Sunday Afternoon Ramblings, Monday edition

I just love being in our worship services. The spirit of unity and worship, I feel, is better in our services than just about anywhere else I’ve ever been. God has truly blessed us!

Yesterday’s service was wonderful, despite a number of hiccups for which I will take personal responsibility. Those included a mix-up with the slides at the beginning of the worship set. Somehow, the worship set was inserted out of order. And my own failure to add the sermon notes to the presentation. That was a simple act of stupidity. And you may have noticed that I used a pew Bible during the message. This was because I had set my own Bible down on the table at my house, walked off to church without it, and realized it only after the service had started. Talk about embarrassing. Ugh.

Even so, the service went relatively well. Adoration never fails to bring me into a spirit of worship right at the beginning of the service. Their choice of songs seems always appropriate. I also loved the hymns, which I suppose comes as no surprise since I picked them. Nevertheless, I never cease to be amazed that God saw fit to redeem me by the blood of His lamb!

You may have noticed that I struggled a bit during the message yesterday. Quite frankly, I had found it difficult through the week to nail the passage down. It just seemed as though there were so many different places I could focus, and I found it difficult to choose one approach until very late in the week. I really think, though, that the most important lesson that we could have taken out of the entire thing was that we need to choose to reject the ways of Nabal, which are essentially the same as those of the world in which we live, and pursue the mannerisms of Abigail and David. This means that we stop focusing on “me” and start focusing on others, choosing to engage the world with wisdom and godliness. Remember that, by the end of 1 Samuel 25, Nabal was dead. Abigail should have been destitute, but because of the impact she made on David when she lost no time to send him the bread and other supplies, he chose to marry her. And David, the guy who was living in the desert and had had his first wife given away to another, ended up with two wives out of the deal. We can argue the validity of having two wives some other time, but the point of the passage here was to show that God used what Saul and the world had intended to bring harm on David to instead bring blessing.

Since this is another Monday edition of the Sunday Afternoon Ramblings, I will also mention that I was extremely pleased with our small group discussion last night. If you’ve missed lately, we’ve been walking slowly through the book of Revelation. Last night, we covered the letter to the church at Laodicea, recorded in Revelation 3:14-22. The subject matter was extremely relevant, and the challenge very, very real. I absolutely cherish the opportunity to sit down with a handful of people and truly break the bread of life together. And I would encourage anyone and everyone to join it who possibly can!

Lastly for today, it seems strange to me that this is already November. It seems like only yesterday that 2009 started, and here we are almost at its end! That means that there are a number of great things coming up in the life of our church which I would remind you about. The first, of course, is the Harvest Dinner. This week, I will be creating cards that you will be able to hand out to your friends, families, coworkers, and perfect strangers to invite them to join us November 15. And the second is the start of the advent season, which is coming up on November 30. The theme for this year’s advent – at least for me – is going to be the Advent of Hope. We’ll be talking about how the incarnation of the Christ brings hope for us in a number of areas of life, a discussion which will take us up through the new year. Then, starting the third week in January, we’ll be returning to the theme for the year which I announced during the State of the Church Address, spiritual maturity, by tackling the tongue. James calls it a flame which can set the whole body ablaze if it’s not brought under control, and that means that it must be harnessed if we are to grow into the sons and daughters of God that we are designed to be. I am very much excited about all of these things, and I truly hope that you are, too! Why? Because I believe that God can and will use them to make an impact on each of us and the world!

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