Monday, July 18, 2011

Sunday speakers and...

Yesterday was one of those days that left me feeling pretty good about our little church. We had two different people from our church give talks/sermons/presentations (am & pm), and neither of them were me! How cool is that!?!

At our Sunday morning gathering we had a normal service - other than instead of me giving the sermon, Jim did it. It was his first time ever, and he did pretty darn good if you ask me! I first met Jim shortly after we moved here - he was working in a little music store where I went for my supplies. Later, when son Isaac started taking guitar lessons, he went there for his lessons. I would take him down, and then just hang around the store for an hour or so while he was taking his lesson. Jim and I had many good talks. Eventually he started coming to our church, and playing drums in the band, and getting involved in small groups... and eventually he has become a teacher and leader in the church. It was awhile ago that he said he felt like God might be calling him into some type of pastoral ministry. I have pretty much just been watching and waiting. He does quite a bit of 'behind-the-scenes' stuff, and after a recent sermon series I did on the 23rd Psalm he approached me about some things God had laid on his heart. I said, "That sounds like it would make a good sermon." The rest is, as they say, history. Anyway, I was rooting pretty hard for him, because he is a tender-hearted guy, and I knew this first sermon could really send him one way or the other. I was so happy that it went well.

After the morning gathering we went to lunch with Drew Carrie Anna - and Anna got coffee spilled on her while she was sleeping in the car carrier. She cried for a little bit, but I think it startled her more than anything. Whew. I was worried it might have burned her pretty good, but when she flashed that beautiful smile of hers I knew she was alright.

Last night, then, we had our monthly '3rd Sunday Supper.' Except this was a special one. Another person from our church shared about the organization she works for. Joan works for Project Amazon, and did a superb presentation about the organization - complete with powerpoint and videos - and she even prepared us some authentic Brazilian food for supper. It was extraordinary if I do say so myself. I was a little worried that not too many would come out on a hot and muggy Sunday night, but we had almost 40, which I thought was pretty good. Project Amazon (or PAZ) is a multi-national church-planting organization focused on the unreached parts of the Amazon Basin in Brazil. They plant churches with a strong emphasis on home groups and one-on-one discipleship. The amazing thing is, even though it is worlds away, it is very much the same emphasis that we are trying to establish in our church/denomination with things like our Missional Leadership Initiative and the teachings of Neil Cole, Reggie McNeal, etc. I was glad Joan brought that aspect out in her talk. I was also amazed that she said Project Amazon was started by a guy whose four children also all became missionaries, and his siblings and all their children became missionaries too. I find that quite remarkable. Anyway, not only a great presentation, but I REALLY liked the food too. My only regret is that she did it on a Sunday night instead of a Sunday morning. Next time...

So all in all yesterday was a pretty fine day in our little church. I felt like a real 'Ephesians 4' and '1 Cor. 14:26-40' pastor. Like, maybe there are some things I'm doing right after all. Now I've got some carpet stains I need to get to work on in the entryway...

Peace out, and in.