A Time to Rest

bobinfaith

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#1
God bless you, brothers and sisters;

My wife and I have been through some serious circumstances that kept me away from my fellowship with you at Christian Forum Site. I want to share from my heart the lessons I learned as a disciple of Christ, the church and my responsibilities as a husband and Pastor.

In the last 3 1/2 months our church family went through a divide/split that led to 17 members leaving. I cannot go into detail with respect to the ones who left but those of you who have been involved in church leadership, or, just involved, will understand when I say it was a gruesome situation, very painful and definitely the worst since our church family launched 6 years ago.

The timing was incredible because I had just gone back to seminary. Or, perhaps the timing was not incredible.

There were lessons that were unfolding before me. The first lesson is this. I believe God was with my wife and me the whole time. So despite what had happened in the church, we still had responsibilities to tend elsewhere in our lives.

In Genesis 22:17-18, 17 I will surely bless you, and I will surely multiply your offspring as the stars of heaven and as the sand that is on the seashore. And your offspring shall possess the gate of his enemies, 18 and in your offspring shall all the nations of the earth be blessed, because you have obeyed my voice.” - ESV

God’s covenant to Abraham is His promise to bless his descendents and all followers of Jesus Christ because we don't hold back, but have chosen to obey God.

God's promises is a consequence of God's character. It is a corollary of His power. The second lesson is God is able to make and keep promises because He is Lord of all things. God’s plan, not mine, launched His church.

God already knew the worst of storms that would come our way during the last six years. The third lesson is during God’s covenant is what has been the consequence of my character.

God has kept His promises. God no doubt was with me the whole time and I feel He wanted to see how I would handle the circumstances faced these last 3 1/2 months. I'm thankful to God for His promises.

The fourth lesson is it wasn't just my experiences in life, but more about my faith. I choose God, its also my choice to remain repentent and obedient, through everything and everything.

I shared this with my church family. I asked them to take time to grieve the loss, and also expressed that though we grieve the ones who left, I praise God for the ones who remained. We all agreed to regroup, and rebuild our wall going forward. Already, there are members who are responding to serve more in areas that were vacated.

These last days many of our members are feeling more accepting of what happened, more at peace and there is a sense of purity and true healing within our church family.

My wife and I are blessed to see how God revealed the character in our marriage with each other, yet He worked on areas where we had not handled our emotional breakdown well.

I finished the semester on a good note, thank you, Lord! Now I can rest from seminary until the end of January, spend more time in fellowship at CFS.

Perhaps God's timing was not incredible but an ongoing part of His purpose to build my wife and me up in our marriage and ministry for His glory.

I am resting, and believe me, it feels pretty good. Rest is good. Obedience to God is better.

God bless you all, my brothers and sisters at Christian Forum Site, and Merry Christmas!
 

Cturtle

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#2
Praise Father for all of the growth that you gained in this attack that originated from the enemy.

Thank You Father for keeping your grace and mercy surrounded about them like a shield. And for their strength and healing in the areas where it was needed.
Bless them in abundance with your favor in ever area in their life and Your Church where they are called to serve. In Jesus Name, Amen
 
#4
God bless you, brothers and sisters;

My wife and I have been through some serious circumstances that kept me away from my fellowship with you at Christian Forum Site. I want to share from my heart the lessons I learned as a disciple of Christ, the church and my responsibilities as a husband and Pastor.


In Genesis 22:17-18, 17 I will surely bless you, and I will surely multiply your offspring as the stars of heaven and as the sand that is on the seashore. And your offspring shall possess the gate of his enemies, 18 and in your offspring shall all the nations of the earth be blessed, because you have obeyed my voice.” - ESV

God’s covenant to Abraham is His promise to bless his descendents and all followers of Jesus Christ because we don't hold back, but have chosen to obey God.


The fourth lesson is it wasn't just my experiences in life, but more about my faith. I choose God, its also my choice to remain repentent and obedient, through everything and everything.


My wife and I are blessed to see how God revealed the character in our marriage with each other, yet He worked on areas where we had not handled our emotional breakdown well.

I finished the semester on a good note, thank you, Lord! Now I can rest from seminary until the end of January, spend more time in fellowship at CFS.

Perhaps God's timing was not incredible but an ongoing part of His purpose to build my wife and me up in our marriage and ministry for His glory.

I am resting, and believe me, it feels pretty good. Rest is good. Obedience to God is better.

God bless you all, my brothers and sisters at Christian Forum Site, and Merry Christmas!
Thank you, Pastor Bob. I find this really helpful and I am glad for the things you have learned and how you are entering into His Rest. Am reading this after the holidays. This past year I lost three loved ones and even though I know where they are it is still necessary to go through a grieving process and recognize my loss. One of them was my husband of 56 years. It has been since Sept. that he died. I had expected this for some time as he had cognitive failure and a lingering illness. The last three months have been challenging but I feel I am growing in daily trust. But, that is my story. I also can understand yours as I have been part of congregations in the past where there have been splits or an outreach or church plant was recalled and the congregation scattered. Bless you and your wife for hanging in there and bless those who remained faithful. Only one ship has sailed on and I know you know that no matter what you must be in continual forgiveness about those who chose another path no matter how it came about. God does so heal and in time will make it even better than it was before the division. Keeping always before you continue in 2018 now to celebrate the unity you have with those who have remained with you, including your wife, of course. Psalm 133..oh the blessing in that. God bless you in the coming year and always.
 
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bobinfaith

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#5
Thank you, Pastor Bob. I find this really helpful and I am glad for the things you have learned and how you are entering into His Rest. Am reading this after the holidays. This past year I lost three loved ones and even though I know where they are it is still necessary to go through a grieving process and recognize my loss. One of them was my husband of 56 years. It has been since Sept. that he died. I had expected this for some time as he had cognitive failure and a lingering illness. The last three months have been challenging but I feel I am growing in daily trust. But, that is my story. I also can understand yours as I have been part of congregations in the past where there have been splits or an outreach or church plant was recalled and the congregation scattered. Bless you and your wife for hanging in there and bless those who remained faithful. Only one ship has sailed on and I know you know that no matter what you must be in continual forgiveness about those who chose another path no matter how it came about. God does so heal and in time will make it even better than it was before the division. Keeping always before you continue in 2018 now to celebrate the unity you have with those who have remained with you, including your wife, of course. Psalm 133..oh the blessing in that. God bless you in the coming year and always.
Dear Sandpiper;

Your post blesses, touches and ministers to me. Thank you! It makes me think of when the church is hurting, it is wonderful to "see and feel" how brothers and sisters come together and tend to those who need help, encourage and apply dressing to the wounds, then God comes in and covers His church with His strength.

2 Corinthians 1:3-4, 3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, 4 who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.

First hand experience of suffering (for His glory) in life and the church is so valuable and equips us for ministry to others, today and the future. Your post reminded me of that, Sandpiper. I look forward to more fellowship with you here at Christian Forum Site.

God bless you, always, sister, and may He bless you and your family with His Love, peace, good health and prosperity.
 
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#6
Dear Sandpiper;



First hand experience of suffering (for His glory) in life and the church is so valuable and equips us for ministry to others, today and the future. Your post reminded me of that, Sandpiper. I look forward to more fellowship with you here at Christian Forum Site.

God bless you, always, sister, and may He bless you and your family with His Love, peace, good health and prosperity.
Thanks, bobinfaith, not likely I will be here anymore often than I have the past few months which is not like I was for months before. But when I check in I will always read your current posts. Bless you, brother in Christ.
 

CoffeeDrinker

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#7
Thank you for sharing. I went through a church split several years ago, but I was spiritually in a different place and not as strong spiritually as I am today. It devastated me and messed me up spiritually speaking. I turned from church because of the bad things I witnessed from "godly people". I wish I would have handled it the way you did. It took me a long time in years to get to where I would trust Christians, preachers and had a desire to get back into church. The enemy sure tries hard to destroy us and the church. So glad to hear you handled it so well and didnt allow it hurt you, but rather you allowed it to increase you spiritually and become a stronger and greater spiritual blessing to those around you.
 
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Cturtle

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#8
First hand experience of suffering (for His glory) in life and the church is so valuable and equips us for ministry to others, today and the future. Your post reminded me of that, Sandpiper. I look forward to more fellowship with you here at Christian Forum Site.
Bless you Pastor Bob...

This also reminds me of one of the reasons why we are instructed through Peter and Paul and James to count it all Joy when we encounter various trials. :)

Always a pleasure to read what you write. It's always gentle and provides great reminders :)

Blessings
 
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bobinfaith

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#9
Bless you Pastor Bob...

This also reminds me of one of the reasons why we are instructed through Peter and Paul and James to count it all Joy when we encounter various trials. :)

Always a pleasure to read what you write. It's always gentle and provides great reminders :)

Blessings
Dear FC Jim and CTurtle;

I thank God for working through all of us. I remember those days when I logged on Christian sites angry at a trial and would take it out at thread or post. Can anyone relate to that?

I shudder at those days but thank God for His forgiveness.

God bless you and everyone here at CFS.
 
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#10
Times of trouble when our faith is tested are never enjoyable , but God always keeps His word. “ blessed men GO THROUGH valleys of weeping “ is a great verse to help strengthen us when the Enemy attacks......You have made it through your valley , and as always Satan loses in the end.Your battle has made your faith stronger and you will be better equipped for the next testing of your faith.Congratulations and God bless!
 
#11
Sorry go hear that Bobinfaith many times we forget that pastors also need time away to be ministered to as well.
You are always welcome with the chief Shepherd and his flock is more numerous than you can imagine if you tried to count them all it might help you go to sleep. I think God has flocks that are manageable for pastors and sometimes division is necessary so that each sheep has all they need close by. I think that way the sheep are more nourished than if they were all in huge herd less chance to go missing and they can hear God better.

Also, unfortunately there is always a few goats in some flocks that can cause trouble. Its recogniseing that as well and keeping them apart from the sheep.
 
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bobinfaith

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#12
Times of trouble when our faith is tested are never enjoyable , but God always keeps His word. “ blessed men GO THROUGH valleys of weeping “ is a great verse to help strengthen us when the Enemy attacks......You have made it through your valley , and as always Satan loses in the end.Your battle has made your faith stronger and you will be better equipped for the next testing of your faith.Congratulations and God bless!
Sorry go hear that Bobinfaith many times we forget that pastors also need time away to be ministered to as well.
You are always welcome with the chief Shepherd and his flock is more numerous than you can imagine if you tried to count them all it might help you go to sleep. I think God has flocks that are manageable for pastors and sometimes division is necessary so that each sheep has all they need close by. I think that way the sheep are more nourished than if they were all in huge herd less chance to go missing and they can hear God better.

Also, unfortunately there is always a few goats in some flocks that can cause trouble. Its recogniseing that as well and keeping them apart from the sheep.
Hello, Gospel Lover 1953;

Your words of wisdom of what you wrote, "You have made it through your valley.." is a breath of fresh air and an encouragement for all of us, to keep going forward. Thank you, brother! The next testing of our faith is happening right now and its a good testing, a time of rebuilding.

Dear Lanolin;

Thank you for what you wrote about our Chief Shepherd, it made me stop and be reminded, again, that He is always there, the whole time, and you're right. That's what a Shepherd does. He did send His reinforcements and whats amazing is that some were right there the whole time in the church!

Since Thanksgiving, our church family has become stronger, has brought us closer together, while some stepped up and started serving in areas that were vacated.

God bless you all and thank you for your prayers.
 
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#13
God bless you, brothers and sisters;

My wife and I have been through some serious circumstances that kept me away from my fellowship with you at Christian Forum Site. I want to share from my heart the lessons I learned as a disciple of Christ, the church and my responsibilities as a husband and Pastor.

In the last 3 1/2 months our church family went through a divide/split that led to 17 members leaving. I cannot go into detail with respect to the ones who left but those of you who have been involved in church leadership, or, just involved, will understand when I say it was a gruesome situation, very painful and definitely the worst since our church family launched 6 years ago.

The timing was incredible because I had just gone back to seminary. Or, perhaps the timing was not incredible.

There were lessons that were unfolding before me. The first lesson is this. I believe God was with my wife and me the whole time. So despite what had happened in the church, we still had responsibilities to tend elsewhere in our lives.

In Genesis 22:17-18, 17 I will surely bless you, and I will surely multiply your offspring as the stars of heaven and as the sand that is on the seashore. And your offspring shall possess the gate of his enemies, 18 and in your offspring shall all the nations of the earth be blessed, because you have obeyed my voice.” - ESV

God’s covenant to Abraham is His promise to bless his descendents and all followers of Jesus Christ because we don't hold back, but have chosen to obey God.

God's promises is a consequence of God's character. It is a corollary of His power. The second lesson is God is able to make and keep promises because He is Lord of all things. God’s plan, not mine, launched His church.

God already knew the worst of storms that would come our way during the last six years. The third lesson is during God’s covenant is what has been the consequence of my character.

God has kept His promises. God no doubt was with me the whole time and I feel He wanted to see how I would handle the circumstances faced these last 3 1/2 months. I'm thankful to God for His promises.

The fourth lesson is it wasn't just my experiences in life, but more about my faith. I choose God, its also my choice to remain repentent and obedient, through everything and everything.

I shared this with my church family. I asked them to take time to grieve the loss, and also expressed that though we grieve the ones who left, I praise God for the ones who remained. We all agreed to regroup, and rebuild our wall going forward. Already, there are members who are responding to serve more in areas that were vacated.

These last days many of our members are feeling more accepting of what happened, more at peace and there is a sense of purity and true healing within our church family.

My wife and I are blessed to see how God revealed the character in our marriage with each other, yet He worked on areas where we had not handled our emotional breakdown well.

I finished the semester on a good note, thank you, Lord! Now I can rest from seminary until the end of January, spend more time in fellowship at CFS.

Perhaps God's timing was not incredible but an ongoing part of His purpose to build my wife and me up in our marriage and ministry for His glory.

I am resting, and believe me, it feels pretty good. Rest is good. Obedience to God is better.

God bless you all, my brothers and sisters at Christian Forum Site, and Merry Christmas!

I pray that God helps both of you to overcome all these challenges. As a pastor and living in seminary I can see how difficult for both of you to face such circumstance. In my context, the most reason that makes a division is people don't want change. I would love to help you both in continuous prayer and reading of your update your ministry. God bless