Tuesday, June 24, 2008

This Past Sunday's Review

This past Sunday was quite interesting. We took time during the message to have a heart-to-heart between pastor and people. The entire message centered around change, commitment, and priorities. For all of us, this is Summer-time and Summer-vacation. I had the opportunity to share with our congregation some things the Lord placed upon my heart and challenged the commitment of our parishioners. I shared from my heart--as always-- concerning the mission and vision of Christ's Kingdom and the vision and misson of our local church; also sharing my desires for where I believe HE is trying to take us. In sharing this and many other things with our church, I advised our members to meet after service to discuss and pray (meet) to evaluate, reflect and re-commit. Also to pray regarding God's direction of our ministry. My wife and I did not attend this meeting for varios reasons; and judging by the outcome and progress of the meeting--I see why the Holy Spirit led me in that direction. I also shared on Sunday that I am taking a few weeks to pray about the Lord's direction in what He desires to do in my life and ministry. This seems selfish--but I would encourage ANYONE to reach God's goal for their life and BE CERTAIN that they are in the CENTER of God's WILL for their life. Though I will continue my preaching, teaching and pastoral responsibilities - I am fasting and praying! The reason for bringing ths up is to ask for the prayers of the blogging saints - that the Lord would make His will so clear in the lives of our members and Pastoral family that even crystal pales in comparison to the clarity of God's direction and open door. As always--I'll keep you posted!

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Re-Introduction & Assessment

Permit me to take just a moment to re-introduce myself. My name is Kraig Lowell Pullam, out of the Houston metropolis area.

Why have I been away for about 20 days? I REALLY do not know, let me just explore maybe a few reasons why.

First, I must say that I have been out of the loop. I don't know where time goes--but it goes!!! Also must admit that I was doing very well in the blog world at one point--blogging almost every day.

I think with the mixture of traveling a bit on preaching assignments, growing little ones, spending time with my wife and ALL of the other things that go along with being a husband, provider and Pastor...time just goes. However, what I love about the blog is that it is an outlet, or it has been for me.

I must confess that maybe another one of the reasons I have not blogged is because it came to my attention that a few of our members frequent my blog; and if you have ever read any of my previous blogs, I can be very transparent and-if you are very analytical and don't really know me-you will presume I am a very frustrated and discouraged young pastor. I would never want to come across as frustrated or discouraged--though these can often come along with Pastoral ministry and shouldering the weight of an entire congregation, large or small. I have often felt in blogging similar to that of preaching--if I can't be speak truth, then maybe I shouldn't speak! What I have learned since not blogging is that if I am NOT honest, transparent and truthful--it negatively affects and impacts me. I feel that a blog should be an outlet, a voice and a cadence.
I do not know if this has been my reason for my 20-day absence. But this coupled with just busyness and demands--would probably sum it all up.

Addittionally (and as I write I KNOW this is the MAJOR reason)--I found myself concentrating on 'buildings' this year (2008) and trying to secure a place for our church. We are a 3 year old church now; and I have sensed that the pressure is on. I found myself in the trap of my life--concentrating so much on buildings that I neglected personal study, private devotion, and simply pastoring God's people and doing ministry. At other times, I WAS pastoring God's people and being what some would term as a 'good pastor' by calling, doing visitation, attending family members' funerals, counseling, baby dedications, etc. - but I was somehow neglecting my time with God. I have confessed my sins (I personally feel that neglecting God is a sin, didn't have an illicit relationship-just for the record!, etc) of neglecting Him and not trusting Him enough and I am getting back to the FIRST gift He has given me--PREACHING.

I am 'learning' many lessons and also coming face to face with some harsh realities. Interestingly--I used to frown at people and preach against the notion of people who would say, 'Let Go and Let God'. I thought it was a shallow notion, an untruth, biblically unfounded--and somehow chided against US doing OUR part; as if it encouraged us to put everything on autopilot, so to speak. Of course I know now that I could not have been further from the truth--the two ideas are mutually exclusive. The Lord has now taught me, this is what must happen in order for me to return to the 'simple days' when all that consumed by time, energy, thoughts and passions was to mount any pulpit and 'preach' as if I only had one more chance. This can seem difficult with loud kids, a wife who adores me and needs her time, and pastoring a small, fledgling congregation where the Pastor does virtually everything--it is easy to get off course. In fact, the past few months have taught me that I am, in turn, hurting them if I DON'T concentrate on my preaching gifts; and more on buildings that we're not strong enough to support right now. But by the grace and forgiveness of Almighty God--I WILL do better.