Since I am writing you from the Annual Conference of the Alabama/West Florida, United Methodist Conference you might be confused with the title. All of this order and structure ... all of the music ... all of the reports (some encouraging) ... all of the knowledge about the happenings in our area ... the videos of events and blessings at churches in the conference ... all of those preachers ... one would think that I would be immersed in the message that Jesus is Lord.
But this time has always been difficult for me. Yesterday I preached about Barnabas entering Antioch with an attitude of seeking and seeing God's blessings. Pray that I can and will do the same. Because I too often see three things that give me pause. I see preachers comparing their catches of fish in overtly numeric terms ... I wonder if God is impressed with their numbers? I hear reports that tell me how well things are going but they are sometimes factually evasive. And I meet hundreds of pastors trying to get the weeks work done as they "process" the required meetings, the services and the necessary business of the Conference. Lots of "duty" and seemingly not that much joy.
But then there is this ... as I stood last evening next to Marilyn Skipper and we sang with joy the songs of the church. I don't know about Marilyn but I couldn't tell you much that was read, preached or said at the opening worship service. But I can tell you the lyrics of a song that was shared with thousands of people and a choir of maybe 250 people. "And on that day when my strength is failing, the end draws near and my time has come, still my soul will sing your praise unending ... 10,000 years and then forevermore." God truly does send streams in the desert ... and he brings life from death. I wonder what His plan will be ... and I pray I can just be a part of something good He is doing! Randy