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    Youth/Children
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    Assistant Director, Children's Ministry
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Pastor’s Note: Overwhelmed by Love


I am going to say this out loud as I write it.  Emily and I just had our FIFTH child.  The pace at which our life is going is crazy.  It feels as though we are in a constant transition.  Basketball season to baseball season, multiple surgeries, the terrible threes, schools, four kids to five, not to mention that the average time spent by a pastor at his first call is just 2-3 years…I am overwhelmed.  This church that I have loved and has loved me and my family so well could be the most painful transition of all.

Thankfully, I have zero intention of transitioning from this church.  Even through this time of often not being able to know up from down, I feel my call to pastor Southwood stronger now than it has ever been.  My position, here, originally began as a choice.  I was able to choose whether I wanted to work at this church or not.  While I certainly believe that God sovereignly places people exactly where he wants them to further his Kingdom, I believe that the gifts and abilities with which I have been equipped are a unique fit for my position and for this time.  I believe that my family will grow roots in Huntsville and be here for the foreseeable future. It all started, as far as my finite mind can grasp it, from a simple choice.

God makes us choosers.  His faithfulness to the promises he makes and keeps with his people precedes what we often think of as monumental.  I am primarily overwhelmed in this time because I do not have as much time as I would like.  I want to think through everything flying at me, moment by moment.  More often than not, I am forced to make a decision.  This might be from the smallest things such as which bread to purchase, to the largest things such as whether or not I am loving my wife and children well by committing to another thing outside of our home.  Oh, by the way, how am I supposed to raise a daughter?

The biblical remedy for this can be underwhelming when I remain focused upon myself and my wants.  Beautiful platitudes of our holy religion are cheapened by my desire to know more and get to the deeper stuff.  But the overwhelming love of our Heavenly Father is shown in some of those very platitudes.  I love what the writer of Proverbs has to say to his son concerning finding success in life and good favor with God and man:  “Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding.  In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.  Be not wise in your own eyes; fear the LORD, and turn away from evil.  It will be healing to your flesh and refreshment to your bones” (Proverbs 3:5-8, ESV).

As I think about that, I shift from being overwhelmed with the impossible tasks of this world and become overwhelmed with the love of the Father who loved me so much that he chased me down in time and space.  I’m overwhelmed by the love of a Lord, Savior, and Brother so humble and loving that he gave his life for me to be able to know my Father again.  I’m overwhelmed by the love and comfort of the Holy Spirit given to me by both of them, enabling me to recognize their love, enabling me to turn from evil, and enabling me to trust in the LORD.