Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Another round of Phew . . .

This time the word originates with me--and I'm not done with it yet.

Phew - Elisa is sick again; a trip to the pediatrician last Thursday; a round of steroids; more breathing treatments; now antibiotics. The cough is better, but it's obvious she doesn't feel as well as she could. She's been home with me all week. She gets tired and fussy late in the day, takes a quick nap after breakfast, but there are still hints of perky, happy Elisa. Phew, we all hope she's back to normal soon.

Phew - I spent Friday at Presbytery and the first part of the annual leadership training event. A new minister was examined and accepted into the Presbytery. It was so refreshing to hear his thorough, sound answers in the examination, to hear him preach and to have him lead worship. I knew from listening to his sermon and his treatment of the Lord's Supper that he and I had studied under the same New Testament professor in seminary. While there are many things that are discouraging in our denomination, I am encouraged to hear ministers of his caliber. Tom's name was read as part of the necrology report, even though he didn't reside within these bounds, nor belong to a church here at the time of his death. He was essentially a man without a presbytery, so the Clerk listed him as having been Moderator of Presbytery in 1996. Then later in the day, a minister friend asked where "your better half is."

The leadership training event began within minutes after Presbytery adjourned. Our keynote speaker was, again, encouraging. The Rev. Dr. Steven Hayner, current President of Columia Seminary, and former professor of evangelism there gave an excellent talk, preached at worship on Saturday and then led a class on mission in the church. He gave so much food for thought that I felt as if I had been through a buffet line, filled my plate and returned time and again.
Following dinner on Friday night, the Chamber Choir from Mississippi College, where Marty graduated, presented a most glorious concert. Then on Saturday, I drove back to Laurel (about 25 miles from here) and attended the rest. Phew, I was tired when I got home.

Phew - Marty and the boys are coming next week, to be here a couple of weeks. I'm trying to get ready. This will be her first visit to our new place and I want it to be "just right." Who am I kiddning? My house is never in that kind of shape!

My mind continues to buzz with sermons and information received over the weekend. For instance, Dr. Hayner used as text on Saturday the 15th chapter of Luke. It is the chapter on lost things--a lost sheep, the lost coin and the lost son. He talked about knowing God through this passage and suggested we look at the verbs instead of adjectives to describe God. Think about it. I have done that briefly. For instance, God seeks the lost and never gives up. He rejoices when the lost are found. What a difference it would make in my life and what a difference it would make in the lives of individual churches if we approached discipleship the way God approaches finding the lost! What a difference it would make if our hearts were completely in tune with God's in our attitude of reaction! Do I truly rejoice as God does? Phew - it's a lot to think about.

"For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son . . ." God bless us as we pattern our loving and giving after God's.

Pastor Mararet

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