Kraig Lowell Pullam

My thoughts. My reflections. My journey…. On pastoring, preaching, leading & learning.

Archive for the tag “Reflections”

Sunday at Shiloh

What a journey this has been!

2577006675_b5dd38dca6Admittedly, 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.

Sunday Reflections

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God be praised for a phenomenal and extraordinary day in the house of the Lord this past Sunday! It completely goes without saying – God is faithful to keep His Word; and He is committed to carrying out His ultimate plan in the lives of His children.

I continued looking in the Book of Joshua.

Here is my outline:

Title: Crossing the Current of Life’s Challenges
I. Look back to God’s provision, Vss. 1-4
II. Give attention to God’s position, Vss. 3-4
III. Consider your call to consecration, Vs. 5
IV. Stand firm with faithful conviction, Vss. 7-8
V. Trust in God’s instruction, Vss. 5, 14-17

Preaching through the first few chapters of Joshua have been both challenging and enjoyable. Admittedly, I flustered through a portion of Joshua 3 on this past week. There is a portion of the story of Joshua that is a little fuzzy to me; and this is the account of them preparing to cross the Jordan. Nonetheless, God brought me through.

In overall church life, this has proven to be a tough month. We are facing the challenge of how to best utilize our church building. To be sure, the building where we worship each week is old. In fact, it is very old. And the more activities we have at our church, no matter what we’ve done to enhance sanctuary space, the building starts “showing her age!” There are just so many changes taking place in our congregation; and this is just another added to the list. We are sort of at a crossroads…which way do we go in terms of our building – try to restore or build? For many reasons, I don’t see undertaking a building project in 2016. For more reasons, I don’t see continuing to invest in space that, no matter how much we attempt to make it work, it is just not functional. This is a tough reality, for many reasons. I am prayerfully trying to discern God’s will in this; and look forward to seeing God show His hand and reveal His desire for our church in this.

In other news…the NFC Conference (Team Irvin) won the pro-bowl! January has just been an amazing month!!! I cannot complain about anything. Things are forming in the area of my organization, church life is exceptional, another open door in chaplaincy, the boys are doing well in school and I continue to have the most amazing wife. I was talking to a friend recently (last week); and he and I were discussing how many events in our lives were not as we had planned them out. This conversation arose as we discussed a book I am writing on how life can turn some peculiar corners; and how God uses our disappointments and setbacks to reveal His ultimate, preferred will for our lives. It is true – I never, in all of my life, would have concocted most aspects of my existence on the screen of my life. I would have gone to a different college, married a different person, pastored a different church, lived in a different house, drove a different car, etc. I can reflect upon all of the ways I thought my life was taking on a different direction.

But here is what is so critical – God’s love for us is willing to be criticized in order to accomplish His purpose in our lives; and move us from what is good to what is best for us!

Never, in all of my life, would I have come up with where I am now. But never, in all of my life, would I have thought I would be as blessed as I am today. Literally…I see what God was up to all along. Did I make some wrong turns along the way? Of course…or I wouldn’t be human. But I have literally seen God allowing me to graduate from the best schools (better than the ones I wanted to attend), marry the best woman (she was tailor-made for me!), father the 3 best sons (even though I wanted FIVE!…not anymore), and Pastor a church that has grown and stretched me in ways I didn’t think possible! Boy…what a journey. If someone were to come to me and say, “Let’s go back and give you all of the stuff, choices, people and places you once desire.” I would, without hesitation, say “You’re crazy!” I guess the saints of old put it like this: “I wouldn’t take nothing for my journey now.”  Now does this imply that anything I wanted was not good? No way… I’d like to think I’ve always wanted the BEST! Morehouse and Princeton Seminary are AMAZING schools.  The church I thought I’d pastor the rest of my life was one of the best!  Dallas (the place I wanted to live) is an amazing city! The person I thought I’d be with the rest of my life has become an amazing wife to someone else; and they have amazing children.  All of those things just weren’t God’s best for ME!

All in all, I continue to look forward to see what God is up to; and what God is up to in my marriage, our sons, this ministry God has entrusted unto me; and for the congregation of Mt. Salem. What a journey. I pray that God continues to guard my life, health, mind, wife and family for His glory and our good. The best is yet to come!

Sunday Reflections

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Today I completed my study of the 1st chapter of the Book of Acts with a sermon entitled, “The Ministry of Going On” from Acts 1:12-26. I’ve shared a total of 4 messages in this important chapter and recording of church history (vs 1 to 5; 6 to 8; 9 to 11; 12-16). The central idea of the text is: The paradigms the apostles employ in waiting for the Lord’s promise and transfer of leadership. The high points are Submission, Supplication, Selection & Sovereignty. The highlights of my message today was staying right at 40 minutes. My goal is to be around 30 minutes. My usual 45 to 55 minute sermon time has simply run its course. I must do better. Admittedly, this is requiring beginning early Monday morning, or Sunday evening, doing the core work of textual exposition and outlining of the text and sermon. Last week presented itself with several demands, including a new school for 3 year-old Karter and a new school year for Kai and Kaden. Coupled with church-related demands, it was a strenuous week of varying proportions. Unfortunately, this became quite apparent in my study around Friday and into Saturday. Due to a maximum of the grace and mercy of God, the extremity of prayer and something to do with being a voracious reader throughout the week, the Lord saw me through the message today. For this I am thankful!

To get ahead, I am reading through Acts chapter 2, with a plan of dealing with 4 or 5 sections in this chapter. At current, my commitment remains to complete Acts. Of course, this is a week-by-week endeavor. And this may change along the way. For the coming week, Acts is the plan!

Thankful for the 2 who came forward today. Also looking forward to choosing a web page designer in the coming weeks and putting some other things in place this Fall in our church.

Would love to hear and read your thoughts. How was your day?

Sunday Reflections

Faithfully, the Lord gave us another day of corporate Christian worship and fellowship!

After a month away from my two oldest boys, Kai & Kaden, we were reunited this past weekend.  The gang is back together!  The baby, Karter, was elated to have his two brothers back on board.  For the past few years, our boys have spent the month of July in Corpus Christi with my Mom & Dad.  The break has always proved to be refreshing and much-needed.  I’m glad to have them back!

I went to bed Saturday night/early Sunday morning, settled to go in a different direction than my preparation yielded the week prior.  For most of the week, I had been studying through Acts chapter 1, with the intention of starting a series through the Book of Acts.  Finally, on Saturday night, I determined to simply go with something else I had previously prepared that I hadn’t had the opportunity to preach.  I try my best to prepare 1 or 2 additional messages a month, in hopes of building a library of new sermons in situations like this.  Therefore, I literally had 15 or so sermons on my device, ready to preach;  and I had narrowed it down to the one that seemed to stand up, asking to be preached!

But on Sunday morning, I just could not get the Book of Acts out of my heart.  I had to preach it or die!  I spent the morning simply praying and thinking through how to communicate all that I had studied.  For me, it is always best for me to write out my sermons, from start to finish.  But in this case, I had to pull notes from here and there and just sort of bring them all together, and pray that the Holy Spirit would sort through all of the notes, scribbles and various highlights from my studies on the introduction and first few verses of Acts.  The downside is that the length of my sermon turned out to be about 50 minutes.  I suppose the personal comfort for me is in the fact that most of my introductions to a book are longer, because there is just so much information I feel needs to be shared to lay the groundwork for the entire book.  The upside, I think, is that the Lord saw me through and did not let the message flop.  I personally know that it could have been much more effective in it’s presentation and format; but I think it went well enough to do the introduction of Acts justice.  Here is a brief outline of the sermon….
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Subject: Debilitating the Power of Complacency
Text: Acts 1:1-8

I. IF WE ARE GOING TO DEBILITATE THE POWER OF STAGNATION, THERE MUST BE DIVINE PLACEMENT (vs. 1)

II. IF WE ARE GOING TO DEBILITATE THE POWER OF STAGNATION, THERE MUST BE DELIBERATE PREPARATION (vs. 2)

III. IF WE ARE GOING TO DEBILITATE THE POWER OF STAGNATION, WE MUST PRACTICE HIS PRESENCE (vss. 3-7)

IV. IF WE ARE GOING TO DEBILITATE THE POWER OF STAGNATION, WE MUST REST IN HIS PROMISE (vs. 8)

a. A people who are committed to follow Christ’s Commission (Matthew 28:16-20; Acts 1:8)

b. A people who resolve to finish the work Christ has started in you. (vss. 9-11)

c. A people who are committed to giving life to dead situations. “presented Himself Alive”

d. A people who impact lives in undeniable ways “Infallible proofs”

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