Posts Tagged ‘Spock’

I’m on vacation right now.  Some may find it strange that I preached yesterday.  Yes, I preached yesterday.  Why?

In the words of Spock, “sometimes the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few.”  God’s people need the ministry of the Word.  At the beginning of the summer I learned that a church near my in-law’s home was in the midst of a crisis.  Their pastor was injured in a bicycle accident.  He is (at least temporarily) paralyzed.  I knew that Reformed churches in upstate NY are a rare breed, and therefore they may have trouble finding pulpit supply.  CavWife and I agreed to extend an offer to preach if they need some assistance.  As a result, I’m preaching 2 sermons that I did during a series on Parables of Grace.  In this way I could enjoy my vacation, yet provide for their needs with minimal preparation.

It was a great experience on  a rainy Sunday in the capital region of NY.  I found them to be a people of prayer, and prayer focused on Christ.  By that I mean they consciously recognized the work of Christ in their prayer, and the basis for the acceptance of our prayer and worship.  After the elder’s prayer during the service, the congregation was free to offer spontaneous prayer.  The people were aware of others, and focused on their requests.

In terms of the rest of the service, it had a “low” church feel.  The liturgy was rather simple.  I did not know any of the songs they sung.  Yep, any of them.  The worship team consisted of piano, 2 acoustic guitars, a subdued electric guitar, harmonica, subdued drums and 3 or 4 singers.  They sounded like they’ve played together often.  The songs were largely catchy so you could pick them up quickly.  There was a good focus upon the finished work of Christ.

I was greatly encouraged by the commissioning that took place in the service.  Their pastoral intern was ordained in July.  Today he and his family depart for one of the ‘stans.  Strange the providence of God.  This congregation probably could use him, but unless you’re Superman you can’t stop a speeding train.  They have planned so long and raised the necessary support.  I know they felt conflicted.  They were loved by the congregation and loved the congregation.

So, my sermon on the Parable of the Sower was appropriate for them as well as the congregation.

I spent some time talking with some of the elders afterward.  The uncertainty of the doctors adds to their own uncertainty at this time.  They don’t know how much their pastor will recover.  It is impossible for them to prepare for the future.  My advice was an interim pastor until they can determine what the future looks like for their pastor and for themselves.  This loving group of people haven’t just jettisoned their pastor due to the injury.  They are waiting to see if they can move on with him instead of without him.  So, please keep Hope Church in your prayers.  It has been a challenging few years.  Thankfully they are prayerful people as well.

Read Full Post »

Football is a game for men- tough men.  Unlike many American males, I don’t lie to myself and others.  I could not play that game professionally.  It requires a physical toughness that I lack.  It also requires an emotional toughness that I am familiar with as a pastor.  In football, you have to deal with the emotional aspects of the game- remaining consistent when there are great hills and valleys.  Remaining stable in the face of constant obstacles.

Enter Jay Culter, the pouting All-Pro.  Jay can’t seem to understand that Pro Football is a business.  The goal is two-fold: compete to win the SuperBowl consistently, and make lots of money in the process.  The closer you are to the first, the easier it is for a team to accomplish the second.  As a result, the business-side, just like the game-side, is not easy on a person’s ego.  During the game, fans might boo you.  And during the off-season you might be linked with trade rumors.

Jay can’t imagine that the Broncos might entertain offers for a QB that 1. his new coach knows, and 2. had a better QB rating than he did.  Yes, Cutler had a record setting season.  But his team folded in the crunch (Cassel’s team when on a strong run that would have earned them a playoff spot in most divisions).  As QB, some of that falls on his shoulders.

But Cutler is pouting and demanding a trade- feeling so unwanted.  He’s is proving that they should have traded him.  First, he lacks the mental/emotional toughness required to flourish in professional football.  Trade possibilities have sent him into an epic, public freefall.  He just gave fans on other cities ammo with which to bait him and boo him.  Second, he is more concerned with himself than team.  This doesn’t sit well with any associated with the Patriots and their success over the course of this decade.  Individuals play, but only teams can win.  Teams are made of people who believe “the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the one” to quote the fictitious Spock from The Wrath of Kahn.  Cutler is focused on himself.  Not a good sign.  He demands his ego get stroked instead of submitting his ego to the needs of his team.  He also refuses to see that a few teams WERE really interested in him (I’m not sure why at this point).

Jay needs to take his meltdown where it belongs- behind closed doors- or no team will want him, including the one he’s on.  And while he’s there he may want to invest in some Daniel Goleman books on emotional intelligence.

Read Full Post »