Monday, October 09, 2006

Homecoming



I was afforded a very special honor Sunday in the form of an invitation to speak at Homecoming at Luverne church of Christ. When one of the elders there, called me a few weeks back to ask if I would speak, I was shocked. I couldn't say no.

LcoC was the first congregation I ever attended. I went there with my family from the time I was born until I was about five years old. Then Dad went to work with another congregation. But, I have always considered Luverne home. I remember going to fellowships, get-togethers, game nights, and so many other church functions with the people there. I remember children being born and old folks passing away. It was my first, Christian family.

I was asked to deliver three lessons. The first was for class and the others were for the two worship periods. I used Colossians 3 for the class. The other two lessons were taken from an article I recently wrote for a Christian publication. They were mostly taken from I Corinthians 13 and were titled "Love As A Lifestyle".

Everything went well, but after all the teaching, preaching, singing, eating, and preaching again, I was exhausted. I'm still recovering today, but I'm happy that I got to go home in one of the best ways possible and I can't wait to go home for good one day.

38 comments:

Jamison said...

I left still wondering how:

a) people still exist on this earth who are that friendly

b) how a church a mere 1/5th the size of our church can produce MORE food than we can at a fellowship meal...

mullinz8 said...

Dude, that’s really great!

I’m sure there wasn’t any doubt you wouldn’t do a great job. It’s nice to see a young man doing something special like what you’ve done for those folks, I’m sure they look at you as one of the good ones, as they should.

bigsip said...

"Friendliest City in the South" is plastered on the sign as you enter the city. There are so many good folks there. I've always been amazed at how much food these people can produce. It's incredible!

Thanks, Mullinz, my friend and thanks once more to Jamison my friend for coming over there and listening to me prattle on.

mullinz8 said...

It is a true friend that will listen to you prattle and he is one.

Diana said...

I think Jamison's A answers the B.

Diana said...

I think Jamison's A answers the B.

Brewster said...

I was a)friendly once but b) I ate more than I could produce.

That's great Sip. My folks still attend the church I grew up in so it is always nice to go back and visit, even though I don't know half of them anymore.

Odd note that has nothing to do with Sips church. I just found out my congregation had a rough past involving the Boston movement and three preachers who were (in order) 1)a drug addict, 2)adulterer with church secretary and 3) gay porn perveyor using the churches internet connection

yowzers

Ryan F. said...

Preaching 3 lessons in a day wore you out huh? I thought preachers had it easy and didn't do anything. Some people just don't understand how much it drains you emotionally, mentally, and even physically to get up on a Sunday or Wednesday and teach a class or preach 2 lessons. I usually have a headache when I get through teaching a 45 minute class or preaching 2 or 3 lessons. I'm glad someone who is not a fulltime preacher can attest to how draining a Sunday can be. I bet you felt not only relieved afterwards, but probably felt good about sharing God's word with that group of Christians. I would have loved to have been there to hear you as well.

Charlie said...

You're a good egg, Sip. I've always said so, and almost always meant it.

bigsip said...

I've always known how draining preaching is, but add to that being a minister and you know the meaning of exhaustion.

I remember when we were little, my younger bro and I would accompany my Dad to visit people whoo were sick, missing church, etc. on Sunday afternoons before evening worship.

In other words, he'd teach morning class, preach a sermon, go eat lunch and take a short nap, we'd go visit people in the afternoon, go back for evening worship, and finally go home and crash. Talk about a long day!

But, yeah, those 3 lessons wore me out. Didn't help that Noah was sick the previous night. But, the mere act of standing and delivering lessons for a total of 1 hour and 45 minutes can drain you. Like Ryan said: add the further mental, emotional, and spiritual stress and you begin to feel like you've run a long race.

Rachel said...

lol- I think Mullins dealt you an insult under the table there, Josh... "I'm sure there was not any doubt you would not do a great job." ;)

Speaking of EXHAUSTION, I don't think I've gotten a solid 2 hours of sleep (at one time) in the last 4 nights. I've been up since 5:30 this morning and I'm tanking up on coffee and Mickey Mouse Clubhouse.

bigsip said...

HAHA!

Shows how closely I read the comments.

I'm sorry you're tired, baby. Hope the coffee helps.

Preaching is tiring, but nothing is quite as tiring as being a parent.

Ryan F. said...

I just wanted to post a comment so you could see my picture with my name now.

bigsip said...

I had taken mine off, but I think I might try it again...

mmullinz8 said...

There was never any sort of backhanded insult, though Brew once told me that I was the only person who could slam someone and make them think I’d just given the best compliment of their life. A special gift, I know.

I think it’s good that you were so exhausted. It’s good to try different things, gives you perspective. Then again Sipper you’ve done this type of thing in the past.

Be glad you’re not Pentecostal because with all that jumping around and speaking in tongues after three sessions you’d be wiped out.

Ryan, you so sexy!

bigsip said...

She was just kidding.

We knew what you meant, my friend.

I really enjoy public speaking, btw. It gives me almost the same rush that acting does. Sometimes I wish I were in a field that would allow me to speak to crowds and get points across.

Perhaps I'll look into that...

Jamison said...

is that picture the "Little brown church in the vale?"

bigsip said...

"Oh come come come come come come come..."

A song I shall never lead, my friends...

Twas funny: I was sitting on the front pew before the afternoon service started when Jason Holladay, a fellow with whom I graduated high school, come over and sat down.

We weren't on friendly terms in high school as I was not very cool, but he and I have become buddies by way of hiss conversion to Christ.

Anyway, he said, "I bet you never thought we'd be sitting up here together: me leading singing and you preaching." I said, "Nope, but I hoped we would."

I told him I thought he did a good job leading the singing and said I liked his song choices. Then I told him there were some songs I'd never lead.

"Like what?" he asked. "Like 'He Bore it All'," I said.

I used the whole "it's like saying 'yeah, Jesus died,let's do the Charleston'" analogy and he said he'd probably never lead that song again...

Then he got up and led "Sing and Be Happy". Oy!!!

Jamison said...

When you say that about the Charleston, it always makes me laugh, though come on now... shouldn't we feel like doing a little jig at the awesome-ness of the death of Christ so we dont have to live by that infiniate list of laws anymore? Sure some days it is humbling and should bring us to tears, yet other days we should feel like partying...

though I am not partial to that song.

Brewster said...

How do you do the charleston anyways. Maybe I'll lead that next sunday.

dancing for jesus.

For the record I like both songs and think sipper is a church song snob for not caring for them.

bigsip said...

Well, some church songs are just poor, just like some secular songs are poor.

I don't like to lead songs that don't fit the music to the words. Any musician will tell you that a song that is not tonally correct for its subject matter sucks.

I also don't like to lead cheesy or shallow songs: "If the skies above you are gray, You are feeling so blue..." That's cheesy.

Church in the Wildwood is a whole different story. It's about a church building for goodness sake!

I'm not a church song snob. I'm well-educated in the musical, phiosophical, and poetic devices of worship and song leading. If that prevents me from leading songs that suck, so be it.

Brewster said...

"I'm not a church song snob. I'm well-educated in the musical, phiosophical, and poetic devices of worship and song leading."

Yeah that doesn't sound snobbish!

Maybe someday you could lead the church in a lennon/mccartney tune.

"when i find myself in times of trouble/mother mary come to me/seeking words of wisdom/let it be"

No one will accuse you of suckage, but you'll probably be branded a catholic.

bigsip said...

That verse makes no sense to me. Why is (a)Mother Mary coming to him in (b) his times of trouble and (c) seeking words of wisdom?

Let it be? Let what be?

It's NONSENSE! I've heard Smothers Brothers songs that make more sense.

bigsip said...

OK, now I see.

I looked up the lyrics for "Let It Be"

Mother Mary is SPEAKING words of wisdom, not SEEKING.

Um, I thought you were a fan, dude...

Either way, deifying Mary is whack.

Brewster said...

Actually I got the lyrics wrong it is:

When I find myself in times of trouble, mother Mary comes to me,
speaking words of wisdom, let it be.
And in my hour of darkness she is standing right in front of me,
speaking words of wisdom, let it be.

I've also heard that mother Mary isn't the mother of Christ, but Paul's mothers name. So in this case it dear old mum speaking words of wisdom to comfort her son.

bigsip said...

Ah, ok.

"Precious memories, how they linger."

I don't particularly care for that song either. It has no reference to spiritual matters other than "unseen angels".

Brewster said...

I am a fan, but I'm also rotten and remembering lyrics. Seriously, if I created a top ten favorite song list of all time, I'd probably know 20% of their lyrics. I'm just not a lyric guy.

Brewster said...

I had never heard the church house songs until last year when we sang it right before christmas during one of our singing services.

I had to stop singing it because it seemed ridiculous. Why are we singing about some country churh house?

Precious Memories is another good one. There's lots of them that we sing that have no real spiritual significance, but give us a good nostalgic kick.

Not like Sing and Be Happy which has the superior message in all of christendom.

Jamison said...

Here is the one that gets me... Sip mentioned "songs where the lyrics dont match the music"...

(singing this with a low, sad demenor)... "Let us hasten, joyfully there..."

Maybe it is just every person who leads "Will you come?" has to sing it in a terrible meloncoly way...

And the people who dont sing songs because they are talking to Jesus still gets me... I still come acorss verses in the Bible that pretty much point to this being "okay". I think it is funny how so many Christians still think we have loads of 'rules' to follow...

mullinz8 said...

Jamison I think you should lead your dancing for Christ revolution through the c.o.C but I think you should break in the practitioners with a bit of hand clapping first.

I’m glad you tonally correct church song snobs have your arguments set up because there are songs that I don’t like just because I can’t sing them.

I can’t say that I actually remember many of the songs I sing in church. Jules can recall and sing almost any church song from memory at a moments notice and I’m very proud of her for that.

Brewster said...

Yeah, I've literally seen churches run a black marker over that song.

Brewster said...

That's how I am Mulls. I've been singing those songs for thirty years, yet if I don't have a songbook I can't remember a lyric to save my life.

Not that it's often I have to remmeber a lyric to save my life.

Killer: sing the third verse to "Trust and Obey" or your a dead man.

Me: I....I...cant.

BLAMO

bigsip said...

I'm not down with marking out verses and stuff like that.

But, if a song is shallow or is inappropriate, I won't lead it. There are only 5 or 6 songs I feel that way about, but those are either cheesy and shallow, unspiritual, or the music and words are completely off from each other.

Consider the song "Happy Day" and how it's always sung. Unfortunately, you can't sing it any other way because that's the way it's written.

I also don't lead patriotic songs since their not about God, they're about "my country" or "America". Just because the word "God" is in it doesn't make it a psalm, hymn, or spiritual song.

Jamison said...

One of our elders is a big fan of the (quote) Chirstmas songs, and the (quote) patriot songs. Sometimes when he gets up to lead a song, ill joke with my wife and say "Ready to sing "Happy Birthday?" or "Twinkle twinkle little star?"

Sip, you know of whom I speak and I am dying laughing imagining hearing him sing the twinkle little star song... i can HEAR IT! LOL

bigsip said...

I AM LAUGHING!

Very funny! Yes, I know of whom you speak. How about the song "His robe, his robe!"

Yes, the song is about the robe Jesus wore when he was about to be crucified. Almost as bad as "Church in the Wildwood".

Jamison said...

laughing out loud my friend!
His robe, i think that song plays when the man enters a room, tis his theme song

bigsip said...

HAHA!

Even wowrse is that the song sucks. The tune is bad, the words are awful...ugh.

CITWW sucks in much the same fashion.

Ryan F. said...

Nothing beats Charles McCown leading singing one Sunday a few years ago at University, and for the closing song he leads "As The Life of a Flower". The last few words of that song before we are dismissed are "And alas we must die". Needless to say I felt great when I left. "Well, I guess I'll just go home and die now."