A Message from the Pastor
Some years ago when I was serving as the pastor in the small town of Wakefield, I noticed one day that a new family had moved into our neighborhood not far from the church. So I decided to drop by late one afternoon and say hello.
I noticed that one car was parked in the carport. I went to the side door, the one opening onto the carport. And I had rung the doorbell only once when I heard a deep, bass growl that sounded like the rolling of thunder. It was coming from the back of the carport, and it made the hair on the back of my neck stand straight up. I glanced to my left and there about 20 feet away in a crouched position was a huge German Shepherd with glowing, malignant eyes and pearly-white teeth. I could tell he wanted some of me.
I began backing slowly away from that door, in the direction of my car, all the while speaking words of pastoral comfort to the dog. The dog eased in my direction, keeping that same 20 feet between him and me.
It must have been a Baptist dog; I never saw a dog in my life have such a problem with a Methodist preacher.
Finally, I reached my car, jumped in quickly and slammed the door, and offered a quick prayer of thanks for divine protection.
I have to tell you I wasn't worth much good at work the rest of that day. Fear had stolen my energy. I went home. I did, however, make one more phone call. I called my friend, the local Baptist preacher, and told him about this new family that had moved in, and that I was pretty sure they were Baptists.
That's a true story, except for the last part of course.
Fear - We call it by many names: worry, tension, anxiety, stress. By any name, fear is undeniably powerful. It can penetrate the heart. It can poison the spirit. It can paralyze the soul. It can rob you of peace and joy. How can faith help us conquer fear so that we can live in the freedom that God intends?
This week we will conclude our Help Wanted! Series and we will look at how we can find the help we need when fear creeps in and makes our future uncertain.