30 Days of Thanks: Days 18-20

Dear whomever has the ability to fix my technical issue- please do so. I don’t like blogging delayed.

Day 18: Thankful for the Pastors

I thank GOD that I was born to a preacher, but there have also been other Pastors influential in my life.

One of the advantages of growing up as a Pastor’s kid is that I got to meet many amazing (& not too amazing) Pastors of many local churches in my region.

One of those Pastors happened to me like an earthquake. Pastor Mark.

Pastor Mark pastors a small young church plant about an hour from where I now live. By GOD using him, I came into a true saving relationship with Christ Jesus in February 2011.

Mark lovingly would call me out when I did wrong, but also would remind me of what remains the greatest lesson that a Pastor has taught me so far:

GOD loves the mess we are, and if we surrender, GOD can use that mess as a MESSAGE.

Day 19: Thankful for the ability to hear, see and speak

I don’t know if my parents have ever told me what my first words were. But I grew up being a talker, often getting into far too much trouble for talking in class.

When I went into my 30s, I found myself retreating some and becoming less talkative. Much of that was maturity, I hope. Perhaps I have learned to listen more and talk less (2 ears, 1 mouth kind of reminder). Another part of that is that I began to write more, more than I had before.

As far as sight, I do indeed thank GOD for the amazing wonders of HIS creation that I have gotten to experience. I have hiked over 200 miles of trails, seen 20 different waterfalls, visited nearly every state east of Kansas (sans Maine, New York, and New Jersey).

I am thankful that I have also seen the adorable smiles of my sons, the beauty of my sister getting married and having her first child, and even seeing the final moments of a loved ones life.

Hearing. Have you read much of my blog? You may have stumbled over the fact that I am hearing impaired, having suffered profound hearing loss in my left ear.

Yet, I love Music. Music is such a big part of me. I love to listen to music from classical Chopin to the Christian Rock of Toby Mac.

I am blessed for what I can hear, though over the last year have taken more delight in sounds. Somethings I may have once heard easily no longer can I hear.

It is in that loss of hearing that I have TRULY learned to be thankful for what I can see, what I can say, what I can hear.

Day 20: I am thankful for my job and for my coworkers

I love what I do. Sure, like any other job, my job is not without its problems or things that I may even complain about. But I truly love what I do. I get to go to work Monday through Friday, knowing that I may very well get to help someone.

I get to work with some of the greatest, yet quirky, people alive. I love my crew. Each day as I leave, I always tell them the same thing: “Everybody be careful getting home”.

Because there have been the times I lost coworkers rather unexpectedly. Or they didn’t make it home without injury.

My current coworkers are a stellar bunch of all-stars. The department I work is in majority made of of employees that have been with the company at least 10 years. These seasoned Ladies and Gents share their work experiences, their life experiences, and their lives with me. We often see each other during the week more than we see our own families (sadly).

In 2008, the economy bit me hard. I not only went through the loss of one job but two due to cutbacks. Jobs were very scarce in my area, and many people moved away to find other employment. I stayed, applying with no results.

I would pick up some part time work, but would not return full-time into the workforce until 2010.

The economy in my area has greatly improved over the last 9 years, and new jobs have begun to peak through in limited amounts. I know how tremendously blessed I am to have had my current employer for over 3 years, and my current position in the company for just over a year. It is a triple blessing that I love my job and do look forward to it, even on it’s hardest of days.

My current job and coworkers have taught me a tremendous lesson over the last year: I have a work family, even when my biological family can’t be there for me.

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When the Flock fails the Shepherd

[Note: October is Pastor Appreciation Month. This is a blog post published on my previous blog in 2008]

How to Make your Pastor Feel Unappreciated:

(1) If you want your pastor to feel unappreciated, be sure to be a irregular attender. Why would you want to come and be taught about GOD from a man ordained by GOD to lead your church?

(2) To make your pastor feel unappreciated, be sure to complain about everything that your pastor does and does not do. Be sure to complain to everyone you know, and complain in very public places. Complaining will be sure to ruin his influence and his reputation.

(3) To make your pastor’s job harder, be sure to take every little problem to him. Don’t try to figure out stuff for yourself, or go to one of your church’s elders/deacons. Your pastor has the time and the energy to spend on your every tiny concern.

(4) To make your pastor’s job difficult, be sure to also complain about his wife, children, and any other family members. Your pastor should be able to control every little thing that their family does or does not do.

(5) Make Your Pastor miserable by expecting Perfection from him. He’s a pastor, which means he should be super holy and perfect. Any flaw is obvious evidence that he isn’t a good pastor.

(6) Don’t support your pastor. Don’t pay him enough. Don’t offer to help him with church related and unrelated things. Don’t pray for him and his family. Don’t befriend him. Don’t have a pastor appreciation service. Most importantly, don’t ever say thank you to him. That way your pastor will always stay humble.