I have been a little lazy on collecting stories from my family, so I have had nothing to write about for a bit. But I did bring the message in our little church a couple of Sunday’s this month. There’s a long story as to why and it involves our Pastor and his wife going to Africa for three weeks and her getting sick….and them being stuck for an extra week. But that’s another story…
Our Pastor is solid as a rock and responsible for his flock, so when they made plans to leave…he asked if any of us wanted to bring the message for any of the three Sunday’s he would be gone. You could have heard paint dry is was so quiet. Being the good Christians we were; we spoke not a word! We were just sure God was not calling us to preach! I say us, but I mainly speak of myself! At the time I felt a little tug that I should at least take one of the Sunday’s, but I beat that little tug down. I just knew the Lord was not talking to me. I was pretty sure I couldn’t hear him with my fingers in my ears, saying “Nanananana I can’t hear you!”
So Brother Bill (our Pastor) lined up two other gentlemen to bring the message on those three Sundays and things went peachy for the first two Sundays. God laid a good message on their hearts and they brought it!
I did agree to lead our Wednesday night service. It is usually a short message (usually less than 10 minutes) and lead in prayer. I can do that! But this Wednesday night was going to be different, because the Lord chose this Wednesday night to get one of His children hooked to the picket line! The young man who was to preach that Sunday came and said he was sorry, but he would not be able to preach that Sunday. I started beating on that tug on my heart; I just knew that it was wrong! I was whacking and banging against that tug, it probably only lasted just a few seconds, but the Lord got the better of me (that’s a surprise, isn’t it!).
Eventually I gave in and said I would bring the message (I hesitate to call it preaching). So I went home and started praying about what God might want me to talk about on the coming Sunday. Like the good God He is, He gave me the words. So I started writing, got to about 2500 words and I thought “This should be about 30 minutes or so…” So I talked it out to my bride (I had her time me) and I was shocked to learn it was only about 12 minutes! I thought I have GOT to have more words here, so I went back to the Lord. I said, “God, you led me to do this…this surely ain’t enough words!” So I added myself to the mix and to no avail could I come up with any more to add! I was praying about adding more (finally) and God told me I was pretty stubborn and I should trust what he gave me at first.
Come Sunday, I was a nervous as a mustang in a round pen. I kept thinking, “what have I got myself into?” I knew it was going to be short, but I figured our song leader could sing some extra songs. So I told him to sing as many songs as he wanted to! As we were starting the service he led us in a couple of songs and my bride leans over to me as says, “Wow, the songs sure are short today.” So I leaned toward her and said, “That’s ok, it will match the sermon!”
When I got up and started bring the Lord’s message I did have some peace about it. I started about 11:15, as I was talking I kept looking at the clock and thinking “it’s only 11:25, and I ain’t got a whole lot more” I would lean down and get a drink from my water bottle and think, “this might be the shortest sermon in history” But it’s funny how God works, while I was up there talking about a personal snake story, how I linked it to asking for help and accepting help, how it applied biblically and how we could apply it to our lives….all of the sudden it was 11:35 and I was finished. It wasn’t the shortest sermon in history, but it was at least in the top ten. But it was the words God gave me and my job was to say the words and trust that God was use them for his will.
Isn’t God amazing? Here is this poor, dumb cowboy and God knew a way to use him!
All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.
2 Timothy 3:16-17