Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Looking for Joshua

I am looking forward to being back in the pulpit tonight. After a couple of weeks away, it always causes me great joy to return and to once again teach the word. One of the greatest joys of my life is simply opening up and sharing what the Lord has laid on my heart for our congregation. I was one month past my 23 birthday when I began sharing bible studies, and though it has been challenging and sometimes a very difficult task in many ways, still it gives me great pleasure to just share about Jesus and what He can do in our lives. Next month I will celebrate (God willing) my 58th birthday, and by doing the simple math, almost 35 years of my life has been spent opening up the pages of this one great book and talking about our wonderful and loving Savior. Still, as I begin to grow older I realize that I am not nor ever will be a Chuck Smith. My pastor is still in the pulpit at the age of 81, and I do not see him stepping away from it soon (and pray he doesn't). As for me, well I don't foresee myself having his kind of longevity, so I am praying for and waiting on my Joshua, a younger man who will take lead in our church and move it into the future God has prepared for it. Next Monday I begin a short series of messages designed to encourage a group of young men who sense a call to leadership, perhaps in a pastoral sense. Over the weeks we encouraged them to sign up for the class, read their registration/application forms, weeded out a few, and accepted others and we will have around 60 men join me to look more closely at what God may want to do in their lives. I will share some very basic principles of ministry, but look more forward to the time of questions and answers that we will have. It is during those times that I most enjoy connecting with our guys, and who knows, perhaps one day in one of these classes, my Timothy, Joshua, Elisha, or whatever the name may be will show up and I will know who the future pastor is. What a blessing it has been, is and what a blessing it remains for me to serve the Lord here in Chino Valley, and I do not anticipate leaving our church for many years, but like a good steward, I want to make sure that the house is left in order. One day I will go home to the Lord, but I will leave behind my very dear family of faith, and I want to make sure that they are cared for by the best pastor I can raise up. May God continue strengthening my hands to such a task. But until then, oh what a joy it is for me to be back with my church family. I love them so much and miss them terribly when I am gone. God has been so good to Marie and me, and I am blessed beyond words. One final thought: Marie was just sharing with me about what a blessing our ladies' fellowship Moments with the Master was, last night. She said there was a great group of ladies, good teaching, and sweet fellowship and she was totally blessed. I am so thankful for our women's ministry here, so many women who faithfully love and serve the Lord. Indeed we are blessed to be in Chino Valley! 


Max Solis said...

Hello Pastor Dave, I just wanted to let you know how much I've missed you too! I dont normally come on Wednesday nights, but I heard you were back so I wanted to come and did. Thank you, sooo much for everything. There is a lot that I would like to say, but don't know exactly what or how to say it. I love our Church Family because I feel our Father's prescence when I am among our brothers & sisters. I hope that there is not a hidden message in this (your) current blog. I know you've had some ailment, but not sure to what extent. I would like to think that you would always be our Pastor, but understand (especially after these past 2 weeks) that you are looking out for our Church Family. I have and will continue to pray for you and our Church Family. Once again, I'm glad you're back, see you soon...Max Solis

Buster said...

Maybe you should post a Joshua WANTED poster in the foyer. Just kidding! I know you are seeking a young man but keep in mind you have a lot of middle age men who love the Lord, you and our fellowship. I will continue to pray for that man after God’s own heart. Thanks for sharing your heart.
God Bless.
P.S. I didn’t think I would like the blog but I do. It’s nice to here from you when you are not in the pulpit.