Reflections: Typically, as I write, there is something or situation that has settled in my thoughts, creating and taking the space in my mind and appears as if it may be relevant to others that find themselves serving as pastors and addressing the issues we face from time to time as we sit in the ‘big chair’. (I heard that reference last week and laughed.) This week what I find relevant is the abundance of ‘quiet’ blessings in the daily lows and highs of living. There are recurring seasons in our lives that “it’s all good” and there other days we have to deal with ‘issues of un-importance’. There really are no heartaches at this moment. There really has not been any ‘earth shaking’ news. Life has presented the normal challenges and we’re ‘equipped’ and prepared to manage the problem and process. In the mist of all this, how could I not just thank God and offer praise. In the mist of my daily walk, I have praise to give. It is so easy to take the gift of quiet-blessings for granted. I am thankful for God’s blessing of wisdom, resources and experiences. Every opportunity presents us with a chance to honor God, because we have been equipped to face the ripples in the lake as well as the crashing of the waves against the shoreline. A co-worker stated this week it was a “trying week” for her. And following that statement she said she was grateful because it pushed to find the ‘better’ in herself. Shouldn’t we all be thankful for the issues, grand or small because there is a lesson to be learned in the big and the small. In the simple and complicated. Blessings in the ugly as well as the beauty of every situation. There’s a blessing in the alarm clock working as well as the safe travel when you’re rushing and make it to your destination safely. There’s a blessing for me just in the fact you may take time to share in my thoughts. There’s a blessing and praise to be given for it all. Thank You Lord for all you’ve done for me. The song says “it could have been me”…. Well it was me. Thank you Lord. Be blessed today and see the hand of God in it all.
Confession-Today I’m taxed by the ‘fear in preaching’. This is not fear that most have of public speaking. It is not the fear of reading the wrong word from our manuscript or outlines. It’s not a fear felt when sharing the pulpit with more seasoned or educated preachers and worried of conflicting statements or even theologies. Today it’s the fear of preaching a true and honest, God ordained, a Holy Ghost inspired, Jesus centric word that the people need. It is not the fear of preaching a pastoral sermon in another’s pulpit. This fear is not in the delivery, it’s a fear that’s rooted in the relevance. It is the fear that’s spoken in the bible of our need to fear God. Not a fear of horror but a fear of honor. Preparing this week for today’s message, I constantly found myself beyond the challenge of needed confirmation of what God has desired for me to say. I continued to find the weightiness of the hearer’s soul and path to salvation to be the tension in my preparation. I am under no grandiose illusions of self importance or that the words preached by me will or will not grant entry to heaven or hell for anyone. However I am also dually aware of the charge placed on me by saying yes to God’s call and the covenant for my faithfulness and obedience to preach God’s word. It is the fear Moses experienced at his call. It is the fear of Gideon and testing and questioning God’s reasoning. It is the emotional depth of Isaiah for God’ people. It is the ‘why me’ of our humanness. Since the congregation is expanded today, I am more sensitive to the charge we have for the flock we serve and not wanting to lead others astray from their shepherd’s guidance. This morning we will stand to preach the Gospel & trust and believe that God is in control. Today’s fear is in the magnitude of God’s Word and how it can change someone’s life for the better. I know this for a fact. It changed mine and today I’m thankful the the preacher that day who feared God more than man and preached ‘thus said the Lord! (Thank you Pastor Cy.) All week I have had this classic ‘church statement’ in my head…”Won’t He Do It!” And the answer is always yes even in my self described space of fear.