Could The Preaching Be Better, Pt. 2

Monday’s blog was about sermons.  

Sermons?

Actually, it was about trying to predict what people want to hear. Having preached for forty years and having delivered 3500 sermons I have some skill in public communication, but thats not the same as knowing what people want.

The variations are intriguing. There are different styles of preaching that people like and many opinions as to how long they should have to listen. There are lots of topics and all kinds of subject matter that people ask to hear about. 

Many of You

Pertaining to Monday’s blog, many of you reached out to me about not getting discouraged. Thank you for doing so and for offering such kindness. But I wasn’t upset or complaining. I assure you that I am neither discouraged or disappointed. In fact, I am enthused and energized! 

No one has been negative or critical. In fact, the comments and suggestions from the groups have all been politely expressed and stated positively.

rick and chicken
Nothing to do with the blog topic. Just me and a chicken.

And Paul

I am reminded of Paul’s admonition to Timothy:

“Preach the word; be prepared always; correct, rebuke and encourage with great patience and careful instruction. For people will gather teachers who will say what their itching ears want to hear. But you…do the work of an evangelist.” 2 Timothy 4

In Closing

I love being a preacher and I love preaching. Every Sunday I get the honor of speaking to the warmest, more receptive congregation I’ve ever known, and I get to do it twice!

I’ll probably never be good at anticipating what people want to hear. But it’s okay, it really doesn’t matter. As I mentioned yesterday, the sermons I deliver originate from a higher source. 

Thanks for reading. Thanks for listening. My love to all. 

Shalom

Five Hundred and Counting!

I’m struggling just a bit.

About What?

About coming up with interesting things to write about. I’ve blogged a lot in the last 2.5 years, and this one is #504. That’s 202 blogs a year or about four a week.

Seriously?

I’m actually surprised that I’ve found that many things to write about. I’m not that interesting, and nobody says I’m creative, and frankly, I’m not terribly bright to begin with!

However

I do have followers, not many, but I have them. Among them is my Mother who has commented that my blogs have slowed from four a week to one every two weeks. I guess I need to pick up the pace.

Here is a list of topics I’ve considered blogging about:

  • The plight of the Indonesian Red Beak hummingbird.
  • The raging debate over NFL footballs improperly inflated.
  • Determining if Americans are in fact eating fewer beets.
  • Whether or not I should replace my sub woofer.
  • The usage of the word “why” when women say, “Why thank you.” 
  • If the electric wiring harness in my car is functioning properly.
  • Should I buy new shoes instead of having them resoled again.

That’s a good list and could reenergize my blogging, or not, I’m not sure. After a quick Google search, it turns out there isn’t an Indonesian Red Beak hummingbird. Not sure where that came from.

To Close

I suppose there are still worthwhile topics, observations and insights to write about. Perhaps I’ve been a bit fatigued or distracted or even busy doing my regular job. Nevertheless, I’ll seek to do better. 

Five Hundred Blogs

I’m aiming high and reaching for the stars. Here’s to the next five hundred!

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That’s me, next to a Rabbi, at Jerusalem’s Western Wall Shalom

Dealing With My Stuff

It’s early Saturday morning and a glorious opportunity to finish my garage project.

Thursday’s Blog

Thursday’s blog was about stuff. How having an overabundance of stuff can master us and how easily we become its servant.

Things and Stuff

The things we have and the stuff we store sometimes have great meaning, or sometimes not. Just consider some of the reasons we have so much:

  1. Sentimental value.
  2. It was on sale so we got one, or two. Maybe three.
  3. A project couldn’t be done without it.
  4. It was a gift and it would be tacky to throw it away.
  5. An inheritance, it’s our legacy.
  6. We know that one day it will be needed.
  7. Don’t want to be wasteful.
  8. We bought the thing, there must have been a good reason.

And so on.

Unpacking

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Not My Garage Or My Stuff, But Close

Yesterday morning, in the garage, I was unpacking the last few boxes. I was excited as it meant the end was near.

I’ve been slowly building a work bench. The project grew from simple to complicated. It was finished with two coats of walnut stain and two coats of polyurethane. It’s gorgeous and I’m never going to use it. It’s too nice to use. Didn’t really need it anyway. Just seemed manly.

 Anyhow, I was putting stuff on the workbench shelves and was amazed at all I had. There were tools, hardware, bits and pieces, rope, wire nuts, wood glue, all kinds of liquids in tubes and bottles and cans, and a huge collection of various odds and ends. Wow, what a treasure!

None was inherited. None had sentimental value. None was bought on sale. I just had it.

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Not My Garage Or My Motorcycle, Not Even Close

In Closing

I’ll finish by saying,

“Good morning Holy Spirit. I greet you in faith and with a smile. I will strive to keep in step with your lead and my thoughts and actions will reflect your presence. Thank you for all the people in my life, for my ministry, and thank you for the joy of living. Thank you for my home and for all the things I have. I am truly a blessed man. Amen.”

Restoring The Ancient Ways

A few nights ago, I posted on Facebook that my wife had made a chicken for dinner that was “out of this world.” I meant it. What ensued was a bevy of friends asking for the recipe. “What’s her secret?” they asked. Some said, “Share the recipe.” So I’ve decided to share Danielle’s chicken secret; you might want to get your pen and paper ready.

free range chickens

But first, you need a little background on Rick and Danielle. When we were married back in July of 1978, she was already an excellent cook. She had several dishes that were as good or better than anything I had ever eaten. She knew I was especially fond of chicken, so early in our newlywedness, (not a word) while grocery shopping at Furr’s, our local Lubbock grocer, she brought home some chicken. She was going to fry chicken that night and I was very excited. As she began making dinner, I could see that she was doing it wrong. I told her how I liked it, how I had always liked it, and asked if she could please try it my way? Being the wonderful wife that she was, and is, she replied with, “Okay, I’ll give it a try.” It turned out just as I hoped. And for 37 years it’s how she’s cooked it for me. She has experimented with different seasonings and such, but the basic recipe has remained the same throughout our chicken years.

Then Thursday night, just out of no where, she winked at me and said, “Rick, I’m going to do something with the chicken that you have never had before.” I was instantly on guard and a little frightened. I wasn’t comfortable with the idea of chicken change.

fried chicken

Well, she did it; I should have trusted her, and I have to say that it really was excellent! What did she do? What was her new chicken recipe? Well, before the cutting, dipping, and the frying, she plucked it.

It made all the difference.