Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Sunday Recap... Sept 4th

  • Woke up before 7 a.m. and had butterflies in my stomach about preaching. This doesn't happen on a regular basis and I almost felt naucious. This usually happens when I feel impressed to explain a scripture in a way that may be different than what many of our people have heard before.
  • I was also a bit nervous because we had a worship band from SNU (Southern Nazarene University) called Remedy leading worship. I am routine person and while I knew they were going to do a good job, I think it added to my nervousness for the day.
  • Remedy blew me away. I have never met a college worship band that has a collective heart for ministry like these guys and gals. I worked with them at a youth camp this summer and they are incredibly authentic and equally as talented. The university they represent should be very very proud of them.
  • I was nervous about the sermon for a couple of reasons
  • 1. I had so much to say, wanted to say it all, but didn't want to keep people at church all day.
  • 2. The message was a tough one because if flies in the face us the message that is preached in American churches on a regular basis.
  • Here are the highlights:
  • We live in a contractual society but serve a God of Covenant.
  • Contractual agreements are abandoned when there is too much suffering, frustration, or one party doesn't live up to their end of the bargain. Suffering is the antithesis of contracts.
  • Covenant is at it's best in the midst of suffering.
  • As Christians, we should not expect that we will suffer less than our non-Christian friends.
  • Just because we are "living right" doesn't mean that we will avoid suffering.
  • God's call is for us to suffer well, to suffer and hurt differently than the world, and to honor and give glory to God in the midst of the worst that life sends our way.
You can tell that it is not a popular sermon to preach. Who call their people to suffer and suffer well for the glory of God?
  • I will say that I could almost see a collective sigh of relief washing over our people. The realization that suffering and difficulty are a part of the deal when we sign on with God. I think it just "clicked" with so many Catalyst folks that our pain and suffering is not in direct correlation to "right living", although we can certainly avoid certain hurts when we live into the life he has called us.
  • We took a huge group to Burger Island to eat with Remedy. I am pretty sure there were near 50 Catalyst folks in that restaurant.
  • Since this blog is a place where I feel an obligation to be as transparent as possible, I will admit that I got some difficult news that threw me into a bit of a funk for the rest of the weekend.
  • I responded by driving to Tom Thumb and buying a half gallon of Blue Bell Rocky Road Ice Cream. I served up ice cream for the whole family and had five scoops myself (I usually eat one or two). I then ate four more scoops. I confess that I struggle with stress eating and pretty much blew it. Heather told me she was glad that I didn't drink alcohol because she feels certain I could be a binge drinker. I agree!
  • I skipped my Sunday bike ride and sulked (pretty stupid move in hindsight).
  • I woke up this morning and realized that we had 150 people in church on Labor Day Weekend and I pastor an incredible group of people who are collectively known in our community as "Catalyst".
  • I wore shorts and a t-shirt to work this morning, met with a group of other Rowlett Pastors, met a banker about a refinance loan, realized I have a church and family that love me and that life is good.

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