Sunday, September 27, 2009

Secondhand Jesus

Finally finished reading the book, "Secondhand Jesus" by glen Packiam.


As mentioned in the previous entry, this book has really made me stop and think. Glenn doesn't necessarily bring anything new to the table in this book, but he does bring it in a new and fresh way.

The book is about those, "what the heck" moments we all have in our lives. You know the ones where you are doing everything you are supposed to do and then you don't get the results you think you should get. You're being obedient, folloing the Lord and instead of blessings, tragedy strikes, pain enters in, problems arise and your world seems to crumble down around you.

Without going into details, Glenn speaks from experience. He worked for a church that was rocked by scandal, and then by disaster. Through it all, he came out closer to God, redfining what it meant to follow Jesus and to know Him.

He got a firsthand faith.

While the title and premise of the book intriqued me, I didn't think I suffered from secondhand faith. I was wrong. I came away realziing just how much I defined who I am in Christ by what I do, what I hear others say, and not enough on what HE HAS DONE FOR ME.

One of the interesting things Glenn does in this book is he uses his own personal life stories, interwined with the stories of the Ark of the Covenant from the Old Testament to describe just what this secondhand faith, or secondhand Jesus is all about. I love it when an author makes the Old Testament (or any Scripture for that matter) come alive and fell fresh.

But don't take my word for it.

God out and get the book....learn about what Glenn is talking about...firsthand.

Jehovah Adonai
Pastor Dave

Friday, September 18, 2009


I am currently preaching through the book of Habakkuk at our church. This Sunday the message will be based on Habakkuk 3:1-2 "A prayer of habakkuk the prophet. On shigionoth. Lord, I have heard of your fame; I stand in awe of your deeds, O Lord. Renew them in our day, in our time make them known; in wrath remember mercy."

This short passage has penetrated my heart this week. I have been feeling worn out, drained, tired and empty. I had lost my joy in service to God and His people. I tried to "work it up" over and over again, but found that I couldn't do it. I began to question if I should still pastor. I did not feel a release from God concerning pastoring, but I didn't feel as if I had anything left to give to anyone...I felt as if I was trying to pump water from a dry well.

So I spent time in prayer Sunday. I spent more time in prayer on Monday. I began to read the third chapter of Habakkuk in preparation for the coming Sunday. I prayed some more....I read some more. As I meditated on the first part of the thrid chapter God began to stir things up inside of me. He began to make me see that I had been living off of rumours of Him, that I had been living in the past while I was trying to move into the future. He began to show me that HE IS HERE and HE IS ACTIVE in my life.

He did this in three ways:

First, by His Word: I read that Habakkuk had HEARD of His fame, and that He STOOD in awe of His deeds, and asked God to RENEW them in our day and in our time make them KNOWN.

You see, I had heard of revivals of the past, and desired to see revival break out across this country again, yet I had gotten sidetracked in my walk with Christ. I was beginning to be more concerned with building a church than building The Kingdom. I needed to stand still, to observe all that God is doing across this great nation and across the world. I then began to experiecne renewal in my heart, in my relationship with Christ...I began to feel energized with a desire to know Christ and to make Him KNOWN.

Second, this was all given a spirtual boost when God put this book in my hands, courtesy of my loving wife:


This book merely confirmed what God has showed me in Habakkuk and what God had impressed upon in my time in prayer. I was shown that although one plus one always equals two in math, it doesn't always work that way when following Christ. In other words, one obedience plus one obedience does not equal out to a trouble free life where everything will always turn out the way we think it should. Although I have always known that the Christian life was not a paint by numbers canvas, I had become to live it as though it was, and if you just put the right color of paint in the right place you would have a masterpiece. Instead, I had to come to terms once again with the fact that you can do all the right things, for all the right reasons and still come out with more of a "mess" than a masterpiece, but regardless, God is still God, God is still good, and He will never leave me or forsake me. I realized that I wanted to KNOW God all over again.

And then came the third thing that God did, in only a way that God could do.

He friended me through facebook.

Well, not God Himself, but through one of his followers, I began to experience a freshness in my own relationship with God. Let me try and explain. I have a friend on facebook that I used to barely know in high school. Her name is Barb. Barb found another person on facebook that we both went to school with. His name is Bob. Now Barb and I were not good friends during our high school years. In fact we really didn't know each other, it was more like we knew of each other, and when she recommened Bob to me as a friend, I couldnt even remember who he was, so it was not like we were good friends in high school either. But after I requested to be Bob's friend he responded with a praise that it was good to hear that I was following "our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ." Now this was not the Bob I remembered from high school, so I asked him about his faith journey. He responded by directing me to his web site, which you can check out for yourself here:

Through his testimony on his site, and ongoing correspondence I have come to know a man, a fellow brother in Christ, a fellow traveller on God's trail, a believer who has had his share of trials and tragedies, and yet one who has a vital, contagious relationship with Jesus. He encouraged me and inspired me to KNOW Christ all over again. I cannot fully put into words just how much of an impact getting to know Bob has had on me. It was as if Jesus was telling me, "Here you go Dave. You need a fresh vison of me. I'm going to show myself to you through the most unlikely person you could imagine: Bob Craine. Everytime I see Bob's picture now on as status update on facebook, or in a comment I see Jesus.

And this has led me back to what I so desired not long ago. Revival. Revival in my life. Revival in my family. Revival in my walk with Christ. Revival in my church. Revival in my town. Revival in my county. Revival in my state. Revival in my country. Revival in my world.

I am reminded of a scene in the movie Braveheart. Mel Gibson plays freedom fighter William Wallace. He is captured and sentenced to death. As they execute him....literally ripping his body apart and gutting him with a sword he screams out the word "FREEDOM!!!" and it sent chills down my spine.

I want revival in that way. I want every fiber of my being, every facet of my life, every breath I breathe to scream out "REVIVAL!!!!!!!!!"

I believe in God. I beleive in Jesus. I believe in revival. I believe that revival is possible. God has already begun revival in my heart and in my life. He used His Word, a book, and a brother.

Will you join me?


Pastor Dave

Name Change

Yes, this is the blog formerly known as "Pastor Dave Lets His Hair Down" to be known as "Confessions Of A Small Church Pastor".

I chose the name change for a couple of reasons:

1) My hair is not all that long anymore...and the original name for the blog was a play on the fact that most of the members of the church that I pastor had never seen me with my long hair "down". I had always worn it in a ponytail at church.

2) I find that being a pastor of a small church (just under 100 in Sunday morning service...although it used to be much smaller than that), affects my perspective on many things.

And so, I thought that the change in name was needed.

Hopefully it will spur me on to post more frequently and on a regular basis.

And with that....I'm off to make a REAL blog entry.

See ya in the funny papers.
Pastor Dave