Great Expectations


Hello all….. it’s ME (Nancy) !

Yesterday was a tad rough….. new place (well actually they all are new places except one).  The issue is that pastors have low expectations of conferences from poor prior experiences. They tend to arrive late because of the low quality of conferences offered in the past.  The 2nd day is always better, and more pastors come. After the first day, they talk to their friends and tell them how good it was, and more come the 2nd day and arrive on time.

Yesterday here were only 3 people there at starting time (10am). One and a half hour later, at 11:30am, 35 were there. We stopping singing (yes singing ALL THAT TIME) and Jerry started.  By lunchtime there were 50.

They are not used to sitting and taking notes, etc. Yesterday there were many environmental distractions. Loud music outside, car noise etc., but somehow Jerry keeps plodding along and finishes strong. The younger pastors do the best with paying attention and focusing despite the distractions.

Today was entirely different. At 10 am there were 30 people, Jerry started speaking at 10:30am and the number doubled to 65. At 11:00am the number doubled again to 120. Till the last morning session started it capped at 135. Now the room was crowded.

Today they were attentive, focused, writing notes and engaged!  It is common that some leave after lunch and don’t return. Today almost all returned and on time! It was very obvious they were captivated by the presentation of Apostle Peter (Jerry dresses in costume and teaches in the 1st person, as if he were Peter). They were even answering the rhetorical questions aloud!  It was evident that something had changed….their expectations!

I wondered how that is for us also. How our expectations of God, others and ourselves shape our lives. We create disappointment when others fail to meet our expectations. We discount God when we doubt His goodness and can’t trust Him.

But mostly I am thinking of our own distorted expectations of ourselves. Some of us seem to hold a standard so high that we never enjoy life. We are always feeling like a failure, never good enough. Perfection is slow suicide, counterproductive and robs life of the joy – always striving and never attaining. Only God is perfect, hence the need for a Savior.

I suspect there are a reasonable number of us that have the opposite problem. We expect very little from ourselves. We are defeated before we start.  We don’t dream. We don’t set goals. We don’t aspire. We just plod in day-to-day existence always in survival mode.  (January 24, 2018  Vijayawada, India)

Jesus said, “I have come to give life and life to the fullest” John 10:10 and again Philippians 4:13 says, ” I can do all things through Christ Who strengthens me.”

Professor Howard Hendricks said, “Nothing is more common than unfilled potential.”  Where are you?  Are you always striving with no rest in your heart? Or are you not seeking God’s plan and purpose in your life?

Ask Him. Have great expectations.  With His help, He will fill your life to the fullest.

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