It Does Get Serious

I Love to Laugh

All who really know me know I love to laugh. They know I love to joke around, even when it’s not expected. Sometimes I can find the strangest things humorous.

Sometimes my sense of humor can get me into trouble. My wife has given me the “evil eye” on more than one occasion. She could tell you of many times when what I thought something was funny, but others did not.

I Love Comedy

If you have seen my Monday Monkey videos you have figured out I like stupid comedy. I am a kid at heart that likes to smile. What would life be like without a good joke? What would life be like without Bill Cosby, Steve Martin, Bill Murray, Tim Allen, or Tim Hawkins? I even like Will Ferrell and Eddie Murphy at times.

I’m On Mission

But no matter how much I love to laugh and have fun; no matter how many monkey videos I make; I am still on mission for the Lord. And one thing is for sure, now as much as ever, doing God’s will, especially in the area of ministry, is not for the faint of heart.

I was working on a paper today when the words I wrote spoke back at me. The last few weeks have brought many trials and heartbreaks. Just this week I have dealt with (either personally or on behalf of others) character attacks, physical pain, financial stress, divorce, infidelity, abuse, cancer, court trials, death, and political turmoil. There is more to my life, and there’s more to ministry, than monkeys…believe me.

Sometimes life can be hard. And those going into ministry need to know that being “on God’s payroll” doesn’t make it any easier, either. That is why I found myself writing the following paragraph on the opening page of a paper dealing with conflict. I hope it serves as a warning, but also as a reminder that our God is in control, even when no one’s laughing.

“One thing should always be taught to those young men (and women) entering ministry – it’s a battle, and people will get hurt. Many enter into ministry with grand allusions of glorious and easy sailing, the wind behind their backs, and starry nights guiding the way. What they don’t know is that ahead of them lay stormy seas, contrary winds, and nights so dark no guiding light can be seen. Ministry can be full conflict; yet all is not hopeless. We walk with One who walks on waves. We talk with One who calms the winds. And when it’s too dark to see the way, we can trust the Unseen Hand.”

I serve a Mighty God who is awesome to save! He is my strength and my strong tower. In Him will I hide. Under His banner will I go forward unto victory. Praise the Lamb!

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7 Comments

Filed under Christian Living, Christian Maturity, Humor, ministry, Monday Monkey, worship

7 responses to “It Does Get Serious

  1. Great comments! My dad used to say, “Ministry is 95% perspiration and 5% inspiration! I have severed mostly in a bi-vocational role since 1976. I dreamed of working in a large ministry making over $50K with benefits. The reality was I never made over $25K a year and had to work a second job because my wife is disabled and cannot work.

    Ministry is not for wimps! If you want recognition, a big salary and a 401K stay away from vocational ministry. If your number one desire is to serve God and others before worrying about yourself, you just might make it. Keep up the great writing and sharing your heart!

    • Thanks, Michael. We are in a field that demands men with graduate degrees, but gripes if we have thoughts of be compensated. Wonder why people don’t think the same when it comes to medical doctors? Maybe we should start offering liposuction? Just kidding;-)

      Or am I? Hmmm.

      • Anthony, (do you go by Tony?) I have a simple solution. Since pastors are on call 24/7 just pay us minimum wage per hour + overtime and we will clean up!

      • GREAT idea!

        Hey, you can call me Tony if you want to, but that name brings back a lot of childhood pain. The next person that swaps the letters in my name around and laughs as he calls me “Bony Taker”….well, it might get ugly.

  2. Ministry generally requires huge personal sacrifice for pastors and their families. I remember it all too well growing up as a preacher’s kid. But I went to a memorial service recently for a pastor who died aged 84, just four weeks after he preached his last sermon. Would you believe that the memorial service lasted over three hours? Why? Because this quiet and humble man who faced many difficult times touched so many lives. I never realised quite how many. So many people came forwards to give testimony. I am sure there were many more. I’m glad and I am blessed that there are so many like him who give so much in the service of our Lord. I have been and continue to be blessed by the pastors in my life. I value and cherish you all. Man might not see or know what it means to you, but God does. Thank you.

  3. David

    Anythony, I love this post. I think what I like most about it is its relevance. These ideas are relevant to anyone on any sort of spiritual journey (Christian or otherwise), and in my opinion that is the greatest way to minister. But Jesus never said that following Him would be easy. Just the opposite! He spent so much time telling people how hard it would be to follow Him. Yet our reward for persevering is great and eternal. Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

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