Archive for February 2010

Ordination Part III


My Pledge: 

It seems that one ought to take some kind of pledge when one is ordained.  So I wrote out a pledge that I make tonight in your presence.  It is not a pledge I make to you.  It is a pledge that I make to Christ.  Here is the pledge.

As a servant of Christ, my Lord and King, I pledge to Him my highest love, my utmost loyalty, and my complete obedience at all times, in all places, and under all circumstances for His glory and the advancement of His kingdom.

No one, especially me, will keep this pledge perfectly.  But that is my intent and desire and, with God's help, I will do the best that I can to keep it.

If I truly intend to keep this pledge, then there are certain things that I will need to do, certain attitudes that I must have, and certain things that I must remember.  Here is my list.  There are certainly more things that I will need to do, and if you think of other items I should add to the list, please let me know.  But here is my list.

  • If I intend to keep this pledge, I will delight in God first and foremost and will never forget His amazing grace that saved a wretch like me.

 

  • I will always remember how God turned my grief at the loss of Joshua into dancing. So I will laugh more and celebrate more and dance more because God is good and His love endures forever.

 

  • I will go to more parties and make new friends like Jesus did--a great way to spread the message of hope.

 

  • I will enjoy the unique wrinkles of God's image in every personality.

 

  • I will take more walks with Louise and gaze in wonder at all of the colors of the setting sun.

 

  • I will do less in order to do more of what truly matters.

 

  • I will be kinder and gentler, less judgmental.

 

  • I will figure out how to teach God's truth while reflecting God's love and grace.

 

  • I will pray more about everything.

 

  • I will engage in acts of compassion to help the poor, the sick, and the disadvantaged like Jesus did.

 

  • I will feel the pain of the approximately 30,000 children who die every day in our world because of malnutrition and related causes and will do something about it.

 

  • I will grieve more about the roughly 50,000 people who die every day without Christ and will do something about it.

 

  • I will point people to the Prince of Peace and will work for the day when nations will train for war no more and will beat their swords into plowshares.

 

  • No matter how deep the valley, no matter how dark the day, I will always trust in God, remembering that one day He will set all things right.

 

  • I will never forget that there is a Name that is above every name and that one day every knee will bow and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord. Until that day, we will invite all people to bend the knee to Christ in this life.

 

Glory to God.  Amen.

 

Published on February 24, 2010 at 10:45 am | | 0 Comments

My cup overflows. 

It particularly overflows in the relationships God has given me in life.


Ordination Part II

 Louise:  If anyone should be recognized tonight, it is my wife Louise.  In our marriage, she is the spiritual giant.  I hope to have a small shack next to her mansion in heaven.  Without her, my work at Joshua's Way would have been almost impossible.  Not only has she helped there in so many ways, she has continued to work outside the home so that I could step away from a full-time law practice to devote time to Joshua's Way.   For over 32 years, she has been my closest confidante and friend.  She is the artist in my life.  She helps me to see all of God's colors in every beautiful sunset and in the ordinary events of life.   She has been God's instrument, smoothing my rough edges, and displaying a wonderful spirit of gentleness and grace throughout our marriage.  Our journey has had a number of unexpected turns--you never thought you would be married to a pastor did you, Louise--, a few dark valleys of death and disease, but an incredible depth of joy and happiness that has been absolutely exquisite.  I cannot imagine life without her.  No husband could ask for a better wife.  As a small token of my love for her, I have some flowers.

 Caleb and Kate:  How about my children who participated in this service?  Half a lifetime ago, God, for His own divine purposes, took our son Joshua, but then God gave Louise and me a double measure of joy by sending us Caleb and Kate.  They are not only my children; they are also my friends who I now often call on for wise counsel and advice.  They are both strong Christians who have been so supportive of me and Joshua's Way.  No father could ask for better children. 

Paige:  And then God gave us a third blessing when Paige, Caleb's wife, came into our lives.  Tonight, she is saving lives in the intensive care unit at Greenville Memorial Hospital.  She too has been so supportive of me and Joshua's Way.

 The entire Rogers' family:    I thank Paul, my physical brother who is also my spiritual brother, who prayed for me tonight.  Many of you know how much time he has devoted to Joshua's Way.  His assistance there has been invaluable. 

Mom and Dad have given us a rich legacy.  You know the Rogers' family is a big family:  six children in all.  The great thing about a large family is that when you need assistance, there is a small army ready and willing to go into action.  I am indebted to all of my family for their encouragement and support, not only of me, but of Joshua's Way. 

Some of my brothers are still a little confused about which brother is the best-looking, but you can ask my sister Rosemarie about that.  She will tell you the truth.

The entire Sullivan family:  When I married Louise, I got another blessing in another large family, the Sullivan family.  Frank and Jo, thank you so much for all that you do, and especially for Louise.

Friends:  I have so many friends here tonight.  Some of you are long time members at Greer First Baptist who may have changed my diapers.  A number of you taught me and trained me over the years.  Then I have other friends here:  Joshua's Way board members, workers, volunteers, supporters.  Some of you, even before the formation of Joshua's Way, kept asking me when I was going to stop talking about spiritual things and thinking about spiritual things and do something.  Kent Satterfield, for example.  He actually badgered me to take action which is exactly what I needed.  Eventually, Joshua's Way emerged.  Thank you, Kent.

Rick Ezell and the ordination council:  Many thanks to Rick Ezell and the entire ordination council.  The entire process was an excellent process.  I deeply appreciate the affirmation of this ordination.  I also appreciate Rick and the council taking a chance by ordaining a lawyer.

 

Published on February 16, 2010 at 9:39 am | | 0 Comments

Ordain: To invest with ministerial or priestly authority; confer holy orders on.

On January 17, 2010 I followed God's call to the next step in my journey of obedient serve to Him by becoming ordained.  The following series of blogs are my remarks from that evening.

Ordination Part I

Why am I now seeking ordination?  Why didn't I do this a long time ago?  Well, God needed to chip away at a lot of rough edges in my life.  But understand, I did not just get the call from God tonight.  I got it a long time ago.  This ordination is an important step in the journey, but the journey with Christ began years ago after the loss of Joshua.

Over the last year, I have been asked to do some things in a more pastoral role--marrying people, baptizing, counseling.  And last year for the first time in Joshua's Way's history, our Board decided to offer a Bible study on Sunday mornings.  Last year the owners of Trio Restaurant offered the restaurant as a location for a Joshua's Way Community Bible Study on Sunday mornings.  The JW Board enthusiastically endorsed this idea.  The Community Bible Study began last Sunday and things are going well.  We will see how God leads in all of this. 

 

Published on February 9, 2010 at 5:01 pm | | 0 Comments

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