Sunday Night Thoughts

Beautiful Weather

The late August weather around here has be gorgeous.  Yesterday it rained, but it was one of those nice warm summer rains.  We needed it badly.  Today was a nice low humidity late summer day.  The forecast is for a low of 60 tonight.  The end of summer is on its way.

Beautiful Worship

This morning was one of those special mornings — God showed up and the distractions to worship were minimal.  You can see our worship set by looking several posts below.  It was nice to be back on guitar after several Sundays of playing keyboard.  There were even a couple places where we got the harmonies going well.  The highlight was singing the chorus of Blessed Assurance  a capella.  The team did a great job.

Missions

This evening we sat in our churches Global Ministry Team meeting.  We are getting ready for our Missions Celebration in a few weeks and were putting the details of that together.  I am excited about the possibilities.  We have a great chairperson and she is passionate about missions.

Dairy Queen

I’m beginning to find out that this is a popular after church hang-out.  After our missions meeting several met at DQ for an after meeting snack.  I chose a Tropical Blizzard.  We had a great time fellowshipping.

Now it’s time to get some sleep and prepare for the week ahead.  There is lots of work to be done in God’s Kingdom.  Seize the Day!

Sunday Set List

August 23, 2009 – 10:45 AM

Call to Worship – Praise Team – Days of Elijah (Mark)

Welcome and Announcements

Songs of Praise and Worship
Lord, I Lift Your Name on High (Founds)
Forever (Tomlin)
I Worship You, Almighty God (Corbett)
As The Deer (Nystrom)

Connecting in Prayer

Song of Worship

Blessed Assurance (Crosby/Knapp)

Giving Back to God

Special MusicI Don’t Know Who Holds Tomorrow (Stanphill)

Video – Abram’s Covenant

Worship Through God’s Word – Walking Through the Darkness – Genesis 15

Song of Commitment – Trusting Jesus (Stites/Sankey)

Benediction

Vs. – Part 1

Over the next few Saturdays, I plan on writing a series called “Vs.” It should be an interesting series.

Pam is currently working on a class on Missions and Intercultural Ministries. As part of that class she has some reading to do and we had a discussion the other night that triggered the title for the first post in this series.

Hearing vs. Understanding

The year was 1993 and we were preparing to move to Marion, IN. Pam and I were both involved in our local church and I was also involved in providing sound for district events at the time. During our annual Christian Education Convention, I was asked if I could assist a new Spanish-speaking church plant with purchasing sound equipment. I only had to recommend it, the district would purchase it, and then I would train the new church how to use it. The training required several trips to White Plains, NY to show the church how to use the equipment. I was honored to be asked to help out.

Pam and I took several trips to White Plains and got to know the people. The service was always interesting, because except for the inaugural service, the services were not translated. It made it interesting to know what was going on. Occasionally they would sing a song that Pam and I would recognize, but it would be in Spanish. Those were a couple of special weeks.

Later that year, we were meeting for another event only in our neck of the woods. It was interesting to watch people interact with the pastor and his wife. When someone would come up to them and start speaking sometimes the language barrier became a difficulty. If you’ve ever been in that type of situation you know exactly what I mean.

Instead of slowing down and enunciating better, most people slowed down and talked louder. Here’s the thought – the pastoral couple had no difficulty hearing – the people were talking loud enough – it was the understanding that they with which they were having trouble – something that happens when you have a language barrier.

I think about Jesus’ teaching to the crowds that were gathered around him. He spoke in parables. These were earthy stories with a heavenly connection. All the people that gathered could hear the parables, but few (including the disciples) could understand them.

This happens in my own life and because of my personality; I have a fear of not being understood. There are times in all of our lives that we simply raise the volume because with think the person we are conversing with can’t hear us – when what really is happening is that they can understand us.

In the book of Revelation, John is writing to the churches and he is writing Jesus’ words to the churches. After speaking to each church, the Lord says, “He who has an ear, let him hear.” We could probably better understand that as, “He who has an ear – let him understand – what the Spirit is saying to the church.”

So the next time you run into what you think is a hearing problem – take a step back and what you may be running into is a understanding problem.

Seize the Day!

Weekly Lectionary Reading

temple_1_dedication_galleryProper 16

August 23, 2009

1 Kings 8:1, 6, 10-11, 22-30, 41-43 • Psalm 84 • Ephesians 6:10-20 • John 6:56-69

10 When the priests came out of the Holy Place, a thick cloud filled the Temple of the Lord. 11 The priests could not continue their service because of the cloud, for the glorious presence of the Lord filled the Temple…

What we have here is the dedication of the Temple. This happened during the reign of King Solomon. The priests have just taken the Ark of the Covenant into the Holy of Holies and as they exit, the presence of the Lord (indicated by the cloud) enters the temple. The interesting thought is that when the Lord entered the Temple, the priests had to discontinue their work. It is always awesome when God “shows up.” This is what happened at the dedication of the Temple. Look at Solomon’s response.

22 Then Solomon stood before the altar of the Lord in front of the entire community of Israel. He lifted his hands toward heaven, 23 and he prayed,

“O Lord, God of Israel, there is no God like you in all of heaven above or on the earth below. You keep your covenant and show unfailing love to all who walk before you in wholehearted devotion. 24 You have kept your promise to your servant David, my father. You made that promise with your own mouth, and with your own hands you have fulfilled it today.

25 “And now, O Lord, God of Israel, carry out the additional promise you made to your servant David, my father. For you said to him, ‘If your descendants guard their behavior and faithfully follow me as you have done, one of them will always sit on the throne of Israel.’ 26 Now, O God of Israel, fulfill this promise to your servant David, my father.

27 “But will God really live on earth? Why, even the highest heavens cannot contain you. How much less this Temple I have built! 28 Nevertheless, listen to my prayer and my plea, O Lord my God. Hear the cry and the prayer that your servant is making to you today. 29 May you watch over this Temple night and day, this place where you have said, ‘My name will be there.’ May you always hear the prayers I make toward this place. 30 May you hear the humble and earnest requests from me and your people Israel when we pray toward this place. Yes, hear us from heaven where you live, and when you hear, forgive.

I love being in God’s “house.” Sometimes I like being in their all by myself, but then there are the times when God’s house is filled with his people all singing His praises. Several times during our time in Frankfort earlier this month, we had those moments when God’s presence could be felt. David expresses those feelings of being in the Lord’s presence in His house.

1 How lovely is your dwelling place,
O Lord of Heaven’s Armies.
2 I long, yes, I faint with longing
to enter the courts of the Lord.
With my whole being, body and soul,
I will shout joyfully to the living God.

10 A single day in your courts
is better than a thousand anywhere else!
I would rather be a gatekeeper in the house of my God
than live the good life in the homes of the wicked.
11 For the Lord God is our sun and our shield.
He gives us grace and glory.
The Lord will withhold no good thing
from those who do what is right.
12 O Lord of Heaven’s Armies,
what joy for those who trust in you.

The dwelling place of the Lord is a great place to be – It’s a great place to enjoy His presence.

My New Office

As I mentioned yesterday, I recently received new bookshelves and a filing cabinet for my office, which is also the youth room at Parkway.  We have had to be creative in getting everything in, but I am moved in which is a lot better than living out of boxes and moving boxes around every time you need something.  It is great to be in more permanent surroundings.

Here are some pics:

102_3007102_3008

The Color of God

What is the color of God?
Asked the child with skin so fair.
Is He white like me?
Does He have light hair?

Is God dark like me?
Asked the child with skin of golden hue.
Has He hair that’s dark and curly?
Are His eyes brown or blue?

I think God is red like me,
The Indian boy is heard to say.
He wears a crown of feathers,
And turns our night to day.

Each of us knows that God is there,
In all the colors above.
The one color He truly is.
Is the beautiful color of Love.

So when your soul goes to Heaven,
What will be judged by your earthly deeds,
Not your color or your name.

So when your time comes,
And you see God in His heaven above,
Then you will see the only color that counts—
The Brilliant Color of Love.

Rachel Leep

Wednesday Night Update

Same Weather — Different Day

Even our local Christian radio station has made comments about this.  Here’s the weather forecast which has been the same since Sunday — Hot and humid with a chance of showers and thunderstorms — rain may be heavy at times.  That’s just about the size of it.  The last two afternoons, about the time that James has gotten out of school, the heavens have opened up.  It looks like things will stay the same until about Friday then the weather will change — it looks real nice for the weekend.

Housing Update

It’s been a week or two since I have mentioned anything about the house.  We are at that stage where things go a little slower.  Let’s see — the electrical and plumbing have been roughed in along with the shower/tub fixtures.  The windows and doors are installed.  The exterior is in the process of being bricked.  The basement floor was poured today!  Yea!  I’m guessing but I think HVAC rough in will be next followed by wallboard.  The water line has been run to the county connection.  Things are moving along.

Moved In

This week I received bookshelves and a filing cabinet, so I have spend some hours lately putting my office together.  I promised some pictures to a friend, so I’ll take those tomorrow and post them here and on Facebook.  My office is really beginning to feel like home and I also have a network connection in my office.  It turns out I was missing a driver for the LAN adapter on my laptop.  I don’t have to carry my laptop to the main office to print anymore.  But I still have to walk there and back but that’s not I problem because I need the exercise.

Blogging Plans

It looks like Pam’s writer’s block has lifted, so her posts will be more frequent — and I am thinking about doing a series of posts over the next few Saturdays titled “Vs.”  I also plan on doing a series after that on worship.  Saturday is a good day for that because there is not a regular feature on that day.  Check out some new writings coming your way.

Time to sign off and get ready for bed — looking forward to the day when we don’t have to take James to school.  I sign off by encouraging you to Seize the Day!