Just one beggar

Following up on the theme from Monday’s post – I mentioned then that my ministry is primarily that of “One beggar telling another begger where I found bread.”  Here’s a little illustration:

We don’t really like the idea of begging.  When we see beggars in the city, usually we walk a little faster, make sure the doors are locked in the car, pretend they’re not even there.  Maybe we think that if you have to beg, then you’ve failed at something in life.  We tell our children, “Don’t beg” when they are pestering us for the latest toy begin advertized every five minutes.  If you are working hard enough, keeping on the straight and narrow, you should never have to beg, right?

I wonder how many of us feel like begging might become a viable option in the near future.  Jobs are scarce, gas is expensive, money’s tight.  The thought is terrifying, but “Brother Can you Spare a Dime” might hit the Top 40’s again.

But for just a moment, if we can get past all of the social and cultural stigmas that are associated with begging, we might begin to see how this picture is a pretty accurate description of the Christian life.

Consider for a moment the language that is used in the old prayer books of the church.  Today, prayer books are filled with the words like “pray,” “ask,” and “seek;” all very good and appropriate words.  But they’ve lost some power.  The Presbyterian Book of Worship from 1943, on the other hand, uses words like, “beseech,” “entreat,” “implore,” and even “beg” in its prayers.  How many of you would be confortable if your pastor prayed this Sunday, “God we are on our knees begging for your mercy and grace”? 

The things is, while these words are out of fashion today, they teach us a lot about how we ought to depend upon God.  God is the source of all goodness and life, if there is anything we are wanting, we must turn to God.  Bring before God the longings of your heart, look to God for those things which will bring your peace, security, and comfort in life.  Come to God with empty hands, asking to be filled.

Then perhaps, as the beggar pictured above, you may find the food you truly desire, the bread of life, the end of hunger and thirst (John 6:35).


Neither a writer nor a blogger, he

Scratching my head, wondering what to write.

See, the thing is, I’m a pastor, not a writer.  I’ve never dreamed of being a writer.  I’ve never claimed here to be a writer, I respect writers too much. 

Yes there are times when as a pastor/preacher, I have to write.  I work in words.  Translating, interpreting, parsing, speaking… it’s all part of the job.  I know that words have the power of creation; God spoke and the universe came into being, Jesus spoke and calmed the storm, brought healing to the sick and life to the dead.  God spoke to His prophets and apostles through the power of the Holy Spirit and through His sovereign grace has given us the Scriptures to show us His will and His love.  I believe in the Word of God.  I believe in the power of words.  I use words to craft and lead worship and praise of God.

All that being said, I’m still not a writer.  I’m not even a blogger.  To be a blogger, I’d have to have more passion about blogging.  I’d have to have a bigger following (though I do appreciate those who do read this).  At time I get a little obsessed about the stats about who has visited my blog and what they’ve read – I like their comments.  It’s a little self-gratifying and ego-inflating.

So what am I, what is this?  If I’m not a writer, if I’m not a blogger, why is this even here?  As the saying goes, “I’m just one beggar telling another beggar where to find bread.”

My writing here, the feeble attempts at humor, the video posts, the devotional thoughts on Scripture; this is all merely one more attempt to share the gospel.  I am a preacher by heart.  If my church closed its doors tomorrow, I’d still be preaching.  The gospel of Jesus Christ has so gripped my heart that it will never let me go.  My voice has been lost for the gospel.  My desires are spent on the glory of God.  I live to make Christ known.  I write for the same.

So take this blog for what it is.  I’m not here to sell a book.  I’m not here to promote my ministry or my church.  I’m not here to be cute, witty, or entertaining.  I’m not here to make a name for myself.  I am here, writing away, that the Word may find its home in your heart as well.