Reviewing Mondays With My Old Pastor

Thursday, January 31, 2013

I've put this review off for far too long. First off, I loved the book. The delay in writing the review has hung on two questions. Did this really happen? Does it matter?

In Monday's With My Old Pastor, Jose Luis Navajo tells, from a ministry perspective, a wonderful, compelling, encouraging and helpful tale of a the mentoring relationship between an aged pastor, in the latter days of his life, and a former member of his congregation who is now a pastor himself. The wisdom and advice that the “old” pastor gives is some I will be turning back to from time to time. One principle, by way of example, passed on is to never make changes in the midst of a storm. This advice is both practical and pertinent. The point is to wait until the storm passes, and then evaluate whether or not it is the right time to seek a new ministry.

Let's get back to the two questions. The principles passed along in this book sound really good. Compared to the two characters in the book, I'm new to ministry. I cannot say whether or not they hold up. I haven't been at this long enough to experience them. I need them to be more than just words that sound good. If this relationship in the book truly happened, if the old pastor actually experienced the truth of these principles and is really passing them on to me through his relationship with this younger pastor, then they hold so much more weight.

If the principles are as sound as I suspect they are, then everyone sensing a call to pastoral ministry should read this book for it's practical overview of what it means to shepherd a flock.  

Thanks and Giving

Thursday, October 4, 2012
My daughter is the coolest prayer I know. She's three and rocks conversation with God harder than her pastor father.


Here's what I love about how she prays, she only ever thanks God for stuff. Even while she's asking for things she's thanking God. Somehow I've learned that in pryaer you say everything you're thankful for, and then you move on to the point of the prayer. Like how you might compliment someone, or say some nice pleasantry, before asking them to make a pie for the bake sale or watch your kids for the weekend. There's the order of thanks first then request. It's a universal law isn't it?

But my daughter only has one mode: thanks. 

Here's an example of a few of her prayers to illustrate this:

While dropping Sheena off at work, "God, thanks for good day mom will have at work."

Or at dinner tonight, "Dear God, thanks for the food. Thanks that dad will have a good meeting tonight. Thanks for the good time at preschool. Amen."

There's always this jumble of past and present and future thanks.

It's beautiful. I hope it never changes.

I can't help but wonder if this is what Jesus was talking about when he was talking about faith like a child: just thank God for it all. 

Yard Improvements Day 4

Saturday, July 28, 2012
I have a goose egg.

It's rather large, but I think my hair hides it.

I was hit on the head at least twice while working today. And my left hand is swollen from being hit by a falling board. And my left thumb was smashed by a hammer.

But everything is still attached so it's been a good day. There was a little while where I was dizzy but I got through it.

I needed someone to test the angle of the slide. Fortunately there was someone lying around here who could help with that.

I wrapped the arms around a bag of rice and sent him down the slide. The rice didn't spill so I'm confident that my kids will survive it.

Yard Improvements Day 3

Friday, July 27, 2012
On day 3 I fell off a ladder.

The incident had nothing to do with the yard improvements. I was cherry picking on a less than stable ladder that decided to cease supporting my weight. Fortunately I was able to grab onto a branch: a rather big branch.

Unfortunately that branch ripped up my arms.

Because I love creating further opportunities to potentiall fall off ladders, I planted some grapevines today. Oneday we hope they'll climb high and produce a bounty of deliciousness. 

Day 4 is all about the construction with set concrete.

Yard Improvements Day 2

Thursday, July 26, 2012
Footings are poured.

I've never worked with concrete on my own before. After working with the stuff I read that I should have been wearing a mask and goggles. Hopefully I don't have concrete boogers in the morning.

Yard Improvements Day 1

I'm home along this weekend. My wife and children are on a road trip with extended family through northern BC.

To keep myself busy, I'm engaging in a series of yard "improvements." My wife has reservations, and should things not turn out as planned perhaps a good record of the progress will show were things go awry.

Day one meant digging holes after work for where the footign for the play set will be poured on day two. 

Considering Empty Promises

Wednesday, June 20, 2012
I've been trying to think of the most grievous empty promise that has ever been made to me.

Surely I've spent a great deal of money on things that I thought would bring me happiness, or improve my life, or cause the ladies to swoon, or...

I have a lot of junk in my house because of these empty promises. I should say that the junk that I thought would bring the ladies has been thrown out by my wife. The rest, however, is still kicking around somewhere and is the primary reason I can't park in my garage.

Advertisements are such empty promises.

And they get me almost every time.

I wish that was the sum total of the lies I've bought into, but amazingly there are more.

Pete Wilson, in his book "Empty Promises: the truth about you, your desires, and the lies you're believing" holds out writes this on page 16: "The question we're dealing with in this book  is not 'Do you have idols?' We're already determined that the heart is an idol factory. The real question for any of us is this: Which idol is God's biggest rival in your life?"

From there he launches into an exploration of seven idols that we grant license to compete with God.  The book covers things such as: approval, power, beauty, and money. Some might argue that these are not true idols. To that, the author offers one of the best, in my opinion, definitions of an idol: "idolatry is when I look to something that does not have God's power to give me what only God has the power and authority to give."

With that definition, perhaps the list, and the book, could have been longer.

Pete Wilson's style is easy to read. He's thought provoking and engaging. Empty promises was surprisingly practical. In fact, as I read i kept picturing the material being a teaching series--no doubt it was before it was a book.

The last thing I want to do with this review is to leave you with an empty promise. The book is worth reading. It might change your perspective on life, but it might not. I have a hard time believing that you can't think of at least one person who would benefit from it: and that person will most likely be you.

* * *
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com <http://BookSneeze®.com> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 <> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”