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Posts Tagged ‘Bible’

So after a long summer and fall break from speaking at Churchatbethany, I told Matt Payne (my pastor) I would cover for him on December 6th because he was going a New Thing event somewhere in the East .  I accepted the responsibility before Thanksgiving and anticipated spending a decent amount of time over the Holiday to prepare.  Well, I also forgot that I was due for all my continuing education for maintain my Oregon Life Insurance License.

By Friday night after Thanksgiving I was texting Matt to see if I could get out of speaking because I was feeling way too overwhelmed.  He said he had no back up plan and that he was confident I could pull it off (inside he was probably freaking out just a bit).  Besides all that, I am in charge of our Christmas Tree Fundraiser and that kicked off on Thanksgiving weekend and goes through the 13th of December (come buy a tree we have tons still available).

So I decided to focus in one thing at a time and just get it all done.  By no0n on Sunday (Thanksgiving Weekend) I was totally done with my continuing education (so I thought).  We then had to drive from La Grande back to Portland which takes about 5 to 6 hours with kids and stops.  So I had all week between, work, kids and Christmas tree fundraiser to get my sermon ready to go.  I had it edited pretty well by Friday morning and finished it totally by Saturday evening.  Then I got to practice it a few times that evening and Sunday morning.  I felt like it went pretty well, even though my nerves still  mess me up when I get in front of people.  I felt like I did a better job with the delivery this time.   People seemed to be engaged and tracking with me.  The biggest improvement I think was because I personalized the message more.  It helped me to deliver it more from memory and do less reading from my notes.

The message was on Scripture and how we use it to grow in our own faith but also how to include family and small group in our spiritual growth.  The main point; the scriptures are all about Jesus, every story points to him.  The only way to really experience him is to fully immerse yourself in the scripture.

The podcast should be up soon here on the Church site.  Feel free to give me some constructive criticism if you are a seasoned speaker.  The main thing I really messed up was not having a transition for the worship team to know when to come up at the end but of course you can’t hear that on the podcast anyway.  It was totally awkward and kind of funny.  That’s how you learn though, Right?

Whats your most memorable or embarrassing moment as a public speaker?

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Love Is Demanding

I never thought I would write about one of the most over used and most often ignored passages in The Bible.

It really hit me when a guy from our small group shared his testimony and read this passage along with it.  This verse makes more sense to me and is more clear to me now than the 100 times I had read/heard it before.  You know the saying, “when the student is ready, the teacher appears”?  Well, it applies here.  I now see how true that cliche really is.

Love never gives up.
Love cares more for others than for self.
Love doesn’t want what it doesn’t have.
Love doesn’t strut,
Doesn’t have a swelled head,
Doesn’t force itself on others,
Isn’t always “me first,”
Doesn’t fly off the handle,
Doesn’t keep score of the sins of others,
Doesn’t revel when others grovel,
Takes pleasure in the flowering of truth,
Puts up with anything,
Trusts God always,
Always looks for the best,
Never looks back,
But keeps going to the end

1 Corinthians 13:4-7 (The Message)

There are a couple of lines that really stand out to me in light of my experiences with love this year.

Love never gives up

Love cares more for others than for self…In relationships – especially marriage, it is easy to do “stuff” for your spouse and think, “I just racked up some points.”  What it’s saying instead of considering the “points”, we do these things JUST because we want to care for our spouse and honor our relationship.  This also helps us avoid building up unspoken expectations.  According to this verse, there are no points in “real” love.

Love doesn’t keep score of the sins of others and puts up with anything… This one really hit home for me.  I can’t relive the times my wife hurt me so I can justify rude, hurtful or, in my case, silent behavior.  Once it’s forgiven, it is to never be used against the one you love again.

I have gained a fresh perspective on loving someone unconditionally as well as living under the illusion of love.  I have been guilty of claiming to love but not having all the attributes listed above.  I have experienced the claim of love for me with many of these pieces missing as well.  I truly believe now that if I look for someone else to love me like this description, there will most likely be disappointment.  If I choose to love to the best of my ability like this, my love may come back to me more purely than I ever expected.

I am called to give it my best effort.

Can any of us claim to have perfect love for anyone or anything?  These are pretty demanding statements.

How have you experienced love like this?
How have you shown love like this?

I would actually love to hear about it.

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