Are Pastors Exempt?

It’s commonly thought that Pastors’ lives are somehow unique: They are protected from suffering and have a Red Phone to God. I’m a pastor. Read my story and see.

On March 6th the burned remains of my Mother were discovered after a 6 1/2 hour search. She was formally identified by the surgical markings on her toes. Today, sixty days after Mom’s horrific death, my Dad died. He suffered as well. Last May he spent ten days on life support following heart surgery and had been hospitalized eight times since then.

Both were great parents who contributed well to society. Some would say they were good people. Some would say, “Why do good people suffer?” The question’s fatal flaw lies in the fact there are no good people on earth. A better question is: Has a good person suffered? Yes. The Bible says that God sent his Son who knew no sin (was good) to become sin (be punished for our fatal flaws) for us, so that we might become the righteousness of God (we can be made good).

My parents weren’t intrinsically good, but were made good simply by believing that Jesus, the Son of God, died on the cross for their fatal flaws. They then demonstrated this faith remarkably in their lives.

Mom and Dad both suffered and died. This is not an indication that God isn’t good but that life is broken. The two can’t be confused. The same God who made them good has now delivered them from suffering and into his presence forever.

Pastors are not exempt. Even though Mom and Dad are with Jesus, I’m grieving and rightly so. I grieve because death is real and I won’t make friends with it. I’m hopeful because Jesus has defeated death.


It’s always too early to quit

Writing Matt Chandler

Matt Chandler is barely old enough to run for President. He has a wife, three kids and pastors a church of thousands. I’ve never met him but have heard him preach and respect him greatly; though I do believe I could take him in a wrestling match.

Matt has a malignant brain tumor. He has had surgery and now awaits further treatment. You can read about it here.

Thousands are praying for Matt. Many of those thousands will send letters or posts in hopes of being encouraging. It is for you who will write that I offer the following free advice:

First: Resist the temptation to try and say something profound.

Second: Resist the temptation to try and say something profound.

Third: Resist the temptation to try and say something profound.

Dear Matt,

I’m sorry you’re suffering. Perhaps it may comfort you to know that today I’m praying for your kids to have an incredible day with their Daddy.

Justin Beadles

Winning the Debate

Watch Dr. William Lane Craig literally devastate the argument of his opponent. His succinct statements add velocity to his apologetic ammunition.

Alvin Beadles – Update #16

IMG00048At Dad’s first post-hospitalization appointment the surgeon said, “You are my miracle man.” This, from a doctor deep into his career and not inclined to such descriptions.

Has Dad’s recovery been miraculous? I don’t know. At minimum it’s defied statistics.

Doing excessive mental calisthenics solely on this issue won’t take me where I ultimately need to go. Focusing exclusively on miracle speak is like watching a chicken dance the cha-cha: You leave impressed, but essentially unchanged.

I ultimately need to go to the place where I’m both impressed and changed. This seems to necessitate my asking questions like:

  • How can I get a clearer understanding of Jesus as he superintends Dad’s recovery?
  • What must be focused upon for me to increasingly submit to, and honor Jesus instead of merely being impressed by his preserving of Dad’s life?
  • How might I be increasingly humbled by the grace that’s lavished upon me?

After getting out of bed, showering and shaving – Dad is ready for a nap. His legs are still pretty swollen and parts of his right hand remain temporarily paralyzed. He hurts less but still lots.

In spite of this, he and Mom are enroute to Kerrville, TX (500 miles away) for an Auctioneers Convention this weekend. As only Dad can say, “I can hurt and be tired at work, or I can hurt and be tired at home… …might as well go to work.” Yes, they are crazy. But it’s a good crazy.

Alvin Beadles – Update #15

IMG00023Ladies and Gentlemen, Alvin Beadles has left the building. He has been released from the hospital.

I invite you now to track back through the blogs updating Dad’s story. My thankfulness for Dad’s recovery is equalled only by my appreciation for the mercy Jesus showed our family in the midst of it all.

Thank you for walking this path with us.

Alvin Beadles – Update #14

Talk of Dad’s being released has begun in earnest. It’s hard to imagine given how sick he was only days ago; but we’ll trust them now as we trusted them then.

May the Lord be pleased to continue the clearing of Dad’s post surgical fog and preserve him from any permanent deficits. May the Lord give mom and him the wisdom and patience necessary to navigate this approaching transition.