Texas Lost Some Good People Today

If you’ve had dear friends that have been a crucial part of your life for many years, then you know the pain of losing them when they move. This is an especially difficult part of life for a church family. Of course, after two decades serving as a pastor with the same church, it is something you come to expect. Families move to town. They become integral parts of your church and even your personal life. Then, whether they truly want to or not, life takes a turn, and they are quickly gone…moving on to a new destination.

Our church will most definitely miss this dear family. They have served faithfully, willingly with a heart for others. You name it in the church, and they have had a hand in helping that ministry achieve excellence. God doesn’t just have to replace our friends, but also a big part of our ministry team in our church.

We trust in the knowledge that God definitely has a plan, and that his plans are for our good. Still, the empty feeling of loss that resides in the depths of our hearts is real. And, sometimes the question of “why” just won’t stop its nagging. That’s why I like to stop, think on the memories, and recount all the super fun times we’ve enjoyed together.

Days & Days kiddos

These pictures show just a smidgeon of the fun times we’ve had with this family. It’s crazy! Friends have a way of becoming family when you do life together. Personally, we have done ministry together, seen each other most every week, and spent lots of time together in various ways.

My own baby girl learned how to be a babysitter with these cute faces in these pictures, and my son learned the importance of being an example to others. The age difference between our kiddos provided a very neat opportunity for unique friendships, that I am convinced will last for many, many years to come.

Kym Beck Pres

My wife took on an important job of being a kindergarten teacher, and Becky was sweet enough to jump right in with her. They were side by side for the last three years pouring in to each other as they worked hard to bestow knowledge to their kinders. As a husband, I’ve been increasingly thankful for the friendship Becky has given to my wife. I’ll have my hands full trying to help soften the hurt in her heart in the coming weeks and months.

I was blessed to be there for the first time Eric took his son, Jake hunting. It was a great day as one of our resident hunting experts in Berean, Big Joe, was showing us all the ropes. We didn’t get a ton of doves that day, but we did have lots of fun trying. See what I mean, remembering good times is a good tool in handling sadness.

Jake's 1st hunting trip

So, yeah. The sadness is real, and there is no magic trick to make it disappear with a snap of the fingers. But, we know God wouldn’t have us stay in this sadness-stricken state. He wants us to know that what he has planned to come will be just as amazing. That’s not because the Day family is so easily replaced (FAR from it)…it’s because our God is so awesome!

“And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.”  -Philippians 4:19

“For all the promises of God find their Yes in him. That is why it is through him that we utter our Amen to God for his glory.”           -2 Corinthians 1:20

During these times (like we should at all times), we cling tightly to his many promises, and trust his sovereignty in all things. He knows the sadness and the hurt we have, and he’s at work in it all.

Does Your Attitude S#@%…sometimes!

Mine sure does…suck, that is. Please excuse the word choice. I know it’s harsh, and I would normally go with something like stink, but sometimes my attitude is honestly way worse that just stinking. And, the harshness of that word is incredibly accurate as it points to the sin that overtakes me and torpedoes my attitude.

Of course, given enough time, I do eventually get over it. And I usually think how sad it is that I let myself get so focused on different things and circumstances that it took over my whole attitude. However, if I’m not careful, I end up doing it all over again.

Why is that?

Attitude collage

With all the clever, sayings & quotes, memes, graphics, etc…you’d think we could just pick ourselves up out of the doldrums, grab some encouragement and move on. Of course, it is often much harder than that, and for some, a bad attitude can stick around for many days, even weeks.

Real quickly, I just wanted to drop a few words that might help, if this finds you dealing with a bad attitude.

Ask yourself these questions to evaluate yourself…

  1. Did someone do something that attributed to my attitude problem?
  2. If so, why did I (or continually do I) give them such power over me?
  3. Did something I do cause my attitude to tank?
  4. Was it just one thing, or did multiple things stack up on each other?
  5. Are things exactly as you think they are, or are you assuming?

Part of our sin nature is to care about what people think of us, to care about how people treat us, to get down on ourselves, and to think that our perception of reality is always correct. People will say, “Well, he said ‘_________’. What else could he have meant by that? He clearly has a problem with me.” We leave no room for the possibility that there might be another explanation. On top of that, we are very good at adding things up until we have this tower of issues that submerges our attitude to the depths of our being.

In a very real sense, we want to be our own god. We want total control over what happens to us, how we’re treated, how others handle their own lives, etc. If it connects to us at all, we want things to go the way we want things to go. In other words, we want to be the gods of our own lives…controlling all circumstances and situations in a way that we see fit.

Instead, we should be looking at each situation with humility.

3 Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.      -Philippians 2:3-4

 

We are, instead of trying to be our own god, to have the mind of Christ.

Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus    -Philippians 2:5

Even when things go sideways, people actually do treat us poorly, and sin against us, the call on our lives is to follow the Lord’s example. Jesus faced real trials, persecution and suffering. Yet, in the midst of it all, he remained hopeful and was ever patient.

When he was reviled, he did not revile in return; when he suffered, he did not threaten, but continued entrusting himself to him who judges justly.       -1 Peter 2:23

When you find yourself stuck in this position, fighting your attitude, and nothing seems to help you get unstuck, do these two things.

First, go to a good family member or friend who you know loves God, and loves you. Even if you have a stack of issues, it’s a safe bet that one person isn’t at the center of it all. Find that person, share your heart, and let them be a blessing to you.

Second (and most importantly), sit down and make a list of the great blessings you have in your life. I hear you right now saying, “Oh yeah, I know, be grateful. I get it.” And you’ve got that rolling eyes smirk on your face. Get past that self-centered bull, and begin to make an actual list of the ways God has blessed you. You will be amazed at how your heart can begin to shift when you are focused on God’s goodness to you.