*I have found a better way to write my transcript that keeps my eye's on the paper less and on the audience more. Simple, yet effective.
*While preaching, I often am thinking what certain people who are listening to me are thinking, based on their reactions. How I continue to preach and yet at the same time think about this is beyond my understanding.
*I can't tell jokes. Not in real life, and not while I'm preaching. So, I don't try to.
*Almost everything that I say that is "funny" comes to me about 2 to 3 seconds before I say it and is usually a one-liner. So, I have 2 seconds to decide whether I should say it or not. I can't prepare in advance for this. That's how it will always be...and it excites me and scares me at the same time. I feed on this.
*The more I prepare my sermon, the more freedom I have in the moment to take small detours.
*Practicing my sermon a lot is a bad thing.
*I find it funny when little, old women give me hugs after I preach.
*I love preaching on Sunday mornings, but I have no idea, at this point in time, how pastors do it effectively week in and week out. I have got to figure this one out...
*When a 17 and 18 year old came up to me and said it made them think in a way they never had before I praised God for using me.
*It is humbling to be used by God to deliver His word, even though I don't deserve to do it.
*I don't like pulpits and I don't like choirs (where they sit, that is). Who wants to look at the back of someone's head during the entire message?
*Almost all my stories and illustrations are from my life, and often involve Michelle. I don't understand how people go to some website and just find a sermon illustration to get their point across.
*I love "fill in the blank" handouts, because I know they help thought retention.
*I love sharing God's word...and I am blessed and lucky to be doing so.
So, what did I preach about on Sunday?
How the world perceives us (many of the thoughts on this came from the book Unchristian) and the fact that that perception is reality. (In case you didn't know, it's not a good perception). So, how do we change it?
*The church needs to be known for what it is for, not what it is against.
*God's kindness led us toward repentance, not his judgment (Romans 2:4).
*We must show that same grace.
*It's not how far along (mature) you are in your walk, it's what direction you are going.
In short, my message was about love, change, and grace through community. Do we extend grace to those who really need it? The future of the church depends on grace!
Galatians 5:6 - The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love.
And I found a way to use this picture, but you would have had to be there to understand. I also used a clip from Coach Carter to re-emphasize the "community" aspect of grace.
*Thanks to Tim for giving me his thoughts on the message before I preached.