Monday, July 2, The Everyday Life of a Pastor

My day started with me at the church at 7:00 AM.  We have moved our mid-week service to Tuesday night, (due to July 4th falling on a Wednesday), and I wanted to get a jump on sermon prep.  I usually stay at least a week ahead, but I’m rushing to get next Sundays messages completed.

Sunday morning I’ll be speaking on the subject, “GOD HELPS THOSE WHO CANNOT HELP THEMSELVES” out of Romans 5:6-8.  The salvation that God offers men through Jesus Christ is not something He does for them because of something they have done for themselves. No, God does not save us because of us. He saves us in spite of us.

I took some time off this morning, 8:30 to 10:30 to play tennis with the Cary Sr. Tennis Group.  There’s approximately 25 of us that play.  They call me the preacher, and I’m excited about the positive influence I’m having with them.  One dear couple has made Haven their home church!

After tennis, and showering, I find myself back at church.  I spend the next hour on the phone calling about prospective youth pastors.   No success, but I know God has it under control and His man is on the horizon.

Kathy had a hair appointment and after dropping her off, I went to Starbucks with my computer.   Free refills and an outreach opportunity.  I always find a reason to talk to somebody about our church or what I’m doing in there.

Went back to pick Kathy up, stop at Walmart then light lunch at home and back to the church.  Spent the afternoon working on Sunday Evening’s message, and writing personal, hand-written notes to our first time guests that attended last Sunday.  (Yesterday).

My “Man Up” director, (our men’s group leader here at the church), stopped by with a great idea for the men of the church.  I love his passion and his desire to feed our men spiritually, and to encourage them to reach out into the community for the cause of Christ.

Well, take care my friends, and please email me with personal messages, questions, or comments.  Of course you can leave replies and likes right on the web page.  Feel free to suggest things that you think would make this site better.

In His Service,

Pastor Cliff

THURSDAY in the Life of a Pastor

We had a great Wednesday night Bible study last night.  Attendees seemed excited to be there and there was a sense of expectancy for the bible study.   We always take the last 15 minutes and take prayer requests we then spend several minutes praying for the God of Heaven to intervene.

However today it’s Thursday After private devotions and prayer I spent the next few hours finishing Sunday Evenings message.  Today I prayed for something very unusual and in all reality, I prayed for something very hard to do.  I prayed for some people that I think don’t like me.   LOL, I know; I know.   Who couldn’t like me?  I would love to eliminate my enemies and even if not enemies, I’d like to turn people that don’t care for me, to like me.  I then had to forward my sermon outline to our Audio/Visual Team.  They put everything on our big screen and it is always with taste and excellence.  I’m really proud of them.

It is always a treat when men in the church drop by for a visit.  Today two different Davids’ stopped by the church.  Great time of fellowship with these Godly men.

I have spent the afternoon searching for a possible replacement for our youth pastor.  Brother Ben and his wife are moving to Alabama.  He’ll be greatly missed and replacing him is going to be a chore.  I was excited today when a North Carolina pastor sent me a message recommending a young couple.  I’m definitely checking up on them.

Well tonights the night.  I play on a Cary N.C. Senior Softball league and it is the city tournament.  Our team is in the final four and if we win the first game, we turn around and play a second game.  I love softball and tonight I’m lead off hitter and playing Shortstop.  Like playing in the tennis league, I’m using this for outreach and several players have shown interest in attending our church.

I arrive back home at 4:00 PM and start making calls to Sunday’s absentees.  This will take 30 to 40 minutes then its a light supper and off to the ball diamond.  Take care my friends and please leave a comment or a like below.  I’d like to know you dropped in.

Pastor Cliff

WEDNESDAY, Life of a Pastor

7:15 AM and I’m in my office.  Morning devotion and bible study is always first.  I look up at my clock, (an official Welch College desktop clock), and see it’s 8:15.   I came dressed for tennis and head to Dunham Park.  17 other tennis players are there and we spend the next 1 1/2 hours playing.  I love the exercise and I love the outreach to a great group of people.

Shower and shave then back to the church.  I spend the next 30 minutes praying for people in our church and their friends.

I received a text from our Free Will Baptist promotional secretary, here in North Carolina, to ask about sending out email announcing our search for a youth pastor.  Reuben is tremendous at his job and is a real pastor to pastors in our state.

I finished studying and going over tonight’s bible study.  I’m really looking forward to our church Bible Study tonight.   The fellowship is great, and I love our Wednesday night studies.  We’ll finish Romans 12:1 & 2 tonight and I trust the church membership is planning on attending.  I heard a pastor say recently, “His church members are so inconsistent that he has to have a search warrant to find them.”  That would be really funny if it weren’t so true.

Okay, it’s back to studying and finishing Sunday Morning’s message.  I can’t wait for this message.  Don’t Be Afraid of a Little Dirt.    In 2 Corinthians 5:1, the Apostle Paul addresses the subject of the death of the body, and what it actually means for those who live in Christ. As we examine his words, we are reminded that while this earthly body may die, it does not mean that life has ended. Paul says that we know that if this body should pass, we will enter a new and glorious body that will put this old body to shame.

WE DON’T HAVE TO WORRY ABOUT DEATH AND THE DIRT!

Pastor Cliff.

TUESDAY in the Life of a Pastor

Tuesday mornings always find me here at the church early.  I hadn’t been here long at all this morning, and one of my deacons stopped by for fellowship and to discuss a project we’ve been working on.  It’s only 7:25 and I am enjoying visiting with my friend.  He’s a lot like me, (insert joke here about how bad that is), in that he really dislikes projects that hang on and do not get accomplished.  He didn’t stay long and we set a plan into motion.

Our church van is need of a front brake job.  A brake job is expensive on a car, so I know it’s going to be high for a church van.  One of the men in the church, however, has a friend that’s a mechanic.  He called his friend, came by picked up the van and he is helping friend do the brake job.  The price is amazing at less than $140.00.  Thank you David!

In between the deacon visit and David taking the van to the repair shop I was able to complete Sunday mornings message and send the outline to the A/V team.  BTW:  Our Audio/Visual team do an amazing job.  I try to get everything to them early, but I appreciate them taking last minute surprises and making them work.

I went to McDonalds to grab a sausage burrito for lunch, and noticed my check engine light, (that came on last week indicating I need a new catalytic converter), went off.  So, I quickly ran to Matt’s house where he fixed my front headlight and then drove furiously to the NC Inspection Station where my car passed with flying colors.   God is good!  LOL.

I’m back at the church by 12:30 to work on blog and meet with carpet man.  We’re going to have to replace the carpet in the foyer.  It’s old, wrinkled, and stained.  (The carpet not the carpet man).  He was here about 45 minutes and for me it’s back to studying Romans 12.  I am always reading, and I personally believe that every pastor should be reading at least 1 book, (besides the bible), all the time.  I am usually reading 2 books.  I started reading, “Who Moved My Pulpit” by Thom Rainer again and also continued reading “The Riders of High Rock” by Louis L’Amour.   (I love reading Louis L’Amour westerns).

I received a text from one of the ladies of the church asking for special prayer for 3 different items.  All very important!  I called my wife and she started the official Haven Church prayer chain for those requests and I emailed the request to everyone in the church.

It’s raining steadily here at the church.  I’m a little disappointed because I play in the Cary NC city softball league.  Our team is in the final four of the city tournament but our game for tonight is definitely rained out.  I love playing softball and this is a great opportunity for outreach.  I’m living it in front of these men, and they call me the preacher.  I have built a great rapport with them and it’s only a matter of time before we see one of them attend our church on a Sunday morning.  We have to go to where lost people are gathering.  Christ commanded us to go out to the highways, hedges, and compel them to come in.  One of the reasons many churches are weak, anemic, and barely hanging on is they do nothing in the community to advance the cause of Christ!

Okay, enough for a while.   Please leave a comment or ask a question.  I’d love the interaction.

Pastor Cliff

Monday Afternoon, in the life of a Pastor

I had a great time of playing tennis this morning, and one of the men came up and was asking my about our church.  He said he’s want to come visit.  Awesome outreach!

My youth pastor gave his notice a few weeks ago and has accepted the youth pastor of a church near Vernon Alabama.  He’ll do great and is a tremendous youth pastor with character and integrity.  We’ll miss you Ben and Holly you are one of the hardest workers I’ve seen.

Please pray for me as I search for his replacement.  Email me if you want to recommend somebody (cliffdonoho@gmail.com).

Okay, I mentioned this morning that I would share one of the things about pastoring a church that tick me off.   It bothers me that people miss church so often.  I can understand work, vacations, illnesses and such, but we have many families that miss often and it doesn’t even bother them.   This past Sunday we had 19 regulars out.  I understand, some are out of state, and some are sick.  I think The Lord even understand those conditions.  If it doesn’t bother folks to just “miss” church then I think they need to step up their dedication to the Lord!

Back to the life of a pastor:  The rest of Monday mornings I start to study and work on sermon preparation.  I spend approximately 8 hours on Sunday mornings messages, I spend approximately 6 hours on Wednesday nights messages, and I spend about 3 hours of study on Sunday nights messages.  I’ve been writing devotions to send out every morning the our church family and I try to write the whole weeks worth on Monday and Tuesday.

I mentioned this morning that I’m always reading through a book of the bible.  I currently am reading through Romans, and I am preaching  a lot out of that book as well.

Okay, I’m going to do some devotion writing, so I’ll post more tomorrow!

Take care my friends,

Pastor Cliff

A Week in the Life of a Pastor

This will be an “on-going” blog through out each day. Please understand, that although pastors have routines and disciplines things change in our schedule all the time.   Here we go.

One of the oldest jokes is that of a policeman and a doughnut, however, I think the 2nd oldest joke is that pastors only work 2 days a week.  Sundays and Wednesdays.

It’s Monday morning, 6:45 and I just got to church.  I only live a 1/2 mile from the church.  A lot of Pastors take Monday off, but I think it is too important of a day to take off.  I always review how our worship services went yesterday.  I always try to arrive really early to the office, for one, I am a morning person.  I also think it is wrong for a pastor to stay in the bed when his church members are going to work.  Some pastors will bristle at that, but this is what I think.  They can think what they want.  LOL.

The first thing I do everyday, upon arriving at my office, is prayer and personal bible study.  I have changed one thing recently, (within the last 2 years), and that is even though I’m doing personal bible reading and study, I will jot down notes and thoughts for sermons.  I used to have a rule that when doing personal bible reading I just kept that as reading and not for sermon preperation.  It may be that because I’m getting older, or maybe getting lazier I don’t know, but if I’m reading and I see a biblical nugget I write it down for later then go back to reading.  I am alway reading through a book of the bible.

Well, it’s Monday morning and I play in a tennis league with about 30 of us, so I’ll write more later today.  This is a great outreach and a way for me to connect with the community around me.

Take care, my friends and let me know if you like this or not.  Later today I’ll be posting some things that tick me off.  Have a great day.     – Pastor Cliff

COMING MONDAY, JUNE 25TH A week in the life of a pastor.

A week in the life of Pastor Cliff.  I’m going to share what it is involved in a week with a pastor.  I’m going to take you through each day.  I’ll be brutally honest and frank in things pastors face every week. 

I’ll be addressing the highs and the lows.  The frustrations and the victories!  I’ll discuss areas where churches are weak and those areas that are strong.  Share with your friends, you will not want to miss this.  Some of it will be serious, and some funny.  I’ll be describing everything from bible study to softball games.

It’s Monday!

If someone pinned me down and demanded to know what day I took off, I would have to say, “Monday.”  Truthfully, I don’t take any day, completely off.

I started the day by going to play tennis with the over 60 group at Dunham Park.  It’s a great time of playing tennis for 2 hours.  I use it as outreach, as I’ve got to know the group individually.  They call me “The Preacher.”  Several players have visited our church, and one family has said that they are making our church their church home.  It has taken a year and several have asked me to pray for them and various needs!

This is my idea of going into the highways and hedges and compelling them to come to church to hear of Jesus.  Tomorrow night, I’m trying out for an over 60 softball team.  Again, I’m using this as outreach.  We must go to where the people are, and let them see Jesus in us.  BEING A CHRISTIAN IS NOT WHAT I DO, IT IS WHAT I AM!

I must admit though, that the day didn’t get off to a good start.  I got on the scales and became disgusted with myself.  If it had been a talking scale it would have said, “One at a time please.”  I lost 17 pounds a year and half ago, not I’ve put about half of that back on.  Grrrrr!  So I started today to get back on the low carb diet, and have set a goal to to do 14,000 steps a day.   I’m at almost 15, 000 at the time of writing this blog.  LOL

We had several first time guests at church yesterday, and I’ve sent them hand written notes telling them how thrilled it was to have them as our guest.  They are welcome and wanted here at Haven!  I’m praying they come back next Sunday.

I spent several hours at the church today working on Wednesday night’s bible study.  I try really hard to get my outline to our church A/V team as soon as possible.  They do a remarkable job of putting all the songs and my sermon outlines on the big screen.  It’s a struggle sometimes to stay 2 weeks ahead in my sermons and studies.

Well, I’m going to watch some American Idol until the NCAA Basketball Tourney comes on.  Take care, and thanks for checking in on me.  Please click like or leave a comment.

Pastor Cliff

 

 

Great Easter Service

Yesterday was a great day for us at Haven Church.  3 first time guest families, and you could feel the presence of The Holy Spirit in the service!  You can watch the service on Facebook at Haven FWB Church.

I knew it was going to be special when the congregation started singing, “Hallelujah For the Cross.”  There was a special feeling and the worship kept building throughout the song.

His Wounds for Me1.jpgThe sermon was special, (certainly not because I was preaching it), as you could feel the Lord’s presence and I could see Him dealing with people’s hearts.

I can’t wait for next Sunday morning.  I think our auditorium will be packed!  Can’t Wait!

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