I heard a story about a pastor who was selected by the elders of a 10,000-member church to become their spiritual leader. With the permission of the elders, he transformed himself into a homeless person. He grew a shaggy beard, dressed in raggedy clothes and wore a dirty knit cap. He went to his new church 30 minutes early the day he was to be introduced as their pastor. As he stood on the outside, he greeted the people, and only a handful told him hello. He asked a few for a little change to buy food — no one gave him anything. He went in the sanctuary and walked to the front of the church to sit down, and the ushers asked politely if he would please sit in the back. People stared with dirty looks judging him. (They didn’t realize that God is not a respecter of persons.) At the end of all the church announcements, the elders went up and were excited to introduce the new pastor. The congregation looked around, clapping with joy and anticipation. The clapping stopped as the man everyone rejected walked up to the altar and took the microphone, paused for a moment and recited, “Then the King will say to those on His right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by My Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave Me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave Me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited Me in, I needed clothes and you clothed Me, I was sick and you looked after Me, I was in prison and you came to visit Me.” “Then the righteous will answer Him: “Lord, when did we see You hungry and feed You, or thirsty and give You something to drink? When did we see You a stranger and invite You in, or needing clothes and clothe You? When did we see You sick or in prison and go to visit You?” “The King will reply, “Truly, I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of Mine, you did for Me.” He closed by saying, “Today I see a gathering of people, not a church of Jesus Christ. The world has enough people but not enough disciples. When will YOU decide to become disciples?” The pastor then dismissed the service. If you have any questions or comments, please write to Get High on Life, P.O. Drawer U, Reserve, LA 70084, call 985-652-8477, or email hkeller@comcast.net.

Published 12:00 am Saturday, October 12, 2013

“I’ve been studying for four hours.” My freshman is making adjustments to the rigors of college classes.
“Victoria, go outside. It’s a beautiful, cool fall day. Do you want me to bring a patio set so you’ll have a place to sit?”
“Yes, I was just thinking how much I wish I had one.” I chose not to mention that I tried to send a set when she moved in August. I think her exact words were, “I’m tired of moving stuff.”
The next morning on the drive to Thibodaux I listened to four chairs bounce against their coordinating table and shared the road with sugarcane-laden trucks, another sign of the changing season.
Yes, it’s finally fall. This season people will travel hundreds of miles and spend thousands of dollars to watch the leaves change colors. Only God could herald in a new season with such beauty. While looking at the vibrant shades of red, orange and yellow, it’s hard to believe these leaves are in the process of dying. They put on one more glorious show before they drop to the ground.
People have different seasons, too. During the course of our lives, we may experience changes in jobs, schools, relationships, finances, communities and even in ourselves. I have not always welcomed those changes, nor have I always displayed beauty while changing. I want to be different. As God brings new changes into my life, I don’t want to fight against them but usher them in with the beauty and grace He magnificently displays in the changing of the seasons.
Simply put, I want to do what Victoria did. Take a break from studying problems, embrace the beauty of the changing season and adapt to the winds of change.
Ronny may be reached at rmichel@rtconline.com.