“Pain insists upon being attended to. God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our consciences, but shouts in our pains. It is his megaphone to rouse a deaf world.” C.S. Lewis
When people do this, Offertory, when members of the community voluntarily come up to speak or perform in dedication to God through their art, their craft, their vocation, and/or their time, if you look to where I’m sitting, I will be grinning like a maniac. I love this time of the service. It’s my favorite. Also, I’m the presenter’s check point. I help them flush out their ideas and provide encouragement.
So, in preparing for this I realized that I might have to talk to myself, and how awkward that might be… not for the reason you might think, I do talk to myself a considerable amount, but it’s usually a discussion about a character’s motivation or a semicolon placement or whether our affinity for the Oxford comma has altered due to societal pressures. A conversation in which I am checking in with myself about well, me, my relationship with God, and how I’m spending my time to glorify Him is difficult to broach and somewhat strained. So with all difficult and painful subjects, myself and I did what we do and focused on the language.
Ruth Fairbanks Harper performs "Poor, Wafarin' Stranger" on guitar.
“For God so loved the world, he gave his only begotten Son, that whoever believeth in him should not perish but have everlasting life.” Back in 1999 John 3:16 became more real to me than at any other time in my life, and I can’t explain it without giving you the history behind it.
At 15 years old, my mom got pregnant with me. She married my dad and they were together for 2 years. My dad was an alcoholic. I went to my dad’s every other weekend. As I went to my dad’s, my mom partied, trying to fulfill all that she missed out on while being a wife and mother. She became addicted to drugs. At first she only used drugs when I was away, and then it filtered into her daily life: losing jobs, not having money for food, not having a place to live.
Sarah Null performs "Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring" on flute.
In 2 Corinthians 2:12-17, the Apostle Paul describes his ministry and then asks, in verse 16, “Who is sufficient for these things?” This is a question I ask myself from time to time in my ministry as a fire department chaplain.