In the early 80’s, I was pastoring in Tucson, Arizona. We had four churches in Arizona, and we decided to have a youth camp. We were blessed to be able to have it at Southwest Indian School owned by World Gospel Mission located in Peoria, which was a suburb of the Phoenix valley. We would drive up on Sunday afternoon, get settled in, and stay until the following Friday. My church had a bus and I would usually drive it to the camp to take as many teens as we could get on it.
One year I had to officiate a funeral on Monday morning of youth camp, so that meant I would drive the kids to camp and then drive back to Tucson in the morning. My plan was to leave early Monday morning, drive the two hours to Tucson, stop at the house to change clothes for the service and then drive back to Phoenix.
On Sunday evening I decided to check flights to see if there was a better option from Phoenix to Tucson and return the same day without having to drive at least two hours both ways. The flight was a good price so that was the new plan A. I made the arrangements and left early Monday morning so I wouldn’t get caught in traffic on Route 17. Anyone who knows me is aware if I am on time I’m late, and I knew traffic would be bad on Route 17. I was right, but it was worse than I anticipated. I arrived at the airport, parked my car, bought my ticket, and literally was running through the airport, carrying my Bible! I could run in those days!
The security was not like it is now, and I had no interruptions in getting to the gate, but having been caught on Route 17 in “a parking lot” had already taken its toll! I got to the gate just in time to watch my plane backing out of its parking place to fly to Tucson without me and to hear the gate attendant answer my question, “Can you stop them?” with the word, “No!”. I had for the first time in my life missed my flight!
The point today is there are things we miss in life, and they can be painful and disappointing, but the part of life we don’t want to miss is God’s best. The one place we don’t want to miss is God’s heaven. The one phrase we don’t want to miss is “Welcome Home."
John 3:16 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”
We can trust God in difficult times. I encourage you to read Revelation Chapters 21 and 22. God’s Word is awesome!
In His service,
I have sometimes found myself while listening to someone speak, wondering what the speaker’s experience has been concerning the topic they are discussing. The direction I feel God is leading me with these blogs is basically from personal experience. I will be relating some events I have had to face in my own life, or from a challenge I have had to help someone else get through.
Today it comes from some emotional feelings I had recently as a result of life the last fifty-three years.
I had a ministry zoom meeting, and as we began to bring everything to a close, our leader wanted to know if there were any requests for our closing prayer. I had a heavy heart, and I did something I have never done before in this way. I responded with, “Yes, I have a couple of requests."
I have some very close family that have severe physical challenges that make life very tough at times. I tried to take care of Jackie, my first wife, and her terminal illness for thirty-three years of the forty-seven years we were married, all while we were also in ministry. The last few weeks Pam, my second wife and helpmate and I have had people who were very close to us with sickness, pain, and dying all around us, and my comment was, "I am tired of it."
I have said many times that God knows what we think. I just need to talk to Him about it, and so I said to my small group, “I AM TIRED OF IT!”
It is OK for me to express myself. My Grandfather and David “of the Old Testament” taught me a lot about communicating with the Father. Just talk to Him.
I don’t have to like everything in life; I just need to trust Him. Trust Him I do, with my life.
In His service,
Tom has been a licensed minister over 50 years and faced many life experiences. The driving force of his obedience to serve in ministry has been his love for and trust in God.