The House(s) That Built Me

It’s not uncommon for me to sit in the pastor’s office (temporarily called ‘my’ office) or at the front of the church and listen to a song over and over and just sit there crying for various reasons.  I don’t mind telling you I’m sitting here crying right now while listening over and over to Miranda Lambert’s “The House That Built Me“.  In the song, I hear her reflecting on her childhood.  She had a good childhood.  The song makes me think about the different paths each of us travel in life; and I’m reminded that everything that’s happened so far has made each of us who we are and brought us to where we are today.  And the decisions we make today will play a part in taking us to where we’re going to be next year.

Sometimes when I cry, like today, I cry in amazement and gratitude at what God has done in my life.  Of all the traps and snares the enemy has laid for me in 53 years, many of which could have derailed my arrival at this point, God has seen to it that I am here today sitting in a pastor’s office in Short Gap, WV.

It’s nothing short of a miracle that I’m a Christian, let alone a pastor.  And if I were to take a walk through the house that built me, I would walk through Sistersville First United Methodist Church.  I would walk through Mason United Methodist Church.  Sistersville prepared me for Mason.  And those two churches prepared me for the work He has for me here at Wesley Chapel UMC in Short Gap.

And when I cry out to Him that I’m not up to the task, I read things like I read in my devotion from Oswald Chambers today:

“All of God’s people are ordinary people who have been made extraordinary by the purpose He has given them…We are not workers for God by choice…God is at work bending, breaking, molding, and doing exactly as He chooses. And why is He doing it? He is doing it for only one purpose-that He may be able to say, “This is my man, and this is my woman.” Never choose to be a worker, but once God has placed His call upon you, woe be to you if you turn aside. He will do with you what He never did before His call came to you, and He will do with you what He is not doing with other people. Let Him have His way.”

So I thank God for all the things I don’t deserve including my salvation, my beautiful (inside and outside) wife, crazy smart sons who are finding their own way, churches that in the past have formed me, and a church in which the people and I are currently being “bent, broken, and molded as God continues to do exactly what He chooses.”

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