Sunday, August 18, 2013

Sunday Mind Dump - August 18, 2013

Attendance is on the rise now that summer is coming to a close.

There were a LOT of first and second-time guests in service today.  I’m always so glad to see that.  I think God is sending us a boat-load of people.

The current sermon series (Real Life in the Real World) seems to be a big hit with a lot of people.  The sermon CDs are flying off the shelf each week and we have to keep duplicating more.

We give them away for free.

We are tackling some tough issues – the kind of issues that exist in the real world – and God’s Word is touching people right where they hurt.

Each week – as soon as the message is over and we dismiss service – people are flooding the front to talk with me or ask for prayer.

It’s a God-thing.

God is healing some people.  Plus, we are being armed with godly wisdom (from His Word) that is giving people the tools they need.

Today’s message was “Safe People.” 

When God wants to bless us, do you know how He does it most of the time?  He sends people into our lives.  When the devil wants to hurt us, do you know how he does it most of the time?  He sends people.

There are two kinds of people:  those who are safe and those who unsafe.

A member of PCC (who happens to be an attorney) came to me after service was over and said this was his favorite quote:  “It is reckless, not virtuous, to blindly give people the benefit of the doubt… and to allow them to keep violating you.”

That reminds me of Proverbs 4:23 which says, “Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life.”  Protecting yourself comes first.

The new man on projection – Jimmy – did an excellent job.  He kept right up with the song service and with the message.  Never missed a beat.  Well done!

I really enjoyed the song service today.  There was a relaxed feeling in the room which really helped me to “tune in.”  I think the mood was prompted by both the song selection and presentation.  The general tone gave me a good feeling.

I enjoyed seeing Renae on keyboard again.

Personal 411

Last Thursday was our anniversary.  We’ve been married 32 years.  Glad she still keeps me.

We have sold our home.  Put it up for sale and it sold in 4 weeks.  Now we are scrambling to pack up, sell stuff, and move out.  We will be homeless in 3 weeks.
We have lived in this home for 16 years (half our marriage), and raised our two sons there.  There’s an emotional attachment to this place, but we are also ready for a move and the next chapter of our lives.

We purchased five acres of land about 9 years ago and plan to build our empty nest home there.  This is going to be our final place.   Barring anything unforeseen, we will never move from there.

I’ve been doing a lot of work over there for the past couple of years – clearing, gardening, planting fruit trees, etc – so we’ve got the place ready to build.

Now, if we could only settle on some new house plans.  :-)

We’re actually thinking about building a small patio home (something very small) to get started, then build a modest home later.  At that point the patio home would be repurposed into another use; (rental, mother-in-law quarters, or doghouse for me).

Either way, I like the idea of small and simple living.  We could build something like that for a fraction of the cost and still leave a lot of money in the bank.

This is as close to a “van down by the river” that I can get.

Who knows, we might even fly the coop.  :-)

Other stuff…

I am ready to kill my laptop computer. It has been giving me a fit for the last six months (which has contributed to my slow-down on blogging).

Funny how much I think I need technology… and how much I hate it at the same time.

Next year (or this winter) I am going to establish a YouTube account and post videos about gardening.  I’ve learned a lot – am still learning – and want to share with others.  It’s a new interest of mine.

Today I’m going to a fish fry.  Yea!

I felt relaxed and liberated in today’s church service in a way that I haven’t felt in a long time.  I really mean that.

In a moment of total transparency, I mentioned (in today’s message) that when the pain reaches a certain threshold in the ministry, ministers start looking for a way out.  That was a real moment.  There is only so much that you can take.

Relational defections and betrayal are the most painful part of ministry.  It is an occupational hazard, which is exactly why pastors need ‘safe people’ in their lives (just like everyone else).

I have been bitten by the “fishing bug” this year.  It’s been a good year for me so far – plenty of time on the water – and I’m really looking forward to fall.  The inshore waters come alive with fish when the grass dies back, the water clears up and gets oxygenated.

I love living in North West Florida. The outdoor recreational opportunities are second to none.  Look at it this way:  NW Florida is a destination point for vacationers from all over the country, including Canada.  And yet, we live here.

Blackwater State Forest is 200-300 thousand acres of PUBLIC LAND.  It is the secret jewel of Santa Rosa County.  You can go out there without asking for (a property owners) permission… You drive for miles without seeing anyone… And you can camp in one of the most pristine forests anywhere.  Additionally, it is the largest natural ecosystem east of the Mississippi River.

Did I mention I am going to a fish fry today?


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