Sunday, October 3, 2010

A New Sermon Series

Church was SO good today. Our pastor is out of town, building churches in Nicaragua, so the Men's/University minister filled in preaching. He preaches quite often and he brings the Word every time. Today was such a great message! Apparently, we will be spending the next six weeks in a single chapter of the Bible. Romans 8. Jason told a really cool story about this chapter and how it affected a ministry leader once, and I am really excited to spend the next month and a half there.

The verse that starts it all is Romans 8:1. "There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus."

Wow. What a word. The sermon was flowing right along and then he brought it back to that verse by talking about being conflicted. That Christians are often conflicted because we can't stop sinning. We are born sinning and can't break free, even when it is what we want more than anything else. But he said that being conflicted is NOT the same as being condemned. We will always struggle with sin, but just the fact that we struggle proves that we are forgiven. If we weren't under Jesus, we wouldn't care about sinning. But no matter how many times we fall back into our sin traps, there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. God is serious about our sin. Serious enough that He sacrificed His son to pay the debt for that sin. And Jesus sacrifice was ABSOLUTELY enough. He didn't pay 95% of the bill, and we have to try to come up with the other 5%. We don't wash dishes in the kitchen til our bill is paid. Jesus paid it ALL.

Man. What a powerful word that was for me today. Enough that I wanted to share it here so I could let it run through my heart one more time.

In Sunday School today (which, by the way, at our new church is called ABF, which stands for Adult Bible Fellowship... it will always be "Sunday School" to me) I shared a little message. Brett and I are in a newlywed class, and our teacher has written some marriage material called Leading Indicators of a Successful Marriage that he actually teaches a few times throughout the year to nearly and newlyweds at a weekend seminar at our church. We are going through it all as a class right now because it's been a while since we have talked about marriage as a class. But since he has taught this material to us before, in the weekend seminars, the class leadership had the idea to ask couples in the class to sign up to speak about the different topics. The topics are varied. It starts with "The Marriage Seat Belt" which is praying together, and touches all kinds of things like name calling, quality time and sex. Today was "The Marriage Evacuator" which is ignoring one another.

Tyler found research showing that the number one predictor of divorce is the habitual ignoring of one another. Sad =-( It's almost hard for a newlywed to imagine. You know how when two people first start dating, everything is so exciting? You are thrilled every time the phone rings, and you hang on every word your love says to you? Well for most people, that is probably not a reality throughout the duration of a relationship. The spark sometimes transforms into sweetness. But if you have moved to the other end of the spectrum - if you ignore your spouse completely - you have evacuated the marriage. Name calling is overtly aggressive, but ignoring is aggressive in a much more subtle way. If I call you stupid, you know exactly what I think about you. But silence is left open to interpretation. If someone ignores me, I reason that they do not care about me. Silence tells me that I am unworthy, insignificant, and ultimately, unloved. That's serious stuff.

This isn't the topic that we would have chosen if the list had come to us first. Brett and I could easily share about quality time, or about name calling because those are two things that we have dealt with (in regards to quality time) or armed ourselves against (in regards to name calling) in our relationship. But those blanks were already taken when the sign up sheet made it to us. I basically picked this one because I didn't want to talk about sex. Haha. I'm not quite prepared to share super openly about that. Maybe next year! But I am glad that we ended up with this topic. It gave me a lot to think about, and the more I thought about it, the more I had to say.

I rambled a bit and cried a few times, but all in all, it was really neat to get to share with the class. Brett teaches regularly in our class, so everyone knows him. I was glad for a chance to feel like an active participant in it all.

After church we went to Crystal's Pizza to celebrate my Mamaw's 80th birthday. She looks AMAZING and still seems really happy. I love her so much, and I am very proud to be a member of my family. I really do cherish them all.

I am off to enjoy the rest of my Sunday afternoon before it's time to head back to church. Hopefully I will make time to post this week. I LOVE the fall and would love to babble about it for a bit.

Peace out playas!

1 comment:

Kelly said...

Kim is that study material available at book stores or online? I think Steven and I would love to read it. I think it's always a good idea to work on your marriage.