Wednesday, June 29, 2011

A Glimpse of Seattle

I just got home from a wonderful time in Seattle, WA with family and friends. During my trip I had the chance to go visit the Edmonds waterfront which has always been one of my favorite places to spend time praying and discerning God's will. I will look forward to posting a new blog tomorrow, but for now I need to get some much needed rest after flying in late tonight. 


Sunday, June 26, 2011

How to preach to the masses?

     I have been thinking a lot lately about how one can most effectively preach in a typical church setting. How does a pastor convey the truth of scriptures in such a way that the congregation is not only captivated, but moved to action. For many years I have sensed that  whatever pastoral role God is leading me towards will involve preaching. I have a deep passion for preaching and believe that it is an important and useful aspect of our church worship services. Despite my belief that it is still crucial to our growth as Christians, I also believe that there are many preachers who lack inspiration and passion. The question for me is how do preachers allow their sermons to be inspired by the Holy Spirit, passionate, Bible based and meaningful to the point that listeners are moved to live more authentic and Christ based lives? Is this even possible or are my expectations too high?  
     This week I am back in Seattle visiting family and friends, which also means figuring out where Amy and I want to worship on Sundays. Last Sunday we visited my good friend Mark's church and really enjoyed their small, intimate service. This morning we decided to worship at the church I grew up in (which is always a mix of emotions for me) and worshipped with Amy's parents. The pastor who preached was a woman, in here late 30's, who at times sounded more like a stand up comedian than a pastor. I know that it is difficult to preach, especially in front of hundreds of people, but I find as I study the art of preaching it becomes more difficult not to critique the sermons I hear. All in all this women preached a good sermon and I listened attentively to the entire sermon, however, 8 hours later I can barely remember anything she said. Why is it that we can spend hours of our weeks preparing sermons, stressing out over if our illustrations will be effective and preach our hearts out only to have the congregation leave unchanged.
     I have within me a burning passion to be more effective as a preacher. I don't know what this will look like or how I will achieve this, but I am determined to someday, by the grace of God, inspire people through my preaching. I hope and pray that God will use my words to pull people closer to Him. If we, as the Church, are to bring people to Christ and help others understanding the living hope we have in Christ, we must tirelessly search for the most effective ways to reach people, including how we preach the word of God, which must be the foundation for all else. I am excited to use some of my free time to study the art of preaching. I plan to read a couple books about this topic, listen to some amazing preachers and look at the style and techniques of their sermons and watch some videos from a conference on preaching. Hopefully I will find the time to continue writing out some of my thoughts about this topic here on my blog as I continue to work towards one day becoming an effective preacher.

All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.
2 Timothy 3:16-17

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Life in Seattle

Amy and I have been back in Seattle since June 17th and will be here until June 28th. It has been so nice to spend a lot of time with family and enjoy some cooler weather. This trip has been full of many joyous occasions such as meeting my favorite nephew Liam and being the best man in my older brother Joel's wedding. Needless to say due to the chaos of our time here I have fallen behind on my goal of reading the entire Bible in 90 days. Once I return to Denver I will need to spend my time studying Greek and reading my Bible in order to meet some of my goals for the summer. I am off to go see family and enjoy some Thai food tonight, but I've posted a few photo's for your enjoyment.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

A Great Morning

On Monday morning Amy had to work so I was left home alone for most of the day. Being that it is summer and I have been being a little lazy while I look for a job, I decided to be productive on Monday. After Amy left for work I spent some much needed time with the Lord which was extremely refreshing and good for me. Whenever I really want to have a good quiet time with the Lord the three elements above help ensure it, especially my Bible and journal. I have been reading through Leviticus lately and despite it sometimes being a little bit slow with all the laws God is giving I have thoroughly enjoyed it. I have decided to attempt reading the entire Bible over my summer break. I found the Read the Bible in 90 days plan here and am attempting to follow it. Life has been busy the last week or so as I have been working on finishing up a paper for my one and only summer class and I have fell slightly behind in my reading. To read the Bible in 90 days requires you read about 12 pages every day which is pretty intense. While I am behind I am still going to push forward to seek to make up some ground once we return from Seattle. Hopefully I will take some time on this blog throughout the summer to share what I have been learning as I move quickly through the Bible.
God bless!
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