This past Lord’s Day I had the opportunity to go home. When I say ‘home’, I am speaking of one of two places that I specifically consider home, by way of membership and special memories. One is where I began my preaching ministry, and where I was licensed to preach. This is the church where my father still serves as the Senior Pastor and leader, the St. John First Baptist Church of Corpus Christi, Texas. It was there I cultivated a deep love for the preeminence of God’s Word; and a true appreciation for Christian learning and education. It was at St. John First that I grew to cherish the teaching and proclamation of God’s Word. The other place I most often call ‘home’ is the place where I was ordained, started full-time in ministry and became trained in pastoral leadership under my Pastor, Harvey Clemons, Jr. Yesterday, I had the opportunity to preach at Pleasant Hill in Houston. These days, I rarely have the opportunity to go home. But when I do, I am overwhelmed by my love for them, their love for myself and my family; and Pastor Clemons’ consistency to love and nurture me as an adopted son in ministry. My relationship with this great man is something I have a hard time communicating in words; and I am led to believe he will never understand the special place he has in my life and ministry that he continues to hold.
So….to say the least, sharing there is always a special treat. It never fails, I am always extra nervous when I preach there! August is his vacation month, but he was there! This adds nervousness to my always nervous tension. I shared a message I attempted to share a few days ago from Daniel 3:17-18, regarding the plight of the 3 Hebrews boys’ unwillingness to bow amidst the pressure of a pagan king. I entitled the sermon, ‘Don’t Curse Your Crisis.’ The outline was simple: I. Remember who you are II. Remember what you have III. Remember Who is in control IV. Remember your assignment.
My biggest concern these days is my use of time, and my use of manuscript. My continued goal is to come completely off of my written manuscript very soon. It was an honor to have one minister to ask if I was using a manuscript during the message. I’m getting there.
Last week I read H.B. Charles, Jr’s. book “On Preaching”. He was kind of enough to sign a copy for me while he was preaching in my hometown, Corpus Christi. And I am also halfway through the reading of Steven J. Lawson’s, ‘In it to Win it’. It is my hope to do a review on both of these books in the near future, if time permits.
My Cowboys lost; and I am NOT happy. Preseason football is football to me; and it sometimes que’s things to come. We shall see.
How was your Sunday?