Pastors Garage

*Pastor Mike’s Garage-Aug 26/2023*

I want to take this opportunity to make a public apology to probably most
of you. On Thursday morning I woke up and felt strongly convicted by the
Lord about the amount of grumbling I have been doing lately.

So many times in this last season I have been asked how I am doing. Time
and time again, I took that opportunity to share that it has been a
struggle. Some of it is my own doing, but much due to circumstances and
people surrounding me. Every time I shared what was going on I felt a bit
sick in my spirit. Now hear me on this, I was sharing about the things that
were actually happening! It’s not like I was making stuff up, or unfairly
slandering people. But in my heart of hearts every time I knew I should
probably just keep my trap shut.

I have heard how it is possible for someone to drown right in front of a
group of people! Unless one recognizes the signs of a person in trouble, it
is easy to mistake them for just acting normally. I also have heard it said
to be careful when you do recognize that someone is drowning, because in
their panic they can grab on to you and take you down with them. To be
honest, that’s a bit like what this past season has felt like for me. It
felt like I was drowning right in front of everyone, and I kept reaching
out hoping someone would understand what I was going through and come and
save me. I also wonder if there are those around me who on some
subconscious, spiritual level kept their distance from me because they
recognized the possibility that I could take them down with me…

Now I have to acknowledge that during this time the Lord has sent many
people my way to walk along-side me and uphold and support me. It’s just
that even though I was being supported and being given good advice, I was
too busy grumbling about my circumstances and navel gazing to actually
start swimming in the troubled waters I found myself in, rather than flail

Then came my waking thoughts Thursday morning. The evening before we had
gone out for supper with a couple friends from outside of the church and
they asked how things were going. I fired up the grumble train once again,
and left the station full steam ahead. This time however it haunted me all
night long. I was soul sick the next morning, knowing that God was saying
enough was enough with the grumbling. That morning my devotions led me to
Colossians chapter 3. As I read verses 12-15 they seemed to jump out of the
page at me. *“Since God chose you to be the holy people He loves, you must
clothe yourselves with tender-hearted mercy, kindness, humility,
gentleness, and patience. Make allowance for each other’s faults, and
forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must
forgive others. Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds us all
together in perfect harmony. And let the peace that comes from Christ rule
in your hearts. For as members of one body you are called to live in peace.
And always be thankful.”* The last line was the one that stood out the most
to me. It is kind of a stand alone command attached to a bunch of
instructions on getting along. Initially it seemed out of place, but the
more that I thought about it, the more I realized how important being
thankful is. It dawned on me, it’s pretty hard to be thankful when you’re
grumbling all the time. The vice versa is also true, it’s pretty hard to
start grumbling when we choose to focus on and be thankful for what God has
given us!

Yes, the waters surrounding were stormy. Yes, I might not be that good of a
swimmer. Yes, in many ways I was all alone. But where were my eyes fixed?
The next two verses in Col 3 share the key to looking beyond our
circumstances to the only one who can really help anyway. *“Let the message
about Christ, in all its richness, fill your lives. Teach and counsel each
other with all the wisdom He gives. Sing psalms and hymns, and spiritual
songs to God with **thankful hearts.** And whatever you do or say, do it as
a representative of the Lord Jesus, **giving thanks** through Him to God
the Father.”*

I want to publicly apologize to you as a pastor, friend, and christian for
all the grumbling. For not having an attitude of thanks. And because of
this, not being a very good representative of the Lord. I’m sorry!

Tomorrow we will be having another prayer summit as our Sunday service. It
will be a time of us gathering together as Christians, worshipping the
Lord, praising the Lord, thanking the Lord, seeking the Lord’s direction,
confessing before the Lord, and asking Him to move in various situations,
people and circumstances. Would you consider joining us as we seek Him
together? We were created for community, that is the whole purpose of
church gatherings. It’s just not the same when you’re not here!

Pastor Mike