Just Thinking...


Just Thinking ... 

Wow, I realized that I am one of those people. Well, I know I was one of those as a dad. And okay, I guess as I look back at it, I was one of those as a pastor of a local church. But who knew I could be one of those people as a DS?

As a dad, I can tell you about all the crazy bad things about my three children. I can tell you how they make me mad and even furious. Oh, and talking about all their dumb mistakes, oh my goodness! I can do this any time and any where, but ... don't you dare talk badly about my babies, my angels, my flesh and blood. If you do, I might take you apart, piece by piece, limb by limb. Of course, I usually do this in my mind, but at times it might slip out and I might verbally dismantle you. I'm usually a meek and mild person (no laughter there please), but when it comes to my children, I am a true "poppa bear."

As a pastor there were times I would moan and complain about the church I was serving. It can be difficult to drag and pull a people into the way of the Lord. Yet if anyone told me how bad the church I was serving was, then watch out, because I would come out swinging. No one has the right to talk smack about the people I am privileged to serve. 

This past week I found that feeling raising its head as I read a blog of a fellow United Methodist leader  who spoke negatively about one of our churches in the Atlanta Emory District. I was shaking with such anger and such unbelief that someone who knows very little of the full story of the ministry and mission of one of my churches would take a potshot simply to make a point in his blog. I could not take a swing, but I did reply to the blog. My response was not accepted and was deleted by the blogger.

I guess maybe this was for the best, but I knew then how deeply I love each pastor and each congregation in the Atlanta Emory District. Yes, I might get frustrated and say things to others about how difficult it can be, how unresponsive some congregations can be,  and how crazy some of my pastors might be.  But let me tell you ... don't you ever, not ever, bad mouth the people I love with all my heart. Do not malign any of the pastors or their families; never, no, never, use my people as a target fro your vitriol hatred or as a prop for your words which lack strength on their own. 

I am so proud of this District, each pastor and each church. Yes, you drive me crazy sometimes, but together we are bringing the Kingdom of God to a hungry, homeless, marginalized, broken, needy, kind and hopeful world. Are we perfect? Not yet, but we are moving on to perfection in Jesus Christ. Let no one tell you any differently!

Pray for me to not lose it, but rather to honor all the good that you and your people have done with words that build up and encourage.
Much love, 
Poppa Bear (Dana)

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