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Did You Miss “THE TALK?”

DID YOU MISS “THE TALK?”

Yesterday, several people mentioned that they thought “The Talk” would be my annual, pre-summer reminder about giving attention to modesty in dress before temperatures get really hot.  They’re probably right: what I call “The Talk” may have –in prior years- consisted in that, and a concern for humble attire is always a thoughtful and loving attitude to have in the body of Christ and around your church family.  So thanks for being considerate of others in that regard.

But this year, by “The Talk” I meant another annual reminder: the one about making a priority of being in church every Lord’s Day morning.  We do important stuff in services: here’s some from yesterday:

-we enjoyed great musical worship of the one, true, “Holy, Holy, Holy” King (with the help of big Alice!)

-we received the ministry of God’s grace through Jesus’ communion table, set with elements representing His body and blood

-we heard carefully-conceived prayers that spoke intercession and gratitude on our behalf

-we welcomed new friends and old

-we prayed with some of them for specific, pressing needs

-individuals were schooled in classes organized around awesome curriculum

-we saw pictures and got a report from Pastor Sam’s very effective outreach in Malawi happening right now

-we collected gifts to make that possible, along with dozens and dozens of other important uses of our gifts

-we broached the delicate but necessary subject of sexual abuse, its result and its remedy; all a result of our study of II Samuel 20 and the aftermath of David’s sin

-we met and then prayed for an Iraqi Christian engineer who has to leave his job and home because all the Christians around him are being murdered

-and more

So if you missed just one day, that’s what you missed.  With the good weather, the temptation to miss a Sunday can be strong.  So it’s a matter of priorities: will we organize our activities around the slight commitment required to fulfill the Lord’s command to meet (Heb. 10:24) and be good church family members, or will we give priority to camping fishing golfing gardening tanning boating hunting shopping snoozing whatever stuff could be done right after church?

After “The Talk” one young Mom came up to me and praised her Dad.  Growing up, her Dad had always made a priority of being a good member of the body of Christ, so activities were always organized around church first, and everything else second.  The boat would be hooked up and ready to go in the church parking lot, and THEN the family would head to the lake.  Today, she and her husband and growing brood are faithful attenders, a legacy in part of her father’s commitment to first things.

So remember: when you’re up at the lakes or out in the woods, you’re often only a few miles from where we meet and it’s not too hard to make it in.  If traveling, find a church family to visit: it’s really fun to see what other churches are like.  If they’re friendly, they’ll be blessed that you made a priority of worship; if they’re not friendly, you’ll return to BCC ever more eager to be a genial host to others.

And that, my friends, was “The Talk.”  I share it hoping not to shame you into attendance, but to encourage you to be more enthusiastic about 3 hours with the Lord’s family than a weekend pursuing lesser, non-eternal things.  I grew up feeling guilty about missing Sunday night church, but because I wanted so badly to see “The Wonderful World of Disney” all the shame and guilt didn’t motivate!  Instead, it’s all about choices and priorities, isn’t it?

Write me if you have any questions or comments!

Pastor Dale



Prayer from Elder Bill Pritchett, on 4/10/2016

Father God,

We gather here this morning, in this room, to praise Your name. We gather here to worship You. We are overwhelmed by Your goodness, by Your grace, by Your faithfulness. You are our rock, our constant. We are thankful that when we call to You in prayer, that You hear our voice. That when we stumble, Your love for us has not wavered. We pray that when we worship You in song as we have been doing, that it is sweet to Your ears. We love You father, and while our love for You is not yet perfect, Your love for us is perfect. You love us not for what we’ve done, but for what Christ has done.

We are thankful for Your word, that it can be trusted and relied upon. We run to Your word to strengthen and encourage us. When temptation slowly presses in, we run to Your word, we run to You in prayer and that is what You want us to do.
We have many reasons to praise You, more than we even realize. We know You are good, We know that You tell us that You are working all things together for good. We can’t always see it, we don’t always know what it is, but we trust it to be true. But sometimes, You, in Your mercy, do show us a glimpse of how You are working, You do reveal Your goodness in our circumstances, and in those we rejoice. We praise when we are reminded that we can trust in Your sovereignty.

Father, as we give these gifts now, we do so recognizing that we may not get a glimpse of how You are using them, but we trust in You and how they will be used. It is humbling when we think about money given here, in Medford, Oregon, will be used to spread the gospel on the other side of the world, but that is how You’ve set it up.

Lord God, we love You, we rejoice at the sound of Your name, we are thankful for all that You do in our lives, we praise You…In Jesus name we pray, AMEN


How to Pray Aloud in a Group

In 2012, researchers at the University of Nebraska-Omaha asked 815 college students to identify their three greatest fears. Far more than they feared heights, flying, deep water, and even death, the students feared “speaking before a group.”

If public speaking is the general population’s greatest fear, public praying very well may be its Christian equivalent. And this fear is not restricted to ordinarily timid people. Even leaders sometimes have trouble leading in prayer.

Stonewall Jackson’s Story
 
According to S.C. Gwynne’s Rebel Yell, Stonewall Jackson’s pastor once urged more congregation members to lead in prayer during the church prayer meeting. Afterward, Jackson went to see him, explaining to the pastor his fear of praying publicly. “But,” Jackson said, “if you think it my duty… (To read the rest of this article, go to DesiringGod.org)