Tuesday, February 23, 2010


I wanted everyone to be aware that the "comments" area of The Pastor's Heart is now available for use.  I would love for some of you to leave comments periodically about each blog. 

The comments are moderated for appropriateness and then published.  Thanks to those who have already left comments to read.

Take care and rejoice in the Lord!

Monday, February 22, 2010

The Lord met me at Wawa

Mondays are hard for Pastors.  In some ways they are a great rest from the pressures of the weekend, in other ways it takes half a day to feel like you don't have a "Sunday hangover".

Though I did not preach yesterday, I awoke this morning feeling rough as usual. I was so encouraged by Dr. Stephen Jones bringing our minds to the Lord yesterday, but I went to sleep bearing a heavy burden from a ministry situation.

I got ready for "the Monday" like most "Mondays" with just enough time to get the kids to school, but without time to make coffee. I told Amy not to make it which is code for "I'm stopping at Wawa to get us cappuccino".

I dropped the children off and pulled into Wawa. Though I know it will disappoint you, I will tell you because of my stupor that I intentionally parked our 23' Suburban in a space marked "Cars Only, No Trucks". I reasoned that they didn't really mean this - foolish sign.

As I drug myself toward the back of the store, I picked up two 20 ounce cups as I heard a faint voice directed toward me in the crowd of caffeine seekers. "Blah, Blah, Blah...still pastoring there....Blah, Blah...." I squinted around wondering if I were awake or dreaming within this circle of work boots. I looked up to a face with "chillin' sunglasses" that I strained to recognize.

"I'm sorry, excuse me?" I mumbled. "I worked construction in front of your church...do you still pastor there?" It was then that I realized that God was meeting me. I don't mean physically, I mean He had intentionally put someone to minister to right in front of me on the day I least expected it.

This man's name is Van. When road crews were working on the turning lane in front of LBC in the heat of summer, the staff guys and I put out a table each day with a cooler filled with ice, bottled water, and Gatorade. We had also placed church literature and tracts on the table. Van was one of the crew chiefs and had remembered the kindness "in Jesus' name".

"Yes, I still Pastor at Lighthouse." "What time are your services? I want to come...my parents live right around the corner." Van is a professed believer who is attending a church, but was impacted by God's love in a simple act of kindness.

I tell you this story for the main reason to show you that I had not intended to "reach out" much this morning because I was tired, dragging, and self-centered. As I left Van, I had the distinct feeling that the Lord gives us opportunities all the time if we will take them. I took my coffee to the cashier with renewed focus of living in God's will today..."I'm doing good today Pat, I want to give you this pamphlet, I'm a local pastor and I would love for you to visit our church. The pamphlet has some verses that tell you how you can be right with your Creator through Jesus."

As I exited the store, my attitude and outlook for the day had changed. "I shouldn't have parked here" I thought.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Year of the Shovel Offering this Sunday

Dear Lighthouse Congregation,

If all goes as scheduled, in three days we will take one of the last two building offerings before we receive our Building Permits. In the coming weeks I will hold a family meeting detailing the final price that we have just received. We have asked our builder and engineer over the next couple weeks to try to find “value engineering” to save us money that will allow us to break ground in 2010. Though it was our desire to build a finished building, unless there is a large surge in giving, we will need to leave classrooms, hallways, and offices unfinished.

The Congregation has given well over the years and we are in sight of the “end of the tunnel”. We have paid for nearly all of the Site Engineering in cash. We have paid for nearly all of the building design and drawings in cash. About $300,000 of the building is already paid. We need to give a desperate financial push to make up the gap between what the banks are willing to loan us and the cost of building our new Auditorium. This gap is significant, but I believe by God’s provision and willing wallets it can be done.

Let me share with you a few financial blessings recently:

1. The church was given legal ownership of a house that will be turned over upon the owners passing. (approx. $150,000)

2. Several people have recently purchased Wall of Honor Memorials ($500.00 per)

3. A kind family outside of our church recently sent the building fund a check for $6000.00.

4. People have given to the building fund “in lieu of flowers” at funerals this year.

We praise the Lord for these showers of blessing, and I am asking you to do all that you can in the Year of the Shovel offering this Sunday. Some may be able to give very large amounts, some can only give the widow’s mite. Please give all that you can. We ask the Lord to provide as we have followed His will.

Pastor Tobe Witmer