Sunday, July 13, 2014

Day 194- A Story First

Today was church day.  I learned some interesting things at church today from my fellow brothers and sisters in Christ.  One of our children at church has chicken pox (he stayed home today). Several of us men were sitting around before church and asking his grandpa about him. One of our guys said that when he was little, he had chicken pox.  This was a long time ago and he lived on a farm in a rural setting.  He told us about a treatment that his family did for him when he had chicken pox. They shut up all the chickens in the chicken house the night before. Early the next morning, they had him sit in the doorway of the chicken house with his back to the chickens.  Then, they made the chickens fly out out over him. He said it liked to have scared him to death. The chickens were flapping and fluttering and clucking as they flew out over him. Another guy or two said they had that done to them as well.  That's a pretty interesting thing to learn at church. It is not Biblical truth and it did not cure the chicken pox, but it is interesting.

I was going to write about that for my "first" today.  Laura suggested that I do something different (I had a couple of other things I learned like that today while we were talking about home remedies). She suggested that I write about my sermon tonight. For my sermon tonight, I introduced the subject (grace) and then read a 25 minute story to the congregation.  I read a 25 minute (approximately) story to the congregation as my "first" today.

I usually teach/preach/holler in my sermons.  Laura does not remember me reading a story for 95% of the sermon. Of course, I did not do this for a "first."  In fact, I did not realize it as a "first" until Laura mentioned it.

It's all about Jesus 

This is in the men's SS class 

This is better than the chicken pox cure 

We are dressed kind of alike; my photographer cut off my buddy's khakis and tablet

I started a series of sermons on grace today.  As I prayed and studied this week, I came across a cool story (fiction) that a seminary professor had written about grace.  The more I thought and prayed, the more I felt led to read the story.  It is interesting that Jesus taught a lot in stories.  Grace is kind of a story subject.  I preached a teaching/preaching type of sermon on grace this morning and will do some more in the coming weeks. There is something about grace that lends to a story.  When you hear a story about grace, it clicks.  I asked my children tonight and Joel liked the story sermon tonight better than the one this morning and Hannah Grace said she liked them equal. 

I want my life to be a story of someone that truly was amazed by grace. John 1:16 says, " For of His fullness we have all received, and grace upon grace."  It is easy to get used to grace and to come to expect grace. The Bible says we have all sinned and the wages of sin is death. Grace is gift and anything short of hell is grace.  We can never earn, merit, or deserve grace. Our relationship with God is built on grace; God doing for us what we could never do for ourselves. We can receive grace, trust God's grace, be sustained by grace, and be changed by grace.  Max Lucado wrote, "Have you been changed by grace? Shaped by grace? Strengthened by grace? Emboldened by grace? Softened by grace ? Snatched by the nape of your neck and shaken to your senses by grace? God’s grace has a drenching about it. A wildness about it. A white-water, riptide, turn-you-upside-downness about it. Grace comes after you. It rewires you. From insecure to God secure. From regret-riddled to better-because-of-it. From afraid-to-die to ready-to-fly."  May God grant us all the joy of receiving and giving grace this week.

Grateful for the grace of the abundant life

3 things I thank God for today
1. Funny stories I heard at church today and the laughter that was shared
2. God's amazing grace
3. The song "Amazing Grace"

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