Learning to Carry What You Can’t Put Down (The Weight of Responsibility)

Being a Pastor has it’s perks. I should say blessings. It also has it’s weight. There is a weight that comes with every commitment. For instance, there was a moment once my wife and I said our vows and signed our marriage license a weight was placed on my shoulders. Not a ball and chain weight but rather a weight of responsibility. To be honest I didn’t expect it, but it came. With the birth of our first child a weight came, not a ball and chain but rather a weight of responsibility. It seems everything I have committed to, a weight of responsibility has come with it. Leading in the roll and call of a Pastor and Ministry leader has a weight of responsibility which comes with the call.

With Every Commitment Comes a Weight of Responsibility

The weight of my call is no different. There are two ways I can choose to look at the weight of responsibility as it directly relates to the call God has placed on my life. It can be a burden I want and seek to be relieved from or a burden I learn how to carry. If you are in ministry you have a choice as to how you look at and handle the weight of your call. It can be a dread which you just want to see finished or something you learn how to manage and carry.

You decide the way you view the weight of Gods call on your life. It can be a burden you want and seek to be relieved from or a burden you learn how to carry.

Before I end let me leave you with this. I recently had the opportunity to attend our annual South Carolina Church of God camp meeting in Mauldin, SC. Without taking too much time unpacking everything I gleaned, here is one area God helped me. Long story short I went to a seasoned, well respected Pastor within our state. I had one question I was hoping for insight on. I asked him, “The weight of ministry gets heavy and so often I feel inadequate and not effective. How have you learned to carry the weight instead of just finding something else to do. I can’t step away because that would be disobedience, so if I am to thrive in my relationship with God and in my call, can you teach me how you’ve learned to carry the weight and burden which God has called you to?”

First let me say, my question wasn’t answered directly by this Pastor. Instead, God allowed me the opportunity, when asked a series of questions by this mentor, to have an “Aha” moment. I will share more on that in the next post.


What do you see?

“You are continually changing and what you are becoming is going to determine what you see.”

What a great post to keep in mind.


  • Jeremiah 1:11 (NKJV) Moreover the word of the Lord came to me, saying, “Jeremiah, what do you see?”
  • Jeremiah 1:13 (NKJV) And the word of the Lord came to me the second time, saying, “What do you see?”

Your eyes betray you every day. It is like you live in a big room full of mirrors; everything you see is a reflection of who you are.

For example, everyone that saw Jesus hanging on the Cross saw someone different.

  • Mary saw her son.
  • John saw his closest friend and Messiah.
  • The Romans saw a political pawn that was not to be taken seriously.
  • The leaders of Israel saw a real threat that was to be taken seriously—so seriously that they felt he had to die.

Bottom line: who they were determined what they saw. untitled

The good news is you can change what you see around you by changing you.


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A Piece of Advice for Church of God MIP Graduates

Today is a special day for a number of my fellow Church of God brothers and sisters in South Carolina who have completed MIP. The Ministerial Internship Program (MIP) is a nine month intensive program for those individuals who have successfully completed and attained the first rank of credentialed ministry in the Church of God. In short, during this nine months the candidate and their spouse will sit under a supervising Pastor, meet each month in a class room setting for instruction, complete book work daily, and be tested each month on material studied.

This is a great step in moving forward in ministry. This program is draining, intensive, and can be intimidating. Having completed MIP in 2011 myself, I can say that I am better for having gone through it. Though it may be the things listed above, it is most importantly worthwhile. Paul instructed Timothy in our Holy Scriptures to “Study to show yourself approved unto God a workman that doesn’t need to be ashamed.”

Having completed MIP you are now able to study and prepare for the next rank of Credentials in the Church of God, that of Ordained Minister. Remember, completing MIP should not be seen as an arrival. To complete MIP doesn’t mean we have arrived. It’s simply a fuel stop along the journey of ministry. If I had the opportunity to speak into the life of those completing MIP as well as those starting in ministry here is my one piece of advice. This is that one thing which we should hang on our wall and write on our hearts.

Don’t allow your passion for other things to be more superior than your passion for the Gospel.

It’s easy to get sidetracked in lesser important things than what we are called to. We are called to be about Gods business. His business is His word. Our life must be about sharing his business with others. No matter if you are full time, bi-vocational, or simply working in a field other than “church” work. Your greatest passion must be about the gospel. Share his word that’s what you are called to do.

Having completed MIP, what’s one piece of advice you would give today’s MIP graduates for their next steps in ministry.

JD Lever Awards Ceremony Transcript, June 5, 2014

Below is my best attempt to offer a transcript from my talk at the 5th Grade Awards Ceremony for JD Lever Elementary School, Aiken SC on June 5, 2014. I did not have the audio but compiled my talk notes into this transcript as best as I could for those who were interested in reading or knowing the contents of my speech. It was a great honor to be asked to give the opening speech to those students who would be moving up to the 6th Grade.

Good Morning. I am George Tallmage. I am a Husband, Father, and Pastor. I personally think I am great at all of those roles but my wife may say different, my kids may say different, the congregation I Pastor may say different. Since, I am the one speaking I guess all that matters is that I think I’m great at each of those roles. [laughs from crowd]

This morning I hope to offer some words of encouragement as you embark on a new chapter in your life. You’ve made it through the chapter of elementary school and will be entering the next chapter, middle school.

I would like to take a moment to thank Mrs. Ellis, the wonderful school staff, and the committee led by Mrs. Harper who put this ceremony together. I count it a great honor to be able to share this time with you and speak into your life over the next few moments.

I would like you to help me thank all those who had part in your formation here at JD Lever. Can you join with me in giving the incredible teachers, administrators, and support staff a hand clap of gratitude in an orderly fashion. [Claps from Crowd]

To all Parents, Grandparents, Guardians, and family members, thank you for being here to celebrate this milestone in your child’s life. In an orderly fashion let’s offer a clap of gratitude. [Claps from Crowd]

If my calculations are correct, you are the class of 2021. In 7 years you will walk across a stage, receive a diploma, and start your journey towards college, a job, and a family of your own. To date you have been in school (including 5k) for the past 6 years. That equals approximately 1,080 days or 7,020 hours, which have been spent here at JD Lever.

Over the past six years you have learned many new things. You have learned to read, here. You have learned to write, here. You have learned basic life skills like; respect, not to talk while others are talking, walking in a straight line, raising your hand, classroom etiquette and the list goes on. You have discovered some of your talents. You have learned a love for art, music, sports, reading, technology and computers. Most importantly you have learned the importance of working together and the rewards for a job well done.

You could call this chapter in your life’s journey a foundation. A starting point. As you sit here today you have received a great start. However, a great start doesn’t always lead to a great finish.
Each of you have been given a great start at life. You have had supportive and loving parents or guardians. You’ve built friendships. You’ve had the support and love of teachers who have made you a priority. Your start has been great, your starting point has been right here. But a great start doesn’t always mean a great finish. You were made to finish and finish well. To finish well means you take responsibility. You are entering Middle School, there will be new things for you discover. You will build on what you have learned here. You will develop and solidify your beliefs as well as your view of life.

There is one thing I want to leave you with to think about. I want you to start your summer and the rest if your life knowing, You were born to make a difference.

In an orderly fashion repeat after me, I Was Born to Make a Difference.

Ask: What were you born for? (To Make a Difference)

You were born to make a difference. Your life is not an accident. You are not an accident, you were born to make a difference and you can make a difference.

You have a purpose, (repeat, I was born to make a difference). You have talents, (repeat, I was born to make a difference). You have abilities, (repeat, I was born to make a difference)

In closing, there are three traits that I have identified which I believe will help you make a difference.

Honor your parents.
According to my life manual, (knowing that I am a Pastor it’s not a secret as to what my life manual is) I have learned that there are benefits to honoring my parents. I am told to honor my father and mother that my days may be long on the earth. You can make a difference by honoring your parents.

Honor Others
According to the life manual which I follow I am told that other people are important. I must honor them regardless of how different they may be from me. You can make a difference by honoring others.

Honor Yourself
According to the life manual which I follow I am told that I was created uniquely and with a divine purpose. I must accept the fact that I am different from other people. I can only be me? You can make a difference by honoring yourself.

Boys and Girls, we are cheering you on. We are counting on you to make a difference. You were born to make a difference, go and make a difference.