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So What! Who Cares?

I have not written a blog entry since May 2023. This restart today? Well, I think this will be the most personal blog that I’ve done. I think I need to write it just to get what’s in my head and heart out…there...because inside it’s just turmoil and uncertainty. Sometimes it feels like a giant four-way tennis match is going on in my heart between what I SHOULD do, what I WANT to do, what should REALLY matter and WHO CARES anyway?

 

Seriously!

 

If I write things here or make videos hoping for input or kudos or hoping to somehow make myself look good, then I fall into pride. If I write simply to express myself or my opinion, what makes me think that my opinion is or should be of any greater value than anyone else's? What is the right motivation and how do make certain I have it? Who decides what is the right motivation anyway? Is it God? These are the reasons I quit writing last May – I feared I was writing just to try and make myself look good. Worse – I felt like it just didn’t matter to anyone anyway. I mean, look at the number of comments. Look at the number of followers! In the realm of social media, anything less than hundreds of thousands of followers isn’t even on the radar.

 

This really came home to me when I tried to get my last two books published the conventional way (you know – NOT self-published). Bottom line – I was rejected again, and it is because I’m not famous, I’m not important and I don’t have enough Instagram followers to justify a publishing company taking a risk on me. I’ve been a “new” author for forty years! Only once, in all my efforts, have I been published by a conventional (you know – real) publisher – and that contract was dropped a year after publication because, back in 1998, I got divorced and Christian publishers don’t do contracts with divorced guys. Christians are really skilled at shooting their own wounded. Everything else that is published has been on my own dime.

 

I’ve comforted myself saying that my books are designed to benefit the people who attend the church I lead. It’s for them. It doesn’t matter if I sell buckets-o-books. If my congregation is blessed by them – that’s all that matters. I believe that. I still do. It is the reason I kept writing after the bazillionth rejection letter. But in all honesty – ALL of my social media efforts (I’ve tried Youtube channels, blogs like this one, THIS website, Instagram, Twitter) were intended to try and drum up interest in my books. But if my motivation has shifted to only caring about blessing the folks that attend my church – what’s the point of spending so much time trying to get more followers? What’s the point of writing another blog or putting up a video on Youtube? A few more followers here and a few there won’t push me to the stardom regular publishers require. And I found myself spending hours and hours trying to get these blog entries just right – for what? No comments and I’m guessing that half my followers are probably bots anyway.

 

Well – I’m writing again! Why? Cuz I just gotta write what I’m feeling. It helps to type it out somehow even if I just write it on this Word doc and then never put it on the site at all. It would still help. I suppose a few people might read it (I do have a mother – Hi Mom!). So, to you, treasured confidant - this that I’m going to try to do and why…

 

The church is really boosting its social media presence. They are ambitious to really get on the map and they’ve asked me to do one-minute video clips that they can toss around the internet like candy. They are going to carve up the sermons I preach this way – but they want some personal stuff from me also. They say that loading these clips to a personal site like this and then tagging or sharing from here to the church helps trigger the computer program to boost the church’s social media pizzazz. I guess keeping this up will help. So – I’m going to start putting these one-minute clips on this personal website for whoever cares to see them. Maybe it will just be a sort of storage site.

 

The second thing I’m going to do is write again in these blogs – but personally. Sort of like a journal. Just expressing myself. Not essays the way I’ve done that require so much editing and thought and outlining and references (I mean, I may get the bug to do that – but more like this. Just…what’s on my mind).

 

My motivation?

 

Well – I assure you (if anyone reads this) it’s not pride. It really isn’t. I’m not trying to impress anyone. I’m not trying to make myself look good. I just have a drive deep within me to…SAY…something! I don’t really even know why I have this drive. It eats at me. It’s like an itch and no matter how often I try and scratch it – it just comes back.

 

Let me just say that I walk a very fine line in my life. I am a pastor – because I honestly, truly, deeply believe that God is real, that Jesus really lived, died, and rose again from the dead. I really believe that I am utterly lost from God because of sin in my life and I desperately NEED the mercy of Jesus. I cling to that. It is my hope. It is my life. But I confess – I’m only a recovering sinner. I still get petty. I still wrestle with lust and fear and pride and selfishness. I still second guess my decisions. I still feel like I let HIM down a thousand times more than I do ANYTHING right. I feel like I have absolutely no business even pretending to be a real pastor. I feel like crap when I think of my performance as a man, a husband, a father, a grandfather and certainly as a pastor. I hate this feeling and my only relief from hiding all the time from my own monumental inadequacies is to plunge into worship. It is only there – calling out to Him, singing to Him, desperate for Him – that is where I feel safe. And I run there when I feel this way.

 

And then He speaks to me – deep down. I can hear Him. I hear the echo of His words from Psalms, from the prophets. I hear Him. And I feel better. And I get up. And I carry on.

 

That’s why I write. There it is. I suddenly see it – it’s all about Jesus for me. I remember C.S. Lewis explaining in his book “A grief observed” that he only wrote down his feelings about the death of his wife because the writing was the therapy, the exercise, the medicine his soul needed. I think I’m the same way. This journey to live for Jesus – my journey – I seem to get somewhere better when I write it all out. I don’t know if any of this makes any difference for anyone else. But that’s the point I’m making – it doesn’t matter. If it helps someone else – great, awesome, I hope it helps you draw nearer to Him. If it doesn’t – drop it, ditch it, don’t read it, don’t waste your time. I don’t take offense. I’m don’t need everyone to be happy with what I’m doing.

 

I’m okay with that – I really am. So for whoever does read it – I hope you can find the same hope I find in a simple but real faith in Jesus. It’s the air that I’m breathing.

 

Be good my friends – don’t do anything evil.

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8 Comments


The struggle is real and thank goodness the Holy Spirit helps guide us as our Father Abba strengthens us. Carrying the mantle is a big responsibility and the enemy is chomping at the heels. Your transparency encourages me and as the saints come together to encourage each other, we take steps forward. Keep at it Pastor! You are fulfilling your purpose. I will be praying for you and your family. Continue to make us a house of prayer. You are a dynamo in a decade of the dynamo. “Rise Up Elijah”

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Thank you for your blog. I have been struggling with anxiety lately and found that I was skipping my journaling. When I read what you said about writing your thoughts was therapy,I realized that my own peace and comfort comes from talking to God by journaling and I am blessed when I am faithful to it. Thank you

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Thank you, Pastor, for revealing your heart. I feel truly blessed to be part of 14:6.

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Hi Pastor Pat. Thanks so much for your transparency and I'm glad to see you remain a humble person. When I read this, you know me, I'm thinking of how many other people feel the same way but to me, being creative is an aspect of the creator. God is the ultimate CREATOR and I think when we use the talents He's given us, it brings Him pleasure. You describe it as an 'itch' that needs scratching, I believe the Holy Spirit is prompting you. As long as you remain humble and a recovering sinner, I don't think you need to worry that it may lead to pride. I know that's not who you are or who you will b…


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Reading this touched my heart. I often struggle with similar thoughts. Hearing that even my pastor struggles as a recovering sinner AND states that helps me tremendously in my own walk with the Lord. I grew up with the idea that pastors priests and even church members were these perfect people to aspire to be, and hearing you share and talk about us all, even our pastors being recovering sinners helps me connect and process my own journey. I truly appreciate your transparency.

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