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Today was an experience to be remembered.

I woke up early and angry.  Strange combination huh?  Anyway, I wanted to practice my sermon a few times before the kids got up and totally distracted me.  Of course, being angry it was really hard to get my mind wrapped around the sermon.  So, I spent a few minutes praying for freedom from the anger and the ability to focus.  My mind cleared up very quickly but then baby #1 looks down the stairs into my office with the question in his eyes, can I come down?  Of course, I invite him to come sit with me.

Recently Chance has been very whiney about everything so with in a few minutes he is whining about something and quickly getting on my nerves.  Then, Baby #2 wakes up and needs attention.  Long morning short, I didn’t get much practice in.  I read it one time out loud before we left the house.

At church, we were the second family to arrive for set up.  Matt Isborn was there with the trailer so we quickly jumped into getting church all set up.  We were short handed by 3 of our usual set up guys which could have made things very difficult.  What amazes me every week is how smoothly set up goes regardless of who is there and who is not.

Once the main things were handled I sneaked away to get one more crack at preparing my sermon.  I felt pretty good about it but certainly didn’t have it memorized.  The topic of our series is “Your Own Personal Jesus”.  It talks about all the different images people have of who Jesus is or was.  Mine was on “Middle Class Jesus” which is perfect for me.  It is so close to the image I have held through much of my adult life.  The point is that you can tell a lot about someones image of Jesus by what they pray about.  Middle Class Jesus followers pray for safety, take away my pain, make me successful and make me happy.  I was encouraging people to pray for Jesus to make them Dangerous, Deepened, Generous and Fully Alive in Him.

This was only my second time preaching to an adult audience.  I have to say, it was much more comfortable than the first time but I was still way too serious and tied to my notes.  Next time I will practice smiling and work to have it mostly memorized.  Any other preaching tips from you pros out there?

My hope for today is that someone was encouraged if they are in real pain right now. I also hope that people were challenged if they are too comfortable in their walk with God.  We can’t be comfortable and be on the front lines fighting against the evil forces that rule this earth.  If you are not engaged in the battle, I challenge you to take up your weapon and fight.

You can visit our website for Church! at Bethany and download a podcast for any of our messages.  Jenni had a great worship set and her team did a great job as usual.  Check out her recap of the day here.

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