Most of the things I have ever prayed for and about, the Lord blessed me to receive them. There have been a few disappointments along the way, but as I reflect upon where I am today, God was ordering my steps and moving me to greener pastures and calmer waters. (Psalm 23)
Often when God says “no” or “not yet” to our prayers, we may believe that God does not love us or really does not want us to have the desires of our hearts. I believe that the “no” or “not yet” responses is God’s way of ensuring our very best blessings.
As we review our life’s journey, we can point to many examples of God directing our steps. One of the great blessings of my life has been my time as pastor of our wonderful and faithful congregation. As a pastor, I have grown spiritually and in other ways since coming to Tabernacle in 2004. God has opened many doors of opportunity for us to demonstrate God’s amazing love and to represent Christ in wonderfully unique ways and places.
We have taken four mission trips to Ghana, West Africa. A library that we got off the ground has taken shape and is at the point of being opened and available for the community’s use. Our choir performed the theme song of the Broadway play, “The Lion King,” when it premiered at the Concert Hall of the BJCC. We have traveled to Chicago and Atlanta to share with my Morehouse brothers and their congregations. The Golden Agers regular explore places to travel, to get on the road in fun and fellowship.
As a congregation, we are addressing the issue of food sustenance by providing weekend backpacks to students at a Birmingham elementary school. A team of volunteers go to the Community Food Bank to join with two other Baptist congregations to sort and pack backpacks. Each Wednesday, we deliver meals to residents in Smithfield and College Hills. Food is distributed from the Food Closet and the General Missionary Society open the doors of our church for community friends to get needed clothes.
Every fifth Saturday, volunteers gather at the Firehouse Shelter to prepare and serve a meal to men and women. We support several human service agencies that continue to improve the quality of life for many. Consistently, we have demonstrated that when God calls us to be active as a congregation, we excitedly respond.
The joy of being blessed by God is to bless others. You have blessed me as a pastor and friend in wonderful ways. Sara and I are truly blessed to serve with you, to partner in ministry with you as we continue to seek God’s blessings and to fulfill our calling.
May God’s peace be with us now and always. Amen.