Monday, March 20, 2006
Yeap, Spring Is Here
We know that spring is definitely here, because its raining. It's been raining for three days. But such is spring in the south. But, it's good for the land. We'll need the rain for those crops and gardens.....and it will give us something to do....mow our yards. After a long winter we kind of enjoy doing that though, don't we. Everything around us is "greening up." It's beautiful. So, we don't really mind these days of rain because they are good for us. Kind of like some other things that God sends into our lives that we don't necessarily enjoy at the time they are sent, but they are good for us and we come to realize that later on. So, enoy the rain and look forward to those beautiful crops and gardens and green, green grasses of home.
Another wonderful Lord's Day
Despite the rain, we had another great day in the Lord yesterday as we gathered together for worship. Even the crowd wasn't bad considering the weather. As a pastor, I really appreciate our folks braving the elements to come out and be in God's house, as they should. We were graced by the presence of some guests yesterday. I pray that they enjoyed their time with us. A pastor is always concerned about everything being just right and making our guests feel welcome into our fellowship.
The Dilemma of Preaching
Which brings me to another concern. Yesterday, I must admit, I was concerned about how my message (not really my message, but God's message, since it was His Word that I was delivering). After the service I became concerned that I had preached too hard and too long. Most of the time I don't really think about those things. I try to keep my sermons to "just the right lenght." Most of the time that is about 30 minutes. I went a little longer than that yesterday, but not on purpose. I didn't realize that it was after noon before I concluded my message. I would apologize for that, but I'm not sorry that I did it. It was God's message and I believe that I delievered all that I was supposed to say. Nevertheless, I was concerned what our guests thought. I was also concerned what, not only our guests, but what our fellowship thought about some of the things that I said. Did I come across a little harshly? Did I speak the truth in love? If I did come across to harshly, I do apologize for that. If I didn't speak the truth in love I confess that, not only to our congregation, but to God, to whom I am ultimately responsible. I did speak the truth; it was God's Word. But I really didn't mean to sound so arrogant, so brazen, so..... unloving and uncaring. I love people; I love our folks and I love our guests. I'm just so concerned, as God is, about The Truth being contained... keep rightly, in our fellowship and in every church. God forgive me if I did not communicate Your Truth well.
Anita and I had the priviledge of "speaking" to our youngest grand-daughter, Abigail Hope, whom we call Abby, this morning. Our oldest son Matthew, our grands dad, had to say home with one of them, Cody, because he has that old bad bug that is going around. Seems that it is sweeping through their home, as it is many of our homes. Anyway, while speaking with Matthew he put Abby on the phone. Abby is about 7 months old. Matt put the phone to her ear and we talked, Abby listened. Then she began to laught and coo and make all those wonderful sounds that babies make. Aren't they great! What a pleasure it was to talk with Abby this morning. We can't wait to see them again. We'll do that as soon a school is out. It will be a trip to Kingsville!
We attended two birthday parties this past weekend. We took Micah to "Brother" Jason Nielsen's party at Bayou Divers in West Monroe Saturday. Had a great time there. Yesterday, we went to Lynda Carol Nielsen's party at her home with..... well, everyone it seems. Well, except for Mrs. Shirley and Mr. Samie. Mrs. Shirley had to stay home ill. Bless her heart! Anyway, we all had a great time at the Nielsen's with Lynday Carol. It was also Paul Wells birthday and I understand that they had party in his honor at their home. We didn't get to make that one, although it sure would have been good. Happy Birthday to all of you! And many happy returns.
We're going to a Rangers game! Alright!!! Our youth will be making a trip to Arlington on April 6-7. They are going to see the Texas Rangers play the Detroit Tigers at Arlington stadium. Jessie Nielsen is going to make a trip out there with Micah and I to see the game with them. Man, are we excited! Most of the youth will stay in order to go to Six Flags on Saturday. We will be coming back that night, as will some of the youth early the next morning. We have dress rehearsal for the Lord's Supper Saturday night and I must make sure all is ready for that. Some of our youth have a baseball game on Saturday, so they'll be coming in for that.
Yeap, spring is definitely here! Are are we every busy. But, isn't that they way it always is?
Everyone have a great day! Take time for the Lord and tell someone about His Love.
Wednesday, March 15, 2006
Watching The Garden Grow... and other things
It is definitely spring time in the south. I know, spring doesn't offically start until the 20th, but it sure feels like spring, doesn't it. Warm days followed by some rain followed by some cool weather only to warm up again. Such is springtime in the south. I love it! It brings to mind those days of childhood for me. My two brothers and I grew up in the country more or less about 8 miles south of Bastrop. There was nothing but pasture land all around us. It was wonderful to be able to finally get out and walk those pastures withouth the burden of a coat. What wonderful days they were. But, they were really no more wonderful that today is. As someone once said, "Today is the first day of the rest of my life." And right that person was. We have some wonderful memories and some not so wonderful memories that we carry with us. Those days themselves are gone, never to be lived again....no matter how hard we may try to do so. I know I can't, because my body tells me I can't. But, NOW are the best days of our lives... today is the day we have enjoyed and tommorow is the days to which I look forward.
Working in the Yard
Anita and I spent a little time today working in the yard out at her dad and mom's old place. How we love to do that. It is tiring but very satisfying. It just doesn't make sense. In the paragraph above I was speaking of those wonderful days as a child. Yard work was just that, work. There was nothing satisfying about it. I guess you could even say that I hated it. How much difference a few years can make, can it not? Anyway, it was good to get back to it. My back held up wonderfully. I'll be careful, I promise. So much needs to be done. And it is a constant battle with the weeds and vines, isn't it. I know you know what I'm talking about. We'll keep working till the work is done, whenever that is. Next winter I guess.
I am continuing to enjoy my preparations for both our Discipleship Training Class and our worship service as I preach through the Book of Revelation. I hope many of you are keeping up on your own studies. This week I'll be preaching from Revelation 2:12-17. That is the section in which the Lord Jesus tell the church at Pergamos that He knows all about them, as He does all of His churches. The church at Pergamos was the wordly church. We'll be hearing how the world can creep into our church life and our daily lives. I pray that I can get more of the world out of my daily life and live it for Jesus. To Him be the honor and glory for ever and ever.
Everyone have a blessed evening. It's time for Prayer meeting. I hope to see you there!
Monday, March 13, 2006
We had a wonderful Lord's Day yesterday. Preachers usually judge how "good" a day was by how many were present for Sunday School and the worship service. I ceased to do that long ago and continue to try not to do it. Numbers do not indicate that the day was good. I have seen days were the numbers were "good," that is there was a large crowd there, and yet the Spirit was not seem to be presnet. It was just sort of a ritual thing for which a lot of people happend to show up. On the other hand, there have been days where the crowd was small, and yet the hand of God was evident in the congregation. I'm not saying that smaller numbers are better. I love to see lots of folks come to church. But yesterday was both I think. The numbers were good, not great but good. But there was also a good spirit in our fellowship. We had a number of guests with us (some people call them visitors, but I prefer to call them guests). We are always glad to see guests join us and we welcome them back any time. May the Lord lead them to join us as we grow together in the grace and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.
The singing was wonderful, the spirit of the congregation was wonderful as well. Even the preaching was good, if I do say so myself. The reason I believe it was good, was not in the way in which it was delivered, even though I do hope it was enjoyable to those who heard it. But because it was a good word, because it was the Word of God. We have been preaching through the Revelation of Jesus Christ. What a wonderful study it is. I am enjoying it altogether. I hope our folks are also.
I understand that Mika Monroe was able to come home today. She has been in LSU Monroe for a number of days, but we are glad to know that she was able to return to her home. We'll continue to pray for her.
Mrs. Geraldine Tatum was in the hospital for one night a week or so ago. She continues to feel weak, but was with us yesterday. We love you Mrs. Geraldine and are praying for you.
Hoot Green was in Delhi for a couple of days, but is home now also.
Angie Tatum is in Houston once again for some tests. We want to remember her.
Tracey Huffman is continuing to recover at home and gaining strenght. We're continuing to pray for you Tracey. Hang in there.
More later. Pray for all our folks and those unspoken requests also.
New Book I'm reading
I started a new book the other day and I'm really enjoying. It's a book on preaching, but good none the less. Some of you would enjoy also, even though you aren't a preacher. It's called The Supremacy of God in Preaching by John Piper. It isn't a very big book, as far as size goes, but it packs a punch. Piper gets right to the point about what preaching should really be about... all about God, for that IS the message of the gospel. It isn't for our good, it is for HIS glory.. all of it. Anyway, that you might want to know that.. it's a good book.
Well, got to go for now. It's time to visit. Incidentally, we have church visitation every Monday evening at 7 PM. Come and join us. We could use the help and many of our church members could use the experience. I don't say that in a condesending or judgmental way. You can't learn to witness or visit if you don't do it. So, come on and join us. You'll be blessed.
Have a great evening and God bless each and every one of you!