Sunday, July 25, 2010

Sunday Mind Dump - July 25, 2010

  • OMG! OMG! What a day at church! If anything could have gone wrong, it happened today.

  • More about that later…

  • Last night Renae and I went to a worship concert at Hillcrest Baptist Church. Robin Mark was leading worship (that's the guy in the picture). He is from Northern Ireland and attends a local church there, (Christian Fellowship Church Strandtown, Belfast, Northern Ireland) serving under his pastor as one of their worship leaders. His music is mostly acoustic in nature and has a strong Irish flavor. Gotta love it. Most appealing to me is that the lyrics to his songs possess strong scriptural language. He is best known for his songs “Revival”, “All for Jesus”, “The Wonder of the Cross”, “Not By Might”, and many others. His signature song is “Days of Elijah” – one of our favorites at PCC. And yes, he preformed it last night. It was a blast. In fact, “Days of Elijah” has become one of the most sung worship songs ever, and has become a worldwide best seller. This concert was one of the most enjoyable musical events I have ever attended. There was no showmanship, no costumes, no flashing strobe lights, and no screaming amplifiers. It was relaxed, spontaneous, and the music was acoustically pure. Plus, we were in real close to the guy; not like sitting in the nose bleed section of a large arena. It was more like a setting you see on Austin City Limits; low stage, personable, up close, touchable. Sweet is all I can say.

  • I saw this on Facebook the other day which was posted by Lori S. I thought it worth posting on my blog for you to see: PROMISE TO MY KIDS - I will freak out on you, lecture you, drive you crazy, be your worst nightmare, embarrass you in front of your friends, and track you down like a bloodhound until the day you understand why I do it. Then I will know you are a responsible adult. All because...I LOVE YOU! You will never find someone who loves you & cares about you more than your mom!

  • No matter how you slice it or dice it, that’s just good advice.

  • Last week I had intended to post several blogs I have been working on. But a few things interfered with my normal routine. There was the pet incident that I was dealing with Monday-through-Friday. Plus there were a few family crises’ in our church family that required my attention. In fact, three deaths occurred in connection to our church this week. I barely had time to prepare the message for Sunday.

  • I actually did post a couple of blogs that I had planned to publish (i.e, Come to Church – Don’t Try…. The Value of Church & Membeship), but my heart just wasn’t in it. I wrote from my heart about Brandy. The remaining blogs that I plan to post are: Church is Not a “Gig”…. Let Squeaky Wheels Squeak… Ten-Year Hiccup (Part 3)… How to Fail As a Pastor…. Big Church vrs Little Church. I might post them this week. I don’t know, I’m still a little down right now.

  • Several people made kind remarks to me about the loss of Brandy this morning at church. I know this isn’t a major crisis (in the bigger scheme of things), but your empathy was appreciated. It’s clear that many people have this as a shared experience.

  • This morning at church…… Where do I begin? First of all, at 2:30 AM this morning the alarm went off at church. The security company calls us at home jolting us awake. We rush to the church and two deputies are waiting for us. We check the building and all is secure. Get back home at 3:00 AM and fell asleep at about 3:30. We wake up at 6:30 to get ready for church. Renae finishes packing for Student Camp. At 8:30 AM we get a phone call that Marlene W. has suffered a stroke and is in the hospital. I get to church about 9:00 and at 9:15 Chris R. gets a call that her father has died. Five minutes before I walk to the stage I get informed in two separate incidents how our church is failing someone in this or that. Are you kidding me? Okay, right now I am ready to pull my hair out or go postal. I take a deep breath. Service begins at 9:30 and the bottom falls out. I mean it is raining cats-and-dogs outside and it’s very noisy in the sanctuary. During the song service, mid way through the second song, the power goes out. It’s total darkness inside. We waited a few moments and the power comes back on, and we finish the song service. I bumble my way through welcoming guests and receiving the offering. Next I step up to preach and people can’t hear me because of the noise on the roof. Although I am dying on the inside, I’ve got my best poker face on and somehow make it through the message – mostly on auto pilot. I can’t wait for church to get over. It can’t end soon enough for me. I am dying up there. I want to crawl in a hole, pull a cover over the opening, and not come back out. Church ends and in-between the two services I’m being swamped by an avalanche of people grabbing my elbow for “ear time.” My mind is swirling with information-overload. I’m weighted down by the real suffering that some of our church families are experiencing and these trivial matters that I’m hearing about are about to raise my indignation. Second service begins and it’s pretty uneventful. In fact, it was much better than the first service. My delivery for the message was much, much better the second time through. After church I went to West FL Hospital to visit Marlene W. – the fine lady who suffered a stroke. She was much improved, but her situation is still critical. She needs our prayers. While at the hospital Renae calls informing me that the van she has rented for Student Life Camp won’t crank! They are supposed to leave in a few hours for an out-of-town trip and now the rental van is broke down. She spent the rest of the afternoon getting a replacement.

  • Renae just called me from Pensacola. A little baby, six months old – who has a family connection to her sister DJ – suffocated in a blanket. The baby is ¾ brain dead. The doctors are advising the family to turn off the ventilator. Renae and DJ are at Sacred Heart Hospital now.

  • The last thing I did today before leaving church was tell Gene that I’m coming in to work for ONLY one day this week. I am probably going to get a pup tent and disappear into Blackwater State Forest to be by myself.

  • Just saw some encouraging comments on Facebook about today’s service (actually the first service). Cathryn said, “Church was awesome...great worship and Word despite the power going out mid-song!” Maureen said, “I needed that message, I was worried about a situation and after the message asked the Lord to handle it. And I would just have to wait the outcome and this afternoon, He answered! Thank you Jesus!!!!” Christa said, “I really enjoyed the message too!! I had just told Ash last night, that sometimes we have to wait a situation out!! Thanks for backin me up, once again!!”

  • Words like this are strength to a weary soul. My confidence is being renewed. Thanks for the encouragement, you guys. You have just done for me what I Thessalonians 5:11 says we should do for one another….. “Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.”

  • Maybe I don’t need a week-long hiatus in Blackwater State Forest after all.


Barbara Slate said...

Ronnie< Thankyou for this post. I was feeling kind of guilty for feeling over whelmed. I have lost 2 people that I was very close to just in the last month. I have been helping this young mother in our church with support and helping her with her childern, and helping her find a safe place to live . I can't help but feel the pain in so many people lives that I love. My friend was at church this Sunday and she is struggleing with the pain of a child on drugs. Then I hear about Marlene. I wasn't sure I could hold it together.Then you gave your sermone. well I realized that everything you were saying i had been saying to these people. And It has been working. I was happy that they were there to hear it from you. I know God will give you rest and me too, in His time.I know He will give me what I need to get through with all of this. I feel so much better to know that other Christians get down with life some times. And I am so sorry about your dog. Ronnie, I couldn't even say anything to you I was afraid I would just fall apart. Well, here is one more. Evelyn's Mom pasted away yesterday. No arrangments as of yet. I thought that going out to Blackwater by myself sounded awesome. Well, God does give us what we need. My niece sent me an e-mail and said she knows what she wanted to get me for my B=day. A trip to HI. to come and see her. I was holding things together pretty well until then, finally I just broke down and cried for me and everybody I know. I'm sill not sure which I needed most. But I do feel better.Barb

Ron said...

What a nice thing you have written.... and it's good to hear your "heart." Sometimes we just need to pour it all out so God can heal.


Ron said...

BTW Barbara, your words were encouraging too.