Monday, August 4, 2008

Monday Meditation

I have spent part of my day reading the entries of my fellow bloggers, and the entries made me both glad and sad at the same time. I was glad because I've discovered that I'm not alone in my struggles. I was sad because I hate to see fellow brothers going through similar struggles. I don't know how you feel about it, but I need a vacation ASAP!!

As I was in my meditation moment this morning, I was crying out to the Lord for some rest and relief. While in prayer, the Lord reminded me of a passage found in Matthew 11:28-30, where it says, "Come unto me all ye that labor and are heavy laden and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn of me, and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For My yoke is easy and my burden is light."

When I was done praying, I immediately started investigating this word rest. I found great comfort in these definitions in their context. This 1st "rest" suggests salvation from what has you burdened. In the context it suggest those who are burdened by sin or the heavy demands that the mosaic Law placed upon them. This is great because the demands that some of our congregants and the ministry can place upon us can be over-bearing at times. Jesus is saying that if we come to Him, He can deliver us from that! I needed that reminder because I tend to think that I can handle any of life's burdens on my own!! I think Oswald Chambers said it best when he said, “Our Lord’s words are not, ‘Do this, or don’t do that,’ but – ‘Come to me."

This 2nd rest gives us the picture of an oasis in the middle of a desert. This rest will be found as a result of being yoked up with Christ. I think as I sought the Lord this morning, this is exactly what I found (I'm still going on vacation though)! This served me as another reminder that I need to constantly depend upon the Lord, and not try and function on my own faculties. I believe that this will help reduce our stress level I hope that this has helped you the way that it has helped me!

On the lighter side, I was reading some email, and came across one that I thought was stereotypical of different ethnic groups regarding church, but nevertheless it was funny to me. I have a sense of humor and I want to share it with you. I hope that you do not take offence to this. It's entitled, " The Average Caucasian Church vs. The Average African American Church. Again I hope you don't take offence to this.

The Average Caucasian Church:
1. Service and Sunday School are over by 10:30a.m.
2. All cars in the parking lot are either new or three years old.
3. The Pastor delegates his preaching and does not preach every Sunday or every service.
4. When the Pastor retires, they don't have a problem retiring.
5. No one leaves the choir during the entire service.
6. There is only one choir.
7. Choir rehearsal is only once a month, not every week.
8. There is children's church every Sunday, not once every six months.
9. There are 52-inch flat screen TVs posted in the sanctuary, which is where announcements are posted and not read audibly.
10. No afternoon and night service.
11. You can't tell the pastor's car because everyone drives a nice car.
12. Women wear less jewelry because they know less means more.
13. Communion takes 30 minutes, not two hours.
14. Communion is packaged together and not served in four gold trays.
15. Babies are not passed around in church; they sit only with their parents.
17. Scriptures and bible verses are posted on the FLAT SCREENS IN THE SANCTUARY.
18. Caucasians know the difference between winter white and summer white.
19. Mothers feed their kids FRUIT, GRAINS, AND ANIMAL CRACKERS before service.
20. 80% of the congregation wears real furs in the winter and don't walk in service late to show them off.
21. IT TAKES TWO DEACONS TO COUNT $10,000+ in offering.
22. There's only one offering.
23. 95% of the congregation is married.

The Average African-American Church:
1. Service starts at 11 a.m., but 50% of the members arrive at 12:45 p.m.
2. All the cars in the parking lot have been freshly washed.
3. The pastor doesn't come out until 45 minutes after service has started.
4. Only 30% of the choir is on time.
5. The choir discusses ten minutes over which song to sing.
6. The choir sings the song, but the musician doesn't know how to play it.
7. The parents whip the kids during worship.
8. The audience has to help the announcement clerk pronounce the words on the church bulletin.
9. Two of the church deacons have gold teeth or NO teeth!!!!!
10. The members socialize and speak during the tithes and offering.
11. When church is over, no one discusses the pastor's message: they just compliment each other's outfits and hair.
12. Members pay $20, but stand there waiting for$18 in change back.
13. The single women give each other signals when a handsome guest minister is invited.
14. You find notes after church that say: 'That's not her hair,' 'Who is that baby daddy?' 'He need to sit down,' 'What you fix for dinner?' 'I know she ain't got that on,' 'Let me borrow $1 for offering'
15. It takes eight deacons two hours to count $400.
16. There is a slot on the tithe envelope marked 'Building Fund.'
17. That afternoon service is either: Choir Day,Usher Day, Or Men and Women's Day (don't forget Youth Day, Education Day, Pastor's Aide Day, Hospitality Day, New Member Day, Church Anniversary Day, Pastor's Anniversary Day, and Revival).
18. The Pastor's car has either a rag top or rims.
19. The women have on expensive heels, but have house shoes in their bags.
20. You see more than five people pass someone gum or a peppermint.
21. Someone will feed a baby Cheetos, sugar cookies, crackers, or vanilla wafers in the sanctuary.
22. Men will have on suits in the color of bright yellow, lime green, hot pink, sky blue, and candy apple red with shoes to match.
23. People will have a $80 bible, but will have to lookin the table of contents to find the text of the pastor's message.

The great thing is that if you are familiar with any of these examples, then at least you are in church. God Bless!!!

P.S. I did no editing to the email, just copy and paste.


Pastor Andre' A. McGhee said...

Great post. Its informative, inspiring and interesting. Thanks.Now that you know what rest is, get some.

Pastor Lance A. Mann said...

Spoon you are somebody's preacher. I wish you were here on South Beach with me getting thesame refreshing I am getting. Please find time to get rest.

Anonymous said...

Hey Pastor Witherspoon,keep at it brother. I am praying for you and your ministry. God is definetly able to strengthen you at your weakest point.

Be Encouraged!

Tony R.

Pastor Kraig L. Pullam said...

Funny...and insightful!