What Am I Doing Here?

HOMEI am amazed at the timing and am thankful for Facebook “memories”! I’ve been feeling incredibly homesick these last few weeks for both Stokes County (NC) and Myrtle Beach (SC).  I consider both places “home” as I grew up in both, and have lived in those two places longer than I’ve lived anywhere else.  I am on the patio this morning outside the beautiful home the Lord has most recently placed us in, enjoying a quiet morning with just me, the singing birds, and Jesus. It is so peaceful, and yet I sit here contemplating the one-year anniversary of our move to Anderson. (Ed has been here one year this month, and next month will be one year since I joined him.)  I miss my friends and the beautiful places of my former home towns, and sometimes wonder what we are doing here. Then THIS came up in my memories… something I wrote myself three years ago but needed to read again today.  And just like that, all is right with the world again.

I love my husband, my home, my job and my Lord. He is using us daily in our jobs, and with pastors and evangelists who He continues to bring across our path. Will we pastor a church here one day? Online or in a building? Will we finally launch that mobile ministry from here? I don’t know what the future holds, but I know who holds the future, and I know who holds my hand.   What I wrote three years ago:

I am feeling so grateful but also overwhelmed at the goodness of God, and the people he has placed in my life. When God led me to move away and start over two and one-half years ago, it was bitter-sweet. It was sad to leave everything comfortable and familiar, including some very dear friends and the small church that I pastored. But I also knew it was to time to move on, and God has placed not only an amazing husband in my life, but also many wonderful NEW friends, and an awesome new church home. I was blessed to spend the last two weekends with close friends and members of my old church in North Carolina, and also new neighbors and friends in South Carolina as well. In the past few weeks I’ve received Facebook messages from friends as far back as grade school! It reminds me of a song I learned in Girl Scouts, probably in 2nd or 3rd grade: “Make new friends, but keep the old; one is silver and the other gold.” Perhaps MORE appropriately is the scripture from Joshua 1:9 – “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” Will I ever pastor again?  I have no idea – if the Lord so directs, I will let you know. But no matter what HIS plan is for my life, my life is in HIS hands. And all is right with the world.


Who Moved My Pulpit?

black_women_religion_432117137I got to preach this week!  No, not behind the pulpit, nor in any church building.  There was no special service planned or followed.  And while I truly miss bringing the Word every Sunday morning to a select group of close-knit friends, the Lord keeps showing me that there are countless ways to “minister” outside the traditional three-point sermon outlines (which I rarely used anyway), and definitely outside of the brick and mortar church building walls.

I was recently called on to speak with two different women, one of whom I’d never met.  The first lady had been unable to reach her own pastor at that particular moment, and the second was facing some serious decisions regarding health issues.  I offered scriptures and words of encouragement, feeling confident that it was the Holy Spirit’s words flowing from my lips, and not my own.  My prayers were powerful and passionate, as I’ve been faced with similar issues myself.

Finally I was bed-side talking with a precious 91 year old who was worried about not waking up from her nap, and hoping she had been “good enough” in case she didn’t.  As the scriptures flowed from my tongue, I reminded her who she is in Christ, and rebuked those spirits of fear rendering them powerless over her.  I went through God’s merciful plan of salvation from Genesis to Revelation, and I suppose I tend to get a little excited when I talk about Jesus!  I felt myself beaming as I reminded her that “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”  (1 John 1:9)  Jesus has promised to never leave us nor forsake us, and He would be right there watching over her as she slept.  I assured her that she WOULD indeed wake up from her nap in one of two places:  either safely in her own bed, or in the arms of Jesus; and either way she was going to be okay!  I quoted Paul, David, and even the Messiah Himself.  She looked up at me with a fresh gleam in her eye and exclaimed, “I like your church!”

At that moment, God reminded me that we can “have church” anywhere.  Wherever just two or more are gathered in His Name, He is there with us.  (Matthew 18:20)  In fact, we ARE the church, no matter where we go.  God does not dwell in buildings, but His Spirit lives within us!  (Acts 7:48, 17:24)  I remembered that Hope Chapel, the precious church I pastored for three years, was actually birthed around a campfire in the town park.  We often met under picnic shelters, in the local coffee shop, and in members’ homes.  People were saved and baptized as a result of those small-group settings.

The Lord has called me to preach the Good News of His Gospel, which is forgiveness of sins and eternal life with Him in glory!  We are saved only by our faith in Jesus Christ, as His blood on the cross already paid the price.  Whether I deliver that marvelous message of HOPE in Christ by pastoring another church one day, as a traveling Evangelist, preaching online or simply speaking with others one-on-one, I will share His love and light for the rest of my days.  God can and NEEDS to use us, everywhere we go!


Robin Leitch