What a journey this has been!
Admittedly, the road I’ve been treading has been bittersweet. Leaving my old life and people, where everything was great, along with all of the things that come with being apart of a new assignment, have been bitter. In juxtaposition, experiencing a fresh new season of life, relationships and the realization of God’s promises…have been sweet! My difficulties in preaching, pastoral ministry and in life amid remaining faithful have truly prodded me to stop and thank the Lord for every facet and aspect of my new journey.
Shiloh has been phenomenal. Let me be more specific – the PEOPLE of Shiloh have been phenomenal. As I have been in a constant haze as to why and how God sent me to them; I am certain they have their own set of mixed emotions. This is only natural and to be expected. The loss of their leader only one year ago; the expectations of someone of his caliber; many’s uncertainty of “where do I fit with this new guy?”; and wondering how things will look moving forward – are actually all LEGITIMATE concerns for those of us who are human. But in the midst of this, the people have made this transition much easier. All of the ministers, deacons, leaders and members have been encouraging; even those who have quietly shown their support through their presence; and looking me over. As I tell them, I am looking them over as well. The common thrust is that I believe they love Christ; and I think they may feel the same towards me. Therefore, we can love one another through Him.
On October the 2nd, I began a 7-week series entitled, “The Journey Begins…the Legacy Continues.” This series concluded on November 13, 2016. After that, I took a couple of weeks to preach on Giving Thanks:
November 20, 2016: “What to do in the Meantime”, Romans 1:8-15
November 27, 2016: “The Supernatural Power of Human Gratitude”, Luke 17:11-17
Now that we are in Advent, I am simply preaching a series of sermons from Luke 1. On Sunday, December 4, 2016. I tried my best to deal with Luke 1:26-38; entitling the sermon, “When God Doesn’t Make Sense.” My hope is to begin live streaming our services, posting our messages and expanding our distribution of sermons in early 2017. Please keep us in this regard. In short, it had been a very busy week before Sunday. I have been going nonstop since my first Sunday in September. I had a couple of meetings on Saturday, as well. I found myself finishing up my sermon into 1am or so, Sunday morning. I laid down Sunday morning after 2am; and woke up when my wife said, “It’s time for you to get up.” She was dressed!!! I was so tired, I almost asked one of our associates to prepare to stand and preach. I didn’t do it. After making it through salutations and all, I just preached; and God spoke through me. God took my few notes; and breathed upon me, us and the message. Interestingly, I got happy toward the end. Shiloh does communion a little differently than many congregations. It is really on another level. I think I’ve done communion over a hundred times. After everyone had been served by the deacons, I began to serve the deacons before the deaconesses on the front row (lol). I said to myself, “Kraig…go home and take a nap!” We made it through; and worship was stellar. Followed by meetings, I was able to try out a new restaurant with Dee and the boys; go to a place we like called Marble Slab; and made it home and went to sleep. Although I missed several calls, texts and messages; and also my plan to attend a meeting with our Young Adults….the Lord assured me the world would not end because I took a nap; and that all of the people who needed me, didn’t need me as much as I may have thought they did.
In short, I had a great Lord’s Day. Now that things are beginning to settle down, my hope is to continue to flesh out my thoughts in writing. It is my additional hope and prayer that this will be of some benefit to someone who reads. I hope and pray that you are blessed during the course of your week; and that you find a lesson and message every day of your life, in something. Anything. If this has been helpful to you, please share with someone else.