Sunday, October 23, 2011

Sunday Mind Dump - October 23, 2011

Before I even begin, let me say that there are some people in the PCC family who are dealing with some stuff, real bad stuff.  I’m talking about stuff that would make the hair on the back of your neck stand up.  And so many of these very same people are faithful to their church, they attend consistently, bring tithes, and worship God.  It’s humbling to me.

Compared to that, all the other stuff we deal with seems small.

That being said, today was a good day.  Attendance was off, but the day was solid.

Worship & music were excellent.  Some songs really resonate with me, and today’s selection was a good example.  I love songs that have accurate theology in them.

Gene Tharp filled in for me, teaching todays message, and did a good job.  His talk was about the importance of having faith like a child.  According to Jesus, without it, you can’t even enter the kingdom.

I really like his point of “retreating into the faith-like-a-child CAPSULE” any time someone wants to debate minor points of doctrine.  We adults get too obsessed with things that don’t matter so much.

BTW, Gene preached today carrying a heavy burden.  His father, who is 81 years old, is in the hospital in intensive care in Panama City. 

Not just anyone can do that, you know.  Imagine one of your own parents in ICU.  Could you give a public speech?  Teach God’s Word to hundreds of people?  Would you even show up for church that day if it was you? 

Gene also filled an important need for me personally; I simply needed a break.  I really benefit when I take a Sunday off from my teaching duties (which is not  very often).  First of all, it gives me a chance to mentally rest.  I woke up this morning and my first thought was, “Thank God, all I have to do is ‘attend’ church today, worship God, fellowship with the saints, and sit with my wife in the service.”  That takes a lot of pressure off me.  In fact, somone even commented to DeniseYates that I seemed more relaxed today than normal.  That's probably because I WAS more relaxed.  Of course, I wore a pair of Levi jeans to church today and that helps too.  :) 

Second, it gives me a chance to recharge my creative batteries.  I have deep reservoir of creativity, but there is a bottom to it.  Unless I am able to replenish periodically, sooner or later it runs dry.

Third, sharing the pulpit has also helps me be a better leader.  Like most pastors I have a love/hate relationship with administration.  I love what it accomplishes; I hate doing it.  I didn’t enter the ministry so that I could juggle budgets, supervise a staff, and crank out policy statements or return phone calls.  But that’s part of the package.  If I’m going to do my job well, I have to do those things with excellence and in a timely manner.  Being freed up from teaching from time-to-time gives me the opportunity to address other responsibilities I have.

Preaching is hard work and it takes its toll emotionally.  It’s no small matter to stand up in front of a group of people and presume to speak for God.  Yet for me, the actual task of preaching and preparation of a sermon isn’t the hard part – I love it.  The hardest part is always knowing that I’ve got another one due in a couple of days.  That’s a lot of pressure that keeps me on edge and always pushing.

I would like to build a preaching team.  I will be writing about this soon.

BTW, did I mention that Gene preached this morning carrying a heavy burden?  His father, who is 81 years old, is in the hospital in intensive care in Panama City.  Not just anyone can do that, you know.

Next Sunday morning, I will continue the theme I started last week:  Your Church, An Extended Family.”  The timing is perfect since our Chili Cook-Off is that afternoon.

Next Sunday afternoon is our Fall Fest & Chili Cook-Off.  This is going to be a great fellowship event and a lot of fun for the kids.

Tomorrow’s blog will be posted first thing in the morning.  It’s entitled, “Our First Members and a Thirteen Year Journey.”  You might like to read this.

Take a look at the pictures below.  They give you an idea of why I like our ministry style so much.  We are relaxed, informal, and don't take ourselves too seriously.  The only things we ARE serious about is:  God, His Word, and worship of Him.

I always enjoy reading the Facebook comments after a Sunday service at PCC.  Our people really do love their church. 

I hope you'll read tomorrow's blog.

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