You’ve heard it said that youth is wasted on the young.  Squandered and down the tube.  Only them?  Can hear my Grandfather Fischer saying– ‘you’re smart like your father, you dope you!’  Rocket science riddles my DNA!

Reflecting on my early bird church ministries, I admit the following–too young, too immature, too self-centered.  Can you imagine?  Better not.  What’s best is a resolve never, ever to be that way again.  Too smart, too late?

Early career centers on a church membership number’s game–large…larger…largest!  I’m at the helm, of course, with most of the work done by underlings; likewise, of course!  I’m riding my high horse, too big for my you-know-what.  Hey, it feels good to confess.  Especially to the Lord.  As if He doesn’t already know?

When I receive my final church call, it’s truly miraculous.  For years I’d pray for that church as I exercise walking by it.  Then I’m asked to fill in for two summer Sundays, only to discover that they want me full-time.  Really?  Me?  Must have passed the test with flying colors.  Or they’re totally desperate!

Mostly, I feel a tug from the Holy Spirit to do whatever the Lord wants me to do.  For Jesus, first of all.  Then to find the lost, pointing them to the Savior.  For all of us to know Him better.  To push out the church walls, so to speak, supporting mission work way beyond our four walls.  To stay as long as He wants me to, along with the congregation’s glad nod.

My overall task?  To love Jesus and His people from a heart of service.  Feel the difference?  I’m glad the Lord allowed me to sink deep down in a churchy swamp.  For He pulls me out, and places me on dry land.  Just like for Jonah and that big fish.  I used to be the big Fisch!  No longer.

As it says in Psalm 123:1-2(NIV)–‘I lift up my eyes to you…to the Lord our God…’  In Hebrew language, the word order is different.  It reads literally–‘To you I lift up my eyes…’  Who’s numero uno?  Top of the list?  You know.  ‘To you…’–the Lord!

When we focus on Him, first and foremost, the world looks different.  You’ve noticed?  We can even bear bad breaks, knowing that Jesus makes all things better and for His own good (Romans 8:28).

Maybe this message isn’t only for me.  Someone else needs to take note.  Is that you?  Get off yourself and…well, you know!  Don’t you?


Thank you, Jesus, for being our Lord forever.  Amen.

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