Monthly Archives: March 2009

Back To Work

Many would say that it is an oxymoron to say “working preacher.”  So many people will joke with me about what I do saying, “You only work three hours a week.”  To that I always reply, “Hey there are thousands of job openings for ministers all over the place.  You ought to try out somewhere.  Then you could have a cushy job like me.”  If they only knew!

It has been a good week off.  We worked probably harder (at least physically) than what I ever do that’s for sure.    The work really paid off though.  We had the best single yard sale that we’ve ever had.  We got lots of clutter out of the way and made a few bucks in the process.  I did not get a couple of my “honey do’s” done yet, however, and I hope to complete them this week.  It feels really good to get some real things accomplished though.

Tomorrow, it’s back to work.  I hope to go at it a somewhat different way though.  I’m trying to “de-stress” my life some.  I feel so many times that I try and shoulder too much.  I stay too concerned about things like “what are they thinking?” and “where are they going?”  and “why don’t they think like me?” and a thousand other things over which I have no control.

At our prayer concert, I really felt the move of God on my heart to de-clutter my life.  One of the ways I feel prompted about that is to try and learn that not everyone is going to join in on the mission to which God has called us.  Some people may not be as excited about it as I am.  Some may be much more excited about it than I.  I’m going to try and just make the sound of God and hope that more and more people resonate with it.  I just need to let God work out all the details of what that mission is, how it is to be carried out, and who is going to be on board with it.  It’s all up to Him and if I don’t know all about everything or can’t control everything, I must learn to know that I don’t have to.

I end this blog with a side note.  I know that many of you Jedi knights out there felt the disturbance in the force last Friday night when a 71 year old man walked into our yard sale, made me and offer on ALL that was left of my Star Wars items that I had in the yard sale.  I took the offer.  He was purchasing them for his 6 grandsons.  I still have quite a bit and many of the things I have are much better collectibles, but I sold a lot of stuff.  It represented about twelve years of collecting.  It hurt, but when the taxes are due, you must sell.

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Vacation

Yep, it’s a vacation week for me.  Starting tomorrow, we are beginning our trip to “Honey Do, Alabama.”  I wonder if you’ve ever been there.  There’s lots to do there.  I also am aware that for those of you in other states that there is a place called “Honey Do” in all fifty states.

Our first place to go is “Honey Do the clean up of the storage building.  I think the day after that we are going to “honey do the garage.”  Then, we’re going to every man’s favorite place, “Honey do a yard sale.”

One thing’s for sure, it’s not going to be a boring week.


Concert of Prayer

Wow!  What a night!  It was one of the best experiences I’ve ever had with my family at Creekside.  The number was smaller than I had wished, but for the first time ever doing this, I kind of expected that.  No matter the number, the Spirit of God was truly in that place last night.

We began with some songs of praise.  I then introduced the night and kind of how the format would be.  We would have scripture read, then break into prayer partners to pray for personal commitment and revival.  After that,  we came together in “huddle groups” to pray for our church to have revival, then we came together to pray as a whole group for our city and the church as a whole for revival.  We then ended with a time of silence to listen to God’s answers.  This was followed by a couple of “songs of prayer.”  We did this sequence twice.

The first round of prayer was toward awakening ourselves, our church, and our city to revival.  We really need an awakening of revival in our personal lives (or at least I do), in our church family (which I feel is happening), and in our city.  To hear voices all over our auditorium lifting up prayers for one another was just a wonderful sound.  There were some who just sat quietly and prayed, while others prayed openly.

The second round of prayers was for God to awaken the mission in our hearts to love Him, love others, and to serve our community.  That is the mission to which our shepherds at Creekside have called us.  It sounds so simple a mission to do those things, but it requires a complete lifestyle change.  We must have a greater vision from within ourselves to see opportunities to serve and that vision is born from a heart that is loving God and others.

Following each of these two segments of our meeting together, we spent several minutes in silence listening to God for answers.  I told the group that the silence was my favorite part of the whole service.  I guess I just don’t work hard enough in my life to have silence.  That is a lesson to me to spend more time in the silent places listening for the voice of God.  Psalms 27:8  says,  “My heart said of you, “Go, worship him.” So I come to worship you, LORD.” I don’t know about you, but I’ve not aloud very often in my life opportunities for God to have openings to have my heart say anything of Him.  I’m much too busy with my life.  Listen to Psalms 37:7 NLT,  “Be still in the presence of the LORD, and wait patiently for him to act….” Man, I need to take that to heart.

We ended our service with a congregational reading of Psalm 27 and a group prayer. I want to encourage you to read Psalm 27 and I want to share with you this final prayer we shared together.

“Lord we offer ourselves to be answers to our prayers and to live accordingly.  We pray for Your empowerment  in our own lives for ministry.  We offer praise to You our Father  Who will answer our concert of prayer as we live in Your awakening and mission.”

It was an awesome night to His glory and honor.


Broken World

From the time Adam and Eve first ate the forbidden fruit, this has been a broken world.  I guess that it will remain so until Jesus comes again.

Does it seem to you that the older you get the more often you notice the brokenness?  I don’t know if the brokenness is getting worse or if I’m just more broken myself that I recognize it more.  Maybe it’s just that the brokenness has always been there, I’m just more in tune with it and in some ways more accepting of it.  I don’t mean that I get used to it, because I don’t.  I hate it more than ever.  It almost makes me angry sometimes.

I think that things are going “my way” and then brokenness shows up.  Either I fail or someone around me fails and it affects me.  It comes in all shapes and sizes.  There are the little things like stuff breaking and not working like it did when we bought it.  Then there are the big things like family break-ups, envy, murder, sickness, and that list could go for a while.

What’s the answer to dealing with brokenness in this life?  Do we ignore it and hope it goes away?  Do we try and fix it?  I mean, when I break something at my house, I try and fix it.  In fact, my work is kind of a “fix it” work.  Part of what I do is try and help people fix their brokenness.  Isn’t that ironic?  That’s kind of like allowing a broken car work on itself.  Let the misfit try and help other misfits make it through this broken world.  Sounds really strange.

What are some remedies for this broken world?  I know some I could give, but I’d like to hear from you guys.


Spikey Adventure

Our Spike decided tonight to do something that he’s never done.  He decided to try and make a get away.  I can’t believe that he would dare leave such a wonderful place of love that provides his every need.  He gets food, water, shelter, a nice crate in which he sleeps that I thought he was so content.  Oh well.

Ellen was the one to take Spike out for his evening potty before bed.  He’s really good about not wandering off so we’ve stopped putting him on a leash when going out.  That’s probably over, for a while at least.  Ellen had not much more than had time to get out the door, when we heard her scream “SPIKE!!!”  He had seen another dog (unleashed) and began chasing.

Of course, we all thought  something was wrong and began to run for the door.  When I got outside, Spike was nowhere in sight and all I saw of Ellen was her running up the hill across the street.  In just seconds, we were all running (or in my case driving) through the neighborhood yelling for this lost pup.

After some time of searching, I found him and he ran for the car.  After thinking about it, maybe it was not so much a “get away”, but just an impulse.  I think he saw the other dog and just bolted without thinking.  There’s a lesson in that for all of us.  We can find ourselves in real trouble just bolting and chasing after something in the dark.  We could end up scared, alone, and hungry.

To say the least, we really love this little animal.  What other lessons could you see from this little experience.  I may even build a “Spikey Sermon” from your notes.


Awesome Night

Last night at Creekside was a tremendous evening of worship and praise.  It was a night when many of our teens made a huge decision in their life.  They made the promise to be pure sexually until marriage.

We hosted a “True Love Waits Rally.”  If you’ve never heard of True Love Waits, you can read all about the concept by clicking here.  In a nutshell, it is a wonderful way to get the message across to teens that sex outside of biblical marriage is not acceptable in any form.  The program encourages teens to sign a covenant agreement that they will remain pure from that moment until marriage.

vinyl-thiefOur night started with the Christian band, “Vinyl Thief.” They are an awesome group of 5 young Christian men who love the Lord and are using their talents to glorify Him.  They were excellent musicians and excellent Christ-like examples to our teens.  One of them even gave his testimony during the message part of the event.  He spoke of the importance of the sexual union being a spiritual thing and not just a physical thing.  Placing it in the spiritual realm meant that when we play around with it, we’re really playing around with Jesus and our relationship with Him.

After the band played, Kenneth Purdum and myself did a “Jeff Walling-like” interview message about the True Love Revolution.  We did this as a Plan “B” due to our speaker being snowed in in Murfreesboro, TN.  God led this all the way.  It was a great time of testimony, video, and interaction with the group.  I think the message came through loud and clear.

Kenneth, at the end of our talk, had all the youth ministers hand out the pledge cards for the teens to sign and give to an adult who would help them stay accountable.  It was a powerful event.  During this time, a young lady, whom I won’t name here, came up to me and said she would like to share her story.  She is a senior in one of our highs schools who at 16 years of age had a baby.  She just felt like this was a gjeremy-swindlereat time to share her story and is really was.

After she shared, the praise team from Crosspoint lead us in more worship.  They blend their voices to lead a group who was apparently hungry to sing.  The singing was dynamite!!  We had about 275 people in our little auditorium and it sounded like 1000.  In fact, several of the kids said the singing was better than Winterfest.  God has really blessed Jeremy and the group with gifts to lead worship and thank God they are using their gifts for just that.

It was a terrific night that ended with encouragement and excitement that I hope carries into the future.  May God receive the glory for the whole event.