"Preach the gospel at all times, if necessary use words." - St. Francis of Assisi

Monday, March 10, 2014

Day 7 of Lent – Tuesday

“Examine yourselves to see if your faith is genuine.” (2 Cor. 13:5)

  It’s been almost a week since I started this journey through the Lenten season and I am detecting some differences in myself. For the good. Even though I have observed the season of Lent for many years, this is the first time I have done so in such a transparent manner. I don’t know how many of you are following along and taking it to heart, but I do pray for all of you. You may have noticed that I am not writing on Facebook as much as I normally do. During these 40 days, I have tried to stay off Facebook more, watch less television, listen to more music and read more scripture. The period of withdrawal from social media is not easy and can be almost lonely at times, but I have found God lurking in the strangest places just waiting for me to appear. Then, it’s kind of a spiritual “gotcha” moment when He jumps out and surprises me.

  As this first week ends, I feel like it is time to evaluate my path, my motives and my faith. As the scripture says, “….to see if it is genuine.” I guess my primary concern is that there are those who might think the daily postings of my journey may be from some sense of pride and accomplishment. That, my friends, I can strongly attest to being not true. My family comes from a strong Mennonite, Brethren, Methodist and (now) Baptist background and I was taught from early childhood about the dangers of pride and ego. That is part of my heritage. Several generations back, one of my great-grandpas, Hans Herr, was a Mennonite minister and in reading some of his sermons that have survived time, I can sense the struggle between the sin of Pride and the Way of the Lord among his congregation and community in Pennsylvania. And that same struggle happens within my heart here in McDonough, GA.

  Even though I have enjoyed my various jobs, working in the secular world can be difficult during this season. Many times the general nature of them leads me into situations where attitudes, lifestyles and language are not where I am comfortable. Except for the years I served as a full-time Minister, I have always worked in the municipal public sector, because I feel that it is God’s calling for me in this season of my life. It takes all the strength that God can pour into me at times to hold firm and remember who I belong to…..while giving obedience to my earthly employers and doing the best job I can. For that reason, I have to periodically evaluate my faith and make sure it is still on target. Pure. Genuine. Strong.

  You may be in similar situations. You can easily get caught up in the glamour of the world (and it can be a glamorous place, if we’re honest), and lose a smidge of our faith along the way. I’m working especially hard to not falter during this season. To stay strong. Be the example of a Man of God (see “Being God’s” page 107 – yep, I’m unashamedly always trying to get a few more book sales out of the deal….). So today, I’m going to be examining my faith from all angles to make sure I’m strong and safe in the arms of God. Will you join me?

And for today my friends, this has been the gospel according to Jimmy. Blessed be the name of the Lord.   



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