What To Do When You Are Discouraged

Ok.  So, every now and then, they let me teach in “big church,” which gets recorded.  That happened last Sunday, and I taught on the topic of discouragement and how we can be encouragers of one another.  About minute 22:00, I started talking about making a plan.  Due to time limitations, all I could say, was “we should have a plan.”  I believe this is a good platform to dive deeper into what that plan could look like.  That’ll be the topic of my future posts.  The next one will drop in a few days.  Check back.  Alongside…

6 Things I Noticed About Myself While Preparing A Sermon

A few times a year, I get the opportunity to preach “in big church” as I labeled it as a kid.  And, for me, the process is fascinating, challenging and rewarding.  I feel that way, mostly because of what it reveals about God.  But, I also feel that way, partly because of what it reveals about me.

I’m preaching in the morning at Istrouma Baptist Church, and in preparation for doing so, here are the 6 things I noticed about myself:

  1. I love God’s Word.  I realized this week, that the passage I’m preaching on tomorrow is one that I recently preached on.  But, this time, I saw different things. God’s Word is deep like that, and I love it.
  2. I’m more confident in my head than I am in the real world.  I thoroughly enjoy reading, studying, and praying over a text.  And, in my head, it sounds great. Putting it on paper is where it gets hard.  Courage issue?  Clarity issue?  Who knows?
  3. I love to draw from others who have already traveled the path before me. I do my own reading and studying, but when it comes to putting it all together in a communicable format with memorable illustrations, I need help.  And, with the help of technology, there’s a lot of help out there.  Thanks Tony Evans for some of the illustrations I’m using tomorrow.
  4. I still prioritize my family.  It’s Saturday night, 11:00 PM, and I still have to go pick up my girl from her friend’s house across town.  Part of me feels like I should be asleep so I can be at my best in the morning.  The majority of me says, “Nah.  It’s all good.  Be a dad.”
  5. I still feel a sense of wonder about what God can do.  And, that’s a big deal for me.  As I’m getting older, I’m becoming more cynical.  I’m just “over” a lot of things in life.  I know I’m on a path to being Hank, the photographer on Parenthood (played by Ray Ramano).  And, I know that’s not good.  Thankfully, God and His Word still keeps me amazed.
  6. I am blessed!  Not in a “see my toes in the sand on instagram kind of way,” but in a way that makes me so thankful that God can still use me, in spite of all the dumb things I’ve done in my life.  I’m thankful for His grace, and that I was a full blown adult before camera phones and social media.

We don’t have to get set up to preach a sermon to allow God to use us.  I hope you see how He can and is using you.  And, in the process, I hope you learn some things about yourself.