Sunday Reflections….3 weeks!
It has been a few weeks since my last blog. I am glad to be back! My schedules in the pastorate and chaplaincy have both kept me pretty occupied. The most significant change has been to increasing and refining the moments I am spending with my immediate family (wife and boys) and my study (devotional, leisure and sermon preparation). Going into the most recent conference (aforementioned in my last blog), I wanted to walk away with some practical ways to simply learn quicker and move toward sermon construction at a faster pace, until it is clear and precise. This consumed much of my time. Taking the past 21 years of preaching models, habits and experience and refining my craft to suit me at the age of 36 has been both refreshing and fulfilling.
Since my last blog, I’ve continued my series in the Book of Acts at our church, Mt. Salem. On the first Sunday of October, I shared Peter’s 1st Sermon on the day of Pentecost, recorded in Acts 2:14-41. The title of the sermon was, “Let Me Explain.” What sparks Peter’s sermon at Pentecost was God’s leading to debunk the notion that what occurred in the opening verses of Acts 2 were fabricated results of drunkenness. But he doesn’t spend all of his time addressing false accusations, and neither should we. He simply verifies what happens in scripture and then makes a rush to the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Peter is masterful when it comes to modeling the preaching craft; and the study of the passage really presented an opportunity to plainly share the Gospel story and message. God be praised for the souls who were added!
The following Sunday, I shared “The Marks of a Spirit-Filled Church”, from Acts 2:42-47. Again, the Lord was kind to us! Admittedly, this was not a feel-good message; but challenging to both myself and our congregation. The thing about preaching one text, and continuing with the next verse the following week; and simply explaining what the text says and means….really forces the preacher to deal with what is there, whether good or bad. I am convinced that this not only grows the preacher tremendously, but it will in turn stretch and grow the congregation in the maturing and application of God’s Word. Again, souls were added! To God be the Glory!
This past Lord’s Day, I had the privilege of preaching for one of the historic congregations in my hometown, Corpus Christi, Calvary First Baptist Church, for their Choir Annual Day. The Pastor there is Dr. Charles E. Richardson, Sr., who is good friends with my father; and has served this congregation for quite a number of years now. Calvary First is the church where my parents grew up; and also where they met. Many great preachers and mentors of mine, grew up and began preaching at Calvary First, including J.R. Miller, Cleophus LaRue, my uncles, Monty Francis and Lloyd Pullam. It was a joy to preach there on a Sunday morning. I shared from Psalm 118:1-6, “Every Reason to Praise the Lord.” Pastor Richardson is a dynamic preacher in his own right; and so I was humbled not only that he asked me to come and share, but for the warm reception to my preaching and our congregation.
I try to read one book a week. This has been my practice for some time. I was astounded to learn that Albert Mohler, President of Southern Baptist Seminary, reads 12 books a week. I’m not believing that! But okay… I’ll stick to my one book a week. On good weeks, I can read 2, especially if I am not preparing for a sermon. On vacation, I can read a little more. But most recently, I read a book last week entitled, “Singing in a Strange Land”, by Nick Savatore. It is a book chronicling the life of Rev. C.L. Franklin, the father of Aretha Franklin. I would encourage any preacher to read this biography. It is insightful, interesting and even enriching.
It is my prayer that all who read are blessed by these blogs. I am praying how to better utilize and maximize this medium, and also to best encourage Christian leaders, pastors, ministers and laypersons. I would love to hear from you and also encourage you to subscribe. How are you? How was your Sunday? Blessings!
I love this blog entry. I will have to learn how to subscribe. I was there when you preached at my childhood church on Sunday, where I grew up, was baptized, sang my first song, directed choirs, and grew into my singing ministry. It was where I grew up along side, and married the love of my life. I arrived there shortly after you gave the scripture text and subject. I’m happy you gave your subject here. I did get all three points. You did a masterful job of rightly dividing God’s word. In your conclusion you said, you wished you could climax the message like Dr. Richardson. OMG! You did a new thing, and you were awesome. Where did that whoop come from?? Ha! Your Dad’s chest was stuck out when I told him about it, and that you called your Dad’s name, and what he would say… “a rock in a rock, a rock on top of a rock…. etc”! I told him also how Dr. Richardson jumped to his feet the moment you went to your Father’s signiture run :-). Everything about my worship experience back and forth between two services
Everything about my worship experience back and forth between two services on last Sunday morning was wonderful and a great blessing. My sister who was with me, was SO happy to have gone to Calvary First to hear her nephew preach. She had only heard you preach once, being that she always lived out of state. She was blown away. I was also blessed with the gift of being surrounded by my family and children. I thank God for the mountaintop experience and the pride of seeing my children in ministry. For on Mounday the devil DID raise his ugly head. What was meant for good, the devil eased in to make it go south. Doing what he does best to deter us from continuing in that good. That was Monday, but on Tuesday, God used me in a mighty way on program at our State Convention. He is a good God, and always, right on time. Continue Pastor Kraig Pullam in blogging. It bldsses me everytime I stop by. I love you!!