in 34 years of ministering at five different churches in four different states.
Although hated and misunderstood by many, Dr. Bob Jones, III is one of the most sincere, genuine, compassionate and friendly men I have ever met. Beneth is equally the same as a Christian lady. Let me say the Devil hates this couple also. But Jesus loves them and has used them for many years.
Back in the 80's when a very well known Pastor of a large church fell, I heard Dr. Bob Jones, III say, "Maybe now we have finally learned that in Fundamentalism, our only hero should be Jesus Christ!" Well, Dr. Bob, I know your right about this. But I must confess, I have loved and admired you and your wife as a man of God and she a women of God since the day I met you, and you're still my hero in the ministry!
(Pictured: Me shaking hands with Bob Jones, III in new auditorium).
Thanks to both of you as well as the BJ pilots, Pete and Morgan for coming to our church Sept. 18 & 19, 2010. It made it worth it all. May God bless you.
(BJU Pilots, Morgan and Pete standing with Dr. and Mrs. Bob Jones, III)
Thursday, September 30, 2010
Sunday, September 26, 2010
This photo was taken Sunday, Sept. 19, 2010 on our Dedication Sunday. Most of our members stayed for the photo shooting. To the far right, my wife, Coletta and I are pictured with Van Wert City School Superintendent, Ken Anstutz and his family along with guest speaker, Dr. Bob Jones, III and his wife, Beneth. It was a glorious week end and a great victory for our church to be able to dedicate the facility the Lord gave us.
Friday, September 24, 2010
It's almost midnight on Friday night, Sept. 24, 2010, and I'm feeling guilty. Whenever I was out of town, sick, making church visits or entertaining my 3 year old granddaughter on Sat. morning, I would have an underlying "guilt trip" going on for not being at the Sat. work day at our church. I'm sure I can testify for myself as well as about 20 faithful church men and women from Liberty Baptist. "Tomorrow's Saturday and I don't have to go to work on the church building!" It's weird. When you add the hundreds of building committee meetings, praying and working to get needed funds, votes and decisions to make on what to do and "how to do it," (or, what color it should be), we are all drained, beat down and tired. But, as my son Aaron in China would say, "It's a GOOD tired!" And that it is.
There's no way I can thank the hard workers in our church for working on turning the Horace Mann School into a church building to house the Liberty Baptist Ministries. I just pray God will richly reward all of you. Very soon, I will type up a blog post about last week end's ribbon cutting, Dedication Service with Dr. Bob Jones, III and his wife, Beneth as our guests, and how the first two Sundays in our new auditorium went. Officially, this coming Sunday will be my first Sunday to preach behind the pulpit the church bought me 2 years ago. But, that's O. K., cos we saved it for NOW!
So, after over two years of work days, work nights, literal blood, literal sweat, and literal "tears," it's over. But, really, it will never be over until Jesus comes! Cos, we have tons of souls to reach for Christ, and plenty of roof leaks. Maybe doing those two maintenance projects will keep us out of trouble until the rapture!
I'm tired Jim C. Burns, along with a tired wife and a tired church . . . . . AND THAT'S SOMETHING TO THINK ABOUT!
Tuesday, September 7, 2010
Dr. Bob Jones, III, Chancellor and former President of Bob Jones University in Greenville, SC will be the featured speaker at the Building Dedication of the Liberty Baptist Church, 501 E. Third Street in Van Wert. The Dedication Service will be Saturday, September 18th at 2:00 pm in the church’s new auditorium. An open house and reception will begin at 3:30 pm.
Dr. Bob Jones, III and his wife, Beneth will also be speaking at Liberty Baptist Sunday morning, Sept. 19th. At 9:30 am, Mrs. Jones will teach a Bible lesson to the teen girls and adult women in the Youth Department, and Dr. Jones will address the teen boys and adult men in the church’s new auditorium. Dr. Jones’ final message of the day will be during the Sunday Morning worship service at 10:45 am. Liberty Baptist Church is now located at the former Horace Mann School.
You are all invited to come join us for this very special week end!
Jim C. Burns, Pastor - Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Wednesday, September 1, 2010
(My youngest son, Aaron Burns with me in Hong Kong in December, 2009).
Our son, Aaron has served in China now for six years. August 24 was his 31st birthday. He was able to spend the week end with some friends in Hong Kong and visit Hong Kong Disney. Our hopes are that Aaron can fly home for a brief visit next January. It has been two years since he has been back in the U. S.
We love you and miss you Aaron! Happy Birthday!
Here's Miley Burns the Birthday girl! We met up with her parents and Miley's other grandparents who came in from Kansas for her birthday party at Yellow Springs, OH. We went to Young's Jersey Dairy. It's quite the place and a great place for a party.
Happy Birthday Granddaughter Miley! Papa Burns loves you!