Saturday, August 24

the sermon

It feels like it has been forever - and well, I guess it has been a couple weeks.  My thoughts have been tied up in sermon prep for a sermon that I presented today, at our home church (Eastview Community Church).  It was a sermon on When Life Hands You Lemons - or "living well when life isn't" ...
or the bottom line - it was a sermon on pain and suffering.

I struggled through sermon prep.  Now, I love the prep part as there is always something that I learn when God has me preparing a sermon.  I cut and paste, cut and paste... add something here - delete - save - print - read it out loud - and on and on.  However it was right around Tuesday of last week - that God made it clear, that the sermon was done - and now I just needed to read it out loud a few times, so that it would flow well on delivery day.

Delivery Day - it was last Sunday - and in both services.

I get asked often - "do you get nervous?"  I do get nervous.  Actually pretty nervous.  However, I also think that if I didn't - then I would be doing it in my own strength - now in God's.  Usually after the first few lines - I feel like God just unfolds it.  And then - it is done.

I was very conscious last Sunday - of the pain within our circle - within our congregation at large - and within our friendships - and as I shared last Sunday - it is so obvious - that life is NOT an easy stroll - but instead - it is hard work. That Jesus never promised our life following him would be easy - NO - he told his disciples in John 16:33 - that in the world there would be troubles but that He has overcome the world!!

Our church it seems, has gone through hard stuff - pain and loss - since the new year.  On Sunday - I was VERY aware of pain and suffering within the congregation as I saw tears flowing after.
I also feel like we have - within our little family - the pain and loss - losing my sweet friend Audrey, and then my oldest niece within weeks later.  Lately, I have been struggling with some physical suffering - with the same old fibromyalgia issues.  My sister has been having some health issues - and my close friend is waiting to go through chemotherapy after a double mastectomy.  And then add to that - hearing about friends from school who are battling their own cancer fights ...

Looking at the pain and suffering - could paralyze us couldn't it.  Sometimes it seems like even cancer alone - is crowding into our inner circles - and it is just plain ugly.  And I have come to realize that there are times when I can become very consumed with my own pain that I can get into my own little pity party quite nicely - and well that isn't good for me or anybody.

The year that we lost our little Jay - I had begun the year - as I do EVERY YEAR in my journal - with giving it to God - from January 1 to December 31st - every single day.  Of course we don't know what the year will hold - we found that out in 2008 when the year looked like it was packed full of celebration!  (no one ever thought of our little grandson's silent birth would be part of our year) Thing is - this is how we live - in really - blind trust - taking one step and then another - sometimes trying to plan - sometimes flying by the seat of our pants.  But all along - we are walking a journey with Jesus leading/walking with us/carrying us/rejoicing over us/singing over us/delighting in us ...  Jesus must be the main part of our days!!  Keeping our eyes FIXED on Jesus - oh YES!!

ANYHOW ... those are some of my thoughts - some of you had asked about the sermon - and if you want - you can go to our church's website and click on the link and listen/watch for yourself.

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