Quite a few thoughts on my mind lately. Got back from a vacation a couple weeks ago and hit the ground running like you do. Also got to spend July 4th weekend with great friends, been a nice start to the summer, and the only real casualty is the blog. So hoping this post gives me some clarity and gets me blogging again. If any of this resonates, let me know.
I was grateful to have preached last week in our new sermon series “One Word Prayers” and my word was “Please.” In the message I revealed my love for bacon, coffee and that we’re expecting a new baby this fall. That said, the point of the message was we use the prayer, “Please” in many ways, from seeking God’s blessing, interceding for others, and desiring God’s sweeter reality. You can listen/watch it here and embedded below.
There’s a draft on the post-sermon that I’m unsure I’m going to finish. Similar to the feeling of “it’s great to have written”, there’s the “it’s great to have just preached” but this time I really feeling, “It’s great to have just connected.” I was grateful to have had a bigger part in shaping this sermon series and I think I feel the difference of having preached something a bit closer to my heart. If you’re not a weekly preacher, there’s often either a hangover or afterglow, I’m grateful to have experienced the latter.
The other night I started on a draft that wondered why it sometimes feels like everyone I know is unhappy. It’s a half-true of course but it feels like there’s a lot going on with all of us, we’re all in need of something and what do things like contentment, waiting and joy look like in the midst of this? Working on it.
I’m also thinking about what’s going on in the news:
- Still have a few thoughts and finishing the follow up to “What to Do with all These Stories of Women Being Sexually Attacked …”
- Working my way through the Supreme Court-Hobby Lobby decision. On one hand requiring businesses to provide birth control seems like clumsy socialism yet this decision feels like it gives greater power to corporations and I’m not comfortable with that either. Some great essays/posts out there and I’m processing
There’s a pile of book reviews I’m trying to put together:
- The Church and Post-Modern Culture Series via Logos Bible Software. I was asked to review this seven volume series and while it’s time-consuming nerdy work, it’s reading I need and thankful for, especially during these post-seminary days.
- Fail by J.R. Briggs – love this guy, love how he talks about failure, love that IVP published this. I even when to his conference where each presenter shared about their greatest failures and how they survived.
- 24/6 by Matthew Sleeth – Sabbath, rest, worship, renewal. Every time I approach my stress and confront the feeling of being overwhelmed, I return to the teaching and practice of Sabbath.
And an assortment of reflections ranging from short term mission trips, student ministry, small group ministry, discipleship culture in churches, faith and science divide and general leadership. I’ll never get it all out but I’m grateful to be around all this.
On a bit more of a personal level, I’m looking for rest and renewal this summer. I’ve said this all year, so I guess it’s been one of the themes all along and it’s filtered through just about everything I’ve been a part of including our Summer Discipleship Course starting this Sunday morning at the Lexington campus during both morning worship hours. We’re calling it “Rest and Renewal in Summer and Scripture” and I’m excited to kick it off this week.
Hope all is going well with you and your summer.
If you’re up for a 30 minute sermon about prayer, heaven and bacon, I’m your preacher :)