Sunday Afternoon Ramblings

So this morning was one of those bittersweet days for me as a pastor. In general, things went pretty well. Attendance was remarkably good, and it was great to have a handful of familiar guests, including Nicole’s parents. Pastor Sharon’s message from Luke 8 about how Jesus would take away our shame was excellent. And we had the chance to sing some great, classic hymns; some of my favorites, indeed!

I had the privilege this morning of watching our new nursery Sunday School teacher, Tien Dang, working with the kids. She is truly wonderful, and the kids were so excited that one didn’t even want to leave when the class was done! Great work, Tien!

The worship service went smoothly. Adoration (i.e., the worship team) led us into worship with three great songs. (I have always loved “As The Deer!”) And the Scripture lesson from Galatians 5 included one of my favorite passages in the whole Bible. Ever since I did an in-depth study and paper on the passage in my Greek 4 class at Oklahoma Wesleyan, I have found the conflict between the acts of the sinful nature and the fruit of the Spirit a fascinating comparison between who I was and what I am called to be and do in Jesus.

Of course, the bitter part of the morning included the fact that it was difficult for me to not preach. Missing one sermon every few weeks is well enough, but I find it exceedingly difficult to not preach for two Sundays in a row! For two weeks now, I’ve been chomping at the bit to continue our discussion on 1 Samuel!

I was also a little bit distressed during our time of testimony. This segment of the service was really intended to provide people the opportunity to share what God has been revealing through personal Bible study and prayer, and often that is how it is used. But this morning, I noticed that a number of the accounts shared centered primarily on platitudes that weren’t really founded on Scripture. I would submit that, if you’re not spending time in personal Bible study and prayer – which is, by definition, not the time that you spend at church on Sunday mornings – God’s not speaking to you through personal Bible study and prayer. Spending time in Scripture and prayer is essential to growing in grace. It’s not easy, but it is critical!

So, it was a bittersweet day. More sweet than bitter, but bittersweet nonetheless. That’s okay, though, because there are a number of things coming down the road that I’m extremely excited about! First, we’re working on developing a partnership with Hope Ministries to provide our congregation with opportunities to serve the broken and downtrodden of our community. I think this will be a great chance for us to make a difference! Second, we’re looking ahead to the Harvest Dinner to be held 15 November. This is always a great chance for us to tell our friends and families about all that God’s been doing in our church over the last year. And third, we’ve signed up a couple of special guests for the coming weeks and months.

As always, I’m excited to see what this week holds for us! Our God is doing great things at Debra Heights, and He’s planning to do even more!


3 Responses to “Sunday Afternoon Ramblings”

  1. 1 Sharon September 21, 2009 at 12:56 am

    Sorry you didn’t get to preach two weeks in a row. πŸ™‚ Believe me…I know how hard that is! Looking forward to the next sermon on Samuel 1 next Sunday!

  2. 2 jgeerdes September 21, 2009 at 2:35 am

    Oh, Sharon, no offense intended! Your message today, as I said above, was outstanding!

  3. 3 Sharon September 22, 2009 at 5:32 pm

    No offense taken at all! I so much appreciate you allowing me to preach. πŸ™‚

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