Monday, June 24, 2013

Prodigal Son

He was there behind the smudged glass window separating us. His hair was disheveled and dingy, like he had just woken up from oversleeping. His face had a light stubble and his eye were red. I picked up the phone and he punched in the number allowing us to converse. "Thanks for coming. I'm so embarrassed. I'm better than this. I'm so ashamed." And on and on he went.
I was visiting a young man loosely connected with the church before the evening jail service I was gong to lead. Unlike the men I meet n the services, this young man I knew fairly well. His was a story of squandered opportunities and broken promises. He was always friendly when I met he on the streets or in stores, but cagey and restless.
The details of his arrest and record do not really matter. He was offered everything ad he spent it down to almost nothing. As I visited with him, I felt like I was seeing graphically the Prodigal Son in the pig sty before he came to his senses, when he was filled with nothing but grief and shame. My wonder is will this boy come, or spend his life in the sty?

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Named! Luke 8:26-39

When Jesus asked the man possessed with demons for his name, the name he called himself, he brought clarity to his chaos. That's what Jesus does.

Sunday, June 09, 2013

Preparing for Worship...how do you do it?

Sunday morning is a hazardous time. Sunday morning is a critical time. I have developed a routine over the years that gets me prepared to lead worship and preach. I have tried other things, but often found that they fracture and distract me more than focus me. Here is what I do:
1. Quiet breakfast with New York Times
2. Be on campus at least two hours before start of worship
3. Prepare coffee/tea for congregation (sometimes like today...get a fire going in fireplace)
4. Read devotionally from contemporary writer then Bible
5. Pray for the day (I am using Scot McKnight's Sunday prayer as a prayer for me)
6. Read over the sermon again (maybe twice)
7. Mark the bulletin for transitions
8. Check email/facebook
9. Walk the campus in prayer
10. Talk through any changes with musicians and other leaders
11. Drink more coffee alone in my office and pray/meditate
12. Meet with worship team for prayer 15 minutes before start of worship

I consciously avoid meeting people before worship because I get too distracted by comments, questions, criticisms, and requests. After worship is a better time for me to meet and greet. What works for you?

Saturday, June 08, 2013

Luke 7:11-17 Lord of Lost Causes

eXTReMe Tracker