Merci, Danke, Gracias, σας ευχαριστώ (that one was for Pastor James).
Thank you for the allowing me the opportunity to take this sabbatical. I already miss the times we share in the services, and the fellowship we have in Christ.
The first week of sabbatical was a busy time. I had some last-minute details to take care of for the church before embarking full time on my sabbatical. I then turned my attention to my "honey-to-do" list that I needed to finish before our guests arrived on Tuesday. I'm writing this sabbatical update from my mother's house in Pennsylvania. It has been good to visit with her and "catch-up" on life. It's been too long since I spent time with my mom. I feel that I have really begun the "rest," which is part of my sabbatical goals.
This week I have read (outside of my Bible reading), The Unbreakable Brain by Dr. Will Mitchell. What a great book! It's subtitled Shield Your Brain From Cognitive Decline…For Life. I have learned a lot about how the brain and memory functions. I also know now that diabetes and dementia are interconnected, and a lot of other useful things. Prayerfully, I will move them from my head to my heart (like we should do with the Word of God) and make applications to my life.
As I truly began to rest it allowed me to reflect and I came to this conclusion,
Instead of allowing the position of Senior Pastor to form the basis of who I am, I need to allow my position in Christ to shape my identity.
Galatians 2:20 "I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me."
Because He loved me and gave himself for me, and now lives in me, my position in this life (the world) doesn't make up my identity. My identity is who I am in Christ. My position is not found in this world, but in heaven.
Ephesians 2:6 "And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus:"
I'm a child of God; God in me and for me. My position and identity in Christ is sufficient to sustain me no matter what title I may hold here on earth.
Having said that, I'm well aware of John 15:16 which states, "Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you" (that's my life verse).
And 1 Timothy 3:1 which states, "This is a true saying, If a man desire the office of a bishop, he desireth a good work."
I'm thankful for the position God has called me to as the Pastor of Sharon Baptist Church, but that position no longer defines who I am in this world, Christ has already determined that for me.
Sharon Baptist church is an independent, fundamental Baptist church located in Hampton, VA.
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