Monday, March 26, 2012

Sunday Mind Dump – March 25, 2012

It was simply a good day at PCC.  I know I say something like that each week, but it really was.  The music was good, there was great enthusiasm among the people, giving was good, and the message seemed to go over well.

The message was:  The Duty of Parents to their Children.  It was very challenging in places – especially the section on unnecessary provocations – things that parents should avoid committing against their children.  The message was also very encouraging because it affirmed that we (parents) are doing the best we can and learning as we go.

I could literally see the tension and guilt melt away in the faces of so many parents today towards the end of the message.

I really dislike the way some family experts and preachers convey a message that if you’ll follow steps one, two, three, your families will turn out ideal.  It’s not that neat and clean.  Too many things are beyond our control.

Parenting is hard work.  It’s not for the faint of heart.

This is not Little House on the Prairie, you know.  We live the real world.

The number one issue facing parents today is not merely correcting the bad behavior of their children or simply teaching them good manners – it’s bringing them up in the training and admonition of the Lord.  Our children, like every other human being, are fallen creatures and need heart regeneration.  The fundamental issue facing parents is to teach their children they are sinful, that they need a new heart, and that all of their greatest needs are (therefore) spiritual in nature. 

Parents, of course, cannot give their children a new heart.  Only God can do that.  Parents cannot ‘believe’ in behalf of their children.  Neither can parents guarantee the salvation of their children.  But parents can be evangelists in the home and prayer warriors in behalf of their children.  This is a matter of spiritual warfare.  It’s about principalities, power, and spiritual wickedness in high places, to the pulling down of strongholds.

Last night I taught Seminar 201 – Essentials of Spiritual Growth.  Forty-five people were in attendance.  It was a great evening.

I took a few pictures during the dinner break, but forgot to take a group picture at the end.  Dang!

The seminar went very well.  It still needs a little tweeking and to be shortened just a bit in one or two places.  Other than that, I’m happy with it.   

The revised version of 201 offers some great insights, but it’s still basic.  It’s not intended to impart scholarly content, but rather emphasizes the basic habits of a disciple and equips people with the tools necessary to begin practicing those habits.

Regarding discipleship, the 80/20 rule applies.  It’s 20% knowledge and 80% hard work and self-discipline.

I’m thinking about writing another seminar/class on doctrine or apologetics.  We would label it 301 – Essential Doctrines of the Bible.

I would like to do a seminar on “Experiencing God” too.

I’ve been thinking a lot about discipleship lately.  The mission of the church is to make disciples.  There is no Plan B.  That is the single goal of the church.

I’m thinking my way through some things about discipleship and methods of ministry, (I believe it’s the Lord prompting me), and it’s really shaking me up.  If I follow this logic to its inth degree it could represent a radical shakeup.

On a personal note….

I’ve got my garden planted.  It was a lot of work but I’m really enjoying it.  I  have planted potatoes, purple hull peas, dragons tongue beans, tomatoes, squash, and banana peppers. 

I also planted a large bed of sunflowers and zinnia in the garden to attract bees (for pollination).

In the next few days I intend also plant radishes, bell peppers, and Italian peas (something Renae got from a neighbor). 

The fence I put up around the garden seems to be keeping the deer out for now.  It’s probably a matter of time before they jump the fence.  Think I’ll put up some pie pans soon.

My biggest issue right now is getting a water line to the garden.  I need 450 feet of PVC pipe and a ditch-witch (trenching machine) to make it happen.  That is my main goal this week.  Otherwise I will be having to haul 5 gallon buckets of water back and forth.  Not cool.

I have two fig trees and two pear trees planted.  They are in full bloom.

I still have 20 blueberry bushes (in containers) that I need to plant, but I’m not putting them in the ground until I have irrigation.

I also have nine grape vines to plant… but I can’t make a decision where.

This morning I went to Lowe’s to buy wooden stakes for the tomatoes.  Came home, cut them to length, then went to the garden and staked the plants.  I’ve been busy all day.

Took one of my Jack Russell puppies over to the garden and let her loose while I was staking tomatoes.  Big mistake.  She was so excited to be in an open field that she took off.  With the scent of wildlife everywhere she went berserk.  I had to chase her down and tackle her.  Hurt my hip in the process.

We really look forward to the day we build a home over there.

When we get moved over there, we’re going to have a gigantic move-in party.  Maybe dig a pit and roast a pig and have a hundred people over.

 My mother’s birthday was last Friday.  Today we are having her, family, and some friends over to our home for a cookout together.  Looking forward to it.  Spent the afternoon getting the yard ready.  All cleaned up and ready to go.

POLITICS:  Gas is supposed to go over $4/gallon this weekend.  The National Debt is at $14 trillion.  Iran may blow up Israel with a nuclear weapon.  But the media has pointed out that President Obama nailed the NCAA tourney picks!


Get this.  We are going to use ALL hymns in the entire music set.  Yes, you read it correctly.  All hymns – from start to finish.  (Sorry Renae… if I stole your thunder).

We’ve been using hymns for the offertory for several months now and they are going over very well.  From my vantage point on the stage I can tell that a lot of people are really “drawn in” during that segment.  Even some of the young people!  Go figure.  So… in an effort to be fresh and offer a new presentation… we’re going to do all hymns this Sunday.

I really love our church.  I’m glad that we're not locked in the past.  But I’m also very glad that we don’t boycott the past.  There’s something about observing tradition that keeps us anchored to bedrock.

Tomorrow I’ll write about the benefit of traditions.

Thanks to all the help in the kitchen for this fabulous meal provided last night. 

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