For me, I knew Sunday morning was going to be exhausting, and this time it was not going to be because of the time change. It was due to the fact I had two, what I call, “heavy content lessons.” This isn’t a complaint because I really loved the subjects, only to say I knew I would wiped me out (and it did). Both of these required hours of study and research and then, which is my Saturday routine, to try to memorize as much as possible. I say this because the first several years of ministry I was required to preach two “heavy content lessons”, and a “heavy content lesson” for Bible class. That did not include the “heavy content lesson” required on Wednesday nights. This is not about bad mouthing other churches I have served, because this was the norm in the day. Most did not (some still do not) understand the drain it put on a minister. Add to that, the visiting, counseling, and many other requirements for the week. The “heavy content lessons” could not come from a lot of personal studies of a text, but relying on other preachers, books or whatever we could find, to pull together four “heavy content lessons” for the week. I can remember Sunday afternoons trying to stay awake while getting the Sunday night sermon ready. By the last “amen” of the day I was physically and mentally wiped out. And this doesn’t include dealing all the “issues” people put on you before you preached. For years I hated Sundays. Shocked? I longed for my alone time with God before the Sunday activities began. Since being in Vero I have been able to serve with various elders and believers who have continued to look out for me. Yesterday was a “heavy content lesson” day, but I was able to go home and get a good nap without worry about a another sermon on Sunday night. Rather than four “heavy content lessons” my normal week consists of two (Sunday sermon and Wednesday class) deep studies. I do lead a group on Sunday mornings and have a small group who meets occasionally on Sunday nights but neither of these are “heavy content” as much as discussion. The difference? I love Sundays. I love it because I am not nearly as exhausted. I feel good about the time I have to study and research passages. This is mainly a word of “thanks” to ALL of you. A special thanks to the elders for always looking out for me and for those who are always willing to teach. By the way, I love Wednesdays!
Speaking of Sunday, thanks to those of you who came out for my One Word class on “creation.” This is one of my favorite subjects. During my sabbatical I made an intense study of the topic in Scripture. It has changed my life in many ways. And get this, I still have so much more to learn about it.
Our worship was down in number, but we have several who are dealing with a virus or cold that is going around. Some were out of town and a few “snowbirds” have flown back to the north. That said, it was a good day of worship. We serve an amazing God!
Next Sunday is Easter. Sorry, we will not be hiding eggs in the auditorium, but we will continue our series on Jesus Matters from Philippians. This week we move into chapter 3 for a powerful text on “knowing Christ.” I cannot wait to get into my study. Being Easter we should invite others to join us. You never know where this might lead. What I do know is this is the easiest invitation of the year.
Fish Fry tickets are flying out as fast as the fish were flying into Mike Wiley’s boat. Actually the tickets are going MUCH faster which is why they are limited in number. There were over 100 when the tickets went on sale – they only have 11 left. For the lucky ones, the big day is April 28th. By the way, all proceeds go to send 3 of our young people on a mission trip this summer. If you don’t like fish and would like to contribute you can do this as well.
As we wrap up, remember Paul’s words to the Philippian church to work out (complete/finish) your salvation with reverential awe to give God the honor He deserves. Be a people who demonstrates a good attitude, without grumbling or arguing, who tries to live their life without reproach and illuminates the light of God’s Word to a dark world. It seems like a lot, but Paul tells us that God is working (energizing/stirring) in our heats to do His will. We are not asked to work out our salvation alone. Our greatest sacrifices for God will bring our greatest joy, because this is the supreme purpose of our existence. Go to God often this week in prayers of praise. Ask the Father to strengthen/energize you to do His will. And then grab on to what God is stirring in your heart. Live in the Spirit!