Laila Is Wise
I blame no one, not even my parents. Maybe it is the middle child syndrome. Maybe it is being one of nine children born to a man and woman who deeply loved God and dug their way out of difficult times with faith and tenacity. While we are born with certain proclivities it is doubtful if being a "workaholic" can be blamed on genetics. Assigning no blame, I admit to the liabilities of being a "workaholic".
I love work. Always have. Working with God and others to make good things happen is joyful.
Part of the problem is that I do not know how to take time off. Being casual is not normal nor natural for me. Not a chit-chatter. Don't even own casual clothes. My closet is work clothes and dress clothes.
When our children were teenagers we took a trip to the beach in the late fall. I was talked into wearing a pair of knee-length pants with a beach shirt. That my legs had seen no sunshine was obvious. We shuffled as a family in the sand along the seashore barren of people at the edge of winter.
I was feeling pretty smug about being "cool." My children were teasing me. Telling me how great it was for me to be casual. Dana, our daughter, spoke up and said: "But I bet Dad still has the church keys in his pocket.” We kept walking as I pulled them out of my pocket and dangled them on my finger. Guilty.
Several years ago Laila came to the church office one day with a calendar and sat down with determination. She began working from week to week and month to month flipping the pages of her daily log. Each month I had commitments which only moved her forward to the next month. Finally, there was a chunk of time without my having a plan.
She blocked it in and then made an offer. "I understand that you have a hard time taking a vacation. How about we try something new. Let us pick a place that we have not been. While we are there we will take some pastors' families out to eat and spend time with them and encourage them.
She was hitting my weak spot, and she knew it. While reluctant to take a self-centered vacation, I was all for a missions trip during which we would reach out to encourage families of pastors! Laila's doctoral dissertation was a study of wives of pastors. She has the same passion to encourage.
I do not remember how many trips we have made. Currently, we are in Rockland ME. We flew from Nashville TN to Syracuse NY. Rented a car and drove through VT, NH and into ME. We have enjoyed incredible scenery and personal time with six ministers enjoying dinners, fellowship and worship.
Our conversations are Holy-Spirit directed. Our parents being pastors and now the two of us having served 42 years in a Lead Pastor role, we are deeply sensitive to the struggles of pastors and their families.
We are amazed at the sensitivity of fellowship and discussion. In almost every case we see miraculous results.
Refreshing others is refreshing!
On Sunday, Laila and I ministered in Rockland ME, where Chris and May Chappell served for 9 years. We were moved by how much the work had progressed since we visited them 9 years ago. The Chappells did a wonderful work among the people in Rockland.
After worship we spent time with three ministers. The wife and daughter of one was also present.
Tomorrow we move on to Bangor to be hosted by a pastor who plans to connect us with other pastors and also take us out in his boat to fish.
We are awed by the greatness of Our God, His world, and His Church!
Not a day passes but that we are deeply conscious of the privilege of serving Covenant Church. We are asking the Lord to help us understand more perfectly the path He desires for us as a congregation. October 7 Church meeting at 5 PM is in our path.
The Lord has graciously and magnificently brought us this far. Sunday morning a pastor and his wife in Maine wrote a check for $500 for Covenant's building fund. The pastor said: "We want to plant a seed of faith in Covenant Church.” This I know: If we are willing to humbly and faithfully be obedient to God He will provide victory upon victory!
Much love and much gratitude to those who are keeping the ship sailing and providing Laila and me this special time away from home base.
For the record: I left the church keys locked up in Tennessee. Will pick them up on the way home.
Our special thanks to the church staff. We know that with the building program the work load is heavy.
I thank God for a godly wife.
Much love, Pastor Bare
Acts 27:3 KJV And the next day we touched at Sidon. And Julius courteously entreated Paul, and gave him liberty to go unto his friends to refresh himself...