I usually don't blog within a few days of a previous one. Most of the time I wait a week to sit down to review and reflect on what's been happening here.
However, yesterday was special.
Somehow, somewhere, the month of October has been designated Pastor Appreciation month. So, one of the ladies in the church set up a plan to have Sunday, October 18 (yesterday), put on our church calendar as Pastor Appreciation Day.
In the last several years, we have had several men follow the call into ministry. They have continued at their day jobs, but have stepped into the role of bivocational ministers. One works with our outreach/visitation program, one coordinates our mission efforts (specifically to a church in Mexico), one is planting a new church in the Los Angeles suburb of Chatsworth, and another is working with the youth. So, there are several "lay pastors" serving in needed ministries who have taken it seriously and boldly.
So, during the morning worship hour yesterday, we were all presented with our favorite pie from Marie Callenders restaurant. Mine was coconut cream, and yes it tasted good. I had just a piece last night, and yes it was a big piece!
In addition, we were presented with special cards to remind us pastors how much we are loved. I shared with the church family that it is a wonderful thing to be appreciated, because there are moments when we wonder if we are making an impact for the King of Glory in the way we should. We pastors were greatly blessed yesterday!
As our Praise and Worship leader was out of town yesterday, I led music also. We do mostly contemporary songs, so I decided to do only hymns for this service. It included songs such as What A Friend We Have In Jesus, Leaning on the Everlasting Arms, and How Great Thou Art. I gave the background of the authors and context for each hymn as well. Did you know that How Great Thou Art is the number one favorite in the United Kingdom, and is number two favorite hymn in the United States? Amazing Grace is number one in the U.S.
Well, after church, we had an old-fashioned potluck lunch at the local park nearby. Almost everyone showed up, and we had enough food to feed an army. There were so many comments about the time of relaxed fellowship and time to share together. It was a great time for our little congregation to have such fun in the Lord. As an added blessing, as the picnic wound down to a close, I shared the plan of salvation with a man named Jeff. After some soul-searching and admitted need for peace in life, he surrendered to the claims of Jesus for salvation and eternal life. There's more to this story but I will save it for later.