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Tuesday, January 13, 2009

I can write the blog but I can't write the title. Go figure.

I really don't know how to blog about this. But my entire world seems to know so what's the point of ignoring it? None that I can see. I have not blogged much in several months and it's been because I don't know what to say. God has been working in me and, until now, I have not had the permission or the right to talk about it. And so I just ... shut-up. But now I guess it is time to speak-up.

Last Sunday I resigned as the pastor of the church that I have led since November 4, 2007. That's not a long time to pastor a church. Not at all. So why would a person leave after just 14+ months? I can only think of one good reason.

God told me to.

Yes, I'm one of those whack jobs that actually believes that God communicates with His people. If you are a frequent reader of this space you already know that. There are multiple ways that I believe God has revealed to Debbie and I that we are suppose to take this action but I am not going to go into that. When God speaks to you it is not required that you tell the world what He said. Unless He tells you to. And He has not told me to do that. And this is between my God and I. That's about the best I can do. I hope that is enough.

I know that I have caused pain in some people that I hold very dear here in northeast Ohio. I can't possibly spell out how sorry I am about that. Yet it is not something that I can fix. I am constrained by the love of God. Compelled by His grace to obey His every Word. No, I am not perfect at that. But I am better than I use to be. If I disobey God in this situation then I invalidate everything that I have tried to teach here since I arrived. "Walking-out" what I have taught requires that I "walk away." Rather odd.

We will be here with our church family near Cleveland through the morning worship service on January 25th.

On February 1st we will join our new family at Towerview Baptist Church in Belleville, Illinois. Anytime God opens a new chapter of life it is exciting. And that is exactly what I feel. It's such a paradox. Possibly hurting people in one place in order to obey God and hopefully bless people in another. Closing one chapter and beginning another. I never expected this chapter to be so short. But when you "sign-on" to serve King Jesus you relinquish the right to make many of your own decisions. The options are clear. Obey or disobey.

I choose to obey.

18 comments:

Sheila said...

I found your blog a couple years ago through your witty and insightful comments at Mamalogues* and have finally felt compelled to leave a comment.

Although I haven't been a regular attendee at church in many years, and don't consider myself an especially spiritual person, I find your manner of "preaching" (at least the small snippets I get through your posts), so uplifting and heartwarming, that it makes me wish I had a pastor like you in the church I grew up in. I think a lot more folks wouldn't lose touch with their faith if it was nurtured and guided by someone like you in their formative years.

Even though you only spent a short time at your current parish, I'm sure you're leaving it better than it was when you arrived, and your new parish will consider themselves very lucky to have you.

* In turn, I found your daughter's blog through yours, and I've enjoyed reading about the antics of your precious granddaughter. You have a lovely family.

Sheila said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Kelli said...

unfortunately we were never promised that following God would be easy. we are so excited that He is moving in your life...and i pray that those in ohio can be excited too.

Ron said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ron said...

Thank you, Sheila. And I'll be praying that God might direct your heart to a place where you can thrive and grow in His love. :)

And thank you, Kelli. Have we met? Your name sounds familiar ...

Anonymous said...

So convenient a thing it is to be a reasonable creature, since it enables one to find or make a reason for everything one has a mind to do.

-Benjamin Franklin

Ron said...

Anonymous Ben, you have your right to your thoughts. And I have the right not to publish them. But I decided not to exercise that right. I hope speaking your mind and seeing it in print has helped you to feel better.

Blessings.

Doug Clark said...

Ron, after all you have been through the last couple of years, I know you did not make this decision easily. My family and I will be praying for you and your family.

Godspeed.

Earth Muffin said...

I'm excited to have you both back in the area! I hope Belleville is the place you're supposed to be and you get to stay.

Anonymous said...

Ron,

I know that this is not what you planned when you moved to Ohio and it will not be easy for you to leave the people who have been your only family for more than a year now. I have to say, in all the years I've known you, I have seen you choose the hard thing many more times than not. Even if there was an easier, (and sometimes more logical,) choice. And I also know that even if something seems like a no-brainer, you don't take one step unless you are sure it is along the path God has planned for you. 'Some guy' told me once, (or maybe a thousand times) "God wants all of his children to be happy." And this observation has never failed to be true. Even during times when things don't seem to make sense, He always works them out to fit into His perfect plan. Thanks to you and Debbie for living your lives in a way that sets this example, even when it's not easy.

Love,
Stephanie & Eric

Daniel said...

Anyone that says that following God is easy, is not following the one true God.

Speaking from personal experience, I did what God told me to do. Because of that, I don't speak to my parents anymore. Because of that, I have been married to the most wonderful woman in the world for the last 18 years. Because of that, I have the two most wonderful daughters that i could ever hope for. Because of that, God has blessed me in my career.

God never said, "Do what I tell you and everyone will be happy."

It's not easy following God. It's not supposed to be and I wouldn't have it any other way.

Since we are quoting Ben Franklin;

"A learned blockhead is a greater blockhead than an ignorant one."

"Any fool can criticize, condemn and complain and most fools do."

"Being ignorant is not so much a shame, as being unwilling to learn."

Scott said...

Being a "living sacrifice" (Romans 12:1) hardly ever seems to be a convenience. Just ask Jesus, Peter, Paul, John or Ringo (jk). God is our General and we report directly to Him and nobody else.
-Job 9:2-4
"But how can a mortal be righteous before God?
Though one wished to dispute with Him, he could not answer Him one time out of a thousand. His wisdom is profound, His power is vast. Who has resisted Him and come out unscathed? He moves mountains without their knowing it..."

Job 38:2,4-6
" (God speaking) Who is this that darkens my counsel with words without knowledge?... Where were you when I laid the earth's foundation? Tell me, if you understand.
Who marked off its dimensions? Surely you know! Who stretched a measuring line across it? On what were its footings set, or who laid its cornerstone"

The point is simple, we are not our own. We belong to the Creator, and He does as He pleases (Isaiah 55:8-9). Who are we to question?

Thank you for being an example. Those who live in Belleville will surely be blessed!

neeser said...

Ron,

For every need that your obedience to God creates, He already has a plan to fulfill. And should some think that your motivation is something other than obedience, God will still meet the needs of His people. It's hard for people to see that when they are hurting, but it is true. I pray for His peace for all who are concerned.

Gregg said...

Ron,

I also found you through Mamalogues (who I now actually know personally! - even though I originally read her as a case of mistaken identity) and then found my way to your blog.

I feel like there are few people I "know" who are wiser and more in tune with where God wants them to be. To be sure, listening to that still, small voice has made life a bit confusing and tough, hasn't it?

Selfishly, I'm glad you are moving back to the area and hope to meet you IRL sometime!

You've been a great influence on me, believe it or not.

Anonymous said...

If we are quoting Ben Franklin as a defense of our Christian beliefs we might want to include this one. "As to Jesus of Nazareth, my Opinion of whom you particularly desire, I think the System of Morals and his Religion as he left them to us, the best the World ever saw, or is likely to see; but I apprehend it has received various corrupting Changes, and I have with most of the present Dissenters in England, some Doubts as to his Divinity."

Nashville

Bella said...

Ron,
This may be a head full of snot talking...but here it goes. Since I have had the great pleasure of knowing you...I've never seen you run from anything. I've never known you to make any decision go "your way". You have been a self sacraficing example of a man who truly and whole heartedly desires to be completely and totally within the will of God. Anyone who feels the right to naysay that obviously doesn't see your true heart...and you are much better to disregard their words than to hold them as possible truths.

"Consider it pure joy rather...." There's a quote for you. Let it roll off Ron. And just realize that the same trials and problems you are facing...are currently shaping the characters of those who seem to be standing up against you. Because currently...they aren't just standing up against you...but the God whom you serve. And as we all know...that can be a major character shaper.

Much love to you.
-Bella

Kellita M said...

Good for you for listening to and obeying God! And now may the blessings flow......

Ron said...

Thank you all for commenting. I don't usually get this kind of pathos in my blogging world. don't know if it helped or hurt.

I think it is time to close the comments.