Monday, July 6, 2009

Sunday Reflections

Before I get to Sunday, I would like to tell you about our 4th. Saturday, Allyssa and I were trying to decide what we would do to celebrate the holiday. As many of you know, I served 7 years (4 active duty & 3 guard) in the Air Force, and the 4th is one of those holidays that I really enjoy. We had been invited to join some friends from church out at their lake house for an evening of fellowship, food, and fireworks. However, Allyssa who is ready to deliver our son at any time, was not comfortable going too far from the house. So we decided we would go to the local fireworks show, which was great...30 minutes straight, and get there about an hour early to do some "servant evangelism." We were joined by some friends, and we passed out around 100 bottles of water to spectators. It was interesting, because many people wanted to pay us for them, and were taken back at times because we were giving them away for free. This gave us a chance to share the love of Christ with them and the gospel. I tell you, even though I missed playing with my own fireworks, missed the cookouts and fun, this was by far the best 4th yet. I pray that God was glorified in our efforts, and that maybe we will see some of these people come to one of our services at Idlewild.

Now, time for Sunday:

  • The question for Sunday was: "Is there an age of accountability? If so what is it? If not where do infants and small children go when they die?
  • Look for more on this topic in the posts to come....
  • It was the longest sermon that I have preached yet (1 hour), but it was needed in order to present the answer to the question in a faithful way.
  • In our small group on Sunday mornings we have been going through the book of Galatians. Todd is doing a really great job expounding the truths from the text and bringing application to our lives. We had a great discussion yesterday on how we are to walk in the spirit.
  • After church, I was able to have a great conversation with a gentleman from the church, with whom always has words of encouragement and helpful critique. I love people's honesty.
  • Allyssa and I joined my parents and sister for lunch at their home. It was a great time to eat some really good food, and healthy discussion.
  • Allyssa then went to a baby shower that the ladies at Idlewild put on for her. We have some of the sweetest ladies in all the world, and the kindness that they have shown Allyssa and I is incredible.
  • I played golf with my minister of music and friend, John. We needed to get away and discuss how God had been working in our lives, and seek guidance from one another on some things we are now facing. The golf was fun, but the time of true fellowship - exhorting, encouraging, confession, forgiving - was so awesome. I look forward to the day when all God's people can move beyond superficial "fellowship" and begin to enter into true biblical fellowship. I find it very difficult to be fake and superficial, but I guess there is a time and place for everything. I just love true biblical community.
  • Finished reading the best book on the church yet, The Living Church by John Stott. I will post a book review on it in days to come, but if you haven't read it (especially church leaders), it should definitely be on your list of must reads.
As I experience God's grace and mercy in my life, I am realizing that I am so blessed. I love my church family and am grateful that God has allowed me to be their pastor. I love my family. I have seen such growth in my parents & sisters over the past couple of years in the midst of trials, that I am very encouraged. I love my friends, especially the Wed morning guys. God has surrounded me with a great cloud of witnesses, and I am convinced, had he not, I would not be where I am today. I love my wife Allyssa. She is a gift straight from God. Not only is she beautiful, but she has put on display for me what it means to forgive, to love, to be tenderhearted and caring, and how to truly be oneself. There is not a clearer picture in this world of authenticity than Allyssa Packett. I thank God for her. I love my son, Ayden. Even though I haven't met him yet (hopefully soon), God has been kind enough to give me a deep conviction to love him and shepherd him. Finally, most importantly I love my Savior Jesus Christ. I am reminded daily that I don't deserve his love, but in his goodness and grace he loves me anyway. It is only because of his love for me, that I am able to love him and those around me. Praise be to God!

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