Under-Manned, Under-Armed OVER-Whelmed!

  • Friday, July 8, 2011
  • True God-encounters are never boring!

    Insightful! It was a respectful and, honestly, insightful question. During the fireside Q&A at Kidz Kamp, one of our young people (probably a bit emboldened by the cover of the darkness of the night) made a profound inquiry. “Pastor Tom, are you ever bored when you are preaching?” We all laughed. But we also probably need to acknowledge that he simply asked what everyone else was thinking. HE is bored by the boring preaching. So if it is so boring to hear, isn’t it also boring to be doing the preaching? Insightful!

    THEOPHANY: The Angel of the Lord has been the subject of our summer-time considerations. The personal experiences of Divine visitation stirred amazing responses in those who were the recipients of such graces.

    • Hagar pivoted on her heal and returned to an abusive situation to deliver and rear her son
    • Sarah got pregnant and carried a baby for nine months in the desert heat
    • Ishmael survived near-death and lived to father a great nation  
    • Isaac jumped off the altar and killed a ram 
    • Jacob got down and dirty in an all-night blow by blow 
    • Moses completely changed vocations and locations, in his 80’s 
    • Israel danced for joy on freedom shores 
    • Balaam argued with his donkey and then forfeited promised riches  
    • Joshua conquered a nation of nations
    God-encounters are never boring!

    Pastor and author John Ortberg recently wrote, “Bible characters respond to God-encounters in many ways: adoration, terror, joy, guilt, dancing, repentance, and rejection. It’s hard to think of any passage where someone experiences the manifestation of God and then says, ‘That was boring!’”

    Another young man at the Kidz Kamp fireside, stirred by the courage of the first who asked if I were ever bored while I preached, asked, “Do you ever get bored when Pastor Krause is preaching?” Another excellent question. My reply was, “No. I don’t think anyone ever gets bored when Pastor ‘mak’ is preaching. But I don’t sit on the aisle either. You never know when he might come down and preach right at you!”

    The famous London preacher, Charles Spurgeon, who seems to have become the pulpit hero of this present generation, was often criticized for his frequent use of humor in his sermons. His response to such judgment was, “If only you knew how much I hold back, you would commend me... This preacher thinks it less a crime to cause a momentary laughter than a half-hour of profound slumber.” Now that is funny!

    This week in our study on THEOPHANY, we watch as Gideon cuts a 22,000 member fighting force to just 300 men, who’s sole qualification was that they lap water out of the cup of their palm rather than slurping it up from the stream while postured on all fours. They licked their hands and then whipped an army of 135,000 proven warriors…with trumpets, water-pitchers, and torches. Now THAT is funny!

    Been struggling with a faith that has become boring? Lost the passion and the excitement and the thrill of pursuing God? Perhaps it is time for you to seek a true encounter. God-encounters may or may not be funny. But, true God-encounters are never boring!

    See you Sunday, Church!
    Pastor Tom


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