A Blog by Rick White

Monday Morning Mind Dump June 1, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — tpcpastor @ 3:27 pm

I have spent much of the morning on this first day of June just processing the past weekend. Here are some of the things going through my mind and heart right now:

  • Friday morning: In His Grip Golf Tournament was a huge success. The tournament was hosted with excellence and a significant number of unchurched men were part of this year’s tournament. Gerry James, Long Drive Champ, took golf to a whole new level. I have in my office the 1/2 plywood board that he drove a golf ball through.
  • After the tournament I played an additional 18 holes with the long drive champ. Big mistake! Very humbling. I did win one par three hole.
  • Saturday afternoon, beautiful wedding at the Scaritt-Bennett Chapel.
  • Saturday evening, stood by the bedside of a sweet lady in our church who is dying with cancer. She so needs a miracle and thousands of people have been praying for her. We have lost too many young adults to cancer in the past three years. I hate the word cancer.
  • Saturday night, Patti and I met Wayne and Anna Cordeiro for dinner along with our friends Duane and Cathy Ward. It was just a great night of sharing life together around a delicious meal.
  • At the end of the day I was stretched emotionally.
  • Sunday morning Wayne taught people how to gain wisdom from God by journaling. The light came on for so many people. We sold out of journals after the first service. If you did not get one we will have them this coming Sunday.
  • Sunday night Wayne taught our leadership team for about an hour. It was power packed and one of the most inspiring meetings I have ever been in. He has given us a whole new paradigm for service. Here are a few Wayne Cordeiro tidbits below:
  • Greatest test of a servant is when you’re treated like one.
  • Only difference between an ordeal and an adventure is attitude.
  • A mind will reach a mind but a heart will reach a heart.
  • We communicate with words, gestures and spirit.
  • Train your eyes to see what’s good. You will see what you are looking for.
  • Believe that you can change and believe that others can change.
  • Never give up!

I think I will be processing this past weekend for some time. What are you thinking about these days?

Blessings,

Rick

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Transitions May 5, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — tpcpastor @ 12:34 pm

This past Saturday, I experienced another transition in life as my daughter Tori was married to Derek Jones. I walked her down the aisle, presented her to be married and then officiated the ceremony from that point on. Last week was just a swirl of emotions inside as I was caught up in a sea of memories. I did not actually write the ceremony until early Saturday morning. I knew I was either going to laugh or cry my way through the wedding, so I chose to laugh. It was a great time of celebration for our family and a host of friends who joined us. While they are basking away on some beach where the sun is shining, I am still processing another transition in my life.

It’s funny because I have led transitions all of my adult life as a pastor and Christian leader, but this one really took it’s toll on me. It made me stop and think about the toll others have felt when I was leading them through different transitions. You know what you are about to do is a good thing, but it just hurts to be moved out of your comfort zone. The familiar is replaced with the unfamiliar. The stability feels like instability for a season. It requires stretching, patience and faith.

In some ways we are always going through transitions if we are true followers of Christ. He is constantly taking us to new places in our faith journey and in the process creating tension between the old and new. Growing things change, and changing things grow. Maybe you find yourself in the middle of some life transition right now, if not it won’t be long. Transitions are going to happen, so make up your mind to celebrate them and enjoy the journey.

 

Love Deeply April 20, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — tpcpastor @ 5:11 pm

I have spent much of the day thinking about the message for next Sunday. It is one of those texts that is easier read than lived. What does it mean in practical ways to love each other deeply from the heart? Jesus said that people would know that we are his disciples by the way we loved each other. At lunch several of our pastors talked about this and the struggle that is common to most of us. Christian unity seems to be an oxymoron in our society. We seem to invalidate the message we proclaim by the very way we treat each other in the body of Christ. Why not take a look at the text for Sunday, 1 Peter 1:22-2:2, and let me know your thoughts. You may just help me out in the teaching assignment for this week. If nothing else, keep me in your prayers this week as this text is working on me.

 

Who’s Calling? April 15, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — tpcpastor @ 5:57 pm

Well, today was a first for me. I called a local business and waited for the typical greeting that I had grown accustomed to. This is where the story changes. I could hear people talking among themselves (sounded like they were on a speakerphone), but no one was talking to me. Assertively, I said “hello” trying to gain the attention of at least one of the voices I could hear. Finally someone returned my greeting, and I asked if I had reached my intended party. “No,  you have reached me and I am on an elevator.” I chuckled and apologized for any inconvenience. Less than a minute later I tried the number again and this time a lady quickly answered (same speakerphone sound) saying I had scared her to death and how did I get the number for an elevator telephone. Sure, this sounds a little like a Candid Camera episode but it actually happened! I can only tell you that I laughed about as hard as I can ever remember.

Afterwards I did think about what possible life lessons might be involved. Do I really hear people when they talk to me? Do I hear God when He is trying to speak to me, or am I involved in so many conversations that I don’t recognize His voice? I’m sure as I think about this, there are going to be others, but for now those two will be enough to occupy my mind.

As for the number I dialed…I filed it away and yes I do plan to call it again! Way too much fun!

 

Freakin’ April 9, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — tpcpastor @ 2:15 pm

I guess I’ve been in church too long to remember what it would be like to hear about someone coming back from the dead and call that anything but “freakin’.” How odd it must be to those “on the outside” of our circle when we reenact an ancient form of capital punishment, then after a few days dress up in bright cheery colors, jam seats in our churches and talk about good news from a grave yard! No sadness. No dirge. We call it the high point of our entire year as Christ followers!  

I can see how confusing this could be.

It all becomes clear only when understanding Who runs the universe, and that the Father would go to ultimate and dramatic lengths to remedy the cosmic treason condemning lost and broken humanity. When you personally have experienced the lights coming on in the darkest places of life, and dead, passionless days turned into hope-filled times slammed with great expectation, it’s hard not to live that out loud! And that, my friends, is freakin’ – the only way to do life!

“For you died to this life, and your real life is hidden with Christ in God”  – Colossians 3:3

 

Inconvenient Jesus April 7, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — tpcpastor @ 9:03 pm

Idling in the background of the past couple days has been the continuing news of economic calamity, international tension among superpowers, dangerous weather and the annual dread of April 15 – tax day drawing near. That’s my world.
When Jesus “set his face toward Jerusalem,” there was no lack of issues that for the day were just as imposing and distracting. It simply wasn’t a good time for the unfolding of the massive redemptive rescue plan foretold by the prophets. It wasn’t convenient even for the very people Jesus belonged to of Hebrew descent. It was Seder time, after all.
The longer I live, the more I find that just like with the first followers, it’s inconvenient for me to follow Jesus. It messes with my schedule, disturbs my sleep and defies my comfort zones.
As much as it provokes and pushes me, I remember others who didn’t let inconvenience stop them from exhibiting the heart of Christ that changed my life. I am forever in their debt for their influence. I had the opportunity just a few days ago to speak at the home going (funeral) of one such man – a Sunday School teacher I had decades ago. I am so grateful he allowed himself to be inconvenienced to build into the lives of me and about a dozen of my childhood friends.
It’s memories like this that drive me, not away from the challenge of sharing Christ with a lost and dying world, but toward it, however difficult, regardless of convenience. greaterlove is like that. It’s my turn. I want to do my part. Because one day I know I’ll give an account for how I stewarded the leadership of my church, I am compelled to lead the charge toward the mission we call greaterlove.
If your heart beats for those far from God, and you value their lives more than a fortressed life uninterrupted by such inconvenience, join the journey!
See you Resurrection Sunday!

 

Reflections March 11, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — tpcpastor @ 2:21 pm

Today I have spent some time reflecting on the events of just the past few days. Yesterday I had the opportunity of meeting with about 40 fellow pastors from the greater Nashville area for a Prayer Summit. It was a full day of sharing our hearts, admitting our fears, crying out to God for each other and for our city and coming together in a concert  of worship and praise. We came together from every background – Baptist, Methodist, Presbyterian, Pentecostal, Church of Christ, Charismatic,etc. But yesterday we came together simply as brothers in Christ. All the labels were put aside, and we worshipped and prayed together. The common ground of the Gospel is where we gathered, and it was quite a day. The Church – the bride of Christ- is really beautiful when we come together in unity and purpose. I wish all of you could have been a part of this very special day.

As I completed the message this past Sunday, Alan Pace met me in the aisle to give me the sad message that Dr. Fred Winters, Pastor of First Baptist Church, Maryville, Illinois, had been killed by a gunman during the early worship hour of that church. Two other church members were injured trying to subdue the shooter. This week First Baptist Church is planning the memorial service for their pastor. Fred is survived by his wife and two beautiful daughters. As you are praying this week, would you please pray for Fred’s family and the FBC family. What started out as a regular Sunday morning turned into a day that the community of Maryville will never forget. I pray that the peace of God will sustain them in what has to be one of the dark days of the soul.

The news reported ten people killed yesterday in Alabama and sixteen more in a German school just today. Our hearts go out to everyone of the families even though they are unknown personally to us. There is no shortage of evil in the world. This is why the advancement of the Gospel is more important than ever before. We must be the dispensers of hope in times like these.

As I think about these things taking place all around us, it brings me back to the reality and importance of what we are doing in ministry. The hope of the world is found only in the power of the Gospel. I look forward to seeing you on Sunday.