I took a vacation day Thursday for an annual event I host here in B/N for some preaching buddies of mine. Tim Harlow (Parkview Christian Church - chicago...ish), Eddie Lowen (Springfield) and JP Jones (Champaign) all brought their wives to town around 9:45 (had to pick up JP at the Miller Park zoo, but that's another story). Anyway, BJ Armstrong was good enought to get us a tee time at BCC and we had a blast. Even though it had rained like crazy the course was really nice.
Now, here's the deal. I'm not a good golfer (and that's being kind), but this event is not about golf. It's about hanging out with guys who do what I do...who understand the pressures and to whom you can just spout off and not worry about how they may take it. We didn't even keep score, but we had a great day of golf. These guys encouraged me, challenged me, told me how I should do things at my church :-) and we laughed a lot. Sara spent the day with their wives and by 3:30 we were at Biaggi's for an early dinner. Very rewarding day.
Sunday I got to teach from Deuteronomy 22:13-30 and God used this very interesting text to teach us about his standards for sexuality. I really liked how the sermon turned out. I'm often surprised (even though I believe this from the bottom of my heart and have proven it to be true over and over again) at how completely relevant the Bible is to all that is in our world today. Sex drives this culture in many ways, and of course God created sex and knows about it more than anyone. If only we'd listen.
Finally, at the end of the service I made the announcement that while Doug Rutter (teaching pastor) has blessed us here with his preaching gift, i have come to the realization that there are not enough teaching opportunities here for him. So we have prayerfully and with blessing encouraged Doug to pursue another church where he can use his gift regularly and fully develope what God has made him to be...a preacher. If you remember it, join us in praying for Doug and Toni as they seek the place God is preparing for them.