EPISODE #65 – WAITING ON THE LORD
In this episode the guys make the definitive call, Mississippi has the best Buffets. Jimbo talks a musical he was in that played in Kenya and then they get around to talking about the difficulty we have waiting. Laugh, be encouraged and take heart all of you who are waiting on the Lord.
Key takeaways from this episode
- Waiting is not wasted time
- While you wait it is important to be strong and be courageous
- As you wait, don’t miss out on the fact that God is working on you-this happens before he works through you
- The fruit of waiting is patience and maturity-it will not come any other way
- Every person who has ever lived has to wait
Here are few fun links from this Episode
Sanders Family Musical: Smoke on the Mountain
An Unhurried Life by Alan Fadling
Southern Eatery in Holly Springs MS
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JimBo Stewart: [00:00:00] Replant bootcamp back out again, still in the garage. You’re back home from Branson, Missouri, or as I like to call it old people. Vegas.
Bob Bickford: [00:00:09] Yeah, it’s the land of hotel rooms and all you can eat buffets.
JimBo Stewart: [00:00:14] Yeah. exactly. Honestly, it doesn’t sound that bad to me.
Bob Bickford: [00:00:18] how old are you? Jimbo? You’re not old enough to like that kind of thing yet.
JimBo Stewart: [00:00:24] I’m only 38, but I love a good buffet
Bob Bickford: [00:00:26] Are you serious? Oh man. I can.
JimBo Stewart: [00:00:28] If it’s good.
Bob Bickford: [00:00:29] Good. And buffet are two words that do not belong together in the same sentence in
JimBo Stewart: [00:00:34] there’s a couple of places in Mississippi. I got to take you.
Bob Bickford: [00:00:37] Okay.
JimBo Stewart: [00:00:37] There’s a place in Hattiesburg, Mississippi called movie star restaurant.
Bob Bickford: [00:00:43] Okay.
JimBo Stewart: [00:00:44] And I’m going to tell you that’s some good buffet.
Bob Bickford: [00:00:47] All right. Now I will say this. I was a. I was in your old stomping grounds or Adrias. I was in Holly Springs and, just South of Memphis and the Dom that I was working with, took me to a buffet on the old town square. And the story was that the family who opened that restaurant, they were a family that they just, they started catering and people loved it so much.
They said, would you guys open up a restaurant? So they did. And they had this kind of cobbled together corner of the restaurant buffet. And brother, let me tell you that was some grandma’s scratch, cooking going on. And, so I will retract my Buffet’s statement for that restaurant.
JimBo Stewart: [00:01:30] There we go. Is it now? I will be honest. I’ve never had a good buffet outside of the city, the state of Mississippi.
Bob Bickford: [00:01:39] okay. I think we’re onto something.
JimBo Stewart: [00:01:44] No, I’ll also say Mississippi, I think leads the nation in obesity.
Bob Bickford: [00:01:48] That’s why I was saying we’re onto something.
maybe that’s a category that Mississippians can be proud. And if you’re a bootcamp listener from Mississippi, I just want to hat tip to you. we’re not trying to disparage you. We, we want to give you the hat tip. You guys win the buffet line
JimBo Stewart: [00:02:05] I happily grew up in proudly, grew up in the wonderful state of Mississippi and it’s got a lot to offer.
Bob Bickford: [00:02:12] Yeah. All right. you know what, I’m one of my favorite shows on TV Jimbo, his hometown, which occurs in Laurel, Mississippi. And I just liked the couple Ben and Aaron so much. I just would move there just to maybe see him down in the street. Didn’t
JimBo Stewart: [00:02:26] I’m telling you look, that’s right around the corner from where I grew up in Hattiesburg. It’s a great place.
Bob Bickford: [00:02:30] yeah, maybe I shouldn’t have tired
JimBo Stewart: [00:02:32] while you were in Branson, did you happen to catch any shows?
Bob Bickford: [00:02:37] No, they’re all closed down. it’s winter time. I guess there’s a, some Christmas shows that are going on, but I think I was actually talking with you online and you
JimBo Stewart: [00:02:48] bet you dollars to donuts that Sanders family Christmas is going strong in Branson, Missouri. I have acted in my illustrious thespian career.
Bob Bickford: [00:02:59] yes.
JimBo Stewart: [00:02:59] in the, in the original Sanders family show called smoke on the mountain. I played the preacher who doesn’t sing, except for one song.
Cause it’s a musical. And all I can remember is the first few. I’m so happy as I travel on the right road, glory land. That’s it. That’s all I know.
Bob Bickford: [00:03:20] That’s what we get. Was there dancing in this
JimBo Stewart: [00:03:23] there is not as much dancing. It is a comedy show. It’s pretty funny. It’s actually written by Mark Lowery, like from the Gaithers and it made it to Broadway and I performed it in the United States and I did a mission trip performing it in Kenya.
Bob Bickford: [00:03:40] I, he told me about this. Tell me how does a Southern gospel Southern story about what is it called blood on the mountain? What
JimBo Stewart: [00:03:49] smoke on the
Bob Bickford: [00:03:51] Okay, sorry. That’s a revelation movie, I think from the seventies
Moke on the mountain. How in the world does that play in Kenya? Like how do people relate to that? Was there translation? Did they speak English? what? what, tell me about that.
JimBo Stewart: [00:04:07] But most of the rest of the world speaks English only lazy Americans only speak one language. yeah, I did a mission trip to Kenya a few years before that. And one of the things they talked about was everyone comes to Kenya to serve the poor, but there is a pretty large wealthy population in Kenya and they need Jesus too. And so the missionaries we were connected with there. Asked us if we would come to a dinner theater and so took a couple of years and we put a team together and did that show smoke on the mountain and took that built, sets the whole thing and set up in a, in a theater, out in the public area and have lots of people there and, and were just really had a great time.
It’s a Christian show. That made it to Broadway. And so it’s a fun musical. It’s really funny. If you have a chance to watch it’s a good old country church in the middle of nowhere and, all the hi-jinks that happened with the Sanders family singers, making their way there. And there’s a, I really don’t.
It’s been so long. All I remember detail wise is the Sanders family singers, something to do with a pickle truck falling over on the river pickles going everywhere. and all sorts of different things that they come to this a little bitty church, and that’s where it’s set and sing some songs, but it’s a really fun show.
Bob Bickford: [00:05:27] That’s awesome. And once again, I’m absolutely blown away and amazed at all of the things you have done in your life.
JimBo Stewart: [00:05:35] you’ve only gotten the tip of the iceberg. We’ve got a couple of years left before I can really get it all in.
Bob Bickford: [00:05:40] Yeah. You still owe me a story about some kind of, mystery, mysterious day in LA where you might’ve been involved in some illegal activity, but unintentionally,
JimBo Stewart: [00:05:50] Yeah. We’ll have to, we’ll have to share the whole story about Los Angeles and how it was homeless for a week in Los Angeles. But what not today, you’ll have to wait. As a matter of fact, I think we’ve talked long enough about other random stuff. We’ve left everybody waiting long enough to figure out what is this episode actually about?
Bob Bickford: [00:06:11] We’re trying to figure it out right now, ourselves
JimBo Stewart: [00:06:13] We’re talking about waiting
Bob Bickford: [00:06:17] waiting.
JimBo Stewart: [00:06:18] And an advent. the idea of advent, the season that we’re in is waiting with great anticipation for a great, wonderful event that you’re excited about. And obviously our advent is the advent of Christ as the sweet baby Jesus in Bethlehem. And we get to celebrate that in the season, but it got me thinking recently, Bob, about how much time we spend.
As pastors, and especially as church revitalization and replanting pastors waiting.
Bob Bickford: [00:06:49] That’s right. Yeah. Waiting for, a lot of things to happen. Things, to change people, to be ready to move. we do spend a lot of time waiting and most of the time that’s hard for me. I know. And certain personalities it’s very difficult to wait, but I think one of the misnomers and misconceptions is that God’s not doing anything and things are not being accomplished during a season of waiting. And we often equate a season of waiting in the church as to waiting in line and the line is not moving. and so we think, Oh, nothing is happening. I don’t know if you do this, but sometimes when I go to the store, most of the time I’ve shifted to become a self checkout guy. I don’t know if you do that, but I’m a self-checkout guy, but if I’m in the store, that’s not our scan, the horizon.
Look for a line that I think is going to move fast. And I try to get to that line. And then I judge my progress and my decision based on the movement of my line compared to everyone else.
JimBo Stewart: [00:07:49] I do that in traffic. when you get up to a red light, I try to judge based off of make and model and car, age of the driver, which one’s going to take off the fastest, which one is going to go. but I don’t do that in the checkout at the grocery store. I don’t like self checkout, because check, scan all the barcodes, making sure I bag it right.
Stresses me out and you’re paying the same price. And so I want. else to do all that. Somebody else scan it, bag it. And let me zone out for a minute while you do that.
Bob Bickford: [00:08:20] No, I get that. I was, in high school, the, one of my jobs was, I was a checkout guy at Walmart. And I feel like I have the training and the skills from early in life to do that myself and really prefer to do it myself. Cause there’s some checkers that are just slow and I’m just like, skidding and get it done.
But back to the waiting, idea here, I just, wouldn’t say to some of the guys that they’re waiting, in the season of waiting at their replant or their revitalization, just realize that often there’s a sanctifying work that God’s doing in your life and he’s preparing the ground or the hearts of people around you, that you may not be aware of his work, but when he works, man, all of a sudden things break loose and things happen.
And that’s a good thing. And if it’s not a developing, a developing maturity in you, spiritual sensitivity, et cetera, God is often, working in the hearts of people around you, either to release control or to, engage or to change their mind and hearts. and I just, I think we don’t understand enough that change is incremental over time.
It’s not usually all of a sudden. And especially when you’ve got people with preferences and biases of a particular type that takes time to change. And it’s only by small amounts of change over a long period of time that you see things happen. It’s the lean on the fence principle. if you’ve ever taken a fence row down Jimbo, one way is to get a backhoe and just, check, put a chain and rip it out another way is to dig it up.
But, another way is to take that post or that fence and just lean on it back and forth, lean on it. And that’s probably more the replant revitalization type of a change that occurs in a church.
JimBo Stewart: [00:10:07] I know a lot of guys that I talked to and I’m sure you as well, Bob are guys who feel called maybe to replanting. But they have not been given that opportunity and they find themselves
Bob Bickford: [00:10:19] That’s a good one.
JimBo Stewart: [00:10:21] in the, they don’t know why they’re waiting, but I think one of the things you’ve said today, and you say often, and it’s so good is.
Consider what God is doing in your sanctification through whatever process you’re going through, whether that be a process of suffering, waiting, or anything like that. And in a sense, waiting can feel like a really slow version of suffering. And that we get frustrated with having to wait, whether that be waiting to become a revitalizer or re planter or waiting to see God show up in some way that we recognize and the revitalization or the replant, or many other things that we may be waiting for.
I’m reading through a book right now called an unhurried life by Alan paddling. And it’s been very challenging for me. Because I’m not good at waiting. I don’t like lines. I don’t like waiting. I am not in my flesh, a patient person. And one of the most interesting things to me as a pastor is how many times church members have told me, which you’re just so patient.
And I’m like, No, actually, I am not patient. Anytime you see me patient that is literally a fruit of the spirit of God, miraculously at work in me. That is not within my nature at all.
Bob Bickford: [00:11:52] That’s, that’s a great testimony to the work of the spirit in our lives. And I would also say that, I am prone to, and I think probably some of our listeners are prone to be more of their, to be their own worst critic. And we’re S we’re super in, I would say this, if we have a measure of self-awareness or spiritual self-awareness, we’re going to have enough information from that self-awareness to be frustrated and maybe even discouraged about ourselves and our maturity and our progress, but what’s evident to us is not always evident to everyone else.
And oftentimes the work of God that’s evident to others is evident to others first, before it’s evident to us. And then that sounds backwards almost right, but you don’t know that you’re patient because you see yourself as impatient, but if somebody else who’s around you for. A period of time in a variety of settings.
And particularly when you’re the leader and you’re the one who’s moving forward and they say you’re patient. I think that’s a good gift of God to you to say, Jimbo, I have developed this in your life. and so there is some progress, which I think you’ve got to walk away from that feeling good. even if you doubt it and push back on and say, on the main, on the whole, I’m not a particularly a patient person, but thank you for that. You’ve seen some evidence in God’s work in my life. That’s a good thing.
JimBo Stewart: [00:13:10] reading this book on hurried life. One of the things that’s challenged in me is that I live oftentimes in a sense of urgency and an urgency is a good thing. especially in change leadership, as we’ve talked about and change leadership, you can’t really. Create a whole lot of change in any organization without some sense of urgency.
And part of my impatience that I feel is I feel urgently. I feel things urgently and they need to happen immediately. I need this, I see what needs to happen and I want to make it happen. It needs to happen. One of the analogies that Alan paddling uses in his book is. It’s oftentimes weighting is akin to this analogy he uses of your sitting and a master portrait artist is painting your portrait.
If you keep getting up to go look and see the painters progress, you’re gonna mess up the progress. if you’re sitting there and you’re supposed to be sitting and being a portrait artist is looking at you sitting there and they’re painting, but you keep getting up to come look at the painting.
You’re missing, what’s happening. And as God works in our lives, It can feel like we’re just sitting there, but what’s actually happening is he’s painting. he’s doing something. He’s making a masterpiece. That’s what we see in Ephesians two 10, right? That we are the poema the workmanship, the poetry of God.
And. that takes a long time. I love art. My mom’s an artist and say, I grew up going to museums and studying artists and learning about art and artists all the time. And. All art takes all good art takes time and it’s a slow process. And so when the Bible says that we are his masterpiece, we are his poema he’s slowly painting what that story looks like for us, but it also makes me think of the other analogy I’ve heard.
So many of you use, and I don’t know where it originates that God’s. Sanctifying process in our life is like a sculptor that starts with a block and their job. If they’re supposed to sculpt a horse is to take that block of marble or stone and chisel away everything that doesn’t look like a horse. And that’s the process that God has us in.
And as his poema as his masterpiece.
Bob Bickford: [00:15:43] So the sculpting metaphor reminds us that waiting is painful. And, we, our flesh works against it, but there’s a real pain in waiting. So I think acknowledging that and giving voice to that frustration of saying this, I feel a measure of pain when I weight leadership pain, emotional pain, those sorts of things are hard and we are driven to not feel discomfort as creatures.
And one of the most counterintuitive things that we can do is to realize that the pain is a sign that we have the opportunity to, mature or to grow, to get stronger. the whole thing about muscles and no pain, no gain. Did you ever lift weights when you, were you an athlete in school? I don’t know if I’ve ever asked you that question.
JimBo Stewart: [00:16:34] I have a Letterman jacket. I’m gonna let you. Yes.
Bob Bickford: [00:16:39] Does the same manager on it?
JimBo Stewart: [00:16:40] I want you to guess what kind of patch was put on my Letterman jacket?
Bob Bickford: [00:16:47] Choir. No, not choir. Cause you’re not a singer. something, baseball, maybe golf almost said golf,
JimBo Stewart: [00:16:55] I was, I was a, I was on my high school golf team
Bob Bickford: [00:16:58] okay.
JimBo Stewart: [00:16:58] played competitively and I played, I grew up playing soccer.
Bob Bickford: [00:17:03] Yeah,
JimBo Stewart: [00:17:03] neither of those sports asked me to lift weights.
Bob Bickford: [00:17:06] no, you really don’t want to have a bill. Big bulky golfer, a big bulky,
JimBo Stewart: [00:17:10] I’m not, I was never been a weightlifter, but I’ve always, but I have been big and bulky for a long time.
Bob Bickford: [00:17:16] Yeah.
I, yeah, when I was, when I was playing basketball, man, I was like rail, Finn, kinda like a kinda like trip, man, your son trip. He’s like rail fan. I was maybe just a little bit, just a little more meat on my bones than trip. and I hated the weights. And, all the coaches are screaming at you and lifting weights and all the upperclassmen and, no pain, no gain.
that’s true. That there’s reality. if we all want the result of maturity without the pain of maturity. And so I think that. Most of the seasoned people that you meet in life and have a lot of respect for both leaders. And then also both congregation members. They’ve endured a lot of painful things to become the people they are and waiting is one of those things.
Patients does not come by anything else, but waiting.
JimBo Stewart: [00:18:10] Absolutely. I think any, anytime we want to see God do things, we have this microwave mentality and we want it to happen so quickly. And when we read through scripture, There are moments that stand out to me. As I read through the book of acts where it’ll skip over two or three years of all being in prison and it doesn’t give us any details.
It doesn’t tell us anything about what those two or three years were like. And in one verse we get two or three years, and there’s a part of me. That’s what was happening? what was it like for those two to three years, or when you look at the story of Joseph and. Now the story of Joseph is one, you could probably bullet point the major events and less than two minutes, but you got to realize you’re over.
I think what is it like 13 years from the time that they sell him to the time that he ends up being second in command under the Pharaoh. And it’s all these moments where he’s just, just flat out waiting and we don’t get any other details of anything else that happens other than. Waiting. One of the, one of the practices that I do in my life that helps me slow down a little bit and trust the Lord is pretty much every morning I read through five Psalms of the day.
So whatever day of the month, it is as your first Psalm, plus 30 is the next one. Plus 30 is the next one and so on and so forth. And that’ll get you five Psalms every day. And on the 31st, you do Psalm one 19, and I’ve been doing that for years and have become very familiar with the Psalms. But one of the things that stands out to me is how many times it says, wait for the Lord, or wait on the Lord.
And every time I read that, it stands out to me. I think about Psalm 27, 14, wait for the Lord, be strong and let your heart take courage. Wait for the Lord. and just that idea just constantly and Galatians chapter six, verse nine, do not grow weary in doing good for in due time you will bear much fruit.
I think I messed up the end of that, but, but the I, but the idea is consistently throughout scripture of us waiting on the Lord.
Bob Bickford: [00:20:28] Yeah, you’re right. And then the thing to point out too is you’re thinking about it. It doesn’t just say, wait on the Lord and stop there. It says be strong. Let your heart be courageous. so there’s, there’s the active doing something in your waiting. Which I think we miss, we think waiting is passive and immobile and just not doing anything, but when we wait on God, we’re being strong.
Okay. What does that mean? okay. I’m being strong in my conviction that the Lord is faithful, but he’s good that who he is characteristic true, and right. That he knows where I am and then letting my heart be courageous, meaning that I’m not going to let. The inaction, what I appear to see as the inaction of God or the lack of progress, make me discouraged.
And I’m always going to be encouraged and courageous to believe that God has me exactly where he wants me to be. And that when things are going to break free and move, it’s going to be the right timing. And that takes us strength and courage to be able to trust God and not. Be tempted to trust yourself to make something happen.
JimBo Stewart: [00:21:32] Another area in scripture that has always stood out to me in the idea of waiting. Is an acts chapter one. So in acts chapter one, Jesus has been walking with the disciples for three years. He’s died on the cross. He’s resurrected three days later in resurrected form he’s with the disciples and he tells them.
To wait. And that’s always stuck out to me because I think about if ministry were meant to be done in our own strength and wisdom, then the disciples lacked nothing at that moment. There was really no reason for them to not go ahead and gather as many people as possible and tell them the good news of Jesus Christ that the Messiah has come and he has defeated sin and that they can be forgiven and adopted into God’s family.
But God tells them to wait. And specifically he tells them to wait because they need to wait on the Holy spirit. And one lesson I have learned about waiting. I’m not going to say I’ve learned it fully because I still make this mistake is because I live in a perpetual sense of urgency because I’m a visionary thinker and I’m a doer and I want to get things done and I’m a problem solver.
It is a act of spiritual discipline for me to wait. For the Holy spirit to lead. I think some people who are more driven in their personality towards proactiveness, like me have to work a lot harder on the waiting part where some people who are more reactive need to work on the, get off your tail and do something part.
And there is a balance there of, as it says in Psalm 78, 72, that we work with the shepherd with a pure heart and skillful hands that we have our part to play, but it’s so key to make sure that we’re not operating from an empty well that we’re not doing things in our own strength. But that we are not doing things that are appear to be godly and hoping that God approves of them and blesses them, but that we are abiding in Christ, resting in him and making sure that we’re following lead of the Holy spirit.
Bob Bickford: [00:23:50] Yeah, or being in my early thirties and, being around a pretty high-impact pastor from a very large church. And they were talking about the seasons of ministry and I’ll never forget this, talk that he gave. And in essence, he was saying that you have to learn to pace yourself in the seasons of ministry.
And the seasons of ministry is always this Run breath, Run. Breath. And, you could say walk rest wa you know, but it’s always a season of extending yourself in ministry and then resting. And that’s the pattern that we see in Jesus. Like the mystery in our minds is when the gospel say. That Jesus retreated from the crowds and got away.
And he went to rest and encouraged his disciples to do the same thing. And during that resting time, he was, re replenishing herself, physically. And, he’s praying and that’s the mystery for us fully God fully, man, that there was this. There was this surrender in the submission that he had took on in his own life being fully, man, that he had to engage with his heavenly father through prayer and through silence and meditation and retreat.
And Sabbath and all those things. and he did that in order for him to be productive in his ministry. And so I think the same things are true for us, in perhaps waiting for us is almost like a forced time of rest and reflection. if we’re only what we do and what we accomplish and all the affirmation in our life comes from what we do and what we accomplish, why wouldn’t the world would we ever rest?
And why in the world would we ever wait?
JimBo Stewart: [00:25:25] In many ways. I think that’s how the Sabbath serves us. Sabbath idea is almost like a titling of your time. And I think w I think ties. Or giving a percentage back of our finances, resources to the Lord is really a gift to us from God to help us defeat idolatry in our lives of money in a much the same way Sabbath rest.
And in the Lord is that gift of reminding ourselves that we’re not in charge. This is not dependent on us, but dependent on the Lord, early in our ministry, Audrey and I were going 90 to nothing, both of us. And I was the only one getting paid and I was barely getting paid. And I remember a guy at our church, Trinity Davis set us down one day and saw that we were so close to burnout and he said, Hey, there’s something I just want you to hear in the old Testament, breaking Sabbath law was punishable by death.
According to some, in many ways, breaking Sabbath today, it’s still punishable by death. It’ll just be a slower one. And that stuck with Audrey and I for a long, for still to today. The idea of if we ignore those patterns of rest, that God desires, then we will slowly find ourselves dying spiritually and experiencing burnout because we’re more dependent on ourselves than we are the Lord.
Bob Bickford: [00:27:01] Good word. That’s a good word. So I, if we’ve got guys out there and we’re entering a holiday season, which was going to be busy Jimbo with family and maybe. Maybe some travel, maybe not because of the COVID stuff, but I would just encourage guys, use the couple of down days that you have over the holiday season, just to maybe evaluate your pace of life, where the Lord has you waiting and reflect on the fact that he’s doing something in you before he wants to do something through you.
And as you wait on him, man, be strong, be courageous, take courage and know that waiting time is never a wasted time.