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October 2010 entries

Sorry, I Should Have Been More Spiritually Prepared

It's Wednesday night after Bible study and I'm feeling defeated. Once again this year I took on the subject of the occult head on to expose it to the unaware. And it happened. I never feel so uncomfortable as when I talk directly about Satan and the occult.

Tonight as I begin to give the origins of Halloween and how modern day Wicca celebrates this week as their biggest holiday, I began to feel uneasy. I picked up my reading glasses that I have been using for months and they broke in my hands. I stumbled over words and was even unable to read my own writing from earlier today. I am never uncomfortable while speaking in public, but tonight I was. I once again failed to realize the strength and determination of the enemy. For everyone that attended I apologize for the poor presentation. I will never take the task as lightly again. 


I Love This Kid!

In this season of Pastor Appreciation I am blown away by all the nice cards I get. It's great to know you have some positive impact on peoples lives. However, I do have a favorite this year. No, it didn't contain money or a gift card. It was sent by a fifth grader whose name will be withheld.  It was addressed to EVERYONE. It reads:

Thanks to everyone for all yor hard work, love, hours, care and everything else. Miss Leann u r awesome. I love so (you) much. Lacey can not wait till next (year) but will miss Leann. Love you all (name withheld)

P.S. Pastor Ken you look like you are 30. I don't ever want to leave! 

I love this kid!

 

 


Coming Next Season

It's time for that sneak preview I give to all of you who read "Out of the Box."  Here in the blogosphere I want to share with you what the Lord has laid on my heart to study and teach for the next six months or so. There is nothing mystical here. I just look at my Bible for the things I have been recently reading and list those things I know people have been dealing with. I try to balance Old Testament and New. I begin writing on a notepad those things the Lord is bringing to mind. Some things never make it to fruition. Like this year, I had planned upon delivering a series of messages called "Insecurity." It's not going to happen. At least not this year. It seemed like it was from the Lord at the time, but I was never able to bring it to life. I think the Holy Spirit guides during these times and He wasn't leading down this path. Maybe next year. I know there is some risk here. More than once I have seen my series advertised on church signs before I ever bring them to the podium on Sunday. I can live with that. They say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. I will be speaking at Christmas on the Christmas theme. That's a given. I don't think its a cop out or being lazy. I just never tire of telling the stories of the characters surrounding the birth of Jesus. But after the holidays here is what I'm planning. (Not necessarily in this order.)  

Upon this Rock

Biblical accounts of past and future events on and around the Temple Mount. These are some of the most dramatic and teachable moments in the Bible. (The story of the sacrifice of Issac is an example.)

Running On Empty

Cause, effects and cures for spiritual burnout. We will look at characters in Scripture and study how they got through, or didn't make it, during times of burnout.

Shattered

Stories of Biblical characters whose lives were shattered by tragedy and how they survived.

House

Following the thread of God's presence in the midst of His people. (Mt. Sinai, the Tabernacle, The Temple, Jesus Christ incarnate, and heaven.

Delivered (Romans 7:6)

The truth about being delivered from the burden of law into the liberty of God's grace.

The Word

What the Bible says about its purpose and its origin. Arguments and evidence for the truth and accuracy of the Bible.

These topics should get us through the first half of 2011. Please pray that God will use these series of messages to bring about His will and purpose in our lives.  


One Size Fits All and other Popular Myths

A couple of years ago I lost some weight. Those of you around that long may remember I wrote about how I changed my eating habits to achieve my goals. Cutting back on fried foods, no sugar laden drinks, backed off on the red meat and I ate only whole grain bread. That's been two years now, and while I've gained some of it back, I've managed to be able to continue to wear the smaller sizes I bought back then. I went from a 38" waist to a 34". I dropped my shirt size from an XL to an L and in some cases a medium. My neck went from a 17" to a 16". I'm reminded of all this because I just got several articles out of the dry cleaners for this fall and they all fit. However, I never had to buy new socks. Socks aren't divided into meaningful sizes. They usually say something like "For sizes 7 - 13". Or "One Size Fits All."  Really? What if dress makers took the same approach? "Fits all sizes from Petite to Bountiful Women". I know for a fact that I can't wear a size 7 shoe. To think that a sock for someone who has a foot 4" shorter than mine (I currently travel on foot with size 11's) needs the same size sock is hard to imagine. I know "they stretch" some of you are saying. But if you try and stretch a a size 13 foot into a sock that will fit snugly around a 7 some "rippage" is bound to take place.

So what does this have to do with faith you ask? Well plenty. Since I am a Bible teacher everything has a spiritual application. Take worship styles for instance. We just began two new styles at two new venues. One style is traditional and the other is contemporary. These two along with our blended service at our main site brings us to 3 styles of worship. The word on the street early on was that the preacher, that being me, was trying to separate the age groups from one another. He was sending the older people to one place of worship and the young ones to still another. He was keeping the middle agers with him.   Devious aren't I? Except, it wasn't true. Go to anyone one of these three worship services and you will find people of every age. There are those older than me at the contemporary service and much younger than me at the traditional service. As a matter of fact, our oldest son and his fiance enjoy the traditional service the best. They are in their early twenties.

One size doesn't fit all. Its not true in socks and its not true in worship either. What followers of Christ wants is true worship...heartfelt worship. Not phony or contrived. Jesus said "those who worship God should worship Him in spirit and in truth!" I'm looking forward to visiting our satellite campuses to experience worship in several different styles. The method of our worship is nothing compared to the object of our worship. "Where two or three are gathered together in my Name, I am there in the midst of them."                


Rut Mentality

Now, here's another reason  not to get into a rut. My motto is, "you can't spell routine without r - u - t." So I admit it. I broke one of my own rules. I fell into a rut. Blue Coast Burritto is closed. For the last couple of years I have gone to this hip establishment for lunch on my off day. I looked forward to it. I could answer their questions before they were asked. "Spinach tortilla, rice and pintos please. No queso and mild sauce please. Yes, yes, and yes (to the question 'Do you want pico, cheese and lettuce.') Pickled jalapenos, white onions and that's all, thanks."

Now, they're closed. No sign. No sorry to our loyal customers , but we had to leave. Nothing. What am I to do now. I know, some of you are saying, there's always Mo's. No disrespect for those of you who have shunned the BCB for Mo's, its just that you don't really understand rut mentality. In a rut doing anything but the rut doesn't satisfy. It's almost like being unfaithful. It's akin to heresy. The activity becomes entrenched in your belief system and it becomes increasingly difficult to separate the two. I went to Mo's every 6th day of the week and sat at the same pew, oops I meant table, and it fulfilled a need in my life. It's not that eating something different would kill me or anything, but I was so comfortable at my table. I would put up with less than a good burritto at times just because I felt like I belonged.

And that annoying "Welcome to Mo's!" Over and over again. Aren't there any other verses to that song? I want things to be the way they used to be. I want to go back to the days at Blue Coast when only a few people knew about this little out of the way place to eat. I want to go back when each of the servers recognized me when I walked into the door. I'll never forget the first time I came a little after lunch time and someone was sitting in my seat. Can you believe it?   

I may try another eating establishment or two. I don't know. Maybe I'll just eat at home from now on. I can get just as much nourishment at home as I did down there at that place anyway. And another thing, they were always after my money.