Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Re: Preaching

So, I'm up in two weeks for the Sunday morning worship service. I have been at Macedonia for about two years now and this will be my 5th time preaching the morning service. I would say that's probably more than average in a church where the pastor has been there for 20 plus years and I'm the new guy, so I definitely count it a privilege to get to speak.

But, I've been wrestling on what to bring that Sunday morning.

I thought I would have more to say about this subject, but apparently I don't.

I don't want to bore them to death for 30 minutes, I don't want to bring some lighthearted mess that doesn't have any sort of life application, I don't want to spend the bulk of the time exegeting the text and talking about the Greek form of the word (plus, I don't know how to do that).

I do want to stir their souls. I do want to move them to action. I do want to light a fire under their tails to get them excited about God's kingdom.

Lord, show me your Word, give me the courage to teach your Word and, more importantly, give me the courage to live it!

I'm done.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Re: Prayer

I am fully aware of the importance of prayer in the life of a Christian. Sometimes, though, it's easy to forget that. Sometimes, we forget about prayer because we don't do it.

Something I have realized lately is that when I try to live for the Lord on an island, it's impossible. Most of the time, I work by myself in the office, so it's easy for me to get accustomed to being alone. But, I have learned recently how much more gets accomplished when a team is working together for one purpose.

Ok, so, it's taken me 20 minutes to write this and I feel like my brain is all over the place.

Here's where I was trying to get:
This morning, I spent a lot of time praying with two of my closest brothers in the Lord. It was awesome! It is a special thing to pray for each other, to know that someone else is thinking about you, praying for you and cares about how your day, week, month, life turns out.

I love to pray alone, it's an awesome time with God.
But, I really love to pray with others who are pursuing Jesus too! That is something that is particularly special to me!

OH, and I got a new banner. DTD made it for me, best graphic designer ever!! Sweet!!

I'm done.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Re: Honor

In my last post I referred to the things the Lord was teaching me and walking me through on my own spiritual journey. And, a lot of that was the source for when I preached on Sunday morning a few weeks ago.

One of the things that continues to be brought to my attention through a number of different ways is the idea of honoring our leaders. It seems like so many churches are falling apart at the seams because of a lack of respect for the leaders of the church, lack of respect for parents, and the list could continue.

For me, specifically, my burden has been for the issue of showing honor to my pastor. While I can't say that I agree with every decision my pastor has ever made, I can say that I recognize that he is a man of God and has walked with God for much longer than I've been alive.

I must honor that. I must honor the fact that he has walked through things I can't even imagine. Even as fresh as today, I was able to be transparent with my pastor about what the Lord may be stirring in me. If I had a non-existent relationship with my pastor, I couldn't go to him with those sort of thoughts and lay them out for him. But, because I want to honor him, I don't want to walk into his office in two years and tell him I'm moving on and I've been thinking about it for two years. Instead, I am asking him to be praying with me on the ground level of what God is stirring in me. Perhaps God will reveal some things to him as well as me and through that we will receive confirmation from the Lord. My pastor will also be able to extend words of caution, wisdom, experience and instruction.

It's more common in today's society to strive for the top, no matter who or what it costs. However, I believe that God will honor the level of communication and respect I have for my leaders. Perhaps when I am leading a church, I will be able to have people serving with me who will extend the same sort of honor and respect.

Well, that's my thought for now.

I'm done.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Re: Lessons

I had the awesome privilege of preaching at our morning service yesterday and it was a really great experience. I've preached in that service a few times before, but this time seemed different.

The only way I can explain the difference that I felt is that God has been teaching me SO much lately and I had SO much to say through sharing all of those lessons that God has been pouring in to me.

Here are a few of the things that God is teaching me, I just want to share them again:
1. Pastors equip the people for the work of the ministry - they can't DO all of the ministry. Historically, Southern Baptist churches have pretty much relied on the pastor to DO all of the ministry. There's a major flaw in that reasoning, it's WRONG!! Pastors are to teach the word, pray and equip the church for ministry. Then, followers of Jesus are to go out and do ministry!

2. I need to take risks - I need to take Jesus directed risks. I refuse to be OK with how things are because I have a good income, the church keeps doing OK (just OK). I want to take some Jesus risks to see His kingdom grow. I can't say that I know exactly what that means right now, I just know that I need to be risky (not risque).

3. I need to act with urgency - I need to make sharing Jesus more a part of my everyday life. If I believe that heaven and hell are real, and that people without Christ are destined for hell, I need to act with urgency to infiltrate the culture with Jesus. One of the ways the Lord has been teaching me to do this is through my finances. Jesus has been generous with me, I should in turn be generous. I should use my finances to infiltrate this culture with acts that reflect the light of Christ in my life.

Well, that's just a sample of what God has been teaching me. I'll admit that it's been a somewhat difficult time and that some of teachings have been humbling and have really broken me at times. But, I know that God, in His perfect sovereignty, sees the end result and He is still working on getting me there.

I'm done.