Tuesday, May 02, 2017

Caleb's birthday and preaching again

Caleb is the youngest of our grandchildren. He turned 3 this past Saturday. We were all in Illinois for the weekend so we had a party there. He is pretty special.

This boy is the definition of a character. He can be very sweet, serious, and goofy almost simultaneously and takes life pretty well in stride. He is very content to play with cars or games by himself, and has very little if any fear. He really is a fun kid to be around. He is also out of diapers now, so he is growing up.

We were all staying at my parents house and arrived Friday night. Before he got out of bed Saturday we put up a few decorations. After everyone was good and awake we then let him open presents. Saturday afternoon we all went over to Tim and Elizabeth's for a little party. My parents also went, as well as Jane's brother Mark and his wife (who is also Tim's dad). We had cake and pie and the kids all played and played and played. Eventually we ordered pizza for supper. It was fun.


I also preached Sunday at our "home" church. It was one week shy of being 4 years exactly since I last preached in a church. It went..... okay.

You know how they say that if you get bucked off a horse you need to get right back on or you'll never do it again? Well, I may have waited too long. I was so stressed out during the preaching time I didn't think it was ever going to end. I kept thinking I would get over it once I got going but it didn't happen. I missed cues I'd written in my manuscript; my timing and inflection were off. I'm sure it didn't look as bad as it felt (or maybe it did), but it completely drained me. I was not expecting that.

Actually, I was more worried beforehand that I wasn't nervous at all. In fact, I quite enjoyed preparing the message and the few times I went through it by myself. But, man, Sunday morning I was a bundle of nerves. I did not like that, and I'm not sure how I feel about ever doing it again. I will most definitely have to do some major "dying-to-self" if it is going to happen.

It might not have been the best idea for my first sermon back to be at my home church. I'd actually never preached in this building. There are a ton of people I don't recognize there now, but it was comforting to see some friendly faces.

As for the sermon itself, I used Matthew 5:1-12 for the text. The title was "Living Blessed." I do not think there is any audio/video evidence (which is fine by me).

Anyway, this experience did not do my confidence any good. My gut is still in knots. Of course, it's difficult to tell how much of it was the preaching and how much has to do with simply hating where I work at the moment. Last week was another of those weeks where I almost just walked off the job. I'm not sure how much more of THAT I can handle either.

So, I went from feeling like a worthless old man at work to feeling like a worthless fool at preaching. I would not call it a good weekend other than it was a great birthday party and we did have fun seeing family and friends.

Me and the kids at Tim & Elizabeths.