can i have some cheese with my whine

Monday, December 31, 2012

I am really messed up by my abysmal failure in giving a sermon this past Sabbath. My assigned topic was the third chapter of Hebrews. I felt inspired when I wrote it over a few sittings and yet it went like a lead balloon. Our pastor quit a few weeks ago so I have no one to talk to about this. I feel like I let my brethren down. We are struggling to survive as a congregation of less than 20 souls.

My insomnia is kicking me this morning. I slept 3 hours and now have been awake for 4 hours with no sign of sleep on the horizon. So here I sit whining. Prayer and Bible readings not yet helpful.

Prov.27:17 says "iron sharpens iron,
So a man sharpens the countenance of his friend." in The New King James Version. The idea is that people grow from interaction with one another. Perhaps The Lord will give you the words to get me out of my funk. God richly bless you for your kindness!!!
John T.
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    You should feel proud of taking on the challenge to present your sermon. It was a gift of service to step in after your pastor quit.

    Your challenge now is to stop beating up on yourself for the lack of response from the congregation.

    It may be helpful to talk to an individual or two about their thoughts on your presentation--how they think you came across, how people received the message, what you might do next time to create a more positive reception.

    If you are humble and sincerely seek help, I just know in my heart that you will find a way to be effective. Don't give up--keep yor mind and heart open for the message of the best way to serve God and the people of this struggling congregation!
    3025 days ago
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    First of all preaching the Word is never an abysmal failure, so don't allow satan to play with your mind like that.. Jesus has said more than once, "He who has ears to hear, let them hear".. Do you think Jesus thought he was an abysmal failure when His Words fell on deaf ears? Not a chance.. He continued to do the work of His Father, and so should you! Don't be moved by satan or the world for that matter.. Continue to do what God has put in your heart to do.. whether it be preaching to a congregation or at a Bible Study, or on a street corner.. God will lead you to where you need to be... Have faith!!!
    And.. Happy New Year!
    3027 days ago
    I have that scripture on my business card - get it "Cast Iron Lady'. The comments previously given are wisdom from the Word. If you were given a sermon from God and it didn' t go over well, then God has a better plan for it.

    Ours is not to reap the harvest but to plant the seed. I am praying for you, brother.
    3027 days ago
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    You have the indwelling Holy Spirit who really does lead you into all truth and does show you things to come.

    What is Mr. Holy Spirit saying to you about this matter?

    Maybe the people you were speaking to are a few of the "chosen frozen"? LOL

    Maybe their hearts and spirits need a little of Jesus or more like a whole bunch of Jesus and His love, grace and truth, how 'bout that?
    3027 days ago
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    Prayers for peace in your heart.
    3027 days ago
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    Is there evidence that it went over like a lead balloon like people got up and walked out half way through your sermon? It is not an easy task to lead a congregation no matter what the size is. I would ask a few trusted brothers what they thought of the sermon and if they see anything that would make the next one better if you are going to deliver it. I also know looks on the intentions of the heart not the outward appearances and this goes for words as well as what you do.
    Also realize that the holy spirit can speak words to our hearts that our ears do not hear
    The insomnia may be triggered by the feelings of failure you are placing on yourself so today may be not so great but you need to forgive yourself and move to the next level.
    Focus on what you can do not what you can't.
    I will pray that God will give you peace and the knowledge that you did your best and that is all God expects.
    May you day today be blessed as you are in God's word
    3027 days ago
    Dearly beloved friends,

    thanks for the replies! My sermon elicited dead silence when I asked for input on the topic at the midpoint of the sermon. When I ended the same dead silence again. I called for closing hymns and the congregation just froze for what felt like a long time. No one picked up their hymnal and the music minister did not take the floor. Finally the deacon spoke up and started a discussion on sin in general which was not quite the point of my sermon. Then after closing hymns no one came up to talk to me and voided eye contact for the entire fellowship hour. I finally sat near the oldest lady (age92) in the congregation who began a sad discussion on the sad thought that 2 of her sons may die before her. Even in the parking lot they still avoided me and the deacon informed me that he found someone else for my next sermon. I have no heart to call anyone and create an awkward silence again. I will continue in prayer!
    3027 days ago
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    Any time I have to do something for somebody else I feel like it is not good enough. They on the other hand think it was wonderful. You could just be beating yourself up. Maybe it wasn't as much a lead balloon as you think it was. Ask them. Call them up this morning and talk to them. They will tell you how it was for them. BUT every person hears it differently. Every person sees the same accident differently. And you might have said something that just one person needed to hear. Or they have a friend that is in a spot and your sermon might have trigger a way to help this friend. Like some of the others have said we don't know the Why's of God or how He gets His message out and across. I've sat in a lot of services and have felt moved when others around me are clipping their finger nails. We are our worse judges. With a group of 20, you guys know each other. They will tell you if your message was a lead balloon. Call them and ask.

    3027 days ago
    Remember the Lord always works things out for good to those who love and believe in him. Perhaps something good is going to come for this. We don't know the why when we "think" we fail but , be assured God can bring good from ALL things.
    3027 days ago
    I agree with CHRISTINATOBIAS it's important to reflect on why and how you feel you failed. Then, determine how you could improve on what you have done. Possibly compare this time to times when you have felt successful and look for the difference between them.

    Prayers are with you.
    3027 days ago
    Guess what they only way now is up. that is the baseline - so you have room for improvement and success. You ever think aboout people who make such 'great achievements' when the are young? You wonder what's next for them? Life is Long and how will they top that achievement? It must be hard trying to meet and surpass that 'great achievement'.

    So, You can gradually achieve success and it will long term and long lasting.

    Have the cheese without the Whine but with wine.
    3028 days ago
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    Reading your first paragraph I wonder what exactly you mean by 'an abysmal failure'? Why do you feel it went like a 'lead balloon' - what does that mean? These are quite strong judgements. Did people tell you that? Or is it your personal conclusion? I think it's important to investigate this. If people didn't like the sermon, you could ask them why, or try to think about why, and maybe find ways to do better next time.
    If it is YOU being harsh with yourself, remember that God / Jesus isn't.
    Listening to what you say about this my impression is that you tried and had good intentions, regardless of how it was received, these are valuable things.

    3028 days ago
    ok you can have a little cheese

    just kidding

    prayer sems to be in order
    good luck
    3028 days ago
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