Archive for the ‘encouragement’ tag
It’s hard when you have to face your own words. Sunday was frustrating on many fronts for me. When I arrived at home from preaching two services and a pre-marital counseling visit, Donna sensed something was not quite right with me. After visiting with me awhile, she said, “You feel defeated, don’t you?”
I admitted that is where I was at the moment — well, where I was most of the afternoon.
Preaching post-mortems are always pretty rough for me; I am nearly always too hard on myself and how the morning went. I am just frustrated that we seem to have the same technical problems over and over and in the process, my heart-felt response in worship has become dampened. Part of it is that I have been a bit depressed, off and on, since returning from Africa. So much of what we focus on — what I focus on — when discussing church seems so shallow and selfish. Yet it still matters to me as a matter of excellence and offering my best and our best to the Lord. When I lose my passion in worship, I’m a whole lot like a sailboat without a keel and rudder: I’m left to blow in whatever ill wind catches me.
Thinking through my message convicted me that I am guilty of not hearing my own message about staying on the journey — my Heartlight article today covers some of the same emphasis. I want to see movement and passion. I want to see message move us to mission. I don’t want to feel like I’m dosing out spoonfuls of water to sponges and then watching the water evaporate over the course of a week only to see the same dry sponges return the next week without any observable movement or change, they’re just back for their weekly dose of water.
Is it the process of preaching?
Is it the way we do church?
Is it me?
I know late Sunday nights are not the best time to look at such things. I may feel totally different by tomorrow morning — or at least a little different.Thankfully for me, friends from our care group came over and I was profoundly blessed by their friendship and conversation. Donna was precious as she showered tender attention on me after our friends left. During the process, through friends and family, I was gently nudged to hear the words the Spirit game me to share … words I needed to hear.
Remember your destination: becoming like Jesus — be like Him until you go home to be with Him.
Remember the journey can be long: stay committed.Remember what maturity is: realizing you haven’t arrived until you’re at home with Jesus.
So I’m just before sleeping myself into the beginning of another week with many of the same challenges of the previous week … and the one before that and the one before that … But I’m trying to trust the words I shared with others are words I must hear and apply to my own heart.
But it’s hard staying on the journey when the landscape doesn’t change very quickly and the problems seem to be the same from week to week. And it’s hard to stay on the journey when you’ve come to the conviction that we’ve got to change some significant, meaningful, organizational things about how we do church and refuse to be misled by cosmetic and faddish things.
Let’s help each other hang in and stay on the journey!
If you got some suggestions for me and others who are reading the blog, then please suggest to me resources that have blessed you on your journey. What words of encouragement you would offer to someone who, like me, gets a little bogged down and distracted on the journey? How do you find strength to stay on the journey?