Breakfast with the family at 7:20am. Good conversation. Praying for goodness in our lives today.
7:55am-8:15am, morning drive to church and school.
8:15am. School chapel. Chapel speaker spoke on the Trinity. Said a couple heretical things and probably scared some children of ever eating eggs again. Note to self: get this beloved brother some help.
9:00-10:00am. Preparation and prayer for funeral at 10am.
10:00am-12:10pm. Funeral for beautiful, joyful three-year-old girl who passed. Offered the only and best hope I know: the gospel of our Lord. Attended a butterfly release with the family at the beach. Lovely time.
12:30pm. Visited a dear sister who lost her husband about a month ago. For the past three years she has served him faithfully following a major stroke that left him unable to talk or move very much. Their love was even more beautiful. Prayed with her as she now begins life after 41 years of marriage. Lovely time; I was probably more encouraged than she was.
1:15-2:30pm. Late for lunch with my beautiful bride and a delightful couple new to the island and the church. Very, very encouraged at their humility, eagerness to serve, and constant encouragement. Praying the Lord settles them well. Great to kiss my wife in the middle of the day. She's beautiful.
2:30-3:15. Weekly planning time with one of my staff members. Dear brother. Loves the Lord and His people. Running 15 minutes behind schedule.
3:15-4:15pm. Still 15 minutes off schedule. Had a wonderful premarital counseling session with a young couple. He's a very new Christian; she's been a Christian about 4 years or so. I love the way they constantly build one another up, even as they're working through things they think will be a challenge in marriage. Note to self: Learn from this.
4:15-5:00pm. Still behind. Had a great "reverse membership interview" with a woman that testified wonderfully to God's grace in her life. Looking forward to seeing her more fully plugged into the congregation.
5:00-5:45pm. Finally got a glance at my email. Answered a couple. Forwarded a couple. The rest will have to keep until tomorrow.
5:45-7:00pm. Visited with a couple from church. She's leaving tomorrow for surgery in Miami. Read the scripture together (Isaiah 43) and prayed about a number of issues. Left really grateful for their faith and the quiet but deep ways the Lord is using them in the congregation. Really the kind of couple that stirs me up to love and good deeds.
Made the ten minute drive home. Found an adorable wife, three beautiful children, and two cheeseburgers waiting for me.
7:51pm. Family about to drive to another brother's home to pray with him. Will hear an update about his recent illness and hospital visit. Pillars of the church. Will be a joy to pray with them.
Hope to be in bed by 9:30pm.
This isn't a typical day in terms of its length. It's longer than normal. I'm normally done about 5:30pm. But it is fairly typical in terms of the schedule. What it leaves you with each day is a meaningful fatigue, a deep reliance upon God, and thankfulness that He has given you so much grace as you've simply tried to serve His people. In the end, the ministry is greater joy to the minister than to those ministered to.
In pastoral ministry, I'm living well beyond my ability, trusting God for grace and mercy at every turn. I wouldn't exchange this ministry or my people for anything in the world!