2013 is rushing to a close! If you are like me, you often catch yourself thinking the years run a little faster than they once did. It is like they are in a race, but I can’t imagine why anyone would want to win. If you and I can live a few more days, we will get the clear canvas of a new year. Perhaps that is exciting because even as we do the final brush strokes on this year’s portrait, we are ever reminded that it is never quite the masterpiece we had hoped. Another shot is the thrill of another chance. The greater spiritual truth, for one who loves Jesus Christ, is that we can do nothing without Him. The blemishes of our portrait are always from a stubborn independence of Him. You know that is true as He never has a blemish left behind a stroke of the brush wielded by His hand. Come to think of it, that is an encouraging thought.
The year has brought quite a change for the Reagan family. I knew this time last year that the Lord was leading us away from a ministry in West Union, Ohio in a church with a people we had grown to deeply love. We left in June to live a transition time in Tennessee. I still think of those people in West Union often. I guess there is a deep bond in the shepherding entailed in being a pastor. I am so thrilled my friend, Jamin Boyer, carries on there and the people are in good hands. It is good to have forever friendships that remain from a place that got almost 10 years of your life. One of the chief glories of being a Christian is that Christ and the future promises He has given us has defanged goodbye.
This transition time has been, in some measure, exactly what we thought it might be. A time to recharge on the one hand and a time to live by faith on the other. My Alicia told me that we had never had a moment to catch our breath in ministry when her paralysis changed our lives in 2009. She loved Ohio too but thought if a change was coming maybe the Lord would give us both a rest. Besides living outside of daily ministry, we were blessed by the Lord to land at Faith Baptist Tabernacle in Jamestown, Tennessee, pastored by Fred Allred. The people there are bighearted like their pastor and they have ministered to us. The Lord sure knows how to write a story, doesn’t He?
As for the living by faith, I worked during this time and we have made it well. There were two or three times where things were very difficult and the Lord came through in miraculous ways. The Lord is good–what an understatement! The funny thing is being a Christian for as long as I have and still be in need of such tests of faith. The Lord’s perfect record of keeping me is still intact. My perfect record of not having flawless faith is too.
This transition time has been good, but the fire is burning in my bones. I think all the time of pastoring again. Timing is always the Lord’s domain, and I await assignment from the headquarters in Heaven. By the way, I am talking to a wonderful church now with real possibilities. Prayers are appreciated.
Reagan Review, my blog here, has gone well. My enjoyment ever grows in writing on the blog. The series, Independent Baptist Truth Revolution, has gone beyond my wildest expectations. People are reading and I pray that the Lord will use it for positive change. It is the kind of thing that naturally will not be liked by everyone. Though I always favor peace over war, personal acceptance is not a worthy life goal. Some causes are worth personal hits. Nothing worthwhile has ever come any other way. My life, or my cause within Christianity, is advocating that the Word of God have the proper place in ministry. Preaching the Bible will revolutionize churches I truly believe.
In the coming year, I plan to keep this series going. I have a long list of ideas to write on even though a weekly article is a challenge. Pray no one shoots me! Thanks to all those who have shared the articles and helped it get out!
A few more articles on “Books On The Ministry” are coming too. Then, I want to start a series on recommended books for each book of the Bible. That will be much easier to do when I have my library set up again. A few folks have asked me about doing that and commentaries make up one of the largest parts of my library.
I pray we all have blessed and useful year for our Lord coming up in 2014. Thanks, as always, for reading. God bless!
Christmas–A Case Study
It’s Time For An Independent Baptist Truth Revolution
Alicia has written for the New Year here.