Sunday, November 20, 2011

Sunday Mind Dump - November 20, 2011

In a lot of ways today was a good day.  Though attendance was slightly lower – due to holiday travel, I think – there was a real good feeling in the house.

The acoustic music was perfect.  It was well planned and well executed.  Plus it felt different, and it was a good feeling.  Felicia Haefner/Tharp put together the team, selected the music, and led worship with acoustic guitar.  Also serving on this team were Jennifer Tharp (vocals and keyboard), Ester Moe (vocals), Ashley Capps (vocal), Gary Moe (acoustic guitar) and Wade Colon (on Ashiko, an African drum).  Click the picture for an enlarged view. 

Renae asked Felicia to handle the song service today for a couple of reasons:  (1) Many of our regular band members were away (2) She knew it would be good to offer something different, and, (3) Developing and deploying other worship leaders & teams makes PCC a healthier church.

Today was a game changer for us.

A lot of people really seemed to get something out of the message too.

How about Habakkuk 2:3 from the Living Bible? These things I plan won't happen right away. Slowly, steadily, surely, the time approaches when the vision will be fulfilled. If it seems slow, do not despair, for these things will surely come pass. Just be patient! They will not be overdue a single day.

Man, a lot of things in that chapter really ministered to me … especially the importance of waiting, developing patience, and living by faith.

The just shall live by faith… (v.4b).  That phrase is the key to the book of Habakkuk.  In fact it is so important that it is repeated three times in the NT.  And if you are student of church history, you might be interested to know that it was also instrumental in bringing about the Protestant reformation.

In all my years as a believer hearing thousands of sermons, I have never heard a message series on the book of Habakkuk.  Not once.

I met a first-time guest today.  He attended second service and came on the invitiaon of two of our members.  In fact, these men have been inviting this man for over an year, and today he came.  I had the chance to talk with him and I'm glad to say that this guest has a totally positive experience.  He talked about all the compontents that made today's service so meaningful.  But what stood out to him the most was the plain, practical, understandable teaching of the Bible.  He said, "I'm Catholic.  But when I attend services they don't teach the Bible, they just tell me what I'm supposed to believe."  I responded, "We do the opposite.  We teach the Bible and allow people to navigate their way through their faith journey developing their belief-system as they go."  He seemed to appreciate that.

It means something when you don't force-feed people. 

In the last few months I have stabbed my toe with a pitch fork and had two plumbing disasters in my home, both of which flooded the house and ruined the carpet.  I’m not near the accident-prone buffoon that I must appear to be.

I’m looking forward to Thanksgiving this Thursday.

I’m cooking the turkey.  I'm also preparing oven-baked jalapeño poppers and crab cakes.

I like to cook.  One of my most enjoyable pleasures at this stage in life is to spend time with Renae in the kitchen preparing dishes and cooking together.  Something happens to me on a deeper level, and it feels good.  We both even have our own set of chef knives - and btw, mine are always sharper than hers.  :-)

My favorite holiday is Thanksgiving.  It is the least commercialized of them all. There’s no pressure and no presents to buy.  It’s about family, food, friends, fellowship, and football.  It reminds me to be thankful as a Christian and as an American.

Renae and I have accepted a dinner invitation on Monday night.  Looking forward to it.  Tuesday is open.  Wednesday afternoon I’ll start cooking (for Thanksgiving), and that evening we’re attending the Community Thanksgiving Service at Milton First Assembly of God Church.  Thursday is turkey day.  Friday (if the weather cooperates) I might put my boat in the water for some fishing time.

I watched the movie “Cliffhanger” this afternoon.  Sylvester Stallone took care of business.

I have resumed jogging.  For now, there is no hip pain.  That's a good thing.

There are some nice comments on Facebook about today’s service. 

We are still in the evaluation process at PCC.  According to Jesus in John 15:8 God is GLORIFIED when we BEAR MUCH FRUIT.  As a church, and as His disciples, that is our goal – God’s glory and bearing much fruit.  Consequently, we are striving to be effective, not simply busy.

This much we are certain of: we do not want to simply slide into 2012 under the assumption that we will be doing the same thing we did in 2011 and expecting different results.  That’s an assumption we cannot afford.  Changes are in our near future.

I’m very encouraged about PCC.  We have a lot of strengths – quality music, quality programming, quality systems, a high number of volunteers, sacrificial servants, Bible classes, exceptional leaders, congregational diversity, differing gifts, and more.  But our greatest strength is our family environment, harmonious relationships, and strong friendships.  PCC really does feel like an extended family in many ways.


Anonymous said...

"We both even have our own set of chef knives - and btw, mine are always sharper than hers."

Pastor Ron... that simply means Renae USES hers more than you do! :-)

Ron said...


Anonymous said...

If you fish Friday, facebook me. I have been catching 40 to 50 good fish every trip lately. Specks, reds bass hybrids. I can tell you where to go and what to use. Ray Collins

Ron said...

I'll take you up on that.