Tuesday, May 31, 2016

You Can Take The Pastor Out Of The Church, But . . .



Hebrews 6:10
God is not unjust; he will not forget your work and the love you have shown him as you have helped his people and continue to help them.

Our church is preparing to say good-by to Pastor Wallace as he is retiring in a matter of weeks.  I am privileged to attend, along with my husband, Danny, a church staff luncheon to share our best memories, with Wallace present, that mark his outstanding twelve years of ministry to us all.

I can honestly say that as many Sundays as I've planted my body in a variety of church pews, I've never been more informed about nor convicted by any minister in God's truth than I have been by Pastor Wallace's words.  He has the amazing ability to preach the Gospel through stories that turn your heart toward God's will.

Just as our Lord spoke in parables his hearers would not soon forget, Wallace's are tales to take home with you on a Sunday morning and ponder in your heart throughout the week.  To ingest in a welcoming gulp, and digest in a slow, methodical process.

But Pastor Wallace is so much more than his Sunday sermons.

When Danny is in the hospital for a pacemaker operation, Wallace arrives to offer prayers with both of us before the surgery.  It doesn't stop there.  Wallace stays with me until the moment the doctor informs us Danny is in the clear.  His give and take conversation works wonders to alleviate my worry and concern during this two-hour plus procedure.  Wallace's sincere presence provides an indescribable comfort that made what could have been a trying time fly by for me.

And I am just a wee fraction of the countless others who have benefited from Wallace's kindness and patience.  Hundreds in our church can testify to the same level of care when it comes to tending his flock.  It's who he is and what he does.

It's what he does best.

Offering his time and companionship when there is anyone in need.  No questions.  No hesitation.

Wallace is just there.

Present.

Loving.

And always, always, Wallace stresses to us, the laity:  This is your calling, too!  Go into the world and make disciples for Jesus.  Use your gifts to God's glory.  Make a difference for the kingdom.

Wallace assures us that we can do this.  He encourages us to visualize this thing that to us, right now, might seem impossible, insurmountable, or tenuous at best.  Because the good news is and was and always will be, God can use each and every one of us.

I choose to take Wallace at his word.  His inspiration is one of the reasons I begin this devotional blog.  The reason I am open to the voice of the Lord when He asks me to embark on this journey.  Wallace has prepared the soil of my heart to expect the harvest.

And now we stand at the parting of ways.

But I know in my heart of hearts, we can take the pastor out of the church, but no one can take the church out of the pastor.

Wallace is in it for the long haul.

Because there are always sheep in need of a shepherd.

~

Will you take up Pastor Wallace's challenge and vow to serve Christ in this world?

Prayer:  Father, we give thanks today for dedicated pastors like Wallace, who are truly committed to lead Your flock and tend Your sheep.  Let us remember that this is a calling not just for pastors, but for believers, too.  May we step up to the challenge and trust that You will see us through, all to Your honor and glory.  In Jesus' name, we pray.  Amen.


14 comments:

  1. What a wonderful and noble soul!

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    1. Indeed, Portia! We were so blessed to have Wallace with us for so many years.
      Love and blessings!

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  2. Oh, may God give us many, many pastors like this!

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  3. Martha, thank you for sharing this heart-felt tribute to Pastor Wallace. He sounds like an amazing pastor--one who loves Jesus completely and loves others as well. I think I may have already taken up his challenge. :) It would be neat to get Wallace and Neil (my pastor who is retiring) together. Oh, the stories of God's might and power they could share!

    Love and blessings!

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    1. I'm certain these two could share endless stories, Kim. :) Yes, we have both been blessed to have had such amazing pastors in our lives, forever to be treasured in our hearts.
      Love and blessings!

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  4. he sounds like the true definition of a shepherd. Thanks for a nice tribute.

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    1. He is, Bill, he is. Wallace will be missed!
      Love and blessings!

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  5. What a neat tribute. Makes me remember we need to say thank you to all those pastor and offer encouragement during their service, not just at departure. Neat to read, Martha. Thanks

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    1. Thank you, Jean! And yes, we should offer encouragement all along the way. Pastors do so very much!
      Love and blessings!

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  6. Beautiful, Martha! I pastor's heart is truly a gift from God. And it sounds like your pastor has been and will continue to be an extra special gift. Thank you for sharing him with us!

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    1. Thank you, Deb! Yes, Wallace is one very special pastor and a devoted man of God. We've been so blessed to have him.
      Love and blessings!

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  7. Pastor Wallace sounds like a true shepherd...God bless him!

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    1. Oh, yes, Jay, he truly is! I pray God continues to bless him and his family in retirement.
      Love and blessings!

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