I just came in from my morning walk.

My devotions led me to this.

We got back from our most recent trip to Haiti about eight hours ago. I, and three very humble, gifted, generous, funny, faithful friends had a full day of travel and retrospection. As is true after pretty much every trip the conversations kept steering to what could we do to “fix Haiti.” We didn’t use those words but that is the bottom line.

There are many responses rolling in your mind right now.

“Heal thyself” might well be one of them.

I digress.

By “fix” we are pretty much skipping over some of the greater truth to chase an economic solution.

Economic change is greatly needed there.

That’s exactly the thing we cannot fix.

To dwell on that is to come to a level of frustration that leads to spiritual stagnation that leads to defeat.

There is a line in a Book I read fairly regularly that says “the One who began a good work in you will see it to completion…”

We aren’t called to finish the job. We don’t even have a good grasp of what the beautiful result should look like. We are simply called to be participants in the project.

If we lose sight of this we also lose sight of something very sweet.

The good work is exactly that.

We can’t fix Haiti (or Anderson for that matter) but there are over 600 children going to school through the work that was begun in us. That means something.

We can’t fix Haiti (or Washington for that matter) but there is a young woman with new clothes going to college. New clothes and college weren’t even an option, not even a dream. That means something.

We can’t fix Haiti (or even change one hair on my head) but there is a very bright young man who is back in classical (secondary) school who’d dropped out because he didn’t have the $250 for the annual tuition. That means something.

We can’t fix Haiti but I also can’t get the image out of my head of several people leaving our outdoor woodworking area with chairs, tables, stools, and HUGE smiles. That means something.

We can’t fix Haiti but there is a freshly painted building with new pews to sit on where people gather to praise and draw strength and find hope in a place where these things are as essential as air and food. That means something.

I can’t fix Haiti but I can believe in a Friend who is in the process of doing that very thing - and fixing me in the process.

I got to the church building here in Rogersville about 11 last night. I checked my messages and mail. There was a note from a sweet lady who had a serious injury and several surgeries last year. She had no money for food - or for Christmas gifts for her children. You gave generously to her. The note she sent included the words “you have no idea how much that meant to us.”

She’s right.

As our Friend and I were winding up a fairly brief stroll this morning I felt compelled to confess the part of my life that wants to see everything fixed. He smiled at me the way he does and said…

“I prefer to look at the fixers.”

Your move.

Brother Pat


I just came in from my morning walk.

My devotions led me to this.

All stories happen with context.

I don’t know yours.

I seldom know all mine.

Sunday I was near the bottom.

When I walked Sunday morning I knew I was walking into a dwindling reservoir of whatever it is that has passed for a ministry which, for a pastor, is also a life.

I miss my friends that have gone.

I want desperately to honor the faithfulness and love of those who haven’t.

I don’t know what to say or do.

In that context my stories happened.

There is a couple who live in Foley.

They come to the lake once a month or so.

When they come they always, always, drop by MSLB for worship.

He, most every visit, offers a kind word before departing.

She normally doesn’t say much.

They were among us Sunday last.

He offered a kind word before departing.

I noticed she was hanging around.

In the quiet that came she approached.

She told me that she teaches community Bible Study down there in Foley and wanted to use my sermon as ground for an upcoming lesson,

I told her there must be a dearth of resources but sure.

Then she told me her husband doesn’t believe in a God and didn’t go to worship services.

Except when he comes to the lake.

She told me he leaves with some peace that is often lacking.

And some questions he doesn’t always ask.

“Pastor Pat, don’t quit.”

So there’s that.

Then I got a message from a young friend.

He thanked me for the sermon I preached Sunday.

He said “Hello Pat, Just wanted to send a message to tell you how much we all enjoyed your sermon yesterday. I woke up this morning feeling like I am less likely of having a major breakdown and more optimistic of having a major breakthrough. Thank you.”

So there’s that.

Then I talked with Uncle Dowe five minutes or so.

He has excellent long range radar and had sensed (from Lubbock) I wasn’t having my best days.

He reminded me that God doesn’t get active until he reduces things to the point they are useful.

That’s right.

God reduces things to be sure the fellowship is up to the fight.

Then he rings the bell.

This isn’t tinnitus.

That’s my context.

What’s yours?

As our Friend and I walked toward a sunrise that is slowly dawning I thanked him for the stories that change the context. He smiled at me the way he does and said…

“The Light is about to shine. Fight.”

Your move.

Brother Pat

Posted 1 week ago