A Few Thoughts From My Welcome Back Sunday

Overwhelming.  In a word that describes this day better than any other.  I found it necessary before the service even began to correct a person who incorrectly suggested that this was my day.  I corrected this person with a smile and the truth that this, like every other Sunday, was the Lord’s Day.  

With a packed house the service began.  All who were visiting please feel free to return next week too…a packed church makes a pastor’s heart glad!  The day was made extra special by the presence and preaching of my good friend Randy Anderson (and his wife Shirley,  a good friend of Karla’s).  Randy is the pastor who has made consistently insightful comments on this blog, and I genuinely appreciated him and his wife being here for this special day.  He preached from a text in 1 Peter Chapter 1:6-7.

In his message he spoke about the transitory nature of all things, except God, and of how we naturally tend to trust in everything except God.  Mayo doctors.  World class facilities.  Many of us gave way too much credit to the doctors and surgeons…until the situation became desperate.  Then it was that we truly called upon the Lord of heaven and earth, not from a position of strength, but rather from utter desperation.  Not me.  I was not in a state of mind to call out to the Lord.   You all did that!  And for this I will never be able to fully express my grattitude. 

The title to Pastor Randy’s sermon was “Is This Grieving Really Necessary?”  The three main points were 1. We can rejoice in the midst of times of grieving. 2.We can rejoice in the midst of times of grieving because God has grand purposes for our grieving. 3. We can rejoice in the midst of times of grieving because the valuable results of our grieving will one day be recognized.  He supported each point with Scripture and true life appropriate illustrations.

“In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, so that the tested genuiness of your faith–more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire–may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ” (1 Peter 1:6-7).  Randy concluded as I concluded in my Easter message on this very text that “yes, these trials were necessary to bring about whatever purposes God had in His infinite, incomprehensible, and inscrutable mind.  You can go to our church website (www.crossroadefc.org)  and listen to this powerful message.  

There were some humorous elements to this service also….like when I announced that Rochelle Dierson (Levi’s the proud papa) had given birth to a baby that they named Lance.  I said that he weighed 8 pounds and 1 inch.  Of course I meant to say ounce instead.  Rather than freak out over the mis-spoken word I simply leaned over on the pulpit and said “My friends, there are just going to be some awkward moments in these days.”  Though that is a funny thought that a baby could weigh 8 pounds and only be 1 inch long!

During the program part of today I was presented with a couple of dozen personalized greetings, congratulations etc.  We appreciated them and look forward to re-reading each one.

Let me close this blog entry with the following poem that was written by a dear woman who has taught piano lessons to two of our children for years.  She is an excellent teacher, and now I see also, a gifted writer.  Through tears (both Karla’s and my own) I share it with you:   

What if- A man found himself vulnerable and his health compromised

What if- His wife was overwhelmed with responsibility and concern

What if- The sons and daughters were restless and apprehensive about the future

What if- This family turned it all over to the Lord and let their faith sustain them through each trying day

What if- They shared their story with  family and friends and anyone who would listen

What if- Everyone prayed

What if- Every time the hand of God reached down to touch this family it rippled throughout the community and everyone’s faith was strengthened

What if- That was the miracle


2 thoughts on “A Few Thoughts From My Welcome Back Sunday”

  1. Congratulations again on your return to the good work you do.
    As I told you on Sunday, I am proud of you and am very impressed with the progress you’ve made.
    Stay true to your path and focus on the job at hand.
    Before you know it, you will be back on track as if this was all just a dream.
    The good lord continues to bless you in obvious and unseen ways.

    Take care my friend.


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