Tuesday, September 27, 2005

In Praise of Preaching

I have been a “full-time” preacher for over 18 years. Yet I never cease to be amazed by the power of proclamation. I suppose that there have been pundits in nearly every generation who have predicted the decline of preaching, claiming that it would fall out of vogue. The naysayers pass on, but preaching continues to not only live, but thrive! How? Because it is the plan of God. “For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not come to know God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe” (1 Corinthians 1:21).

Every herald of the Good News knows the look on the face of the hearer who finally “gets it.” It is an “aha” moment, a holy event, as the Spirit of God uses His double-edged sword to penetrate the heart and soul of person, whether he be a saint or sinner.

And God has a sense of humor. The times when I think that I really “knocked it out of the park”, the congregation has a lukewarm response. But when I think that I have preached the worst sermon ever, someone walks by with tears in her eyes and says, “That was just the Word from the Lord that I needed.” Huh?!

I have been reminded recently that people are hungry for solid preaching from the Bible. And the “harder” I preach, the more they seem to embrace it. The words of the old evangelist are true, “Preacher, if you set yourself on fire, people will come to watch you burn.”

Minister Brother, be encouraged. God still takes our feeble sermons and uses them to transforms lives. What an awesome God we serve. So in the words of one of my early mentors, “This is no time for pusillanimous pussyfooting. It’s time to get some sand in our craws and cement in our backbones and stand up on our hind legs and preach the Gospel – heaven-high, hell-deep, world-wide, and shotgun-barrel straight!”

Saturday, September 17, 2005

Irish Eyes Aren't Smiling

What a game today! My Irish came back from a three touchdown deficit, only to get beat in overtime 44-41. Coach Weis is an offensive genius, but the D needs some work.

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Random Blogations

Fantasy football? I don't get it. Get a life people.

I think Grant Boone is a hoot.

What must it be like to be most of the players in the major leagues right now? Their games are meaningless. How to get motivated to show up to work? Well, the $2.2 million paychecks probably ease the pain just a tad.

Netflix rocks! In one year we watched the first three seasons of Alias. Saw Season Four in "real time" (it got really lame, probably because the producer was busy making Lost). Now we are halfway through Season Two of 24. Even better than Alias (although Kiefer Sutherland is no Jennifer Garner). By the way, I think Keifer and Greg Stauffer were separated at birth.

People around here are complaining that we haven't had any rain and therefore the lawns are burning up. Hey, at least our lawns are not six feet underwater. And we have homes in which we can sit around and complain.

The Blame Game

I understand that Dubya is going to address the nation tonight. Yesterday he made his "the buck stops here" speech. I guess tonight he's going to accept the blame that the Dems & the media have heaped upon him.

I can't help but wonder what would have happened if he had done the very things that he is being criticized for not doing (i.e. flying immediately to New Orleans & Gulf Coast, sending in the national guard, cutting through the "red tape, protocol, and proper channels", and basically "taking over" the entire operation). I think those same critics would be accusing him of dissing the Mayor & Governor, political grandstanding, glory-hogging, and violating any number of state & federal laws.

"We played the flute for you, and you did not dance; we sang a dirge and you did not mourn." The poor guy can't win.

But at least Judge Roberts is making Ted Kennedy look like an idiot (granted, it's not all that difficult).

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Indiana Living

It seems that every little town in these parts has a fair, festival, or fun weekend of some sort.

The big deal in our town is the Grabill Country Fair, held the weekend after Labor Day. Now, when I say "big deal", you have to remember that we get excited when they install a new pop machine in front of the video store. Everything is relative. Just today there was a big traffic jam at the four-way stop (yes, the four-way stop). There must have been three cars and an Amish buggy backed up. I must have waited a full 45 seconds to get through. Yep, Mayberry is alive and well in 2005.

Anyway, back to the Fair...there is some serious eating to be done at this place. My favorite is the pork tenderloin sandwich. The meat is about four times as large as the bun. The trick is to do a tri-fold number on the tenderloin, then add pickles & mustard. Several of the local churches and civic groups have food booths. Our youth group sponsors the "Spud Hut" (baked potatoes & fixin's). I'm not much of a "stand alone" baked potato fan. But gimme a steak and a salad with that Spud and I'm all over it. Thanks to Dr. Atkins and the numerous other food choices, the Spud Hut hasn't done too well over the past couple of years, but it's still a good opportunity to get the church name out in the community. Plus, we get to meet a lot of people.

Another group does hot apple dumplings. Man, are they good. Of course, you have to get it a la mode. Yummy!

Diet starts next week, right?

Take Me Out to the Ballgame!

Enjoyed watching our local minor league team with my son over the weekend. They won 7-0. Minor league games are great. Where else can you see:
Kids doing the crazy-spinning-bat game (we used to do this at church camp, cracking up laughing when kids would get dizzy and fall down --yep, it doesn't take much to humor me).
People dressed up as potato chip bags, racing around the field (and staffers dumping real potato chip bags onto the crowd from atop the pressbox).
Jake the Diamond Dog, retrieving bats and taking water to the umps.
Frisbees and t-shirts being tossed and rubber-band launched into the crowd.
Free fireworks.

Good stuff.

Thursday, September 01, 2005

Three Months!

Well, I've been blogging officially for three months now. I don't know who reads this, except my wife (when I really make her sit down and do it), a couple of staff members (past & present), and a few friends. But I'm having fun with it anyway.