I am no painter, but why did I paint? I am no sculptor, so why did I sculpt? We all fall short. We all make mistakes, in doing what "we" see as right. Selfish desires, impatience, ego, and impulse, we often serve. For me, it was all those things, "godding" over my life. Not thinking that the perfection sought would ever come on its own, or be delivered without need of my involvement, I decided to paint. I painted pretty on a mold infested canvas. How stupid was I to think that the mold would die out or just not progress. To think that mold would look at my efforts and say, "I give in" was just dumb on my part. So, the picture I painted only lasted for a while, as does all things man attempts to create for himself. Lesson not learned.......
Yes, I gave up painting, but the impatience and impulse put on a new suit and spoke a better game. They said, "You are a sculptor!" I thought to myself, "I do like working with wood, you know." So, I sculpted, but using rotten wood. It looked very nice, and it was bought into by many, but those familiar with my own self and heart, could easily see that the wood was just not right. It was not healthy and would eventually ill effect those closest to it. Rotten wood?? COME ON, BRYAN!!
I am no painter. Neither am I a sculptor. I've learned to simply be me and let God be God. In simply being me, I've been blessed beyond measure.......
HAPPY FRIDAY Y'ALL!! I LOVE YOU ALL SO VERY MUCH!! MAY GOD KEEP YOU SAFE AND BLESSED OVER THIS WEEKEND!
I'm seated in the center of this full row, and all of a sudden, I've got to go potty! So, excuse me, excuse me, watch your toes, watch your toes! I'm coming through.......
"a payment in recognition of acts or professional services for which custom or propriety forbids a price to be set, or a fee for services rendered by a professional person."
"the practice of holding a prisoner or item to extort money or property to secure their release, or it may refer to the sum of money involved."
Growing up, I truly admired the Pastors I knew, who worked full time jobs and still effectively managed, led, and enlightened their flocks. There is just something very humbling about it, to me. I just know that I am more willing to follow, trust, and be led by one who is in the trenches with me or at least standing by the trenches, pulling me out with his hand, and not some super long rope of which I'm uncertain he even has a hold.
This whole honorarium versus ransom thought came to me, earlier this year, while having a conversation with my good friend Tikina. We were talking about the requirements that this minister chick laid out, and that needed to be met before she would accept an invitation to minister somewhere. In that talk, I was reminded of a few pastors in my past with whom I had the opportunity of working closely. Some of the logic behind many of their actions and responses toward certain things, I felt, should have been HIGHLY offensive to God. That's just my opinion. One stated that he would not budge for anything under $5,000. Another said he only flies first class and stays at 5-star hotels. Then, they get there and still expect a hefty "love offering".
What happened to the honor of serving the most High being enough to move a pastor to preach? God provides the needs, but I guess Father does not know best in the situations of those who would prefer to be, themselves, "sitting high, while looking low." Maybe I'm missing something. Maybe it is okay to set demands before committing to a ministry opportunity. Maybe my mentality is just old, abandoned, and dilapidated. I don't know. I just remember able households hosting the guest preacher, providing meals and lodging when necessary. Again, the things to be admired and seen as honorable, in my eyes.
I see no example given, by Jesus Christ, of ransoming Himself. I see not one story in the Bible where a disciple rolls up saying, "Yo Jesus, we got that silver you requested as payment before going out to holler at those 5000." I certainly don't recall Jesus saying, "Tell them, I'm giving them 3 days to get my money and a chariot, before I come see about Lazarus." Crazy right? Crazy is how I see demanding anything up front before going to honor a congregation with the Word of God, passed through you.
I believe the true reward, as God chooses to provide, comes after exhibiting the obedience of GOING. I remember a guest preacher driving over 8 hours to get to the church I was attending a while back. Yeah, it would be another 8 hours going home. The love offering that day, was tremendous enough to break him down after all was said and done, and it was exactly what he needed and more. We didn't know he had a specific issue where money was needed to get him through, but I give such credit to God. In reality, this man could not afford the trip, even driven, but he went because he was called to go. He didn't know how he would make it home. No, that's all the detail you get of this young man's situation, but the point is obedience to God and His Word.
The bottom line, in my personal opinion, is that I think it's not right to ask for, demand, or require anything upfront, as a minister, preacher, or pastor. Do we not trust God to simply take care of us and our needs, as we simply "Go" in His behalf.
The definition of honorarium above states, "a payment in recognition of acts or professional services for which custom or propriety forbids a price to be set, or a fee for services rendered by a professional person." So, custom or propriety forbids a price to be set. Even as a fee for services rendered, honorarium is not something you request, require, or settle upon prior to doing your duty. Honestly, I don't recall Jesus, our ACE example of ministry, telling any of His disciples to "Go.......with the expectation of making paper." Trust me, I find nothing wrong with being given a form of payment or compensation for ministry work and going here and there to do what God calls a man or woman to do. The expectation of it, is an issue for me; and the demanding of it upfront, is even more of an issue for me. When you place such demands and requirements, you are saying to God, "I got more trust in these folks than I do You, Lord, to provide for me."
What happens when the church you're visiting pays your airfare, puts you up in that 5-star hotel, feeds you, and even pays the ransom for what God has given for free? Then you go out to do your expensive sermon, and move absolutely nothing but the air out of your lungs. Then what? Can that church or ministry get a little of that back for the poor and unsatisfactory services rendered? Sounds like madness, to be talking about church this way, right? Well, when we make it about money and turn our churches into businesses, corporations, and careers, rather than making it about what God intended, that's what you get!
HAPPY THURSDAY! I LOVE YOU ALL! BE BLESSED!!!
Yesterday, I posted the following to Facebook:
"If you are able to imagine "better", then re-evaluations are in order.......#loadedgun #approachwithcaution"
As I have stated many times before, I tend to speak from my heart and from my own life, experiences, lessons learned, and insights gained. So, this is my reality. It may also be, for some of you. We shall see. My post, above, is from a relationship standpoint. It hit me, yesterday, after a brief evaluation of the state of my own heart and soul. Satisfied, they are. Happy, they are! Then I looked over my previous marriages, and decided to be honest with myself. I was always able to imagine better, in those relationships. I was not satisfied and my heart and soul desired better. This is my reality of a reality.
In the past, I'd look to the horizons and see better, along with happiness without the one I was currently with. It would always be, just me and my kids. Why do we settle for things or people when our souls and hearts clearly desire better?? Peace and happiness is never truly found in settling for less. If you are 100% satisfied with your current relationship, praise God!! Such is hard to be found in this day and age. God has nothing but greatness in store for us, but it's always us who unhitch our trailers from his truck to try to make lives, long term relationships and marriages out of brief moments of surface satisfaction. I am grateful that I have been blessed with genuine HAPPY now!
Baby Love and I have spoken about this on more than a few occasions. We've use the term "love" in our pasts as anyone does. Now, that we have us, we question what exactly it was that we were saying in the past, in our phrases of "I love you." If what we have now is truly Love, then in honesty with me, I'd have to say that I've never loved before. At least, not the kind that embodies all aspects of Love: Agape, Eros, Philia, and Storge. This Love between she and I is WHOLE! How do I know? It just IS. There is no work needed to make it work. It just IS! There are no sacrifices or compromises to be made. It just IS! Imagine two bottles of Aquafina being poured into one glass. Can you separate it to know what came from which bottle? Can you tell where one starts and the other ends?
I can admit now, again in honesty with myself, that in my past, I spent years trying to dissolve igneous in my Aquafina. This is not to degrade anyone or be messy. There are many of us who have tried and who are trying to keep the house dark, while holding the sun in our hands. Opposites might attract, but do they truly sustain? People say sacrifice, but why should one go without bits and pieces of what makes them who they truly are, and who they were made to be, just to be in a relationship. Love, true Love, requires no compromise or sacrifice. It just IS.......when it's where it's supposed to be!
My reality of a reality, is simply opinion to others, which is perfectly fine. If "better" can be imagined, then re-evaluate and be honest with your own self, if not with anyone else. Those who have ears, let them hear.
The Reality of A Reality, for me, is that there is no better to be imagined or desired at this point in my life, in terms of relationship. My horizons are full of US.......She, me, and the monkeys!! I've been blessed with the Best, by the BEST!!
HAPPY WEDNESDAY Y'ALL!! BE BLESSED, THIS DAY, AND ALL THE DAYS OF YOUR LIVES!! I LOVE YA!!
I've mentioned it before and many of you may be aware, that I've had self esteem issues in my life. Have I fully overcome them? I don't think I ever will. Every now and then, I find myself feeling less than what God says I am. I find myself ready to let life have its way with me, rather than pushing myself to have my way with life. This is simply a reality for me, and maybe for some of you. I know I am not alone.
Today, right now, as I think about this.......I say to myself, "Bryan, there is a reason! There is a reason that you have the heart you have! There is a reason for feeling what you feel and how you feel! There is a reason you believe the way you believe!" Then, I am encouraged to BE ME!! I think about what God is able to do for others and give to others via ME!!! God sees me as a great value! My family sees me as a great value! My kids love me beyond measure!
There are things that only I can do. There are things that only YOU can do!! YOU are great and YOU are awesome! There is a reason that YOU are the YOU you are!! We have to begin to see ourselves as the true treasures we are and see it OFTEN!! WE were designed and defined by God.......HIS way!! Neither the world nor society can tell you who you are!! To strive to be like someone else is to sell yourself short of the GREATNESS you are called to be!
This is a message we need our children to get, to grasp, and to understand.......ESPECIALLY our daughters!! One of the best things you could do for yourself, for your future, is to BE YOU!! We as parents have to deal with them as the individuals they are. Anytime we try to force them into a box or a pretty shaped cookie-cutter, we hinder them. We hinder their growth and understanding of their own worth and beauty. A ball of clay, provided by God, can not and will not fit into any stencil or template man can make. When we try to cram them in, bits and pieces are cut off and lost. Think about it this way. To do such to our children is like cutting a balloon in half and expecting it to still be blown up, into something big and well-rounded.
THERE IS A REASON WE ALL ARE WHO WE ARE!! FIND THE VALUE AND TREASURE OF YOU!! KNOW THAT THERE IS PURPOSE FOR YOU, YOUR EXISTENCE, YOUR LIFE!!
HAPPY TUESDAY Y'ALL!! I LOVE YOU ALL EACH AND EVERY ONE!!! LUNCH BREAK OVER!! GOTTA GET BACK TO WORK!!
Bryan Hollomon Williams