Hello, my name is Randy Burbank. I am an ordained pastor in the United Methodist Church. I have been serving churches since October 1, 1974 at the ripe old age of 18. But I was blessed to have several good mentors and role models including my Dad, Rev. Alvin Burbank (yes, I was a preacher’s kid, but I will say more about this in a later blog).
I will confess up front that at times I struggled to find my created identity as a pastor, husband, Dad and especially as a real disciple of Jesus. A failed marriage testifies to this truth. And even though I failed at so many things, God’s grace was so much bigger. He took the messes of my life and begin to redeem them and ME!
In this process he brought into my life a means of grace that I shall forever be thankful–my beautiful wife and true partner in this Kingdom life, Debbie. She saw me as a broken man and loved me anyway. I call her “a means of grace” because she saw things in me I had either forgotten or had never seen. And on November 13, 2004 together we experienced another means of God’s grace when we became one as husband and wife, and a Team that God has used in so many ways. Between us we have 3 living children (Debbie lost a daughter in an automobile accident in 1995) and 8 grandchildren. One of my great joys is hearing them call me by my favorite name, “Grandpa”!
We are currently serving Sheffield First United Methodist Church in Sheffield, Alabama. Since our appointment here in June of 2014 we continue to be amazed at how God leads and provides. We are also seeing God’s hands at work in rather unique ways. Along our journey God has placed so many people in our path who have helped us, encouraged us, inspired us and challenged us.
One of the ways that God has transformed our lives is through an experience and movement called “The Walk To Emmaus” (click here for more information). Both through our own “Walks” as well as through serving on many Emmaus Teams, we find that He continues to work on renewing us and transforming us as we serve in the Kingdom of God through the local Body of Christ. I was blessed to serve the New Covenant Emmaus Community for 2 years as their Spiritual Director. During this time, God led me to do a weekly devotional for the community and the name of it was, you guessed it, “Oh Lord, It’s Monday”.
This weekly devotional (send out on Mondays, well most of the time, but I had some really good excuses!) centered around the attitudes that rob us of the joy and purpose of this life in Grace. I continued it for a while after my term as Community Spiritual Director ended. After a season, I realized I needed to set it aside. Since that time I have been working on a book with this title: “Oh Lord, It’s Monday! Living With A Saturday Spirit In A Monday World”. I am about three-fourths of the way finished with it and ask for your prayers that I can stay focused on it to finish it.
This blog (and my other blog, click here) are helping me get back into the discipline of writing and will hopefully help me finish the book. These thoughts will be centered around ordinary and extraordinary events that happen to me and how God is using them in my life and hopefully yours. This is will be my “Teaching Blog”. I invite you to follow this blog and hopefully God will speak faith, hope, and purpose into your life. Only He can help us change our attitude from “Oh Lord, it’s Monday” to this: “Good, Lord. It’s Monday! What shall we do together?”