Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Know, Share, Retire - Part 1

I preached at Winfield United Methodist Church this past Sunday.  Over the next few days, I'll share my sermon.

I mentioned (as I introduced myself) that I am a certified lay minister, but before that, I was what used to be called a certified lay speaker - now a certified lay servant.  There aren't many places where you can use the word certified three times in one sentence.  Anyway, part of that process is the participation in district leadership classes.  That is how I found myself in Dr. Bob's preaching class.

Dr. Bob told us that there was an easy way to put together a sermon, and that we could do it quickly if we were called in the middle of the night on a Saturday to preach the next day.  He said that we needed to know and be able to explain the answers to three questions:
1.  What was your life like before you know God?
2.  What happened to change it?
3.  What difference did it make?

If you can do that, then you can tell your own faith story.  I've known for weeks that I would be coming to Winfield to preach, so this isn't a substitution for a sermon, but here is my story:

I am blessed that I can remember, even as a small child, knowing about God, thinking about God, wondering about God.  I grew up in a household of faith; I've never had that revelation moment when I suddenly believed – I’ve always believed.  As an adult, I've been involved in church, and have given my time and energy to the work of the church.  Even so, in October of 2005, my faith was changed.  In October of 2005, I participated in a Walk to Emmaus.  During that three day experience, God convinced me that he is always with me - that he will be with me throughout my life, and that he will walk with me through whatever he calls me to do.  My faith was expanded and deepened.  And that gift of faith has lasted, even to today.  I don't know if my actions always show it, but I do believe that God is with us right now, even in this room, and that has made a tremendous difference in my life.

This is my story.  We all have a faith story.  I don't know where mine will go next, but I trust God will be with me.  I tell you my story, because today I want to talk about sharing our stories - sharing not only our stories, but sharing the good news of God with those around us.

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