Sunday, October 16, 2005

On the Road Again

I was up early this morning, showered, dressed and had a time of prayer before 6:30 am. Then I sat down with my coffee and went over my sermon. I always do that on Sunday morning. And even though I'm not a morning person, I feel like I have to get up early, go through my sermon, practice it and ensure I'm in the mood I should be before I preach.

This was a really important sermon today. We were in Chapter 6 of the Red Thread and I was speaking about the crucifixion. I especially wanted to be in the right zone when I spoke about the cross because it is the core of everything we believe.

My three core points were: Giving that begins at the cross has a great reward, Thanksgiving that begins at the cross moves us into God's presence, and Forgiveness that begins at the cross releases God's grace.

At the end of my sermon, I shared with my congregation a story that came from a service I subscribe to. I loved it:

"A missionary took a film about Jesus to the jungles of East Asia. Not only had these people never heard of Jesus, they'd never even seen a motion picture. Hard to imagine in this day and age, eh?

The people sat quietly and watched as this good man Jesus healed the sick and was adored by children. But when he was being beating by jeering soldiers, the people became upset. They began to shout at the cruel men on the screen, demanding that this outrage stop.

When the movie continued to play, the people tried to stop the missionary who was running the projector. Quickly, he stopped the movie and explained that the story wasn't over yet. Everyone sat down and the film resumed.

However, once the scene about Christ's crucifixion was before them, the people began to weep and wail. It became so loud that once again the movie had to be stopped. The missionary spent a great deal of time explaining that the story wasn't over and tried to calm them. Eventually, they sat down again and the film continued.

Then came the resurrection. Pandemonium broke out this time. Each of them were so excited that a party erupted. The people were dancing and slapping each other on the back. Christ is risen!

Each of these men, women and children accepted Christ as their saviour and will live eternally. Truly, the cross is the pathway to the throne."

If you would like to order a copy of my full sermon, please call the church office (604-942-7711). The cost is $3.00 plus shipping.

This evening, Susan and I will be leaving for the Pastor's Conference in Halifax. We will make a quick stop in Winnipeg where I will tape three shows presenting my Life Purpose program. I am not certain when these will air, but I will post the dates and times as soon as I know them.

My week has been a bit of a rush. I tried to limit some of my appointments, but it seems that when I go to work I am always booked up with people. Thus I spent my evenings preparing for the coming week. I already mentioned I'm not a morning person, but I also just realized, I'm not an evening person either. I think my peak time is about 15 minutes in the afternoon!

Still, I had lots to do each night because I am doing the three television interviews plus 5 sermons in Halifax for the pastors -- which I count very important. In addition to all of this, I had to prepare 20 sermons for the Philippines and create a little notebook/study guide to give to the pastors. It’s about 40 pages. I also had the covers printed. Now, the printer did me a favour and put a rush on my order for these covers which came back on Wednesday. Unfortunately, they were the wrong size – they were 11 x 17 instead of 8-1/2 x 11. So I called the printer and advised a mistake had been made. So they rushed again and finally they arrived on Friday afternoon at 5:00 pm but still the wrong size. We will make do. We’ll reprint the insides and make it fit the covers which are very nice.

I was also putting together some bible study guides for The Red Thread and those covers as well.

Oh, and on Wednesday I finally got my passport back. They put a rush on it. Of course, I’m a suspect now because I lost my passport earlier this year when it went through the wash. So technically, I didn’t lose it, but I had to get a new passport and because I have received two new ones this year, I can only get a passport for a year at a time. This is the reason it took longer to get approved because now I am a criminal suspect. Once we got the passports, we were able to take them to get our China Visas which will be ready next week. I don't recommend going through all of this, by the way.

Our team got back from Costa Rica on Friday and I talked with Pastor Gord on Saturday and he said it was the most successful trip they had ever had. They put up a building for the mission station there where they do some teachings. And the people had the floor boards and some framing up before our group arrived. While there, they put on the roof, the walls, stuccoed it, built the inside wall, and put in a bathroom. They almost built this entire building in one week, plus putting on services, kids crusades, and meetings in schools. They did an phenomenal job and Gord will be sharing some of this with our church next Sunday.

Yesterday morning we had a prayer breakfast for the city councillors, mayors, MLAs, and MPs and I was in charge of that. We invited all the politicians, the school boards, the fire chiefs, and the police chiefs to prayer. We had a really good attendance, and all the pastors (about 15 of them) prayed for the politicians. They loved it. Then we had breakfast together at the Executive Inn. I thoroughly enjoyed myself . . . even if I did have to be up early again.

And come to think of it, I had to be up really early on Friday too. This week I didn’t get a chance to study my lesson material for the class I teach at Pacific Life Bible College, so I had to study for a couple of hours before I had to be there (8:00 am).

But I digress . . . back to Saturday. After the prayer breakfast, I had a wedding in the afternoon. The bride attends our church and the Bible school. It was amazing because here’s a wedding in October when it always rains (or any other month for that matter here in BC). At school on Friday morning she asked me if I would please pray that the sun shines on Saturday. She somehow thought I had more faith, but I didn’t have any faith it would be sunny.

So I said, “Well, if it rains, we’ll just have the wedding inside.”

The bride and groom had planned this wedding on the balcony at the golf course, for some reason. Of course it is beautiful with the trees changing colour but the forecast was for storms.

Yet, the sun broke out, the sky was vivid blue and clear, and the trees just glistened. She got married out on the patio and it was beautiful. You can thank her for the lovely day you enjoyed as I am sure God rewarded her for her faith. (And no, that is not my piece of cake. I learned my lesson on the cruise.)

As most of you know, I am embarking on a radio program scheduled for some test markets in the new year. Last week I completed two programs and will be taking them with me this week as I will be meeting the people involved in this area of ministry. At the point, it looks like the programs will air in Toronto and possibly Winnipeg, but my friend tells me that won't stop BCers from listening. Apparently you can listen to radio on your computer. I'll keep you posted.

Please pray for Susan and I while we are away this week. Thanks!



Jeff Thompson said...

I'm so totally impressed that you're so dialed in to the hi-tech world! It's so cool to be able to know what God is doing on the other side of the continent.

Much love,

Jeff T.

Rick Kennedy said...

Praying for you guys, rest is probably a far ways off. So I'll pray for strength and focus for you. It is however a self inflicted wound to be this buisy you know. love ya lots Rick K. oh ya the buildings are still standing.....

Matt_Kennedy said...

I just wanted to be the third of the kennedy family to post something here. I love reading your blog barry, really cool to see every side of a pastor. keep it real and keep it coming