I experienced powerful times of worship this past weekend. Some of them took place on Sunday. As for my musings …
-Saturday was an incredible day that greatly influenced Sunday. My wife and I spent a few hours with a family from the community that does not go to church. We attended an event to support them and their family. We had a great time and were able to get to know them even better. Our car did not run well as we traveled to a nearby town and back to be with this family. We had to stop once each direction and tinker with the car to keep it running, but we made it there and back safely. Then while I was fine tuning my sermon for Sunday God just broke through and ministered to me in a very powerful way. I also had a great time of prayer for my congregations as I prayed for each person and for the Sunday services. Saturday certainly made Sunday an even better day.
-Both worship services were powerful times. The music really spoke and moved people. Our times of prayer were powerful and the giving was joyous and generous. The message was well received and there were people who came forward at both churches.
-I was moved while praying with a teen who came to the altar and was openly weeping. As I spoke with her she shared about how burdened she is for some of her classmates. How awesome is that? God is really up to something really powerful in our area.
-Attendance was down at the early service for the first time in the 3 weeks since I started pastoring 2 churches. But there was still great receptivity.
-Attendance was back to normal (which is nearly double where it was 2 years ago) in my other church. We had some new people who returned for the 2nd or 3rd time.
-Our “Give it all Away” offering ended up being over $2,000! I am so pleased and humbled by the giving. When you consider that our total giving a year ago was less than $1,400 a week and this church year we have averaged well over $1,700 a week, it is really awesome. The giving the week before the “Give it all Away” offering and the week after were both over $2,000. Our people are really understanding generosity and blessing others.
-Yesterday was a little difficult preaching at 2 places with my wife leading worship at both places because we only had 1 vehicle running.
-I am still adjusting to the new congregation and they are definitely still adjusting to me. Such as trying to figure out my humor and how to react to it. The two worship centers are very different and I am still figuring out how to move around the platform at the new place. (I can’t stand still while I preach.)
-I heard some great reports out of one of our small groups, about their study and discussion. I love it.
-We have at least 7 couples who are planning to attend our first Marriage Retreat this coming weekend. I am pleased with that number for the first one.
-I am really excited for this coming Sunday’s sermon.
-Pastoring 2 churches has really forced me to get a lot more done on Mondays. I really feel the pressure to get a lot of my sermon done on Mondays. That is a new thing for me.
-Praying a lot for several families that are grieving the death of loved ones recently.
-In a little over 5 months my son, daughter-in-law and 5 of my grandkids will be back in the states from 3 years of ministry in Kenya. We won’t get to spend too much time with them, but I am looking forward to every moment that we will get to be with them.
-Sometimes being the pastor is not fun, especially when you have to confront issues or people. But it comes with the territory and I learned the hard way that it is more painful in the long run when I don’t deal with issues.
-I had a very busy, but meaningful day as chaplain at our local hospital on Friday. I love serving in my community.
-I set a pretty big goal for myself in getting healthier this year and losing a significant amount of weight is part of that plan. Setting the goal is nothing unless I change some behaviors. Last year I set a weight loss goal, didn’t change anything and gained 20 pounds. As you can tell the goal didn’t change anything. This year I focused on some behavioral changes and doing more than losing weight. The early returns are encouraging. I have lost 15 pounds in the first 7 weeks and am making some other healthier choices. Now to make some of these changes a new habit and to move into some more healthy choices.
Here’s hoping that you are finding more of God and his presence in your life. Here’s hoping that you are seeking some ways to connect and serve in your community. Remember, God is with you and if I know you then I am praying for you. If I don’t know you I would still be happy to pray for you, just let me know how I can pray for you.