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A Keeper, by H. Murray Hohns

A devotional exhortation for leaders from Pastor Mur.

I was just about out the door the other day when I heard my wife ask, ‘Could you come in here and help me for a minute?’ I said, ‘Sure,’ and made a U-turn. I walked into the bedroom to find the bed in total disarray and my wife holding a new bed ruffle in her hands. Jean had bought some new ruffles to cover the box spring and to install them meant that someone had to lift that heavy king-sized mattress off its resting place. My wife mistakenly believes I was born for such moments as these.

Well, I grunted and groaned and got that unwieldy heavy mattress standing by the side of the bed, and then my gal proceeded to get the new ruffles perfectly placed so they were just where all ruffles should be. Then it was my turn and I quickly learned that replacing the mattress was far more difficult than raising it for bed ruffles can not be disturbed lest they get out of place. I also learned it is impossible to put a king size mattress back without disturbing those ruffles. I grunted and groaned anew with the chore made much worse by Jean’s lack of understanding of the pain and difficulty I was enduring. I quickly realized that bed ruffles and their position were far more important than me and my position. I was unhappy but even so I kept my mouth shut, and suddenly I received a thank you kiss and gracious permission to go about my day. The bed ruffles were in place and they met my gal’s expectations.

When I joined the pastoral staff of a large church in California many years ago, I had visions of doing great things for God. I soon learned that church was more about moving furniture than doing what I had thought of as ‘great things.’ Those of us on the staff got to set up and take down chairs and tables as a constant part of our pastoral duties. I also learned that pastoring included giving up your Saturday nights to come down to the church and pray over each empty chair in the Sanctuary. There were thousand of chairs, and we would faithfully stand at each one and ask God to touch those that would sit there the next day. Pastoral duties also included policing the grounds to pick up discarded cigarette butts, pieces of paper, and unbelievable numbers of discarded cups and bottles.

‘Great’ moments are few and far between for most of us. The Apostle Paul wrote that success is being content with your circumstances. I have learned that my Godliness is not determined by my status, my title, or what I own. Rather, Godliness is a reflection of my attitude towards picking up mattresses and putting them back so as not to disturb a ruffle, or picking up debris others have discarded, or giving up my Saturday night to minister to an empty chair where no one will see me or ever know what I did. Character has more to do with what only our Father in heaven sees. Godliness is what others have called a long obedience in the same direction. You too can be Godly. It starts and ends with attitude. My daughter calls people with the right attitude a ‘keeper.’ Are you a ‘keeper’?


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Category: Living the Faith

About the Author: H. Murray Hohns went home to be with Jesus on November 28, 2012. He was on staff at the largest church in Hawaii and served on his denomination's investment committee from 1999 until his death. Hohns held two degrees in Civil Engineering, an MA in Theology from Fuller Seminary, and served as an instructor at Foursquare's New Hope Christian College (formerly Pacific Rim Christian College) in Honolulu. He wrote six engineering books and hundreds of articles in every type of newspaper, magazine and journal.

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