Pastor's Appreciation Month 2015
Today we celebrate our father's promotion day in heaven.
Thank you for stopping by this blog today to help me honor him.
On Oct. 22, 2003, our Dad, the late, Pastor E.K. Bailey was called from life on earth to better life in heaven. We are grateful that the clergy community, the city of Dallas and friends around the nation paused with us to acknowledge his life, work and contributions as the Founding Pastor of Concord Church in Dallas, TX, as a proud son of California and Texas, as an author, evangelical statesman and mentor to many and as a pioneer in expository preaching. We will never forget the outpour of love then and the love that remains through many precious relationships.
Before losing a parent, I considered death anniversary's to be morbid and sad. I never wanted to get caught up in the depressing reflections, however, I have since learned, that reflections don't have to be depressing. Many memories are filled with laughter, joyful tears, silent and impacting thoughts of his wise words and memories that provoke a heart which erupts with gratitude.
Now 12 years later, it has been a joy to keep his voice alive on social media platforms, in mentoring others and in simple moments that make my heart smile because something that he did or said is recalled and remains relevant for continued growth.
I know that one of the greatest tragedies of any generation is to develop social, relational or spiritual amnesia. We must commit to never forget those persons that placed us on their shoulders, that lived faithful, fruitful and faith-filled lives. We must acknowledge that they existed and that we are better because they introduced us to Christ, championed for families, celebrated our victories, suffered with us, pushed the potential of students, singles, marriages and children, maximized the lives of many, prayed, listened, sacrificed, cried, dreamed, established paradigms, inspired people and preachers and advocated so that many of us could experience life as we know it today.
Clergy persons, like the global church, are treasured 'institutions' of higher learning. If you have a minister in your life who encourages, inspires and challenges you, we must pause together to celebrate those indelible influences and teachers. Some professors impact us in classrooms, some preachers are mostly inspiring from the pulpit, but many more impact us simply by being accessible, honest, encouraging and present. This month we honor all clergypersons and I'm grateful in that process to honor my first pastor, my father and friend. The world knew him as Pastor Bailey. The academy knew him as Dr. Bailey. His family knew him as Kinsley. His classmates knew him as Bailey and our family lovingly called him, "Mufassa."
It will take a lifetime to recall all of the special moments shared but some of my favorite are:
- Devotional time at the kitchen table with our family each morning before we went to school reading the bible, a devotional piece and praying together.
- Running to his office to grab a snack or juice after services and to grab a quick hug.
- Rides in the car with him to revivals, bookstores, church services and meetings.
- Trips with the family for fun and rest and Daddy/Daughter dates and chats.
- Picking out our favorite suits and ties that he wore with him.
- Hearing his voice on the phone simply saying, "How is my baby?"
- Hearing his insatiable laughter on the phone with friends.
- Seeing his joy as he watched God use his friends in preaching and leadership.
- Getting the '411' on his thoughts of our friends and people that we were dating.
- Participating in writing projects with him.
- Serving on his staff and growing under his leadership.
- Watching his favorite t.v. shows and enjoying his favorite meals with him.
- Hearing his jokes, kissing his forehead, holding his hand and later, caring for him with our mother and siblings.
- Watching him study regularly and push other preachers to do the same.
- Watching his reaction to conflict.
- Hearing his passion for Christ and preaching each week.
- Chats with our friends in the living room, Dallas Cowboy game day and holidays shared together.
- Seeing him adjust to a new way of leading, preaching and serving.
- Watching the sermon of his life in suffering.
- Hearing others share how gracious he had been to their families and watching him never slight his family caring for other families.
Oh the joy of remembering a great Dad and of being an unapologetic Daddy's girl!
Take a moment and write out or reflect upon the people that God has used in your journey of faith.
It is beneficial to pause to reflect. In words spoken from the sages we are continuously mentored, challenged and encouraged by their thoughts.
It has blessings. It helps each of us to slow down from the busyness of life to become keenly aware of what is behind us, before us, around us, and within us.
In the movie The Lion King, one of the great animated children's movies of all time, we see many purposeful adult themes and life lessons. One of the big take away moments in the film was when the young 'lion in training' saw his late father's reflection and hears his father's iconic words, "Remember."
He was arrested by those words because up until that moment he had forgotten his purpose and his father's legacy which had played a role in him not fully living up to his own potential. He saw the immediate need to abandon fear and to walk in his purpose with courage.
How about you? How have you and I stunted our growth by not taking time to remember?
Reflecting cause us to do necessary remembering. It awakens us to what lies in our spiritual DNA and pushes us from having potential to actualizing that potential within.
Equally important, it is biblical to reflect. Reflecting allows us to honor others.
Exodus 20:12 says, "Honor your father and your mother..."
Reflecting helps us to honor God by honoring others and plays a major role in our family's structure, in our own character development and in the development of our family's moral compass and legacy.
Luke 22:19 says, "Do this in remembrance of me." Each time we take communion we remember Christ's body that was broken and His blood that was shed on the cross. We can not remove remembering from holy communion. In remembering we share in the suffering and fellowship and worship of Christ. Similarly, we cannot remove remembering from our life scope and experience.
Therefore, today's post is a thank you card to heaven to God, our perfect Heavenly Father who has been so gracious to us and a tribute to our beloved earthly father's life, love, lessons and impact.
We celebrate who he was, but we also celebrate who he is right now in Christ. We are thankful that his life continues to teach us how to trust God in all seasons, how to invest in people, how to rebound when life has unwanted interruptions, how to love and work well and how to finish well.
Praise God for His benevolent kindness to all clergypersons and all of His children!
God bless all clergy persons who are leaving legacies that will far out live themselves. Thank you for your life, sacrifices, families, faith, commitment, prayers and witness. We salute you! Know that your existence matters.
Daddy, you are my forever hero. I miss you madly. Always looking up to you.
Thank you for the ministry of you. We hope to make you proud by living out our purpose, by serving God and mankind, by standing on your shoulders and not in your shadow.
We commit to simply remember. Thank you for being a great Dad. Enjoy Jesus.