Sunday Afternoon Ramblings (Tuesday edition)

What a day Sunday was at Debra Heights Wesleyan Church! Here are some thoughts.

First off, I want to say a big thank you to our Sunday School team. I had occasion this past Sunday to walk through the church during the Sunday School hour, and I found myself pausing briefly to just eavesdrop on each of the classes down there for a moment. We really do have an awesome bunch of teachers that pour their hearts and souls into their lessons, and I praise the Lord for that.

Second, I want to take just a second to thank Pastor Sharon. She really wasn’t feeling so well Sunday, and yet she took her Sunday School class to Donut Hut for a lesson and did all of her stuff through the service like a trooper!

And I had better thank Pat and Marie K for coming by to clean the church on Saturday, and Jerry A for once again pushing snow out of the driveways and parking lot. I know we had all hoped that the snow would be done and gone after last week’s warm spell, but as the weatherman said on the news yesterday morning, we do receive an average of 2 inches in the month of April. So there is certainly still hope that we’ll hit that top slot on the snowiest winters list! Praise the Lord!

So, on to the service itself. Adoration opened things up in splendid fashion with a set of songs that, once again, paved the way into worship. I have always known that music was an integral part of the worship experience, allowing the human heart to express itself in ways in just can’t through normal speech, but when I stand in that front pew and hear the collective voice of the congregation swell with Adoration, I can’t help but be moved. I suppose it’s like a brief foretaste of what heaven will be like, where we will worship all day, every day. How awesome will that be!

I also want to say that I very much appreciate everyone who shares during our testimonial time (for lack of a better term). I always hear something during that time that encourages me as you tell about the things God is revealing to you through your personal time of Bible study and prayer. I want to encourage you, if you don’t have a time that you spend alone with God, to carve one out of your day. Generally speaking, I would suggest doing it right away in the morning. I tried for a long time to do this at night, but it never worked very well because I would always fall asleep before I got anything accomplished. Author Steve Farrar, whose book Point Man we’re studying in our Wesleyan Men meetings, calls his morning time of Bible study and prayer his daily briefing, where he receives (and/or is reminded of) his marching orders for the day. Don’t miss it!

The message Sunday, I fear, was not the greatest. I had hoped to wow you with an experiment, but that didn’t pan out. And I had really hoped to excite you with an enthusiasm to go out and minister as Jesus prayed we would, living lives characterized by joy and holiness and taking those things to where the world is and calling the people around us to embrace the Lord who provides them for themselves. Sadly, I think I was off my game, so to say. I hope you will forgive the speaker for failing to do the message justice! Because it truly is an awesome and critical thing! We are called to be in the world but not of it. You can translate that be ministering to the world where it is, but not conforming to the world as it is. And as people respond – and they will respond – by embracing the gospel of Jesus which enables real joy and holiness, and the body of believers grows, we must be committed to continuing to work together in unity to minister all the more. And always, we must realize that the only way to get to see Jesus’ full glory in heaven is if we work to reveal more and more of his glory in our own lives through ministry. How often I fear that we miss out on knowing Jesus fully and experiencing all that He has for us simply because we sequester ourselves in our sanctuary and fail to minister to people outside our doors! I don’t want to miss out anymore!

So there are some thoughts about our services on Sunday. I could talk about the great discussion at the Wesleyan Men meeting and the wonderful time the ladies had at Wesleyan Women, but I’ve probably rambled for long enough between the last two posts to this blog. Before I close, though, I do want to share one more piece of exciting news. Radiant Church, our new sister church across town (formerly Grace Wesleyan), held its neighborhood kick-off this past Sunday. After canvassing the neighborhood with direct mailings and twice in person over the last six months or so, the official grand opening, so to speak, was attended by approximately 178 people. Praise the Lord for this tremendous response! As Pastor Jon Wiest posted on his Facebook, God exceeded expectations. Isn’t it awesome that we serve a God who isn’t limited by our expectations? Continue to pray with me that Radiant will be an effective outreach to the broken and lost on the east side of Des Moines.

And let’s work to make sure Debra Heights Wesleyan is an effective outreach to the broken and lost in our neck of the woods!

God has some exciting things coming up in our church! Don’t forget about our greeter training session this Saturday from 9:00 am to 10:00 am. We’re going to try to keep very close to those times, so please don’t be late!

And as always, thanks for the awesome privilege of being your pastor!


1 Response to “Sunday Afternoon Ramblings (Tuesday edition)”

  1. 1 Sharon March 23, 2010 at 10:08 pm

    Your sermon was better than you think it was – you are being too hard on yourself! 🙂

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