Yesterday was a day with great spirit, great conversations and many encouraging signs. As for my musings …
-Our worship service was very good yesterday. There was a great spirit in the service from beginning to end. After 3 Sundays in a row where weather was a major factor it was nice to have a normal January Sunday. It was average temperature and the snow didn’t begin until several hours after our service finished. People were engaged in all parts of the service. It was an encouraging Sunday.
-There were 2 or 3 people who confessed the need to have more compassion for others and committed to allowing God to fill them with compassion for those around them.
-Yesterday was the second message in the series “What’s Your Why?”. We looked at what Jesus said about his why the first week and yesterday we looked at how he demonstrated his why. This series is really challenging me, and I pray it is making an impact on my congregation.
-Last week, on Tuesday I finished my 5th funeral in 6 days. On Wednesday I was at an out of town hospital to spend some time with a couple as she was heading into surgery to remove cancer. On Thursday my church hosted 50+ pastors on our District for a wonderful time of fellowship and training. Then I headed to the local hospital to check on an older man in our congregation who was taken by ambulance to the ER that morning. This is on top of the first volleyball match of the season for the 7th and 8th grade teams I am helping to coach. (We won them both!) I served as Chaplain and got called to the ER to pray with a family whose father was dying. Those are always difficult moments for everyone. Obviously, you could see the pain on the family’s faces, but I was struck by the grief on the faces of the nurses and the doctor. Last week was a very full week with many different emotions.
-I was in awe this past week thinking of the people in my congregation who serve so sacrificially. Every Sunday there are many who serve in several areas. They arrive early and stay late. There are those who volunteer to clean the church every week. There is our Wednesday night crew, there are those who maintain our building and property, and those who respond whenever we have something extra, such as a funeral dinner or to help someone in need. I am humbled by their service and their joy as they serve.
-I hit a wall mentally sometime on Thursday. I found myself unable to focus much, and creative thinking was nowhere to be found in my mind. Fortunately, I had my sermon 95% done by that time. I had plenty of things to do that did not require a great deal of creative thought. I am hoping that some good rest last night, a few hours watching some great basketball and football games, are enough to get me back in the swing of things this week.
-I am using a different plan this year for reading through the Bible. Not yet sure if I like the plan or not. I love reading the Word, but not sure about the new plan. I love challenging myself and changing some routines to spark my thinking. That doesn’t mean I always love the new routine, time will tell on this one.
-The Lord has really been opening my eyes, and my heart, to the needs in the lives of many people in our community. If I, and my church, are going to be a part of making an impact in this community, I must be aware of the real needs.
-I have been especially burdened in recent weeks for those separated from their families. Whether the separation is because of career, calling, or relationships, separation from family is difficult.
Here’s hoping that you are connecting with your family and with those in your community.