As a teenager, I had the privilege of going to Winona Lake, Indiana and sitting in a large tent with a sawdust floor that dated back to the early 1900's. In this particular tent, some of the greatest preachers of their time had preached the word of God, calling people to repentance. Men like Billy Sunday would "preach up a storm" and people from miles away would come to listen. It was part of the "sawdust trail". Wow!!! People coming from miles away to hear preaching. That's a preacher's dream.
The disciple of Christ certainly has challenges to face as they follow in His footsteps and pursue holiness. I believe a big challenge for the disciple of Christ involves something that no one else is even aware of. It's a secret. It's "nobody's business".
At times, I see my life as a funnel. The top of the funnel is where I put things in. Things like books I read, people I talk with, experiences I have, podcasts I listen to . . . and the bottom of the funnel is how those things affect my life as they flow out of my mouth, my thoughts, my behavior. I am a constant stream of what I choose to put into my life as those things funnel out through me.
As a result, I have to be very aware of what I put into my funnel. I have to constantly ask, "Who or what is affecting me?"
As our children made their entrance into this world, we often heard, "Oh, he/she looks just like his/her mom" or sometimes the dreaded, "just like their dad". Personally, I never thought a baby resembled anything other than maybe an alien, but that's just me.
As a pastor for more than 30 years, I would say one of my favorite roles is that of Shepherd. From a biblical context, the pastor - as Shepherd - leads the flock, feeds the flock, protects the flock, warns the flock, and yes, sometimes breaks a leg or two to keep the “not so smart" sheep from plunging over the cliffs of life. I love being a shepherd to the flock at West Pines. Akin to the role of shepherd would be the role of coach. A coach takes a team of individuals, with individual strengths and weaknesses, and forms them into one cohesive group that, when functioning in unity, is much more effective than the individual parts. Shepherds and coaches have the challenge of getting the most out of the flock and team.
This Sunday is Mother's Day . . . a special day set aside to honor some of the most impactful people in our lives. I'm going to be doing something different this Mother's Day. I'm going to honor my mom - Wilhelmina Faith Burkhoudt Sorber. Mom Sorber passed away this past December 2016, so this is my first Mother's Day without her and it made me do some thinking. Thinking about how mom was a M.A.D. mom (Making A Difference). Thinking about the legacy she left behind with her six children and many grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
This Sunday, I will be continuing our series here at West Pines on "As I Grow... We Grow". The topic is about our growing as a servant. My big idea is:
If you want to be like Jesus (his disciple), serve others. Now. A lot!
For the follower of Jesus the Biblical teaching on serving others is clear. If you want to be like Jesus, serve others. Now. A lot!!! Jesus was the ultimate example of a servant as He washed His Disciples' feet (John 13:1-17). Jesus teacher His disciples to serve other and in doing so we're serving Him (Matthew 25:40).