Kraig Lowell Pullam

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

Archive for the tag “Thoughts”

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.

Why Do You Blog?

Not too long ago, someone asked me the question, ‘Kraig…why do you blog?’images

He was arguing the point from the angle of one who honestly didn’t understand what blogging was, nor did he see how any preacher who has a schedule with ongoing demands would even have the time to do it.  (To that, he has a point!)

On the cuff, I gave him a list of reasons why I blog, and have blogged through the years, since 2006.  These are they….

1. Cultivating my writing skills

I love books; and I love words.  By default, I’ve learned to love writing!  Admittedly, I often wonder if I am growing or regressing in my writing ability.  Nonetheless, I keep on writing.  I have wondered if my growing desire to write is hewn out of an early frustration of not finding enough material among more preaching giants within my culture.  I would relish more of the words of a late Manuel Scott, Sr. (who wrote 2 books) or a Miles Jones or a C.A.W. Clark, or an Isadore Edwards, E. Edward Jones, William J. Shaw and so many others.  These aforementioned preaching minds, among many others, in the African-American context, stand with the W. A. Criswell’s and George Truett’s and Adrian Roger’s of their time. But….we are hard pressed to find their materials.  As a consequence, many of ‘us’ resorted to taking the words they preached and writing them ourselves; only to compromise our preaching integrity with endless plagiarisms and non-credits that came to ‘discredit’ us in our preaching.  Somehow, and in some way….the writings of the white preacher not only gave credibility to the one who preached; but also added validity, weight and credibility to the one who repeated it.  I just decided, a while ago, that if I never become one of the premier preachers of yesteryear tomorrow, I hope to be a good writer and a communicator of truth.  At any rate….a clear writer!

2. Clarify my unrefined thoughts

In order to be a clear writer (see #1), I must not only continue to blog and write, but I must sift and think through my thoughts with the likening consistency of a swordsmith who sharpens iron or a baker who filters flour.  I often wonder how some of these great bloggers who I enjoy (please see blogs I follow), ‘how in the world do they write with such clarity?’.  I’ve discovered they blog often and are avid readers.  There are simply no excuses for the preacher not pressing toward the goal of being a voracious reader, a consistent writer and a continual thinker & philosopher.  I want my thoughts to be clear and concise.  And a primary way to do this is through continued writing.  This is a challenge to me when I consider myself to be a person who finds complex ways to say the simplest things.  The more I grow, the less I feel the need to use a big word to say a very simple, elementary thing.  The greatest minds are able to discern and select each word, and ascertain where it should be ascribed and placed.  And even if you aren’t a great writer, just start writing!

3. Chronicling my journey

I am literally amazed when I go back to my original blogs and read many of the words and thoughts I chronicled along the way, during my first pastorate, and leading into my current pastorate.  I received quite a bit of criticism from discreet and aloof Christians and pastors who felt I was being too transparent in my early writings.  Man….I am so glad I kept writing and being transparent!  I have absolutely no regrets.  I am actually smart enough to know what should not be shared, and mindful that some things are too much.  As I look back over my older blogs, beginning in 2006, I chronicled the birth of 2 of my 3 sons, losing children, starting a congregation, personal and private struggles, etc.  I have no doubt that it has blessed some whom I may never even know.  I pray that somehow it will one day even bless my own children, in some way.  For me, I would never do this on a sheet of paper or a booklet called a ‘journal’.  Blogging is my journal! I make absolutely no claims to be one of the greatest minds in the world; but I do have an innate desire to leave resources for coming generations to read it and run, as found in the words of Habakkuk 2:2.


4. Build Consistency

I suppose that when blogging is done as I imagine, it builds consistency.  If a blog is to be minimally effective and efficient, there is somewhat of a forced consistency that must be established and maintained.  After all, a person who blogs once or twice a year (which I encourage, rather than not at all) somehow loses the war on consistency, UNLESS they are consistent about that one or two annual blogs!

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5. Communal Interaction….kind of

A few years ago, I discovered something that blew me away – people read my blogs!  Well, maybe I should clarify – I don’t always know whose reading my blog!  I was once in a church during my vacation.  Incidentally, I attended a service hoping to hear the pastor.  Much to my surprise, they had a guest congregation and preacher that day.  The church was filled to capacity!  The visiting congregation was, in their own right, a church that had grown to over a thousand, as a new church; and well-respected for their consistent growth in such a short period of time.  After the preacher delivered his sermon (an interesting sermon dealing with Mephibosheth!), the pastor saw me and called my name.  The guest preacher stood up and said, ‘I know you.  I read your blogs!’  I was completely shocked.  It made me a little proud of my little blog; but it also humbled me.  To be brutally honest – it devastated me!!!  I had to go back and reflect on all of the things I wrote! But I say that to say this – interactions are all but commonplace in my arena.  I relish those who are following my blogs and, through the years, have left feedback on my page.  But to be honest, many who are touched will never leave a name, comment or website.  But they are touched!!!

6. Impact, Encourage and Inspire

Here is another reality – some WILL give feedback.  That feedback simply serves as an encouragement to let me know that my journey and story is touching somebody else.  In turn, it has a way of blessing me!

7. Instilling

I believe the purpose of blogging, at least in my context, is to leave something beneficial in the life of the one who reads.  It is my hope and prayer that I may instill something that only I can, with the dynamics of the life I lead.  We can impact the world and change generations by sharing from our history and biography.

What are some ways blogging has benefited you as a writer or a reader???

Hello

comp7150This is my new blog site!

While I have been blogging for quite a few years now (check out my old   link!); I have always sought to blog like the bloggHeros in the bloggeSphere who blog every day and, in some instances, several times daily.  I’m trying this new portal and taking ‘baby steps’ with all of the new features and tools.  My goal is to one day blog EACH day but, for now, I am simply hoping to acquaint myself with WordPress, it’s many different looks, etc.  

I invite you to join me on this journey as I seek to clearly communicate and prayerfully journal my thoughts about life, scripture, the things I read beyond the scripture, pastoring, husbandry, fatherhood and anything else that chronicles my unique journey.  

In Romans 8:5-6 Paul says, “For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit. For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace.”  In like manner, I hope to provide a platform that would ultimately furnish a spiritual outlook on my life’s journey that will, in turn, encourage you inyour own.

May God bless you as He gives you joy in the midst of your own journey.  Please visit here soon, and feel free to share your thoughts.

Blessings!

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