Pastor Lee's blog

Olympic Training

“Do you not know that in a race the runners all compete, but only one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may win it.” (1 Co 9:24).

The 30th Summer Olympiad has begun! I am already tired from staying up too late! I love watching the Olympics, and it doesn’t matter what sport. Certainly I like the well known sports like track and field, gymnastics, and swimming; but I also like the less covered sports like water polo and archery

What always strikes me about any sports competition but particularly the Olympics, is the dedication and the discipline that the athletes must commit to in order to be the best in the world. They spend hours every day, running, diving, jumping, vaulting, swimming, shooting. They are on strict diets, strict sleep schedules, strict training guidelines. In order to be an Olympic caliber athlete you must commit your life to the pursuit of the goal.

What is your "Work Portfolio?"

At the beginning of June I went to an eight day conference for Presbyterian Pastors called “Credo.” This conference was sponsored by the pension / medical wing of the national church. It was an opportunity to spend some time reflecting on where I have been in my ministry and life and to discover ways to strengthen four areas: vocational, emotional, spiritual, and physical.

Our "Stuff" is No Match

After 20 years in the ministry, the one thing that I am sure of is that every single person has “stuff” to deal with. Even those who seem to have it all together, who seem to live charmed lives, are dealing with “stuff.” It could be health issues, financial issues, or relationship problems. It could be a hidden addiction, an unresolved conflict, or the loss of a job. Every person has struggles to deal with and obstacles to overcome, whether others see it or not.

Sometimes these things seem insurmountable. They are like prison walls keeping us in or a locked door keeping us out. This “stuff” can suck the life right out of a person. It can bring despair and hopelessness.

Yet, the message of Easter is that through the power of God obstacles can be overcome. There is hope even in the most hopeless of circumstances. The disciples and the women truly believed that Jesus was dead and gone. Their hope of a Messiah for Israel had died. They were despondent and fearful. When they approached the grave on that Sunday morning, they were going to say their final good byes.

However, the stone was rolled away; the tomb was empty; the message was clear: “He is not here; for he has been raised, as he said. Come, see the place where he lay. Go quickly and tell his disciples, ‘He has been raised from the dead, and indeed he is going ahead of you to Galilee; there you will see him.’” (Mt 28:6–7). (Click 'Read More' to continue).

C.H.I.L.L.

Last Spring, I received a call from a member of the First United Methodist Church asking me to attend a meeting at the Lexington City School office to talk about putting together a program to mentor school aged students. Representatives from First United Methodist, First Lutheran, First Baptist, First Presbyterian, the school administration, the YMCA, the Lexington Recreation Department, and Communities in Schools sat around the table to discuss ways that we as a community could help at-risk students who received little support at home.

The Power of a Whisper

I have heard many good things of the sermon series based on Bill Hybel’s book “The Power of a Whisper.” I have also been asked for a summary of the four weeks. So I thought I would recap the series with some bullet points that will help you remember the teaching. I still would encourage you to get the book for it goes into much more detail than I was able to in the sermons.

The Only Constant is Change

The great science fiction writer Isaac Asimov once wrote: “The only constant is change, continuing change, inevitable change, that is the dominant factor in society today. No sensible decision can be made any longer without taking into account not only the world as it is, but the world as it will be.”

For my family of origin, we are coming face to face with this constant in 2012. After a number of years of consideration, my parents have finally decided to move to a retirement home much like the Piedmont Center. After 43 years, the constant of my youth is changing. My parents have a contract on their house and will be moving at the end of February.

On Sunday night my two brothers, my parents, and I had our last meal together around the dining room table that was the center of much of our lives together. It was a wonderful time of reminiscing and telling stories. There was a lot of laughter and some tears. We are all excited for this new phase in their lives; however, it does come with a little grief for all of us. Change always means loss; and loss is always accompanied by grief.

Whispers from God

Happy New Year!

I am excited about what 2012 will bring for our congregation for I know God is at work in our midst! God has placed us in this community to bear witness to Jesus Christ and minister in his name. I look forward to the many ways we will live out our calling.

Last year, I was given a book which touched my heart and gave me some practical instruction in my own walk of faith. The book is “The Power of a Whisper: Hearing God, Having the Guts to Respond” by Bill Hybels. The content of this book is so good that I wanted to share it with you over the next four weeks in worship.

Is it really possible to hear from God and have God lead you as you walk through your journey on earth? What kind of adventure might you be able to have if you allowed God to direct your steps? Using the material from the book, I will try to answer these and other questions as we cultivate the ability to hear whispers from God. Along the way we will learn the three types of whispers and five ways we can test to see if a whisper is really from God.

Here are the sermon titles and scriptures I will be using:

Joseph - Man of God

This is the season of Christmas pageants with shepherds and sheep, wise men and gifts, Mary and baby Jesus, and... Joseph. I have often thought that Joseph gets the short end of the stick when it comes to pageants. Mary coos and beams and acknowledges all the visitors, shepherds adore, angels sing, wise men bring gifts, and those children cast as sheep and cows get to make animal noises. Even the donkey Mary rides on during their journey to Bethlehem gets more press than Joseph. He only gets to stand there.

Be Still & Know

Psalm 46:10a

As I continue to mature as a Christian, the more I am convinced that the pursuit of the spiritual / devotional life will only be successful if quiet and stillness is part of it. The beginning of this week hit me full on with many wonderful and important interactions and unplanned happenings. This is one part of being a pastor I really love - the unpredictability of it. Yet, at the same time it is so easy for me to let the pace and volume of life overwhelm the quieter life of the Spirit. This happened to me this week. Does it ever happen to you?

Lay Pastoral Ministry Update

One year ago, we began our Lay Pastoral Ministry with the commissioning of six lay pastors. Since then, our lay pastors have been ministering to a number of homebound and chronically ill members of our church. The purpose of Lay Pastoral Ministry is to reach out to members and families of the congregation and to offer friendship, caring, prayer and spiritual comfort.

As we seek to expand our lay ministry and serve more people, we are looking for those in our congregation who may have gifts for caring ministry who would like to use those gifts to glorify God and edify the church.

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