Editors’ Note: In each issue of Hope & Expectation, we are attempting to recommend a blog that we enjoy reading. This month, we would like to recommend Troy Rogers’ blog, “Carry the Cross.” Troy is the outstanding young preacher for the church in Winnewood, Oklahoma. He and his wife, Meagan, have two precious children. You can follow Troy's writings at: http://carrythecross156.wordpress.com. Here is Troy's recent article, “365 Days Exactly.” – jj
I cannot believe it! It does not seem real to me. But exactly one year ago today, my family began our work with the Wynnewood Church.
This year has been a blessing. It has been a blessing in so many ways. When we began our work here Feb 13th 2011 our daughter was just little bitty and now she’s… not much bigger, but a whole lot older. She is walking/running, talking, singing, giving kisses, and putting herself to sleep at night.
We welcomed our newest addition to our family. Our son, Jagger Troy Rogers. He is growing fast! Jacy is not going to hang on to the “big” sister title very long.
Like all families, within a year’s time, we have had a tremendous amount of struggles, and a great deal of good times as well. But most importantly, we have been blessed by God to be able to work with such great people! The church in Wynnewood is not perfect (call me when you find one) but they are truly family to us. They have accepted us, and loved us as if we have been here for years.
As I reflect back on this first year of ministry here, I have a few questions.
Have I Glorified God In My Preaching?
As preachers, as Christians we share a common goal, We wish to bring honor and glory to our heavenly father in everything that we say and do (1 Cor. 10:31) this includes preaching! There are sadly, many preachers who are better promoters of self, than promoters of God. Better, orators than preachers. Better politicians, than proclaimers of truth. It is my prayer, that I am not one of those preachers. I believe many who preach are tempted in many of these areas, and it is a constant prayer of mine to remove myself, so people can see Jesus.
Have I Edified The Church?
Ephesians 6:22 speaks of the importance of edification. I wonder how good we are at that? How much time do we spend seeking ways to build someone up? We live in a world that it is the norm to be broken down, laughed at, come upon hard times, and to be rejected. How much effort am I truly making to edify those that I work with? Do they know I care about them? Do they know I love them?
Have I Challenged The Church?
Have I spent time challenging members of this congregation to better themselves spiritually? Have I been the bringer of the messages that they need to hear? Have I challenged them to leave behind sin (1 Tim. 6:11)? Have I encouraged them to do better than they have been doing (1 Thess. 4:1)? Most importantly, have I modeled that before them (1 Tim. 4:12)?
Have I Been A Good Husband?
God knew what he was doing when He sent Meagan my way. He knew I needed a woman who loved Him, loved others, sacrificed of herself, and served others whole-heartedly. Meagan is exactly that. However, I must ask, have I been a good husband? Have a honored her with my words? Have I shown gratitude for the work that she does? Have I told her I love her, with my actions (not just words)? Have I treated her with kindness/ have I thanked her for bearing with me during the days that I am “stretched too thin?” Does she really know, how special she is to me?
Have I Been A Good Father?
My children are still very young. However, anyone who believes that young children cannot learn, has never spent time with young children. Do my children see me read from God’s Word? Do my children hear me pray? Do my children see me do all of the things listed in the previous question? Do my children know that I love them? Do my children know, that NOTHING in this life is more important to me than they are (video games, functions, sports, friends, social status, money, reputation)?
All of these questions, I believe are good “bench mark questions” to ask yourself on a regular basis. But I also know, that none of these things matter, if I don’t get this last question right.
Have I Been A Good Son?
I thank God every day for my parents. I feel tremendously blessed to have the mother and father that I do. I want to make them proud. But this is not what I mean by the question that I have asked.
Have I been a good son to my heavenly Father? EVERYTHING hinges on my walk with Him. If my preaching is struggling, I must ask, “How is my walk with God?” If my relationship with my wife is struggling, I must ask, “How is my walk with God?” If I am distant from my children, I must ask “How is my walk with God?”
One of the biggest struggles that I have faced in my ministry is forgetting to work on myself. I spend time with God’s Word to build lessons, but what about personal study? I spend time talking with others about their souls, but how much time do I focus on mine? How much time do I focus on my families?
This past year, has been a tremendous year! Filled with blessings! It is my prayer that God blesses me to preach for many years to come. I hope that I can always examine these questions with an open and pure heart, so that one day, I can stand before our Father with confidence (1 John 4:17).