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Showing posts from March, 2012

The After-Sermon Effect.

The final "Amen." has been said. The music begins and people begin gathering their belongings. Kids are showing parents their Sunday School artwork, while bulletin inserts decorate the trampled floor. You take your mic off, untangle the wire from your sweaty collar. Grab the notes off the pulpit and ease into the sea of people, who you have talked to for the last 30-40 minutes. But now,...its time for them to talk back. The monologue is now a dialogue.
It is at this point I have found my old self emerging from his dying slumber. I hate it, but it happens. I have two clear reactions, but both grow out of my pride. My first inclination is to tuck my head down and stiff-arm my way to the audio booth, spin move and toss the mic. While at the same moment, I bring my keys out...unlock the truck...crank and make the great Get-A-Way. Untouched. I know why I do this. It is not because I am shy guy. Its because I do not want to hear what people thought. I don't want to hear a bit o…

Sunday Worship as Preparation.

(13 Days to go) After a crazy weekend with the Crisis Hotline Chaplain phone, I managed to grab a few hours of shut eye before Sunday morning. (Few, meaning 2). Therefore heading to church Sunday morning was a little tiring seeing that I wondered if I would pull my composure together in order to even listen to anything. I think we have all been there before.
The music started. I labored to pay attention. Then at some point during a song, a verse of Scripture during the midst of the chorus spoke to my heart. I remember thinking: How merciful a God to be speaking to my heart, when even now I feel (truly mean that) not-present. It wasn't the McDonalds coffee that spurred my butt to holiness at that moment, it was the kindness of God.
Our teaching elder began to preach from Mark. It was familiar, but nourishing. It was amazing that after the service,...I was assured of some issues that I had to resolve that had been bothering me all weekend. I had the confidence to deal with them bec…

Let the Commentaries Begin.

Day 4: JC Ryle & IVP New Teestament Background

Today, I took the first section of the sermon regarding the Tenants and started reading some extra material that may help me understand some of the growing questions that I have with that section.

Some of my questions are:
1. Do people in NT times build vineyards and then just lease them out to tenants, then ask for fruit from them? Is this a Middle Eastern practice?
2. What is the social relationships between tenants and landowners?
3. Is it possible that Jesus is saying that the 'vineyard' is Israel/ blessings of being his people? (I am guessing that is probably the case).
4. Can tenants be the rightful heir of a property if the rightful heir (the beloved son) is killed or dies?

Those are some of the questions at this point. JC Ryle wrote a commentary on Mark, as well as a more well known book...Holiness. I am not very familiar with JC Ryle outside of these two books, but after reading his commentary today. I felt like he g…

The World Doesn't Stand Still for Prep: 16 Days to Go.

DAY 3: If the Lord Permits...    My life and your life does not stop just because you have a sermon to write or an assignment on a calendar. From the time I step foot in my office this morning, I have had a laundry list of things to accompish before I could get to my sermon prep time.
     Currently I am working on a NANC certification in counseling, a CCEF class, and also preparing a lesson on Sola Scriptura. I love all it. The problem is making sure that in the midst of the academic/study time that I am fostering a good relationship with people in my life (soldiers, staff, and family).
I say all of this because at the end of this two weeks of preparing, God still holds me accountable for the way I treat my 6 year old little girl, if I 'listened' to the DOD Civilian in a counseling session, and whether I encouraged a brother-in-Christ at lunch today as he seeks career direction.

If the Lord permits:
     Therefore, my goal today is rather simple. I can clearly see after loo…

How to Slow-Cook a Sermon (17 Days to Showtime)

As Jessica and I begin to wrap up our last couple of months here in Fort Hood, the church that we attend has asked me to preach. As a Chaplain I typically keep my distance from extra curricular activities that might interfere with my primary job, but I have to admit "I love to preach and teach". Therefore, this will be one of the final highlights of our time serving in Killeen.
So, how do you prepare for a sermon? This day by day blog for the next two weeks will show YOU exactly what I am doing in preparing for the sermon. I hope you will see the labor that is involved. I hope you will see the questions that come up. I hope you will gather resources that you will never hear announced from the pulpit. Finally, I want you to hold me accountable. Feel free to ask questions if you desire, and as I walk in and out of the study...I will address them as I go.
*************************************** DAY ONE: THE EMAIL ARRIVES  (18 Days to go) Email hits my gmail account at 0800, Mar…