It Begins…I’m Home

it-begins

This morning was my first morning as the minister of the Northwest Tampa Church of Christ.  What a GREAT family it is.  I was welcomed by so many, handshakes and hugs abounded, and lots and lots of smiles.

The best was when on gentleman came up to me, grabbed my hand and put his other hand on my shoulder, and simply said “Lane, welcome home.”

I was especially moved during the moment right before my first sermon, all of the elders, deacons, and ministers were invited on stage, we held hands, and they prayed for me and my family, the work we will do, and the work the church will do all for the glory of God.

There are names to learn, people to love, and encouragement to give.  There are lessons to be taught, prayers to be lifted, and praises to be shared.

God’s church met all over the world today.  And I praise Him for it.  Wherever you are, may God bless you and your ministry.  Please pray for mine and my new church family as it begins.

It’s time…DAY ONE!

I have made it to Tampa.  Tomorrow I preach my first sermon as the minister of the Northwest Tampa Church of Christ.

I know that I will have a lot more to say about this – but suffice it to say – I am beyond excited.  Prayers for us as we begin this new work.  May God be praised and exalted every step of the way.  Here’s a little video my wife sent to me to remind me of the journey that not only we travel, but all of us.

And God told Abram…

Tonight’s post is a Scripture that has weighed heavy on me recently.  From Genesis 12:

God told Abram: “Leave your country, your family, and your father’s home for a land that I will show you.

I’ll make you a great nation
        and bless you.
    I’ll make you famous;
        you’ll be a blessing.
    I’ll bless those who bless you;
        those who curse you I’ll curse.
    All the families of the Earth
        will be blessed through you.”

So Abram left just as God said

Time to Go

Lord willing, if the creeks don’t rise again (or should I say snow drifts), I’ll be departing for Tampa, FL tomorrow.

I will join the Northwest Tampa Church of Christ ministry team as their preaching minister.

God has always taken care of my family.  I know He will continue to do so.

Ministry is such a rewarding, fulfilling life.  There are ups and there are downs.

To my friends and family here in Nashville, may God bless you all.  If you ever need a place to stay when you visit Tampa, or a church family, you’ll know where to turn.

Friends



Today I had lunch with some great friends. Ministry has provided some great networks and friends. I wish I had snapped a picture of the gang today but I forgot to do so. 

Friends hold us together. This week I will spend time saying goodbye to some dear friends. 

A few weeks ago we had dinner at the home of some of the greatest people in Nashville. Grey and Melanie Carter have been great friends and they always will be. (Grey could be the funniest man I know.)

So here’s to friends. We love you all. 

A Prayer – for Hurting Ministers

depression_1-ad78d208bfd0907a122c249a74cd8f6ff184705e-s6-c101

When I was a child, my father was usually the preacher wherever we went.  While it was not his full time profession, he was always preaching.  I always assumed that churches were perfect, never had problems, and that ministers like my daddy were the greatest people in the world.

I never fully understood about how churches can really be a painful place until I got into full time ministry.  I can’t even begin to count the number of ministers I know who have been let go, fired, asked to leave, left out of frustration….the list goes on and on.  I never knew this happened.  It made it all the more real to me when I saw that it did.

Churches are full of people, and people mess up.  People struggle.

I write this today, because I learned today of a college friend of mine who was let go from a church this past week.  In the past 2 months, I know of 10 ministers who have been let go or fired, or have had to move on.  While I don’t know the specific details of every situation, I know one thing – they are hurting.

Ministers are human.

Ministers have feelings.

Ministers love their churches.

Ministers give their heart and soul for the congregation.

The church family IS the minister’s family.  Your minister prays for you, and does so often.  So tonight will you do me a favor?  Pray for your minister, your pastor, your rabbi, your reverend…whatever title you give the guy that serves your congregation.  Pray for them.

It breaks my heart to hear of a minster being let go, especially in the middle of the school year.

Encourage your minister.  Lift your minister up.  Send them notes of encouragement.  Tell your elders how much you care for them.

Are they perfect?  Nope, not even close.  But, they are human.

Tonight, my prayer is for all ministers, both those who have lost their jobs, and those who will wake up to their job tomorrow morning – to be blessed.

Winter “Wonder” Land – Day FIVE!!!!! (The one where we are attacked by giant icicles…)

Today, I was successfully able to get the ice off of (most of) Kristen’s car.

In other news – check out this GIANT ICICLE that I pulled off of our front porch!

Photo Feb 20, 3 49 39 PM

I felt like I was wielding the sword of William Wallace!!

Photo Feb 20, 3 49 44 PM

In fact, this thing was so large, it made Josie look like a miniature version of herself:

Photo Feb 20, 3 50 08 PM

Believe it or not – this thing was 31 inches long!!

Photo Feb 20, 3 51 08 PM