Sunday, April 10, 2005
A New Work Perhaps?
Several weeks ago, I had sent our Chaplain the drafts of the first two sermons I wrote from Luke 11:1-8, about Mercy and Forgiveness. He's been very busy, as he participates or oversees 4-5 services every Sunday and has about 200 soldiers to counsel or minister, as well as advise the command on soldier care issues.
The first feedback he had given me was, "Not bad," and admitted they seemed to him better than the first one he wrote. I took that as pretty good feedback at the time, but I knew he hadn't really taken much time with them either.
Tonight, I walked to the service, which usually would take me about 15 minutes, but I decided to try a "shortcut," which turned out to be anything but. About 25 minutes later I huffed and puffed my way in, all sweaty (it was still about 80 or so). The Chaplain was waiting by the door.
"I was afraid you wouldn't make it," he said with some concern. I explained about my accidental detour. He said, "I was going to ask you to do a reading for me, but maybe you'd rather not now."
No, I said I'd be happy to, and he gave me the reading, Ezekial 37:1-14. Check it out if you don't know it offhand. It's when God transports Ezekial in a vision to a field of dry bones, where the Lord instructs Ezekial to Prophesy to these bones of Israel, that the Lord would rise these bones up, breath life into them, and return them to their home. Dramatic stuff, and perhaps you can imagine me with something like that!
I read the passage, and as I read, goosebumps ran down my arms. When I was done, I walked to my seat, said out loud, "Goosebumps!" and sat down. The Chaplain preached the message, a solid salvation message, and the service was done. As we exited, the Division Chaplain (a full Colonel, our Battalion Chaplain is a Captain) thanked me for doing such a fine reading. Our Chaplain pulled me aside, and also told me what a great job I'd done giving the reading. He said, "You seemed so comfortable up there!" He also told me he'd reread my sermons, and said they were really very good. He told me, "Maybe you really want to give some thought about doing this when you get home."
You could have knocked me over with a feather. The Colonel, the Captain, and another Major share sermons for our evening Praise and Worship Service, and the plan is, when the Colonel takes his two weeks leave, that's when they'll plug me in.
When I spoke with Mrs. Dadmanly tonight, she shared how she had some great encouragements this week, topped off by a wonderful sermon by a gentleman who is involved with the Mission work. She spoke to him at length after the service, and they exchanged emails and Mrs. Dadmanly gave him my blog address. Something during the sermon or conversation, I'm not sure which, touched on evangelism in the former republics of the Soviet Union. (I'm a former cold warrior with Russian and Czech language experience, although they're very rusty.)
Last week I reconnected with our good friend Pastor John Okinda from Kenya, who happens to be stateside at a seminary.
So amongst all these very interesting developments, Nancy tells me she's cleaning out our closets and selling anything we don't really need or use.
Makes me wonder what's next after Iraq.
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