Monday, October 27, 2008

singles and homeruns

Well, it is World Series time and if the Rays don't find their bats, it'll be over tonight, but i see parallel in preaching and baseball (actually i see spiritual allegory in all sport, but that's another blog). Can I let you in on a preacher's heart a little? As a preacher I consider it a high privilege to actually open God's Word and talk on his behalf every Sunday. And I pray for, prepare for, and hope for life altering stuff every week. You know my commitment to the Word of God, so I already know something good will happen because it's the Word. But honestly, using a baseball analogy, I hope to hit a homerun every Sunday. I desire for revival-starting preaching every Sunday that i preach and .... here's the reality. I hit a lot of singles.

This is never more evident than after hitting a homerun. Last Sunday (not yesterday, the week before) was a homerun Sunday. The message was hard hitting (you shall not commit adultery), the decision time was awesome, I received tons of positive feedback and the bookstore sold a bunch of c.d.s As a preacher, these are the Sundays you really feel good about.

Then comes, "you shall not steal". I prayed, prepared and preached the same as last week...and well, I think I hit a single. Now, I've come to know in my head that singles are just as important and when it comes to preaching a year of singles (non spectacular, but Bible driven messages of truth) it is just as effective as hitting homeruns. But emotionally, I left the stage yesterday feeling like I had swung for the fences and missed. I know, I know. Many of my trusted friends have given me feedback that it was a good sermon. But as a preacher, i wanted it to be so much more. I know that God will use it, because his Word always changes us and forms us and challenges us and moves us closer to him. So, I'll take the single, but I want you to know that this week in "you shall not bear false witness" I'm swinging for the fences - you may want to sit in the balcony!

Next Monday at this time, I'll be flying out of NYC to Athens (not Kentucky, Greece) for a trip through many of the biblical sites of the book of Acts (Athens, Corinth, Thessalonica, Philippi, etc...) Sara and I are joining Bob and Sandi (missions pastor at our church) and several other pastors from around the country for this life changing experience. prayerfully, we will lead a trip for our congregation some time soon, but in the meantime, I'm looking forward to connecting with my spiritual heritage.

Monday, October 20, 2008


Ok, this weekend was another great one at Eastview. Ever once in a while we get a true glimpse of church and our invitation was that for this weekend. It was risky at the end of thou shalt not commit adultery to do what I did, but I wanted to encourage those in our congregation affected by adultery to know there was hope. So I asked those who had strong Christian marriages now, but had experienced adultery in there relationship in their past to stand. I knew there were dozens and I hoped a couple in each service would stand...well dozens stood in each service. How vulnerable? How honest? How humbling? How inspiring? I know this act of admission encouraged hundreds of couples. Also loved taking vows of purity in our marriages together!

But that was only the end of the weekend. There was an awesome event here on Friday night that most of you weren't invited to - it was a pastor's and spouses event (dinner and encouragement from Dr. Tony Evans - yes that one!) on our campus. As many of you know, I have a passion for working on the unity of our pastors in town, so I willingly offered our facility when another pastor in town said he was bringing in a guy like Evans! How awesome! I got to sit next to him during dinnner. He's a great, humble and godly man...and his sermon was inspiring. Again I was moved as our people (15 or so volunteers from Eastview) gave up their Friday evening to serve dinner to a bunch of pastors in town. How awesome.

Monday, October 13, 2008


Well, last week was dominated with the talk of Wall Street and the stock market tanking (and the sky falling, etc...). Of course the 24 hours news people were all over this and long about Wednesday (as I listened to the blah, blah, blah) it hit me - it doesn't matter what number ends up on the DOW at the end of the day. Here's why - my life is not about money or the accumulation of goods or storing away for the future. Many good Christians brothers and sisters that I talked with agreed kinda and "said, yeah but..."

And there's a lot to that "yeah but". "Yeah but," they say, "people are trying to save for their kids college." or "Yeah but, they are retiring in a year." Or "Yeah but, their business is affected." And you know what my "yeah but" is? "Yeah but, God is bigger than all of that."

Yeah but, God will supply a way for your kid to go to college
Yeah but, God will supply your needs as you near retirement age
Yeah but, God will take care of your business that you can't guarantee because you can't guarantee tomorrow.
Yeah but, God knows we are living a highly extravagant life that is excessive and not Christian and we need to own that.

I get a little hot when I hear people worried about their financial situation knowing and having experienced the world condition as I have. "I just don't know how we're going to make it" I've heard from well-meaning.

Yeah but, you're not eating mud pies
Yeah but, you're not shoeless and shirtless
Yeah but, you're not living on one meal a day
Yeah but, you're not competing with the dogs in the trash heap for lunch.
Yeah but, you're... I could go on.

Just take a moment and take stock and hopefully you'll find it's in God and not the market.

Monday, October 6, 2008

monday in indy

Well, I'm only blogging today because it's fun and not work. Sara and I are on a short two day vacation in Indianapolis (my home town and favorite place in the world). It's really about sitting on the monument circle and watching people, grabbing a starbucks and some candy from my favorite store just off the circle, walking on the canal with the love of my life (which you knew if you were at the couple's retreat in Galena last weekend with 75 other couples) - o.k. skip to the retreat. It was great to hang out with couples that have been at Eastview forever (37 plus years) and some who have just joined, some newlyweds (2 months) and some oldyweds (over 50 years) and some who were just looking to get away and make some friends. Whether it was strolling around Galena or balloon rides (mark and rachel warren took a dip in the lake - ask them about it), or eating or just hanging out at the main house (think huge mansion place with tons of activities and fireplaces - and an outdoor firepit in which i stoked a fire of amazing proportions), every couple had a great time. We had two worship times and an early morning Bible study through Philemon which I taught at 7:00 a.m. on Saturday morning. After preaching three times in Galena and then twice on Sunday, I was ready for a break, but praising God for all the blessings of our family at Eastview. Hope your monday is as laid back as mine, but I'll bet it's not.