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When business gets in the way with ministry....

The Vineyard

Dear Friends:

Today was one of those days that I got “nothing accomplished”. That’s not to say that I did not work or “do” something, but my agenda and plans where shot because of interruptions, surprises, visitors, unexpected problems with our on-line bank every imaginable hurdle to me keep me from getting the things done that I felt should or “had” to do.

But now it’s the end of the day and I am writing this little essay.  Yes, I missed my workout, I did not answer every email and I did not return each phone call. I did not reach my personal goals with the camp and I failed to take care of all the “punch list” of daily items.  But I did prepare and feed the boys dinner;  we had our family devotion;  I meet several guest visitors (twelve today); I shared the gospel on two occasions;  I prayed for those that called or emailed me for interneesion and I kept my promises.  But even then, I wanted to accomplish and complete more and I feel the poorer for not doing so.

Days like today are important, because they remind me that I am not the master of the day—things will happen that I did not expect and I need to be ready, in mind and heart, to not lose my wig when my little apple cart gets turned over.  It’s surprising to me that it is on days like this that I find myself doing more ministry—even though I am accomplishing less for the very business that makes this ministry possible.

What strengthens me in these “do nothing” days is the conviction that He is watching over me and is both aware of my frustration for not being able to work longer, more productive hours, but also of how I know that today’s lack of meaningful accomplishments is nonetheless pleasing to Him! He knows that I know that it was HIS hand that upset my apple cart and caused me to lose my footing in my work, and yet maintain my certainty that He would be pleased with the end result. Ultimately, “some may trust in chariots, some in horses, but I trust in God”. 

And so tonight I have no idea what lies before me tomorrow, but I do know that I gave my best today—-even though I failed to reach the goals I set. He knows this. He knows this! And either He is a kind and gracious God that has compassion on frail children, like me, that are sincerely trying to honor Him, or He is an impersonal, indifferent, despot of a God——and Jesus Christ misrepresented Him!  But of course, I know that the former is the case…..and so I can sleep in peace tonight. He called me for a good purpose—-regardless of how complicated and seemingly meaningless a day might appear, from time to time.


Dean Barley

The Vineyard

336 351 2070

919 360 8493 (Mobile)

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