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Monday, November 27, 2006

The Pastor is in Trouble.....

I don't know how this happened but I was selected to the jury today on a case that could last two to three weeks. Now don't get me wrong... I am excited about serving and feel like it's a privilege. Our judicial system has worked for several hundred years and it's part of what makes our country great. It is my civic duty and it is an honor to serve in this manner.

HOWEVER... my schedule, especially during the Holiday season is so hectic that I'm sitting here this evening wondering how I can do this. With 10 to 12,000 members and with all the church responsibilities and commitments that I have each day.... I AM STRESSED. I do NOT normally feel stress about anything but at this moment.... I am feeling it BIG TIME. It's almost a sick feeling. Some of you may not understand this but I can NOT JUST TURN OFF my church responsibilities. They exist 24/7.

Now don't get me wrong... I know that the Lord will see me through this and I know that the Lord has me there for a purpose. I have NO DOUBTS about that. My concern is for YOU... that you understand what I am doing and why I am doing this. And I want you to pray with me that God would allow me to somehow fulfill my duties as a jurist and yet still find the time to prepare sermons and fulfill my duties as a Pastor .

I honestly do NOT know HOW I'm going to be able to do this... Please keep me in your prayers....


† Phoebe said...

So the Lord sent me right to Joshua 1 to remind you.

6 "Be strong and courageous, because you will lead these people to inherit the land I swore to their forefathers to give them. 7 Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the law my servant Moses gave you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, that you may be successful wherever you go. 8 Do not let this Book of the Law depart from your mouth; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful. 9 Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go."

10 So Joshua ordered the officers of the people: 11 "Go through the camp and tell the people, 'Get your supplies ready. Three days from now you will cross the Jordan here to go in and take possession of the land the LORD your God is giving you for your own.' "

12 But to the Reubenites, the Gadites and the half-tribe of Manasseh, Joshua said, 13 "Remember the command that Moses the servant of the LORD gave you: 'The LORD your God is giving you rest and has granted you this land.'

Don't attempt to keep your usual routine through the following weeks of Jury Duty - hand it up to the Lord and He will provide!

jeff perrin said...

Pastor, have faith... You will get through this just as the Lord wants you to get through it, one step at a time and to use it to glorify the Lord. I will pray that you look at the opportunity the Lord has laid before you and have some patience, you have a great staff you can call on. What can we do to help?
Serously, the burden will only be lifted by you getting off the box and get down and start pulling the weeds.
In our prayers

jeff perrin said...

You could lead the defendant, jurors and judge to Christ....
How exciting to know God has placed you right where he wants you...

Celebrant Pam said...

That's a shocker! While I also believe Jury Duty is an honorable issue, you have a lot on your plate...more like a platter if you ask me. I have a summons for the day after Christmas and continued to get called every single year.

I still want to interview you for - so please, if the case is cut short or you have a window of time, let me know. I can be contacted thru All my best, Pam Vetter.

In Training said...

Oh, that is a problem. Hmmm. At least there are 2 hour lunch breaks, laptops, and wifi hotspots.

Keep On Keeping On

Yarpub said...

This will be a good experience for you...See another side of humanity that you may not have otherwise had the opportunity to see.

Then again, knowing the legal system is full of surprises, it could all be over in a heartbeat. I say: enjoy the "uncertainty" the best you can...realizing that this is is where most folks live on a daily basis.

Billster said...

Pastor Dudley,
Just look at Isaiah 41:10-13. During the mens encounter I was spending some quite time alone with the Lord and kept praying to Him that I could not do this alone. I had tried it my way and it was not working. I needed His help. After breakfast I opened my Bible to what ever page and started reading. This is what I read. Isaiah 41:10-13.

10 So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

11 "All who rage against you will surely be ashamed and disgraced;
those who oppose you will be as nothing and perish.

12 Though you search for your enemies, you will not find them.
Those who wage war against you
will be as nothing at all.

13 For I am the LORD, your God,
who takes hold of your right hand
and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you.

He is our God and He will be there to uphold us and He will help us through, all we have to do is ask! Dudley, my daughter reminded me last night of what you like to say, GOD IS GOOD ALL THE TIME -- ALL THE TIME GOD IS GOOD -- AND ALL GODS PEOPLE SAID, AMEN! All we have to do is look to the Lord for our strength. The Lord will never give us more than we can handle.

Pastor Dudley, I have faith in the Lord that he will be with you and help you through this. I will have you in my prayers that the Lord may use this time to work through you and to use you for His glory. AMEN!

God is great and all the glory is His.

Your Friend,
Bill Sternberg

Brad Meyer said...

Just tell them you're an Evangelical, Bible-believing pastor- I think they have an express lane at the exit door...
You could also ask the judge to lead the court in prayer or mention your strong belief in the Christian foundation of our justice system.
Just trying to help...

Work In Progress said...

"Be still and know that I am God"
Psalms 46:10

I am continually amazed by His powerful and creative ways of bringing us back to Him. When we think our schedules can't possibly budge - He finds ways to reassure us they can. In this case, I can't help but be grateful it is merely jury duty. My mind goes back to a short while ago when you were saved from a horrific car accident. That also would have rearranged your schedule, but He had a different plan. He is a Gracious God!

I think of the struggles you've had since the Day of Prayer and Fasting and wonder if God is encouraging you "clear your plate" a little. When you continued to take everything on yourself, perhaps He found a new way to send the message. I know you do so many things - and you are WONDERFUL at them, but that doesn't mean you are the only person that can do them all. "Let go, Let God".

Perhaps, He wanted to start at the top in an attempt to have the most powerful effect for the whole church. Your absense will require extra work from the staff. Extra work for the staff will likely spill over to a need for more volunteers. A request for volunteers opens the door to many of us to get involved and get closer to God. Ask your staff what specific help they will need and pass that information to us at church. A specific call to help would be a blessing to many of us who are in search of our place to be "needed". I still have a puzzle piece in my purse that reminds me of this concept everyday!

I have a hard time believing God wanted to put extra pressure on you this HolyDay season. I believe He wanted to teach you to "clear your plate" a little. He has a simple request for us to "Be still" and know that He is God. Perhaps He is really hoping for this special time with you and knows it is only possible once you learn to rearrange your responsibilities. You cannot do everything. Let us help!

Mike said...

Pastor, as you have taught us in church, do not worry, it's pointless, your Father has plans for you. I have say just with this post you've already helped me.

I find myself worrying a lot and I am glad that you also worry. When I see you up there on the podium I see a man who is confidant and has his life together, something I don't have and it's good to see that although you have it more together than me you still worry. Even thought we know we're not supposed to worry about what happens tomorrow, we still do and really, doesn't he Lord have plans for you? Great plans from the looks of things. Such as we humans are... ah it's all small stuff. Great blog by the way! Keep it up!

Doris Buzaid said...

Dudley, if ANYONE can judge anothe with TOTAL honesty, its YOU. Hang in there, the Lord WILL get you through this. You are in my prayers.

Motu said...

Dear Pastor Dudley,

Thanks for your honesty, but most of all for being concerned about us, your congregation. That shows a very sweet side of your heart. Although we are new to your church, I would imagine that most of your congregation will understand what you're doing and why. I know our family does. Our prayers are with you during this busy time. Thanks for your heart and commitment to your church. And thanks for serving in our judicial system. God knows, we need more people like you serving as jurors.

Chris Ray said...

Hey Pastor Dudley,

As alluded to in other post, the reality is, sometimes you have to send a representative. Though I understand the many hats you wear requires you be available to many, on this side of heaven none of us are ominipresent. Just as Moses father-in-law told him in Exodus 18:13 - 26, sometimes you have to delegate. I know you have a marvelous staff that is working diligently for the kingdom. Maybe the time has come for even more delegation.

I will continue to pray for your strength, as well as for that promised peace that passing all understanding. Allow for a little down time, so both your natural and spirit-man can be refreshed.

Love you man, Chris Ray