Pastor’s Desk 2016-04-26

Chuck Sheridan Avatar

Good Morning SCCC Family,
 
* Still Walking, you may ask? Yes, every morning and finishing week three. I suppose this is my way of remaining accountable – you keep asking and hopefully it continues to motivate me to keep walking. My Black lab buddie was nowhere to be seen this morning and yesterday morning, he didn’t bark or follow me. Maybe I’ve been delivered of his vicious threats!
 
* Nice visit yesterday with Johnny Durham. Johnny and Rebecca head back to New Mexico shortly. Johnny hasn’t been able to attend church regularly for several years because of medical reasons. But what a gracious man to listen to as we spent a few moments together, a real encourager to say the least. Thank you Johnny and Rebecca for your hospitality.
 
* Well, we were blessed by Mayra once again last Sunday as her Children’s Church Kids presented us with a great rendition of “Jesus loves the Little Children” – several verses in English followed by a repeat in Spanish. Great job, kids!
 
* We keep trying to make it better and I think we’ve landed a simple way for you to follow any of the missionaries SCCC supports, either prayerfully and/or financially. Every Missionary letter received since Jan, 2016 is now posted on this private site which can be accessed by clicking  HERE Once you’re there, you can click on any missionary letter you want to read. Newsletters received in April include updates from the Penners, Krahns, VanKirks and Heather Rix. Enjoy reading the God stories of these servants we get to partner and pray with!!!
 
* But we’ve added another bonus this week. A Number of church videos have been added this week in another private file. Watch our new sanctuary being built in a 6-7 minute video (from signing the contract with our contractor to the very first service on Good Friday 2015!) Other videos include: the 2015 Christmas program, the Missions Tours, Maggie’s Kids singing in church, the first outreach last fall to the Krahns – access these and many more videos by clicking HERE
 
* Besides the “pilots” we already have in our church, we had two more pilots as guests in church on Sunday, one who flies a 777 for American Airlines and another who has flown for years with Missionary Aviation on a number of continents, Africa and South America in particular. We simply have the most diverse and amazing group of people who attend or who just stop in for a visit at SCCC.
 
* Received an email from Jim McClelland yesterday, saying that Selina is recovering well.
 
* Great to have Carlos and Kristy, and their wee one, in church on Sunday. Carlos said that he will be fitted shortly with a prosthesis. As most of you are aware, Carlos recently lost a portion of his leg in a motorcycle accident. Keep praying for them as they embrace all these life changes.
 
* Last Sunday, we looked at Paul’s practical application of the verse “rejoice in the Lord always and again I say rejoice.” In the different instances where Paul faced life struggles, he always acknowledged those struggles, there was never any denial of the challenges he dealt with. And at the same time, he also never got lost in a sea of hopelessness. Paul always found an authentic reason to rejoice as he looked at the bigger picture of what God was doing in spite of his personal circumstances. The example from chapter 1 included the knowledge that there were hucksters infiltrating the church, which deeply disturbed Paul. On the flip side, Paul responds with “what does it matter?” In spite of the hucksters, people were still being changed by God’s Word, even though its presenters were wrongfully motivated. Likewise, God doesn’t call us to deny the hurts and pains we experience, rather He calls us to look for the praiseworthy part of what He is doing in the story in which we are living.
            This Sunday we will look at the next few verses – Phil 4:5-7 – Paul’s challenge to present our requests to God, particularly in our moments of anxiousness. Hope to see you on Sunday.

Want to know how to prepare for hearing a sermon? Thom Rainer gives us some great insights on the subject in the article which follows.
 
Enjoy your journey with Jesus,
Glenn y Jeannine

Seven Ways Church Members Should Prepare for a Sermon – Thom Rainer
 
What if church members began their own form of sermon preparation? For countless decades, we have heard about the role of pastors in sermon preparation. The number of hours they need to prepare. The priority of preparation. The role of prayer in sermon preparation.

But what if church members prepared for each sermon they heard? What if they believed their roles as recipients of the Word are also crucially important? I can see incredible church revitalization taking place if church members took on their own responsibilities of sermon preparation.
 
Here are seven ways members can actively prepare for sermons.
 
1.         Pray for the sermon. For a few minutes, the church member should pray for the upcoming sermon. That prayer might take place during the week, the night before the preaching, or the morning of the preaching.
 
2.         Pray for the pastor who is preaching. Pray that the pastor will understand God’s message for that text. Pray that the pastor will have no distractions. Pray that God’s Spirit will fill the pastor in both the preparation and delivery of the sermon.
 
3.         Pray for yourself as you prepare to hear the sermon. Pray that God will speak to you through the message. Pray that you will not be distracted. Pray for clarity of mind and an open heart to receive the message.
 
4.         Read the biblical text before the sermon is preached. If possible, read the text from which the pastor will preach. Read it thoroughly. Read it prayerfully.
 
5.         Take notes. Take notes as the pastor preaches. You will have a greater focus and greater retention. Review the notes at least once during the next week.
 
6.         Seek an application to your life. Ask God for discernment to help you understand how the sermon should change your life. Seek to understand the sermon not only in its biblical context, but in your life as well.
 
7.         Share with the pastor “one thing.” If possible, share with your pastor one significant takeaway from the sermon. Pastors hear countless “good job, pastor,” or “nice message, pastor,” but they long to know if God really made a difference in the lives of the church members through the preached word. If you are able to communicate just one takeaway from the sermon in person, by email, or in social media, your pastor will be greatly encouraged.
 
The preaching of God’s Word is central to the life of the church. It makes sense that pastors should give it the highest priority. But doesn’t it also make sense that church members should prepare as well? Let me know what you think.

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