Sunday Afternoon Ramblings (Monday edition)

Well, another Sunday is in the books, leaving only one more in 2009! How scary is that! Here are some thoughts on yesterday’s services.

First, I need to thank Pat and Marie K for coming by to clean the church this past week. Also, thanks go to Christy K for helping in the nursery during the worship service. I would also thank my lovely wife Nicole for usually making coffee for the Sunday School hour. Generally, I don’t even think about this little bit of service, but yesterday, Nicole decided to have her Sunday School class at the parsonage, so I was left making the coffee. Was it hard work? No. But the people in the other adult class that were shaking visibly with withdrawal pains sure did like it when I showed up with that pot!

While we’re on the subject of thanking people, I would be remiss if I didn’t thank Al Shaffer for providing the lovely poinsettias in the sanctuary yesterday in memory of his parents. For those who weren’t around back then, Al’s parents were long-time attenders of the church.

On to the services themselves. As always, Adoration did a spectacular job! On a purely personal note, the three songs that they led in the opening worship set are quite possibly my favorites of their entire (growing) repertoire. And their special yesterday was wonderful.

I was pleased with the response to yesterday’s message. As I said, the unfortunate reality of our time is that it’s scary out there. There are scary things going on each and every day, and we hear about them very nearly in realtime thanks to 24-hour news networks and the proliferation of the internet. In some ways, this is certainly good; it allows us to have an unprecedented knowledge of what’s going on in the world and to respond to needs more quickly and efficiently than ever. But it also has the side-effect of making this world discouraging, distressing, and even downright depressing. What a tremendous source of hope, then, that Jesus is coming! Maybe not today or tomorrow, but He absolutely is coming! And more, when He does, though heaven and earth will be demolished and recreated, His word will stand firm and true.

This Christmas season, let us never forget that Jesus came to earth to provide hope for all, in all areas of our lives. But that hope can only be realized for us if we will choose to believe in such a way that we start reforming our lives around Him and His ways. Since we don’t know when He will return, this means that we must be living consistently, every day, prepared for His return and doing what He’s called us to do in the meantime!

Well, those are my thoughts about our service yesterday. Before I close, though, I wanted to mention a couple of tidbits for everyone. First up, we have a number of schedule items this week. As mentioned yesterday, there will be no Kid’s Club, Youth Group, Adult Bible Study, or Men’s Bible Study this week. Instead, we will be doing some Christmas caroling in the neighborhood tonight. Meet at the church at 6:20 pm so we can start walking – yes, walking – at 6:30. Afterwards, we will meet back at the church for cocoa. Everyone is welcome, so even if you’re not a regular at DHWC, please come out if you can! Also, on Thursday, we will be holding a Christmas Eve service starting at 7:00 pm. Whether you attend DHWC or not, you won’t want to miss this as we sing Christmas carols, read the Christmas story, and more. Make plans to attend!

I also wanted to take a moment to mention what’s coming up for sermons. The next two Sundays, we’ll be finishing our Advent of Hope series by discussing hope for temptation and sin, and hope for loss. On January 10, Pastor Sharon will sharing with us again. And then, on January 17, we’ll launch into our next series, Tongue Tamers. You can probably guess what we’re going to be talking about just by looking at the title, but I want you to know even now that it’s going to be some seriously hard work. As James said, if we can control our tongues, we can control every other aspect of our beings. In other words, reigning in the things that we say is one of the most difficult things that we as Christians are called to do. But we are called to do it. In the weeks leading up to this message, therefore, I want us all to be in prayer, asking God to soften our hearts, strengthen our resolve, and highlight anything about our conversation which does not honor Him so that we can work on changing it.

I am very excited about this next sermon series because I think it will probably be one of the most radical discussions we’ve had since Nicole and I have been here. I truly believe that it has the power to revolutionize our congregation.

As we close out the year 2009, be excited! God is doing great things, and He’s calling us to be right there as He does them!

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