Odds & Ends

Here are a few random things that have happened over the past few days, that I thought you might find interesting.

  • Compliments.  You know, there’s a fine art to giving a compliment.  One of the best/worst compliments that I ever received was by an older lady right after I finished preaching a sermon on the topic of “Hell.”  When she met me at the door, she shook my hand and said, “Steve, I want you to know that I didn’t know what Hell was like until I heard you preach today.”  So, how do you respond to that?  Well, yesterday I had someone say, “Steve your sermon was excellent.  You know, you can make a good sermon out of nothing.”  Again, I’m left scratching my head, but I think it was meant as a compliment.
  • The Fred Factor.  A couple weeks ago, I wrote a post about “The Fred Factor,” a book we were using for a Wednesday night Bible study.  The book was written by Mark Sanborn, and is a national bestseller.  Well anyway, you can imagine my surprise when I listened to my voice mail last Sunday to hear a message that was left for me from Mark Sanborn, the author of “The Fred Factor.”  He had read my blog, and saw that we were using his book in our Bible study.  He was just calling to wish us the best in our study.  I thought that was pretty neat.  I asked him if he would write a message to my adult Bible class and he was kind enough to do so.  In fact, I thought one of his comments was rather profound.  He said, “I don’t call myself a ‘Christian speaker’ or a ‘Christian author’ as that suggests that my identity is as a speaker or author.  Not that many years ago, I realized I wanted my faith to be central and not an adjective or modifier.  My identity is in Christ, and the adjectives are what I do, speak and write.”  Worthy of contemplation, don’t you think?
  • Ica, Peru.  My wife, Kim and our two oldest children, Kelli and Michael just returned home from a mission trip in Ica, Peru.  This was their first, and I can say that this won’t be their last.  From what they have come back and shared, this was one of those life-changing events.  I’ll share just one story… As they were out door-knocking, a Peruvian woman was waiting at her window, watching the mission team go from house to house.  As the team finally came to her house, she excitedly said, “You have finally come!  I have been waiting for you!”  They studied the Bible with this woman and she was baptized into Christ.  Isn’t that a momentous thought?  A woman looking out her window, waiting for someone to come and teach her about Jesus!  I wonder how many more people there are in the world who are looking out their windows, waiting?
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