Pastor Lee's blog

Not Your Parent's Idols

On Sunday, in my first stewardship sermon of the fall, I spent a lot of time reflecting on what idolatry looks like in the 21st century. It is not about golden calves anymore, but involves those things that draw our attention and passion away from what should be our primary focus: loving and serving God. An idol is anything or anyone that receives the primary focus of our energy or resources which should first belong to God. Any number of things could be idols for us: relationships, food, possessions, and certainly money.

An Objective Observation

Many years ago when my twins were less than one year old, Brooke and I took a parenting class. In that class the parenting expert said, “the real question is not if you enjoy your children; it’s whether other people enjoy your children.” The point he was making is that we can easily overlook behavior within the family that would not be overlooked by others. What parent hasn’t beamed with pride when receiving a complement by a total stranger about his or her children.

I'm Off!

Well, the time has finally arrived. This will be my last web article and the May 26th service was my last one with you until September. I am looking forward to all I have planned for my sabbatical break, but I will miss you all. However, I know that you are in good hands with Rob Evans.

A number of you have asked about my schedule so here is a brief look:
* I’ll start with a week at my parent’s house on Hatteras Island.
* We leave for Scotland after school lets out and we will be there for two weeks.
* In mid-July, we will spend a week at family camp in Missouri.
* At the first of August, I will spend some time with Stan Ott in Washington D.C.
* My last week of sabbatical will once again be at my parent’s house on Hatteras.

When I am not out of town, I’ll be working on writing and recording music at an office in town. I also have a number of books I want to read, and I am sure I will get some flying in. Brooke and I will take a couple of week-end trips, since we are usually never able to do that.

I will be keeping an online journal that you are welcome to follow to see what I am doing. You can find it at A Season of Sabbath

If you happen to see me out and about, you don’t have to ignore me. Please say "Hi." And if I am eating at Café 35, you are welcome to pick up the ticket! :-) However, I will not be at worship or in the office, and I ask that pastoral concerns be taken to Rob.

Thank you for caring enough about my family and me to encourage me to take this sabbatical break. I know that this time will refresh and renew me for the years to come.

So until September...may the Lord bless and keep you!
Your friend and pastor,
Pastor Lee

Spreading Your Wings

“I am about to do a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.” (Is 43:19).

In the last article, I shared with you the theme of my sabbatical break which is “Roots and Wings.” I mentioned that some of my time will be looking back and reflecting on where I have been. The second part of the theme is about looking forward and stretching my wings.

Digging into One's History

“Remember the days of old, consider the years long past; ask your father, and he will inform you; your elders, and they will tell you.” (Dt 32:7).

I am just one month away from beginning my sabbatical break, and I wanted to remind you about the theme and how I hope that you can be involved.

Ministry Team Draft Day!

On Sunday, we took another step toward our restructuring by electing nine of our current deacons to become elders in the 2014 and 2015 classes for our Session. As you may know we are combining the Board of Deacons and the Session and are reducing our elected leadership from 30 to 18. Now if we were to expect 18 people to do the same work that 30 did, then our restructuring would not be very successful. However, this is where you come in!

Are You Missing Something?

In this extremely busy world, we Christians often experience Holy Week in a skewed way. We are at church on Palm Sunday when we remember the joy of Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem, and we get a taste of what heaven might look like. We are there the following week when Easter Sunday dawns with the brightness of the rising Son. However, fewer of us are present for Maundy Thursday or Good Friday. It could be our schedules, but I wonder if it is something more?

Youth Lead Worship

Well, if you had any questions about the effectiveness of our youth and educational ministries, Sunday’s youth service answered them. I was very impressed and moved by the worship service planned and led by the youth. Each participant did very well. The music was beautiful, the prayers were well crafted, and the messages were meaningful and well delivered. It was a privilege to see the faith of our youth growing and maturing before our eyes.

Fasting or Feasting?

The season of Lent often includes the devotional practice of “fasting” or abstaining from something as a way of drawing oneself closer to God. You will often hear about someone “giving up something for Lent.” This year I am giving up soft drinks. Every time I want a Dr. Pepper, I remind myself that I need to desire God as much as that soda!

I have a friend who doesn’t abstain from anything, but rather adds something to celebrate Lent. For example, one year she began collecting food for the local food pantry. At the end of Lent, she had 40 food items to give to the hungry.

Facing Lent

“When the days drew near for him to be taken up, he set his face to go to Jerusalem.” - Lk 9:51.

Near the end of his earthly ministry, Jesus “set his face” toward Jerusalem to experience the pain of the cross on our behalf. From that point on, he did not allow anything to distract him from his mission to go to the cross.

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